Cletus Nelson & Phil Swanson

Cletus Nelson (left) provides Phil Swanson (right) with an updated financial report on the Memorial Homes project. Mr. Nelson was one of the original incorporating members of the Memorial Homes project, and Mr. Swanson was an early financial contributor. This photo is circa 1952.

For years, citizens of Holdrege and the Phelps County area were aware of the need for a home for senior citizens. The first action taken regarding this need was at a meeting of the Holdrege Real Estate Board in 1944. It was at this meeting that a motion was made to promote the development of a fund to build a home specifically for aging Holdrege area citizens. The motion carried unanimously, and the first contribution to the project was received on December 30, 1946.

In 1947, the first organizational meeting for Memorial Homes, as the project was named, was held. The incorporating members were Roy Magill, Cletus Nelson, J.W. Nelson, L.A. Franzen, Robert Best and F.A. Jacobson. Each man signed a $500.00 lifetime membership. For many years, citizens worked diligently to secure the funding to make the Memorial Homes project a reality. In October of 1953, the original building named Memorial Homes opened its doors for business. The building had room to house 34 residents.

Due to increased demand for rooms it became apparent that an addition was in order; however, a larger project seemed to be more than the community could assume. An offer-agreement was tendered to the Nebraska Annual Conference of the Methodist Church to assume responsibility of Memorial Homes. The conference accepted the offer-agreement in June of 1956. Part of the agreement was that the Methodists would build the new 81-bed addition. The addition was consecrated at a special service and open house held on October 11, 1964, and Memorial Homes was renamed Methodist Memorial Homes. The census at this time averaged 100 people.

Original Building

The original Memorial Homes building as it appeared in 1957.

Through the years, Methodist Memorial Homes added two more additions at the present site and constructed condominiums at the former Roosevelt Elementary School as result of a gift from the Edward and Annie Erlandson estate. The first 59-bed addition at the present location was built with a bequest from the Melvin and Selma Anderson estate, opened July 1974. Another very generous estate gift, this time from Miss Avis G. Hulquist, was used to build an addition to Methodist Memorial Homes of a 60-bed skilled nursing unit. This unit opened in June of 1991.

In 1989, the Methodist Memorial Homes Foundation was created to inspire, receive and administer benevolent gifts to ensure financial support for the continued growth of Methodist Memorial Homes, Inc. and its Christian mission of serving the elderly.Both Methodist Memorial Homes and its Foundation are 501(c)3 non-profit organizations.

In February of 2001, Methodist Memorial Homes was renamed Holdrege Memorial Homes, Inc. to reflect the multi-denominational resident population of the facility.

The groundbreaking for the latest addition to Holdrege Memorial Homes was held on March 5, 2008. This project consisted the addition of the Chapel/Community Room space, as well as the conversion of the 3rd floor into 24 all private skilled nursing rooms and a new wellness and rehabilitation area. As of today, Holdrege Memorial Homes is proud to provide private rooms to residents regardless of payer source. Also, included in the renovation, was the addition of wireless internet which is now available as an added amenity for all residents.

Holdrege Memorial Homes strives to be a leader in our industry by providing residents now and into the future with exceptional care in a warm, home-like environment.