Dr. Rogers understood the value of work and the value of money. He understood that his money and education were tools to help others in need. Ultimately, believing so strongly in his mission to aid the mentally ill, he devoted his entire estate to the operation of the Hospital and the establishment of an endowment for psychiatric research.
The mission of Rogers is to “provide quality health care for those suffering from mental illness.” This is the commitment that Dr. Arthur W. Rogers lived during his lifetime and established in his death. And his legacy will live on through caring friends like you.
Dr. Roger’s youth was plagued with great loss. The Yellow Fever Epidemic took the life of his father and several siblings. Traveling to his grandparents in another state, his mother also succumbed to the disease. Orphaned at a young age, Arthur was dependent on the kindness of farmers to help him and his siblings find their way. He later moved to Chicago and would sell newspapers on the streets to help pay for his room and board. Later, he entered Rush Medical School, where he specialized in psychiatry and graduated at the age of 26 years old.
Believing in the healing powers of water, he and his wife, Theresa Limberg Rogers, used their savings to purchase a 200-acre estate on the shores of the Nashotah Lakes. The 32-room Mason Hill Mansion , built in 1882, had four octagonal wings and a central courtyard. Dr. and Mrs. Rogers converted the property into the Oconomowoc Health Resort, but within a year, fire destroyed the mansion.
After the fire, Dr. Rogers re-built the Health Resort and eventually added several outbuildings to house therapy services, medical staff and hospital personnel. Dr. Rogers provided innovative water therapy, including the Baruch Hydrotherapeutic Plant for individualized bathing in spring water.
After his wife’s death in 1930, Dr. Rogers renamed the institution Rogers Memorial Sanitarium Corporation and converted it into a nonprofit, charitable institution in her honor. In 1955, Dr. Owen Otto become Chief of Staff, and the facility was renamed Rogers Memorial Hospital. In 1958, a wing was added to the main building and treatment of higher acuity patients began. Dr. Otto retired in 1987.
David L. Moulthrop, PhD, was hired as president and CEO in February 1993. Under Dr. Moulthrop's leadership, the hospital transitioned to a medical model of care, with treatment services under the direction of physicians, and began a diversification of treatment services.
Today Rogers Memorial Hospital is governed by a Board of Directors and is proud to remain a not-for-profit organization. In addition to its Oconomowoc site, it has a hospital in Milwaukee and treatment centers in Brown Deer and Kenosha. Its medical staff of expert behavioral health professionals includes physicians, psychologists and master’s-level therapists. It is accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed as a psychiatric hospital by the State of Wisconsin.