Education / Pediatric Fellowship / History
James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children derives its name from the beloved "Hoosier Poet" famous for such childhood rhymes as "Little Orphant Annie" and "Out to Old Aunt Mary's". Following Riley's death in 1916, the James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association was formed by a group of his friends for the purpose of establishing a lasting memorial in his honor. Although many ideas were suggested, the notion of a children's hospital provoked the greatest enthusiasm from the Memorial Committee members, as such a facility would provide both a permanent tribute to the Riley name and a tremendous service to the community. Following heroic fund-raising efforts by the Riley Memorial Association (which included a $17,008.42 contribution from Indiana school children), the hospital was dedicated on October 7th, 1924 and accepted its first patient on November 19th, 1924.