Born in Missouri, probably Lawrence County in 1862, Thomas E. McCune grew up to follow in his father’s footsteps and after graduating from Lebanon College, he continued on at Missouri Medical College to obtain his physician’s license. His father was Dr. Enoch T. McCune and his mother was Lizzie (Duff) McCune. They had a total of six children with only one living at her death in 1923.
Dr. McCune, although over 20 years younger than Dr. Brooks, practiced medicine alongside Dr. Brooks. He also agreed with Dr. Brooks that a hospital was needed for the town of Carthage.
Dr. McCune was known to be a supporter of the Y.M.C.A. and influential in the organization. He had gone to El Paso, Texas with his father shortly before his death there on May 4, 1893. His remains were sent back to Carthage accompanied by his father. A contemporary, J.R. Fant, claimed the body and sat up with it in his parlor until the following day. A funeral was held for him at Red Oak and the body was taken to the McCune Cemetery in Lawrence County, where he was placed in the McCune family plot.
Although a movement had been afoot for many years to build a hospital with Dr. Brooks’ Trust, it began to come to fruition in 1892. A branch of The Faithful Circle of King’s Daughters was organized to raise funds for a Carthage Community Hospital. An anonymous donation of $10,000 was given to Dr. Brooks’ Trust and it was later discovered the money had been given by Lizzie McCune in honor of her son, Dr. Thomas McCune. She also donated more money to finish the building at 615 West Centennial.
The name was officially changed to McCune Brooks Hospital in 1929.