Watts Hospital Records, 1909-1940
Navigate the Collection
- Watts Hospital (Durham, N.C.).
- Watts Hospital, located in Durham, North Carolina, was the city's first hospital. It was funded by George W. Watts and opened in 1895 as a private 22-bed, modern hospital, dedicated to the care of Durham's white citizens. African American citizens were cared for at Lincoln Hospital, which opened in 1901. By 1909, Watts Hospital's 22-bed facility was too small for a fast growing Durham, and a newer facility was built on 25 acres at the intersection of Club Boulevard and Board Street. This is where the hospital remained until it closed in 1976 when it merged with Lincoln Hospital when Durham County General Hospital (now Duke Regional Hospital) opened. The grounds and buildings of the hospital's 1909 campus were converted into the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, which opened in 1980. Types of materials hospital ledgers documenting births and expenses. Materials date from 1909 to 1940.
- 0.5 Linear Feet (1 flat box)
- Collection ID:
- Scope and content:
Contains Watts Hospital ledgers documenting births and expenses. Materials date from 1909 to 1940.
- Biographical / historical:
Watts Hospital, located in Durham, North Carolina, was the city's first hospital. The hospital, funded by George W. Watts, opened in 1895 as a private 22-bed, modern hospital, dedicated to the care of Durham's white citizens. African American citizens were cared for at Lincoln Hospital, which opened in 1901. Watts Hospital offered free care to white citizens who were unable to pay. The land was donated by Watts with an endowment of $50,000. The land fronted on West Main with Guess Road (later renamed Buchanan Boulevard) to the west and Watts Street to the east. By 1909, the 22-bed hospital was too small for a fast growing Durham, and a newer facility was built on 25 acres at the intersection of Club Boulevard and Board Street. Watts donated another $500,000 for the new hospital site designed by Boston architect Bertrand E. Taylor in the Spanish Mission style. The hospital was enlarged in 1926 with the Valinda Beale Watts Pavilion, designed by the local architectural firm of Atwood and Nash.
In October 1964, the Watts Hospital Board of Trustees voted 7-4 to integrate Watts Hospital. Although Watts Hospital integration was limited because of its small size. A 1966 referendum to fund a new, larger, and integrated Watts Hospital was defeated by Durham voters. There was a fear that the new hospital would cater to whites, while African Americans would be treated in the outdated 1909 facility. In 1968, there was a second referendum, which more clearly delineated that Watts and Lincoln Hospitals would become extended care facilities when the new Durham County General Hospital (now Duke Regional Hospital) opened its doors in 1976. The referendum passed, and Watts was ultimately closed in favor of an enlarged Lincoln Community Health Center.
The grounds and buildings of Watts Hospital 1909 campus were converted into the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, which opened in 1980. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Additionally, the Watts School of Nursing was established by George Watts in 1895. It was originally named the Watts Hospital Training School for Nurses. The Watts School of Nursing is now part of the Duke University Health System.
- Acquisition information:
- Accession A2019.082 (transferred by Kathleen Galbraith and Jonathan Hoy, August 2019)
- Processing information:
Processed by Lucy Waldrop: August 2019
- Organized into the following series: Ledgers, 1909-1940.
- Rules or conventions:
Using These Materials
- Using These Materials Links:
Using These Materials
This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals or IRB approval may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Duke University assumes no responsibility.
Some materials in box 1 are restricted and can only be accessed with the permission of the Medical Center Archivist.
- Terms of access:
Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Preferred citation:
[Identification of item], Watts Hospital Records, Duke University Medical Center Archives.