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Fr. O'Connor had a vision to build a home for men who would be cared for in their last declining years in comfort. When the town heard of the plans, Dr. Ellis Harbert and a group of local physicians suggested a hospital as well as a home. They pointed out the great need of the community for a suitable place to which they could bring their medical and surgical patients for specialized care and the doctors of Stockton pledged their support.
Fr. O'Connor purchased ground north of the city limits, facing California Street, with money presented by Miss Julia Weber, daughter of Stockton founder, Captain Charles Weber, Mrs. Basilio Laogier, and Major J.D. Peters. St. Joseph's opened on December 21, 1899, with 25 beds under the supervision of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael.
As the population of Stockton and the surrounding towns increased, St. Joseph's grew with the community to meet the complexities and challenges of delivering quality health care with a history of firsts in cardiac, cancer, maternity, pediatrics, and emergency services. Today, St. Joseph's is the largest regional medical center in the county with 355 beds, nearly 900 physicians and more than 2,300 employees. St. Joseph's offers a full range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services.