Henderson County

County History: 
Quick Facts
  • County seat: Hendersonville, NC
  • Population: ~117,417 (2019 estimate)
  • Part of the Asheville metro area
  • Henderson county website
People and Biographies
Notable individuals from nursing history.
  • Linda Ann Ocker Mashburn ( ): Nurse from Hendersonville, NC, she was instrumental in establishing the Hot Springs Health Program in Madison County, NC.
  • Lelia Patterson (1883- ): Patterson was born June 16th, 1883 to Mr. and Mrs. William Washington Patterson in Central Missouri. Her mother died when she was 12 years of age. Patterson adopted the Seventh-Day Adventists religion at the age of 16. In 1911, Patterson started nurses training at the Port Townsend Sanitarium & Hospital, and graduated in 1913. However, Patterson did not want to end her education here. She wrote a letter to Dr. David Paulson at Hinsdale, Illinois to ask permission to be admitted to the three-year graduate program. She was granted permission and entered as a senior in 1914. After graduation, Patterson took charge of the Samaritan Inn. Patterson continued to work in community nursing settings, but she felt a burden for missionary nursing. In 1918, she joined a vegetarian cafeteria in Asheville, North Carolina that opened four rooms for treatments. It is not determined at this time to how many beds the sanitarium expanded to, but it is said to be around 100 beds. This is known today as the Mountain Sanitarium. Patterson was a licensed midwife and delivered around 300 babies during her career. Later, she dreamed of starting a school of nursing. This was a successful dream, and she and Dr. J.F. Brownsbergers started a school of nursing with eight students in their first class. Patterson was the first Mountain Sanitarium’s superintendent of nurses. This first class graduated with three students in 1933. When Patterson retired from nursing, she continued to work in regularly in the sanitarium admitting office, and continued to keep flowers planted and beautiful bordering the circle drive in from of the hospital and sanitarium. One of Patterson’s hobbies was embroidery. She would often make pillowslips and party aprons and display them for sale in the front of the hospital at the registration desk. However, she did not keep her funds. She paid it forward and purchased seeds and garden tools and donated them to the poor blacks. She would give the recipients of these tools gardening lessons, and then would give a prize for the best garden each year. Later, this group of people would refer to her as the “White Angel.”
  • Frances Schneider (1940s): World War II nurse from Hendersonville, NC. She served her home county as a community nurse, and spearheaded the establishment of a health care clinic and day care center for migrant workers, which is now the Blue Ridge Community Health Center. She earned the Governor's Award for Volunteerism in 1988, and was recognized nationally during Women's History Month in 1990.
  • Pearl Weaver (1879-1969): One of the first public health nurses in Appalachia.
  • Juanita Hamilton Webster (1918-2002): Webster was a nurse from Henderson County. She graduated from the Galliger Municipal Hospital in 1941 and entered the US Army Nurse Corps. She went with the Army to Port Mooresby, New Guinea in September, 1942. The Japanese Army was approximately twenty miles away. She served for 31 months. After WWII, Webster moved to New Orleans and graduated from the Charity Hospital School of Anesthesia. She then worked as a CRNA for 30 years, mostly in Texas and LA. (Biographical sketch available on NCpedia: Webster, Juanita Hartense Hamilton (21 Nov. 1918 - June 2, 2002).)
Additional resources for further research.

Health Care Institutions

Articles and Publications

  • Bailey, L.H. (1999). Generations of excellence:  History of Pardee Hospital, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
  • Brownsberger, E. (1939). The little bare Christmas tree. American Journal of Nursing, 39(12), pp. 1291-1294.


Newspaper Clippings

Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt