Bienfait Hospital History

Bienfait, Saskatchewan, Canada

(Note- Part of this Written in 1955, page 29, History of Bienfait)
The first Hospital in Bienfait was a frame building with only two wards. There was no running water so conditions were poor at all times, but the community of Bienfait was growing and it was soon found that the small hospital was not large enough. A number of private rooms a new operating room, and a second story were added to the hospital. The location of the First Hospital was where the “Old Hospital” now stands. It was built in 1930.

The newer Health Centre below, was opened on Dec 15th, 1946

Coalfields Union Hospital Photo Taken in 1992 by myself, It was a Boarding House/Hotel at the time, and still is in 2017.

Taken in 2005

Found an Aug 31, 1946 article saying the contract for erection of the New Hospital was awarded to Hillsden and Smith Company of Regina. The cost was $50,000.00 and was supposed to have been 15 bed hospital, described as modern and brick veneer. Cost was covered by SK government grants, and the assets of the Miner's Hospital, which operated in Bienfait for 13 years prior to 1946. Balance of the cost, $30,000.00 was to be raised by the Municipalities concerned, with the RM of Coalfields being the biggest contributor. They held a poll of the taxpayers in April 1946 which passed.

The New Hospital is a very fine building with wards, privates, semi-privates, excellent operating and case rooms, with up to date X-Ray machines, incubator, and sun lamps. A great improvement in the hospital is the hot and cold running water. The first hospital was sponsored by the miners and was called Coalfields Union Hospital. The First Doctor was a “French” Doctor, having had his office situated where the Chinese Novelty Store is located. Note- I still think this was Dr. French, not a French Doctor!

The First Matron was Muriel Malarkey. She was also the only nurse in the hospital.
Muriel Joan Mularkey

  • b- Sept 17, 1905 in Bienfait SK
  • d- Dec 19, 1979, in Surrey, BC, age 74
  • daughter of William Henry Mularkey and Ruth Mooney
  • She married Fred Ernewein, who was a brother to The Calgary Kid, aka Allen Erwin.
    Thanks to Diane Earle for spotting the connection.

Muriel and Fred Ernewein
photo courtesy Diane Earle with thanks

Strange but SK vital records show a Agnes Mularkey born on this day to William and Ruth, not Muriel? a sister Alice Rose Mularkey was born Aug 23, 1907, both born on sec 28, tsp 4, rge 7, W2 and William Henry Mularkey was buried in Bienfait in 1948

Picture of pictures in the Bienfait Museum, so quality is a little poor

Picture of the First Hospital, 318 Main st. (now a residence)
Lorne Frank, (in picture) was born there, picture taken by Bonnie Frank (nee Thompson)

Community Hospital ca 1940's
Sign is a warning to park properly, no U turns in front.
part of Alex Wilson Collection, sent by Margaret Cuddington

1906-1955 from Bienfait History book


  • French Doctor  
    Note- there was a Doctor named French in Estevan around this time frame,

And I wonder if they made an error in the history book, thinking this was his nationality?
Dr. Edwin T. French- shown still in Estevan in 1920


  • Creighton Brothers, (William and James)
    (In my Estevan Doctor page, I have their history)


  • George Hutchinson
    • b- Mar 1884 in ON,
    • lived on lot 13?, in block 2, next to Charles Carroll's place,
    • shown as a Doctor in 1911 census, age 27.


  • Dr. Edgar Moses Brundage
    (shown as Dr in 1916 article below)

During this period there were many Graduate Doctors who served part time


  • Creighton Brothers, (Bill and Jim)

1930- 45-

  • Dr. Scott


  • Dr. Buston


  • Dr. B. A. Cates

1947- After Apr. 1951-

  • Dr. Grant McPhail
  • His daughter contacted me, and corrected his surname, and time period.
  • Dr. McPhail, wife, and family, moved to Calgary AB, ca 1951 then went on to Edmonton in 1958, where he passed away in 1986.


  • Dr. Milletts


  • Dr. P. H. Barnes
  • Dr. P. H. Barnes was made Overseer of Bienfait, Oct 1956.
  • living in Winnipeg in 1958.
  • The Board of Trade took up the Water and Sewer Project in Bienfait, and Dr. Barnes was President.

Newer List below from the Reunion 2005 book, compiled by Helen Kingdon, with thanks


  • Dr. Rubin & Dr. Danchuk


  • Dr. Richard Rennie,
  • Dr. Weber,
  • Dr. Meraphyl,
  • Dr. Bowers, &
  • Dr. Sweeting *


  • - Dr. Richard Rennie, (see Bienfait Post Office History),
  • Dr. Miller,
  • Dr. Murphy,
  • Dr. Alkatib,
  • Dr. Mezra,
  • and Dr. Philip Benjamin Samuel
    b-1913- d- Dec 30, 1964, buried in Souris Valley Cemetery, Estevan,


  • Dr. Patricia Hannon (Mrs. Lorne Bradley)


  • Dr. Galal

The Hospital voluntarily closed it's doors in 1992

Dr. E. M. Brundage, May 4, 1916 article in the Estevan Progress newspaper
re: setting up bee hives on Mr. Ballison's farm in Pinto area.

from NB records
Father- Dr. Edgar Moses Brundage
Mother- Margaret Young Jordan
married July 11, 1888 in Charlotte County, NB
Bertha Brundage- May 24, 1898, at Long Creek, Queens County, NB
Cora Mildred Brundage- Oct 8, 1893, at Fairville, Saint John County, NB
Thomas Medley Brundage, Mar 10, 1890, Edmundston, Madawaska County, NB

There was a Baby Brundage died 1913
and a Mildred Brundage d- Oct 17, 1915
also buried in Estevan City Cemetery

Dr. Edgar Moses Brundage
b- Sept 3, 1862 (1863?) in New Brunswick
d- Oct 2, 1941, in Grey Nuns Hospital Regina SK., age 79
buried in Estevan City Cemetery
was living in Chaplin SK before that
Graduated from Baltimore Medical College in 1896
came west in 1910
Practiced at Bienfait and Gainsborough for several years.

Father- Thomas Brundage
Mother- Jemima Brundage, nee ?
1881- living in Greenwich, Kings, New Brunswick

1901- in Studholme sub-district, Kings, NB
Edgar is shown as a medical doctor
wife- Margret Brundage, nee ?- Nov 17, 1868
son- M. Tomas Brundage, b- Mar 11, 1890
daughter- M. Cora Brundage- b- Oct 8, 1893
daughter- Bertha M. Brundage, b- May 24, 1898 (shown as Burtha here)
son- Frank J. Brundage, b- Apr 4, 1900
all born in NB

1911 census shows Burtha as Bertha
her mother's name is now Margaret
with them Cora and Frank, but no Edgar
still living in the Parish of Studholme, Kings, NB
Edgar must have went west at this point.

1916 census shows Dr. Edgar Brundage in Bienfait, age 53,
with son Medley C. Brundage, age 26, School Teacher
and son Frank Jordan Brundage,
b- Apr 4, 1900 at Berwick, NB
1916 at Camp Hughes
Frank enlisted in WWI Apr 24, in Estevan, reg #925699

Daughter Bertha became the wife of Gordon White,
Who was the owner of the King Edward Hotel in Bienfait.
Margaret married R. D. McFarlane, Gainsborough in 1941
Correction June 27, 2019- Near the bottom of the article on Dr. Brundage it states one of his daughters married R.D. McFarlane from Gainsborough. The daughter's name was listed as Margaret when in fact it was Cora Brundage who married Raymond McFarlane of Gainsborough, Sask.
Just thought I'd let you know as Cora was my husband's grandmother. Rhonda Huish
T. M. Brundage lived in Loreburn, in 1941
Frank Brundage in Moose Jaw in 1941
Present staff- ( in 1955)
Matron- Mrs A. Simms
R.N.'s- Mrs E. Muirhead
Mrs. K. Enmark
Miss K. Scott
Miss S. Dunbar (Shirley Dunbar? (by April 23, 1956, Miss S. Dunbar was Matron)
Aids- Mrs. K. Ewaski
Mrs. F. Prescott
Cooks- Miss A. Erickson
Mrs. Olga McCullough
General help- Mrs. E. Sane
Laundress- Mrs. A. Housdorff
Secretary- Mr. J. A. Cooper
Manager- Mr. Antonichak
Present Board (1955)
Mr. G. McKenzie (Chairman)
Mr. C. McKenzie (RM No 4)
Mr. W. Sherwin (RM No 4)
Mr. H. Pye (Roche Percee Village)
Mr. R. Moffat (Frobisher Village)
Mr. Gordon White ( Bienfait Village)
First Board
Mr. J. L. Salmond (Pres.)
Mr. Sam Davies (Vice-Pres)
Mr. L. Pickard (Sec-Treas)
Apr 23, 1956 Miss S. Dunbar RN, Matron of the Hospital
took out an ad for 3 registered nurses for a 17 bed modern Hospital, $230.00/ month
plus living accommodations in the hospital at $30.00/mo
8 hr day, 6 day week. 3 weeks holidays with pay.
Apr 2, 1947 an act was passed in SK Government
re: respecting Bienfait Coalfields Medical Service Association
and Bienfait Coalfields Union Hospital Board
Jan 27, 1948 the old Bienfait Hospital was for sale
a 13 room building, with full basement, with hot water heating system.
Population of Bienfait 700 at this time. Price including lot, $4,000.00
Ad signed by Sec-Treasurer of the Hospital, J. A. Cooper


  • Last modified: 2019/06/27 12:39
  • by dlgent