Looking back: Nursing school at Southampton

Published 11:10 am Friday, February 7, 2014

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

by Clyde Parker

February 7

Southampton Memorial Hospital has established a school of practical nursing. The first class will be held on Monday. Ten students, carefully selected through aptitude tests and personal interviews, will begin a course in practical nursing that will take them through 200 hours of pre-clinical study and about 34 weeks of clinical work. The duration of this first course is expected to be 12 months. Upon completion of the course, successful students will receive certificates and pins indicating that they have graduated from the school.

The Southampton Memorial Hospital School of Practical Nursing has been recognized by the City of Franklin School Board. They are endorsing the program and have offered their support. The program will be directed by Mrs. Martin Pearson, R.N.B.S.

An advisory committee has been formed which is made up of the following individuals: Dr. Edward Brickell, Superintendent of Franklin City Schools, Mrs. John W. Crook, Mrs. Rainey Hundley, W.T. Jones, Mrs. Ralph Outland, Sol Rawls Jr., Jesse Reel, Mrs. J.W.B. Thompson, Mrs. Martin Pearson and Dr. C.C. Swift.

The following are enrolled in the first class: Sarah Lee Allen, Martha Bowers, Kathaleen Butler, Ruth Davis, E. Hamilton, Janice Hollowell, Rebecca Kitchen, Joyce Mink, Ann Radar and Stella Rawls.



Possible sites for a new Franklin High School were discussed at the Tuesday night meeting of the Franklin City School Board. Members of the Board agreed that construction of the 500-student facility should be completed by the start of the 1965 school year. School Board Chairman Jim Henry appointed Dr. Ernest Gatten, Jr. to be chairman of a site selection committee that also includes William Thomas Jones and Joseph King, Jr.

School Board members were unanimous in their thinking that a new school should be located within the growth pattern of the City. And that is a westward and northerly trend along North High Street extended, Hunterdale Road and Clay Street.

Superintendent Dr. Edward Brickell reported on the status of Franklin Schools accreditation. “Franklin schools have been fully and easily accredited by the Virginia State Board of Education and certification has been received”, he said.



At its Monday night meeting, the Southampton County School Board approved steps to acquire a site for a proposed county elementary school at Hunterdale. The new school will have 14 classrooms, a library, and a combination cafeteria / auditorium. Projected enrollment is 420 students.

The $500,000 addition to Riverview High School, near Courtland, now in progress, is expected to be complete by the fall of 1965. The Riverview addition will enable the County to educate Southampton Negro students now attending Hayden High School in Franklin.

In other action, the Board heard a Franklin District delegation request that Southampton County negotiate with Franklin for CITY-EDUCATION of COUNTY students residing in the Franklin District of Southampton County. The Franklin District is defined as those Southampton County communities/areas that border Franklin (Hunterdale, Black Creek-Burdette, Delaware, Forks of the River). After lengthy discussion, no official action was taken. And, further discussion of the issue was postponed, to be taken under advisement for later consideration.



Gerbert Williams through his business, Williams Auto and Tractor Sales, sold more Massey-Ferguson tractors in 1963 than any other dealer in the five-state Baltimore District of the farm equipment manufacturer. Williams ranked number 1 over 400 others in the district.

The high-volume tractor seller is located two miles west of Courtland on Highway 58. What makes his record even more impressive is that Williams Auto and Tractor employs no outside salesmen. The entire sales staff is made up of one man – Gerbert Williams.

Also, Williams was recently recognized for having sold, in 1963, more Long Manufacturing Company peanut combines than any other dealer in Virginia.

When asked how he does it, Williams said “I spend most of my time in the office. I don’t believe in ringing door bells. I don’t work in the field.”

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 cpjeep99@yahoo.com