After James' stroke on August 18, 1865, he was tenderly cared for by Ellen, joined by friends of the family. Having spent a few weeks at "Our Home" in Dansville, New York, during the past year, Ellen White was convinced of the value of water as one of God's approved remedies, and having no confidence in the use of poisonous drugs, she turned to hydrotherapy. But this, in her worn-out condition, seemed more than she could undertake. They decided to go to Dansville again. So on Thursday, September 14, the Whites, Dr. Lay and some friends jourmeyed from Battle Creek to Dansville.
They were cordially welcomed by Dr. Jackson, and the next day all in the party were given physical examinations. James and Ellen remained at Dansville for about three months. Here they had opportunity to observe methods of treatment and the wholesome diet. There were good days for James, and there were bad days. Dr. Lay called for Adelia Patten, now Mrs. Van Horn to be sent to Dansville. On October 8 Adelia and the children arrived and now there was a united White family at Dansville.
Because of the high expenses at "Our Home on the Hillside", generous gifts came in from fellow Adventists to help carry the burden.
Morning, noon, and night those of like faith met to pray for James White, but he made very slow progress. Many nights he was unable to rest or sleep. Ellen's thoughs turned to Battle Creek, of their large and convenient house, with its high and airy rooms. She asked herself the question: "Would we not make more rapid progress toward health were we at our own home?" She prayed taht God would guide her and talked to Dr. Jackson. He thought it would be well to try it, taking the journey in easy steps. So on December 6 they took the train to Rochester. James had proposed that they call some of their trusted friends in that vicinity to come to Rochester to engage in seasons of prayer. So for ten days the Whites and their friends had special and earnest seasons of prayer.