Randolph County


Learn more about the history of nursing in Randolph County


  • Whatley, L.M.(2000) Randolph County. Arcadia Press.  In this book  Whatley discusses Nurse Lula Phillips Wilkerson who with her husband Dr. Charles Wilkerson opened the Ferree Memorial Hospital in 1911 which had a nursing school until 1915.  In 1915 Dr. J.F. Miller "and his wife and several other nurses" opened Miller Hospital in Asheboro, NC which closed in 1918.  The Randolph County Health Department opened in 1925.
  • McCoy, Jessie Marion Wall    Papers, 1941-1943. 73 items. Randleman, N.C. Letters to McCoy while in nurses training from her mother, Marion A. Wall, who was serving in the Women's Army Auxilary Corps describing her duties, activities, and social life while stationed in Ft. Des Moines, Iowa. Found in the Duke University Library Special Collections.
  • Blossom Ellis was a World War II nurse who later nursed in Randolph County.
  • Army Major Julia Baxter Nurse veteran of the Korean War.
  • Julia Choate Baxter was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on August 29th, 1920.  Baxter decided to become a nurse, and obtained her nursing degree through the United States Army Cadet Nursing Corps on September 20th, 1943.  When Baxter graduated she was admitted into the United States Army Nurse Corps from Asheboro, North Carolina in April 1945 as Second Lieutenant.  She practiced as an operating room nurse in the United States, Germany, and Japan.  Later she was transferred to Korea as a First Lieutenant.  During her time there she promoted to Captain.   Baxter and 12 other nurses were the first to set up the first MASH unit in Korea.  Due to the constant turmoil they would not stay at this unit long.  Baxter and the 12 other nurses were continually moving their MASH unit to keep safe of the war.  In interviews Baxter often noted the conditions being harsh, having to keep long working hours, and being on call 24 hours a day.  In the winter of 1950-1951, Baxter was moved from Korea to the Tokyo Army Hospital in Japan.  She completed her duties by working in the operating room.  Baxter’s entire career had been military.  Later was sent to Iran, and met her husband who was an Army Officer at the time, Daryle Baxter.  The next year Baxter became pregnant, and was discharged from the military due to the rule that pregnant nurses were not allowed to serve in the United States Military.  The Department of Defense (DoD) honored Baxter at a special ceremony called, “Women’s History Month.” 

  • 1895 - The first graduate nurse in Asheboro is Mrs. Etta Kearns Douthat.
  • Estelle Garner Ptaszynski was a World War II nurse from Seagrove, North Carolina
  • Rose Rich wrote a book titled "Fifty yers of Nursing" that can be found in the Health Sciences Library at UNC-CH.

Health Care Institutions


  • Mills, L.B. (2008).  Randolph County:  A brief history.  Office of Archives and History:  Raleigh, NC 
reprots that from 1948-1960 Mr. C.A. Barett founded the George Washington Carver College in Asheboro which offered courses in many areas including practical nursing. The only other independent school for African Americans in practical nursing in NC was in Fayetteville in teh early 1940s run by Dr. Mathew Leary Perry.
  • According to the caption of a photograph found in the Randolph County Public Library, Mrs. Lula Phillips Wilkerson was the head nurse and anesthetist at the Wilkerson Hospital in Randolph County

 The Randolph County Public Health Department nursing staff 1960s



From Randolph County History 1779-1979:

HOSPITALS 1915-1918 Miller Hospital 150 North Fayetteville Street, Asheboro; Dr. J.F. Miller and wife, plus three or four nurses; private home; nurses training; Mary Scotton was cook and nurse; after Dr. Miller left for the Army in World War I, Mrs. Miller died in the flu epidemic. Mrs. Scotton, a practical nurse, served for many years in Asheboro as a nurse and midwife, living to be 94 years of age. 1911-1915 Ferree Memorial Hospital Randleman; in former John H. Ferree home; Dr. Charles E. Wilkerson and Mrs. Wilkerson; nurses training offered. 1919-1926 Wilkerson Hospital Near Sophia on Highway 311; Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Wilkerson returned from African mission; installed Delco power system and running water; 15 beds; the Wilkersons moved to Greensboro but continued to come back to Randleman from time to time to confer with patients. 1919-1931 Memorial Hospital 700 Sunset Avenue, Asheboro; Dr. C.A. Hayworth and Dr. Ray W. Hayworth opened hospital, but Dr. R.W. left soon for Navy duty; by 1923 Dr. W.L. Lambert and Dr. George H. Sumner joined staff; located in old Fisher Estate home; addition increased hospital to 50 beds; closed in 1931 because of Dr. Hayworth's health; home burned in 1934. 1932- Randolph Hospital Private corporation, chartered in 1931; Duke Endowment matched funds raised locally; opened in 1932; 1963 expansion; Emergency and Outpatient facility added in 1975 through contributions — named in honor of Charles W. McCrary, Chairman from 1946; D.B. McCrary, Chairman, 1931-1946; G.W. Joyner first resident physician and chief surgeon until his retirement in 1978; administrator since 1960, John W. Ellis; hospital has 165 beds and 23 bassinets. 1938-1962 Barnes-Griffin Clinic 215 South Fayetteville Street; Drs. Dempsey Barnes and H.L. Griffin; after Dr. Barnes' death, named the Griffin Clinic, with Dr. Thornton Cleek, Dr. Hugh Fitzpatrick, Dr. B. Francis Barham and Dr. Robert Wilhoit also on staff; 36 beds; closed a few years after Dr. Griffin's death.


Public Health Nurse Mildred Hargrave and board of nursing activities -

The Courier 
Asheboro, North Carolina
14 Aug 1919, Thu  •  Page 3

The Emergency Hospital was a van with equipment to take out tonsils and adenoids.


The Courier 
Asheboro, North Carolina
21 Aug 1919, Thu  •  Page 1