Southern Illinois hospital opens time capsule buried in 1958

St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville.

O’FALLON, Ill. – What’s inside the box?

That was the question employees at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon this week as they gathered at the new hospital to see what was inside the box that was encased below the statue of St. Elizabeth in front of the former facility sometime in 1958.

The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports that copper box that was soldered shut contained items like newspaper articles about the hospital’s 158 dedication, one of which called the hospital a “Towering Temple of Healing.” There were also small religious figurines, a copper rosary and some coins.

And, according to an annual report from the mid-1950s that was in the box, the hospital saw more than 9,200 patients, of which 5,800 were Protestant, 3,400 were Catholic and 15 were Jewish.