Looking Back: Southampton hospital to receive first patient in May

Published 8:35 am Friday, February 8, 2013

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looking Back features past articles from The Tidewater News with commentary by local historian Clyde Parker.

Feb. 8, 1963

The new Southampton Memorial Hospital is nearing completion. According to contractor Harry B. Graham, construction is right on schedule. The hospital is due to be completed by March 31.

The first patient should be admitted by mid-May, according to Jesse Reel, acting administrator.

It will take the hospital administration 45 days to get the equipment installed and have the new facility ready for business.

The 108-bed hospital will be furnished with $600,000 worth of equipment and supplies before it is opened. The cost of the building is about $2.4 million.

Southampton Memorial Hospital will succeed Raiford Memorial Hospital at Main Street and Second Avenue in downtown Franklin. The new hospital is on the lower portion of Hillview Farm, which is owned by the Sol W. Rawls family.

Sol Rawls Jr. will be president and chairman of the board.


Last Tuesday, stockholders of the new Tidewater Bank & Trust Co. held an evaluation and organizational meeting. President and Chairman of the Board Clifford Cutchins III in his report to stockholders shows that the bank is in a strong financial situation.

The bank’s resources at the end of 1962 were $18.6 million.

The new bank was formed in early 1962 through the consolidation of Vaughan & Co. Bankers of Franklin, Bank of Capron and Meherrin Valley Bank of Boykins. The bank is based in Franklin and occupying its new quarters on Main Street next to the Stonewall Hotel.

Stockholders re-elected the following officers: President Clifford Cutchins; Vice presidents H.T. Smith, V.S. Pittman Jr. and V.K. Daughtrey; cashiers J.C. Bunn Jr., James Barnes and Bernice Gillette; and Assistant Cashier Charles Settle.

Directors re-elected are Clifford Cutchins, H.G. Barnes, J.F. Briggs, J.M. Britt, J.M. Camp Jr., W.M. Camp, Dr. Kurt Hirsch, Daniel Peak, V.S. Pittman, R.H. Powell, William Rawlings, John E. Ray III, H.T. Smith, Eldridge Smith and R.P. Watson. Cutchins was re-elected chairman.

Ira “Pete” Barham was elected to replace Director H.L. Bain, who is retiring.

The following were elected as honorary directors: H.L. Bain, Ryland Camp, John Mason, George Parker, Sol Rawls, Dr. Burton Ray, Gilbert Stephenson and Lee Thorpe.

(NOTE: Tidewater Bank & Trust Co., in 1965 merged with other banks to form Virginia National Bank headquartered in Norfolk. Cutchins was elected chairman of the board.

In later years, there were other mergers. Virginia National Bank and Richmond’s First and Merchants Bank combined to form Sovran Bank. Cutchins was elected chairman.

Subsequent acquisitions and mergers formed Sovran Bank, N.A. and Sovran Financial Corp. of which Cutchins served as chairman and chief executive officer. He retired in the late 1980s and died in 2002.

In later years, following other acquisitions and mergers, the bank was renamed Nations Bank which, still later, merged with Bank of America based in San Francisco. Charlotte, N.C., became the combined bank’s national headquarters.)


Several months ago Ruritan National was receiving bids for a new location for its national headquarters. The present headquarters in Wakefield is no longer adequate.

A number of communities throughout the country submitted bids, including Franklin and several other Tidewater localities. Franklin offered the old Hunter Scott house at 708 Hunterdale Road.

Following the recently held Ruritan National convention in Atlantic City, an official announced that the new headquarters will be in Dublin. It will be located on a hill overlooking the New River Valley near Route 11 about 50 miles southwest of Roanoke.

Major factors considered in choosing Dublin are its close proximity to interstates 81 and 77, and nearby State Route 100, which connects with the West Virginia Turnpike. Also considered is the fact that Piedmont Airlines has regular flights to and from the area.

Immediately following the Ruritan announcement, the Hunter Scott house, which was kept empty for more than a year, was sold to Union Bag-Camp Paper Corp.

CLYDE PARKER is a retired human resources manager for the former Franklin Equipment Co. and a member of the Southampton County Historical Society. His email address is ParkerC@seva-redcross.org.