Burke County

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


  • Helen Howard McFayden (1886-1969): Presbyterian missionary nurse from Morganton, NC.
  • Lucille Lawrence (1935- ): [The following is an excerpt from Evelyn Wicker's "Voices"] "I was born in Morganton, North Carolina, in 1935, one of four children. My father worked in a furniture store and my mother was a domestic worker. I had always wanted to be a nurse. I went to Lincoln because I had a cousin who attended Lincoln and was employed there as a supervisor of the operating room, Mildred Crisp, a 1940 graduate. After I graduated from Lincoln in 1958, I worked there my entire career (including the merger with Durham Regional Hospital): first as staff nurse, then as a head nurse at night, and then as assistant night supervisor with Ms. Armstrong. Upon the move to Durham Regional Hospital in 1976, I was appointed the 11:00 p.m.-7:00 a.m. night administrator for the hospital. I maintained that position for sixteen years from 1976 until my retirement in 1994. I will always praise and respect my school. Lincoln Hospital School of Nursing prepared me well for my life journey."

Articles and Biographies

  • Getz, L.M. (2009). The strong man of large human sympathy: Dr. Patrick L. Murphy and the challenges of nineteenth century asylum psychiatry in North Carolina. The North Carolina Historical Review, 86(1), 32-58.
  • Phifer, E.W. (1977). Burke the history of a county, [self published. Pgs 125-126]. Discusses Maria Purdon Allen the missionary nurse who became the first Director of Nursing at Grace Hospital in Morganton.  She served in that capacity from 1906-1924.
  • Streeter, C. (2010). Theatrical entertainments and kind words. A paper about the history of Broughton Hospital, see attachments below.
Additional resources for further research.

Health Care Institutions

Publications about Health Care Institutions

  • Farnham, T. (2010, June 15). Grace Hospital School of Nursing celebrates 100-year anniversary with weekend events. The News Herald. Morganton, North Carolina. Available online.
  • Franklin, M. & Whisnant, K. (1985).History of Grace Hospital and Grace Hospital School of Nursing. Self published.
  • "Grace Hospital Nursing School in 50th year."  (1960, March 17). Asheville Times -Burke County Edition.
  • Grace Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association. (n.d.).  Grace Sisters. (A history of Grace Hospital School of Nursing by members of the Alumnae Association (written circa 2006)).


  • Annual Report of the Board of Public Charities of North Carolina, 1910. Digitized copy available from UNC's Documenting the American South. Report includes information about Broughton Hospital.
  • The Burke County Public Library - Morganton has an extensive newspaper clipping collection of files about Grace and Broughton Hospitals.  In addition, they have Grace Hospital annual reports from 1934, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1941,1942. 1946, 1947, Student handbooks from the Grace Hospital School of Nursing from 1956-57 and 1958 and Grace Hospital school of Nursing Commencement Programs from 1935, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941,1943, 1946, 1947, 1948.

Newspaper Clippings

Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt