Junior Order of Mechanics Hospital
Concerned about the effects of recent typhoid and smallpox epidemics, members of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics decided it was time for the growing town of High Point to have a hospital, so they purchased and renovated a two-story frame house on Boulevard Street and went about the business of preparing it for patients. While the men gathered donations of furniture, the ladies collected sheets to make the first hospital beds. The facility made ready for its patients in the summer of 1904 with an open house, cookies and lemonade.
The hospital had room for 12 patients and employed four nurses and a housekeeper. The cost of a week’s hospitalization was between $10 and $15. High Point had 6,500 citizens.
The Junior Order weathered financially tough times until Dr. John Tilman Burrus and Dr. Guy Duncan purchased the hospital for $2,500 in 1912 and took over operation of the fledgling facility. At that time the name was changed to High Point Hospital.
|Dr. Guy Duncan (left) and
Dr. John Burrus 1912.
Note the Changes made to the hospital.
The School of Nursing
|Hospital's School of Nursing Cap
The School of Nursing, which was started around 1908, was bound by no state regulations in its early years. The first few nurses came from a nursing program in Sanford and were immediately put to work, for the health care industry had nursing shortages even at the beginning of the 20th century. Nursing education was informal, but the experience produced nurses who combined hard work with compassion and common sense. The first class graduated in 1912.