Rutherford County


Learn more about the history of nursing in Rutherford County

Health Care Institutions

Dr.s Norris and Briggs opened a hospital in Rutherfordton in 1906.  Miss Fletcher was the Head Nurse and Miss Booth was her assistant.  On March 9, 1911, Ritherford Hospital opened.

  • Lattimore, R.S. (2005)  Rutherford Hospital: The Legend & Legacy.  Hilltop Publications: Rutherfordton, NC.
  • Cain, S. (1951) From doubt to confidence.  American Journal of Nursing  51(3) p.200. Associate Director of Nursing at Rutherford General Hospital reflects on going back to school at Duke University School of Nursing for a year.
  • Information about Rutherford Hospital from the 1910 report of the NC Board of Public Charities pg 66.


  • The North Carolina State Archives has seven files about a "Baby Fair" sponsored by the NC Board of Health held in Rutherford County in 1916.


GRACE CRAIG LEE (from the History of Alexander Schools, Inc)


Grace was a community student, but she spent some time along with her brother, Garth, in our dormitory.  After graduating from Alexander, she entered the Nurse’s Training School at Rutherford Hospital.  After graduating there, she did post-graduate work in the Cook County Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago.  She then returned to the staff of Rutherford Hospital as instructor.

About that time she married Mr. Clyde Lee, but he did not live many years.  He left her with one child, Eddie Lee, who is now married and lives near his mother.

After giving up the instructor’s work at the hospital, she went to Florida where she was connected with a Training School.  From there she went to Asheville and took work.  Upon her return to Rutherfordton she was made superintendent of the hospital school of nursing.  Her next study was in Florida State where she received her B. S. degree in Nursing, and after serving as Educational Director in the Rowan Memorial Hospital in Salisbury, N. C., she earned her Masters Degree in Nursing in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  After working a short time in Rockingham, she moved to Harrisburg, Pa., and worked as Educational Director.

Being interested in moving the nurses’ training schools into colleges, where nurses could earn an associate degree, she helped promote that in R. C. Hospital, and finally their training school was moved to Gardner Webb College in Boiling Springs, and she is the teacher.  Upon graduation from Gardner Webb, nurses now are given a degree in nursing.  There are twenty such schools at present in North Carolina nationally accredited.