McDowell House Museum Inc
125 S 2ND ST
DANVILLE KY 40422-1801
Contact Information
Nonprofit McDowell House Museum Inc
Address 125 S 2ND ST
DANVILLE , KY 40422 1801
Phone (859) 236-2804
Contact Name Carol Senn
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 1995
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
You can also mail a check or call us with a credit card number. Thanks so much for your consideration!
We are also looking for volunteers to be tour guides or to work in the gift shop. Our regular tour guides work one morning (10-12 or 1) or one afternoon (1-3 or 1-4) every week or every other week. Training is provided and no previous experience is needed. Gift Shop workers should be able to work one 5 hour shift every week or every other week (11-4). Previous retail experience is greatly desirable.  
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote the importance of the historic surgery performed by Dr. Ephraim McDowell and the bravery of his patient Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford.

We aim to:


  • Preserve and maintain historic McDowell House, the attached apothecary shop, and the surrounding grounds.


  • Seek, collect, conserve, and exhibit that material culture which belongs to the Ephraim McDowell family and that which is appropriate to the house while the McDowells lived there from 1802-1830 and the Apothecary Shop where Dr. McDowell practiced medicine.


  • Study and interpret the lives of Ephraim and Sarah McDowell, their children, and their slaves while they occupied the house;


  • Communicate and celebrate McDowell’s work and his contributions to modern medicine;
  •  Identify the museum’s target audience and develop continually evolving strategies of connecting with them.



Background Statement
In the early 1800s Dr. Ephraim McDowell lived and worked in what is now our museum. Dr. McDowell is a famous Kentuckian who performed the first successful surgery of its type in 1809. It's an amazing story of determination, bravery, pain, and triumph. Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford rode three days on horseback after finding out from Dr. McDowell that her "pregnancy" was actually a large tumor. She agreed to dangerous surgery that could save, or end, her life. She is believed to have stayed in Dr. McDowell's home and to have had the dangerous surgery in an upstairs bedroom. Dr. McDowell led the surgery and 22.5 pounds of tumor were removed. There was no anesthesia. The "experiment" was successful and Mrs. Crawford went on to live another 32 years. 
The museum itself started in 1935 when a group of doctors bought Dr. McDowell's former home for restoration. The house opened to the public in 1939. Today it is its own non-profit. 
Impact Statement



  • Our top goal is our summer children’s program. We are set to have 5 programs, with 15-17 sessions in all. Our goal is to have upwards of 400 total attendance.
  • Field trips are a main goal of McDowell House Museum. We have already had 283 students and chaperones attend field trips of the museum. Our goal for the year is at least 400.
  • We have already completed our goal to repaint the children’s room and master bedroom, using the 2008 paint analysis as a guide to the original trim colors. We will continue to repaint the rooms in the house as funds allow.
  • We completed our goal to have interior windows with UV protection put in the majority of the downstairs main museum and apothecary shop windows. These will help protect our museum and collections. Our next goal is the upstairs windows.



  • Our top goal was again our summer children's programming. We had 5 programs, with 16 sessions in all. Our total attendance was 400.
  • We repainted the "operating room". This is where the famous 1809 surgery is believed to have been done and is a highlight of the museum. The new trim colors are from colors found during our original paint analysis.
  • We completed our goal of having the front of the office side fence painted. 
  • We completed our goal of having the kitchen painted and installing a dehumidifier. 

Geographic Areas Served
Boyle County
Our historic house museum is located in Danville, Kentucky 40422. We are in Boyle County but we have an international reach. In 2014 the guest book recorded visitors from 29 states and 3 foreign countries, in 2013 the guest book recorded visitors from 38 states and 9 foreign countries. The average from '10-'14 is 34 states and 6 foreign countries.
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Barry Spoonamore
Company Affiliation Danville Surgical Associates PLLC
Board Members
Mr. Paul D. BodnerRetiredVoting
Dr. John CollinsLexington Clinic EastVoting
Dr. Thomas CourtenayRetiredVoting
Mr. James CritchfieldCritchfield & Critchfield, CPAVoting
Mrs. Sally DavenportEphraim McDowell Regional Medical CenterVoting
Dr. Philip N. Eskew Jr.Trustee, Indiana University
Dr. B. Mark EversMarkey Cancer CenterVoting
Mr. David HallDavid Hall AntiquesVoting
Dr. Charles MartinRetiredVoting
Dr. Wally O. MontgomeryRetiredVoting
Mrs. Diana MooreLexington Medical Society
Mr. Michael OvermyerAnodia SystemsVoting
Mrs. Linda PorterRetiredVoting
Mrs. Mary Quinn RamerLexington Convention & Visitors BureauVoting
Mrs. Georgia Hart RodesCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Bunny ScutchfieldCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mr. James C. ThomasRetired
Mrs. Sherrill ThomasRetiredVoting
Dr. Russell Alan WilliamsAssociates in General Surgery, PSCVoting
Dr. Emery WilsonRetired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 22
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 N/A
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 14
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 63%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 90%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Mrs. Janet Hamner
Company Affiliation Cottage Interiors
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Mrs. Carol Senn
Term Start June 1992
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 11
Volunteers 5
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Assistant Director & Education Director
Title Administrative Assistant & Bookkeeper
Title Gift Shop Manager
Description McDowell House is excited to announce the 4th year of its children's summer programming. We plan to have 5 different programs, with 15-17 sessions in all. Programs will be "Intro to Sign Language", "Chemistry in Your Hands", "Meet Dr. McDowell and Mini-Tour", "Mathin' Around the Track/Superhorse, the Shoe, and You," and a nutrition and horticulture program from the Boyle County Extension Office. 
Budget 2,000
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
Projected Revenue $106,586.00
Projected Expenses $102,383.00
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$81,937$86,723$67,732
Investment Income, Net of Losses$12,026$12,115($6,525)
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$83,664$96,760$83,282
Administration Expense$14,241$14,135$13,653
Fundraising Expense$1,271$1,622$913
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.960.900.75
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%86%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$773,217$674,492$754,944
Current Assets$24,214$218,168$29,968
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$1,874$1,778$2,016
Total Net Assets$771,343$672,714$752,928
Form 990s
2016 Form 990
2015 Form 990
2014 Form 990
2013 Form 990
2012 Form 990
2011 Form 990
2010 Form 990
2009 Form 990
2008 Form 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Address 125 S 2ND ST
DANVILLE , KY 404221801
Primary Phone 859 236-2804
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Carol Senn
Board Chair Dr. Barry Spoonamore
Board Chair Company Affiliation Danville Surgical Associates PLLC