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
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 Current Year
  • Our top goal is again our summer children's programming. We will be having 5 programs, with 16 sessions in all. Our goal is to up our attendance by at least 50 people. 
  • We are in progress with our goal to repaint 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 will be from colors found during our original paint analysis.
  • We have already completed our goal of having the front of the office side fence painted. 
Last Year
  • Our top goal was our successful summer children's programming. We had 5 programs with 17 sessions in all. Our total attendance was almost 400.
  • We successfully planned "Colonial Day" which became known as Kentucky Social Studies Day and was held in March 2016. This day was attended by approx. 200 students and chaperones. It was a field trip day that focused on Kentucky social studies standards.
  • We accomplished our goal of having “Behind the Scenes” tours at McDowell House.
  • We accomplished our goal of having Mr. Jon Carloftis at the museum for a fundraiser.
  • We accomplished our goal of getting a new gate for the apothecary. The old one was in very bad condition and the new one looks lovely.

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. Bodner RetiredVoting
Dr. John Collins Lexington Clinic EastVoting
Dr. Thomas Courtenay RetiredVoting
Mr. James Critchfield Critchfield & Critchfield, CPAVoting
Mrs. Sally Davenport Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical CenterVoting
Dr. Philip N. Eskew Jr.Trustee, Indiana University
Dr. B. Mark Evers Markey Cancer CenterVoting
Mr. David Hall David Hall AntiquesVoting
Dr. Charles Martin RetiredVoting
Dr. Wally O. Montgomery RetiredVoting
Mrs. Jean R. Moore Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Betty Nolan University of KentuckyVoting
Mr. Michael Overmyer Anodia SystemsVoting
Mrs. Linda Porter RetiredVoting
Mrs. Mary Quinn Ramer Lexington Convention & Visitors BureauVoting
Mrs. Georgia Hart Rodes Community VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Bunny Scutchfield Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. James C. Thomas Retired
Mrs. Sherrill Thomas RetiredVoting
Dr. Russell Alan Williams Associates in General Surgery, PSCVoting
Dr. Emery Wilson Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 23
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 N/A
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 14
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 65%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 67%
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 8
Volunteers 12
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 6
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 3rd year of its children's summer programming. We plan to have 5 different programs, with 16 sessions in all. Programs will be "The Royal Navy Doctor", "Sustainable Gardening", "Your Heart, Your Blood, Your Health", "Meet Dr. McDowell and Mini-Tour", and "Thoroughbred Care".
Budget 2,000-3,000
Population Served , ,
Program Comments
CEO Comments PP
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
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2016
Projected Revenue $105,550.00
Projected Expenses $105,550.00
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$86,723$67,732$85,274
Investment Income, Net of Losses$12,115($6,525)$12,085
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events----$0
Revenue In-Kind----$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$96,760$83,282$88,909
Administration Expense$14,135$13,653$14,359
Fundraising Expense$1,622$913$1,150
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.900.751.38
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%85%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%1%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$674,492$754,944$707,581
Current Assets$218,168$29,968$41,060
Long-Term Liabilities----$0
Current Liabilities$1,778$2,016$5,919
Total Net Assets$672,714$752,928$701,662
Form 990s
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
CEO Comments 2
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