As part of the celebration of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s 65th anniversary, we will take a look back at our history in each issue of Community Matters.
In 1956, the Synod of the Plains, the United Presbyterian Church synod in central Kansas, established Home of the Plains in Sterling. Located in a three-story white house at the corner of Seventh and Washington, Home of the Plains provided basic room and board care for the elderly.
Two years later in 1958, the Presbyterian Church and the United Presbyterian Church in North America merged, bringing together the parent synods of Presbyterian Manor in Newton and Home of the Plains in Sterling. This merger brought Home of the Plains into the Presbyterian Foundation of Kansas, which oversaw the development of Presbyterian Manor in Newton and was exploring building a new Presbyterian Manor in Topeka.
In 1959, the name of Home of the Plains was officially changed to Sterling Presbyterian Manor, and plans to expand the campus were approved. Land was finally purchased in 1962. On November 27, 1965, the new Sterling Presbyterian Manor was dedicated. The East and Center wings were built east of the original white house. The new Manor had 30 private rooms, a chapel and a dining room.
In December 1958, land was purchased to construct a Presbyterian Manor in Topeka. Topeka Presbyterian Manor was incorporated in September 1961. Ground was broken on Feb. 4, 1962. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur D. Jellison of Junction City pledged $50,000 toward the construction of a chapel. The structure was completed in July 1963. The next project in Topeka was an infirmary. Ground was broken on April 13, 1965. The project included the rotunda portion of the building and was funded with a major donation. The Jellison chapel was built after the infirmary was completed. Also in the 1960s, the Tower apartments were built on the Topeka campus.
Growth continued in Newton, with the completion of Unit Four in 1960. In 1962, Newton Presbyterian Manor was given permission to construct apartments, which were completed in 1963. In 1964, Newton Presbyterian Manor had 103 residents. The average age was 83, with 18 residents older than 90, 50 between 80 and 90 and 34 younger than 80. Unit 6, a two-story building with nursing care on the second floor, was constructed in 1969.
After several years of study and debate about the best location, land was obtained and ground was broken for a Presbyterian Manor in Kansas City on April 2, 1967. Construction was completed and the building was dedicated June 22, 1968.
Members of First Presbyterian Church in Clay Center became interested in having a Presbyterian Manor and petitioned the synod and the Foundation to consider the community. Mrs. Ethel (George) Kreeck donated land to the project, and ground was broken May 7, 1967. The Manor was dedicated June 29, 1968.