Yesterday: Nursing class of 1945

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

Here’s a photograph from the Post files of members of the first Rowan Memorial Hospital Nursing School, which opened in January 1945 with 13 women. The nursing students chosen for the school included, in no particular order, Bobbie Gean Barnhardt of China Grove; Eunice C. Carter of Randleman; Harriette M. Dry of Albemarle; Ruth S. Fowler of Route 3, Salisbury; Nellie l. Honbarrier of Route 1, Salisbury; Violet W. Kendall of Route 1, North Wilkesboro; Effie L. Kesler of Route 1, Salisbury; Jo Ann Kluttz of Route 2, Rockwell; Shirley l. McNeill of Blewett Falls, Pee Dee; Sara Irene Morgan of Salisbury; Bertha C. Mull of McFarlan; Julia Naomi Peeler of Faith; and Martha l. Price of Route 3, Taylorsville. The women had accommodations in the new “nurses home,” according to the Post, and it included dormitory and classroom space. Additional classes were held at Catawba College, where they studied microbiology and chemistry and did lab work. Helen G. Peeler was the director of nursing. An original Salisbury nursing school had graduated its last class in 1935 (a year before Rowan Memorial Hospital was constructed) and was dropped “on account of Depression-born difficulties,” the Post said. This 1945 class received their nursing caps in a July ceremony later in the year.