History

The historic Rockhill Manor structure was built in 1916 as a gracious and luxurious hotel in the Rockhill District of Kansas City, Missouri.

Originally farmland, the neighborhood became noted for using locally mined limestone in many of the homes and stone walls. Stately homes for businessmen were constructed by gifted craftsmen using premium lumber material. There was an emphasis on maintaining natural beauty with flowing terrain and tree lines, still evident today.

Soon after development, the neighborhood began attracting working-class families who moved to the area after a streetcar line was built nearby. The area thrived until World War II when the larger mansions were converted into apartments. Since then the neighborhood has undergone many renovations and improvements.

This eclectic and walkable neighborhood proved irresistible to Owen Gahagan, Jr., a longtime pilot who co-founded Rockhill Manor as a residential care facility for persons with chronic mental illness on December 4, 1972.

The historic building reemerged through Owen’s vision of beautiful gardens and restored architectural features, marking the start of Rockhill Manor’s long and spirited pursuit to provide the most comprehensive long-term care available in a private setting.

Supplementing the success of Rockhill Manor, Rockhill Academy for Independent Living was established as a non-profit in 1995, providing support, eduction, transitional living, and community involvement for residents. The following year, Owen became the sole owner of Rockhill Manor and Rockhill Academy.

By developing the model for comprehensive mental health care, Rockhill Manor also contributed to the development, vision and success of Rockhill Pharmacy, established on January 16, 2001. It was Owen’s belief that pharmaceutical care shouldn’t be created for a care facility, but rather that pharmaceutical care should be created by a care facility.

Owen Gahagan, Jr. has left behind a legacy of family-run care for persons with chronic mental illness. To this day, everyone at Rockhill Manor seeks to fulfill his continued vision and dreams – that when it comes to chronic mental illness, there is a better way to live.

Today Rockhill Manor, flanked by Gilham Park, the Plaza, and the historic Southmoreland neighborhood, is nestled on peaceful grounds complete with brick pathways, a cascading fountain, fragrant magnolia trees, and smiling, tenured staff.


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