Hettie Mable Reinhardt was born on January 6th, 1879 to John and Philecta Reinhardt of Lincoln County. She was one of North Carolina’s early nurses, graduating from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in 1910. Her leadership abilities were quickly recognized and she became the Assistant Superintendent of nurses at Mission Hospital in Ashville.
In 1915, most of Europe was involved in World War I. Russia was an ally of the European countries fighting against Germany and other Axis governments. Reinhardt was one of 12 nurses selected by the American Red Cross to work in a military hospital in Kiev, Russia. The trip to Kiev involved sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, which was in itself a field of battle, and traveling by dogsled, as Kiev is about 30 miles from the Artic Circle. Each nurse cared for 60-70 patients a shift. Due to the advances of the Axis armies, this hospital and its personnel had to be evacuated about six months after the US nurses arrived. Reinhardt came back to North Carolina, but when the US entered WWI in 1918, Reinhardt was the first North Carolina nurse to volunteer her services. She served in France until the war was over.
Reinhardt again returned to North Carolina. She became involved with the North Carolina Nurse Association serving in almost every office, and on every committee including being President from 1932-1934.
Reinhardt passed away on December 26th, 1953 and is buried in Lincoln County.
Articles and Publications
- Illustrious Tar Heel Nurse... Hettie Reinhardt. (1954, March). Tar Heel Nurse, 16(1), pp. 5-6. Available in the North Carolina History of Health Digital Collection in the UNC Health Sciences Library (https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/nchh/id/1020228/rec/2).