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O’Reilly Army Hospital & Evangel featured in PBS documentary rebroadcast

Published on Oct 28, 2020 by Paul K. Logsdon


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks Public Television (OPT) will rebroadcast their highly-regarded, locally-produced documentary, “O’Reilly General Hospital – The Hospital with a Soul,” on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, at 8 p.m. CT.

The hour-long special tells the story of the WWII-era army hospital that was located in Springfield, Mo., on the grounds of what is now Evangel University.

Evangel is the presenting sponsor of the production. The documentary was produced in high definition and first aired in March of 2012.

The university helped make this presentation possible because of research materials from its Betty A. Chase Archives and interviews with then-President Robert H. Spence.

“The history of O’Reilly General Hospital is part of our history,” said Dr. Spence at the time. “Through this documentary we honor the memories of doctors, nurses, patients and all those who were involved in that institution.

“The hospital made its mark on the medical field, providing cutting edge technologies and practices for the time. It also made an impact for the betterment of Springfield as a city,” he said.

More than 100,000 soldiers, dependents and prisoners of war were treated at O’Reilly throughout the war years.

The patients and personnel at O’Reilly fondly remembered it as “the hospital with a soul.”

A vintage postcard of O’Reilly Army Hospital, before there was an Evangel. The flagpole, boiler house and Pythian Castle in the background remain. Note that Glenstone Ave. was just a two-lane road.

How to see the broadcast

Alumni, friends and history buffs who are out of town are encouraged to visit the OPT Facebook page for a video link, which will be posted a couple of days prior to the broadcast:

In addition, the link will also be posted on the Evangel University Facebook page:

For local TV viewers, Ozarks Public Television is the Missouri State licensee for KOZK-TV channel 21 in Springfield, Missouri, and KOZJ-TV channel 26 in Joplin, Missouri.

Local viewers should check their local cable or satellite providers for these stations.


***  UPDATED: Nov. 6, 2020  ***

• Just wanted to let you know the Facebook event has been created:

• And the link to the screening is included in the event, and is directing users to:

(They can RSVP already, or log in near the event Thursday at 8p with their email or anonymously if they wish)




• There is a significant O’REILLY HOSPITAL WEBSITE, a joint project with Evangel and the Springfield-Greene County Library District, that includes hundreds of photos —

• The original FEATURE STORY about the PBS documentary provides additional details on the project —