Buncombe County

County History: 
Quick Facts
People and Biographies
Notable individuals from nursing history.


  • Mary Rose Batterham (1870-1927):  Long thought to be the first Registered Nurse in the United States.  Active in early nursing organizations and events.
  • Julia Choate Baxter (1920- ): Korean War Army nurse, born in Raleigh and raised in Asheville, NC.
  • Dorothy Butler (1927-2013): Mission Belle pediatric nurse.
  • Louise P. East (1940s): President of NCNA and first nurse president of NCPHA.
  • Ernest J. Grant ( ): Burn care nurse from Swannanoa, NC, and first African-American male President of the NC Nurse Association. (Wikipedia page)
  • Madelon "Glory" Battle Hancock (1881-1920): Most decorated nurse from any country during World War I.
  • Anne O'Connell (1920s): Nurse Anne O'Connell owned and ran a Tuberculosis Sanitarium and a boarding house for the patients' families and friends. During the 1920s, O'Connell constructed another important building in Chestnut Hill - the Princess Ann Hotel at 301 E. Chestnut, which served families of patients at the sanitarium.
  • Anne Penland (1885-1976): Nurse anathetist who served in World War I.
  • Pearl Weaver (1879-1969): Pioneer public health nurse from Weaverville, NC.

Articles and Biographies

  • Alexander, S.D. (1921). Emergency Experiences of a Private Duty Nurse. The American Journal of Nursing, 22(2), pp.84-88. https://doi.org/10.2307/3407339
  • Alexander, S.D. (1921). Emergency Experiences of a Private Duty Nurse (Continued). The American Journal of Nursing, 22(3), pp.178-181. https://doi.org/10.2307/3406985
  • Harris, M., Tenney, J. & McCafe, G. (n.d.).  "School health: Pearl Weaver, 1st School nurse in Asheville".  Paper found in the files of Pack Library in Asheville, NC.
  • Neufeld, R. (2007, June 7). Polio hits Asheville hard in 1948. Asheville Citizen-Times, p. D-1. About nurse Dorothy Bazemore Holland.
  • Ramsey, G. (July, 1948). Miss Jane Brown. The Health Bulletin, p. 13-14.  This is an article about one of Buncombe County's early public health nurses.
  • UNC Asheville. (n.d.). Women and War - Nurses on the Home Front. The Great War In the Land of the Sky. UNC Asheville, Century American website compilation.

Oral Histories

Additional resources for further research.

Health Care Institutions

Publications about Health Care Institutions

  • (1954). If you ask me. American Journal of Nursing, 54(12), p.1476. Article from an African American nurse at Oteen discussing Christmas at the Hospital.
  • (1985). One hundred years of service:  Memorial Mission Hospital, 1885-1985. Asheville: Memorial MIssion Hospital.
  • (1990, November 18). St. Joseph's Hospital - celebrating 90 years of service, 1900-1990. Asheville Citizen-Times, supplement.
  • (2000, October 23). A century of healing. Asheville Citizen-Times, p. C-1. Article about St. Joseph's Hospital.
  • Green, L. (1961, March 2). Service, healing, hardship. Asheville Citizen-Times. Article about nurses at the Oteen VA hospital.
  • Hebir, E.L. (1922). Instruction at Oteen. United State Naval Medical Bulletin, 16, p.121-124. Digitized copy available online.
  • Jordan, C.F. (2004). Treatment with a Habit: Asheville, Tuberculosis and the Sisters of Mercy [thesis]. University of North Carolina at Asheville Department of History. Available online.
  • Marlowe, N. (2004). The Legacy of Mission Hospitals: 120 Years of Caring. Asheville, NC: Mission Hospitals.
  • Pollitt, P.A. (2018). Dunnwyche -- NCNA's Home for Tuberculosis Nurses. Tar Heel Nurse, 80(11), p.11. Available through UNC Greensboro.
  • Rivers, A.A. (1922, October 7). Blue Ridge Hospital Opened For Race By Asheville Folks. The New York Age, p.2. Digitized copy available online.
  • Stewart, A. (1922). A determining factor in the suppression of Tuberculosis. American Journal of Nursing, 22(7), p. 544-547. Article about the treatment of tuberculosis patients at Oteen Hospital.
  • Tenney, J., McCatee, G. & McFee, M. (n.d.). Buncombe County Health Department History. An unpublished manuscript found in the Asheville public library.

Histories and Timelines


Newspaper Clippings