Prior to 1905, physicians in the Upper Miami Valley took care of surgical procedures in their offices or in the case of emergencies or serious illness on the patient's own kitchen table. Under these circumstances, cleanliness was difficult to maintain resulting in infections and an unnecessarily high death rate. The solution to this problem came by way of a donation by Mrs. Julia Ball Thayer of twenty thousand dollars to build a new hospital in Piqua in honor of her brother D.L.C. Ball. Mrs. Thayer stipulated that the hospital was to be built on the site of the abandoned Park Avenue Cemetery. It was to be operated by a Hospital Association comprised of twelve trustees with half of the trustees being appointed by Mrs. Thayer (life trustees) and the other half appointed by the Mayor of Piqua. The city was to guarantee the extension of a sanitary sewer line to the site and to promote the passage of a levy to assist in maintaining the Hospital (a minimum return of $2,500 was stipulated). The Piqua City Council passed a resolution on June 07, 1907 to accept Mrs. Thayer's donation and stipulations. A half-mill levy was adopted to allow the "Ball Memorial Hospital" to be free to the poor of Piqua and the vicinity.
The new Hospital was designed by E.H. Hart & Company, an architectural firm from Columbus. In November of 1904, Airhart M. Fry was awarded the contract for the facility at a cost of $18,000. The structure was done in the Georgian Revival Style with a three story center flanked by two story wings. It contained male and female wards with five beds each, thirteen private patient beds, a consultation room, an operating room, a laboratory, an elevator and offices. An addition four thousand dollars was spent on furnishings and equipment.
The Memorial Hospital Association of Piqua, Ohio was incorporated on April 27, 1905. The Association formally met for the first time in May of 1905 and elected industrialist General William P. Orr as its first president. Orr would hold this position until his death in 1912.
Julia Beatrice Ball Thayer (Mrs. Edward C.) died in May of 1905, prior to the completion of the hospital. She never left her native state of New Hampshire to see the fruits of her generosity. In fact, her only actual connection to Piqua was through her brother DeLos C. Ball, who ran a linseed oil mill in the city from 1855 to 1870.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 30, 1905, the Ball Memorial Hospital was formally dedicated. On behalf of the citizens of the City of Piqua, Mayor Lucius C. Cron accepted Mrs. Thayer's completed gift. The individual rooms were furnished and dedicated as memorials to local citizens and organizations. The new hospital was staffed by Miss Agnes Miller as the chief nurse, Mrs. Alice Brown as matron and Miss Mary Melville as the first superintendent. The first patient was admitted on December 07, 1905.
The Hospital flourished and the demand for additional space resulted in major additions and remodelings over the years; the east wing in 1927, a maternity ward in a new north wing in 1938, the addition of a fourth floor in 1941, major additions in 1959 and 1969 (original facade demolished) and a new support services wing in 1983. In 1986, the Piqua Memorial Medical Center merged with Dettmer and Stouder Memorial Hospitals to form the Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC). The Hospital on Park Avenue was closed when the UVMC opened a facility midway between Piqua and Troy on 25-A in 1998. UVMC broke ground for its new 222,000 square foot facility in May of 1996 on the 100 plus acre campus of the former Dettmer Hospital. The building was designed by NBBJ architects of Columbus and constructed by the Turner Construction Company. The new and more efficient hospital's grand opening was held in July of 1998.