Catawba County

County History: 
Quick Facts
  • County seat: Newton, NC
  • Population: ~160,610 (2020 census)
  • Largest city: Hickory, NC (Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metro)
  • Catawba county website
People and Biographies
Notable individuals from nursing history.
Special Topics
Special topics and events from the county's nursing history.
  • Polio Epidemic, 1940s
    • Elliott, M.L. (2007). The "Miracle" of Hickory: Mass Media and the "Miracle" [student paper]. North Dakota State University Communications Department. (Available online.) Article about the "Miracle of Hickory" - how the town erected an emergency polio hospital in just a few days in the 1940s.
    • Gerard, P. (2018). The Miracle of Hickory: When polio strikes children in the Piedmont, doctors, nurses, and volunteers rise to the occasion to build an emergency quarantine hospital. Our State Magazine. Available online at
    • Haines, D. (2005, February). "The Hickory Miracle." Carolina Country, pp.26-27.
    • NCDNCR. (n.d.). Polio Outbreak and the "Miracle of Hickory" [blog post]. Available online at NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
    • Sink, A. E. (1998). The grit behind the miracle. Lantham, MD, University Press of America. This book describes the role of the nuses in the polio epidemic in Hickory in the 1940s.
    • Zuber, R.L. (2006, r. 2021). "Miracle of Hikory." NCpedia.
    • Photograph of nurses at the Emergency Polio Hospital in Hickory, 1944:polio admissions tent circa 1944
Additional resources for further research.

Publications about Health Care Institutions

  • Barrick, M. (2010). Exceptional care, a century strong: A mission of mercy and healing. Minors Printing: Wilkesboro, NC. A history of Frye Hospital in Hickory, NC.
  • Byerly, W.G. (1993). 25 years, Catawba Memorial Hospital 1967-1992:  past perspective, present status, future considerations. Winston Salem, N.C.: Jostens Graphics.
  • McKay, E.M. (1935, November). Catawba County Preventorium for under nourished and under privileged children. The Health Bulletin, pp. 8-9.

Newspaper Clippings

Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt