Statesville Record & Landmark
Wednesday, August 17th, 1983
Miss Elizabeth Hill, 96, formerly of 644 Cherry St., well-known for her nursing career and her role in the Davis Hospital School of Nursing, died Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Davis Community Hospital.
A native of the Snow Creek section of Iredell County, she was the daughter of the late Robert R. and Emma King Hill. She was born Oct. 2, 1886. She attended public schools in Iredell County, and one year of private school at Eupeptic Springs. She attended Mitchell College for one year, and entered the school of nursing at State Hospital in Morganton.
After attending this school for two years, she contracted typhoid fever and resigned from the school. She then enrolled in the new Charlotte Sanatorium School of Nursing, from which she graduated in 1913.
She was registered by the state of North Carolina in 1914, and employed in Charlotte as a private duty nurse for some time, and did office nursing in Charlotte until 1917, when she joined the U.S Army Nurse Corps with a unit developed in Charlotte and designated Hospital Unit 0.
This unit was mobilized in New York in November 1917 and was sent to France and attached to U.S Base Hospital Six, several miles from Bordeaux, France. She served there for the duration of the war.
After her discharge she returned to Iredell County, and joined the staff of Carpenter-Davis Hospital, working with the late Dr. James W. Davis and Dr. F.A. Carpenter. In the spring of 1929, Miss Hill and the physicians with whom she worked established a school of nursing and graduated its first class in 1923.
In 1962, Miss Hill pinned the Davis Hospital School of Nursing emblem on the members of the 40th successive class, making a total of 400 graduates. In addition to her duties as director of nursing and head operating room nurse, Miss Hill did much of the student recruiting for the school, as well as teaching and instructing. During World War II, 35 Davis Hospital School of Nursing graduates were officers in theaters of action throughout the world. Dr. J. Sam Holbrook, former Davis chief of staff, saw them at work on three continents.
Miss Hill was a member of First Presbyterian Church, and held an honorary life membership in the Women of the Church. She was a charter member of the Fourth Creek Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also a member of the Altrusa Club, United Daughters of the Confederacy, American Legion, American Nurses Association of Professional Nurses, National League for Nursing Education, and a charter member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Statesville. Surviving are one niece, Miss Grace Hill of Statesville; two nephews, John Hill Summers of route 11 Statesville, and Dr. William Hill of Richmond, Va.; and several great nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Grant M Sharp officiating. Burial will follow in Snow Creek United Methodist Church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Elizabeth Hill Scholarship Fund of the Davis Community Hospital School of Nursing.
I don’t think it can be understated how much an institution Nurse Hill was at Davis. Alongside Dr. Davis himself, she was there at the beginning, organizing and making successful the nursing school, and serving alongside Davis in a position of influence that I don’t think a lot of women would at that time. It’s a shame we don’t have any of Davis’ own thoughts on the woman for posterity, because they would surely shed more light on an influential woman who really shaped Davis, even after Davis himself was gone.
One piece of ephemera the Iredell County Public Library has in it’s collection is a simple program from an event hosted in 1956, in which Miss Hill was honored with a portrait. The portrait is still available for viewing today in the new Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville.