HAMILTON

MINNIE BLANCHE HAMILTON
St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing, Parkersburg, W. Va.
Class of 1922

(Photo courtesy of Bob Weaver.)


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BEYOND THE CALL
Minnie Hamilton's Legacy, Down The Muddy Roads She Went

By Bob Weaver - Research By Dotti Nemitz


MINNIE BLANCHE HAMILTON

"History of Calhoun County West Virginia 1989,"
Calhoun County Historical & Genealogical Society, 1990

Written by Lenore Booher.

     Minnie Blanche Hamilton (1900-1981), was a daughter of John M. and Minnie Cook Hamilton. Her fifty year career in nursing exemplified all that is good in her profession and was marked by concern, dedication and service. She graduated from Saint Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Parkersburg in 1922 and at first became a private duty nurse. From 1926 to 1933 she was a surgical nurse at Grafton City Hospital. In 1933, Minnie became county school nurse in her home county. At that time Calhoun county had one county high school, one elementary school, inadequate roads, a great abundance of one room achools, and no shortage of mud. There were handicaps as to facilities, but Minnie always found (ways) to bring immunizations, home treatment, plus counseling in personal hygiene and problems of adolescence to her children.
     Minnie was known to track down school children in corn fields, in their homes and at fishing holes to make certain they got their shots or other medical attention. When children were absent from school because of a lack of clothing, books, or an empty lunch bucket, she saw that the problem was corrected.
     From 1938 through 1947 Minnie was an employee of the Public Health Service, serving as a nurse concerned with the problem and the nutrition of migrant field workers in West Virginia, Virginia, and Florida.
     In 1947 Minnie went back to Calhoun county to be its public health nurse. Again she approached the job with enthusiasm and energy, just as she had done when she became a school nurse in 1933. She approached the community for assistance and established a store of clothing for the needy. When there were "birthing problems" it was not unusual for Minnie to act as a private duty nurse in the home for two days, three days, or as long as was necessary, to assist an expectant mother and her child. Whatever the problem, Minnie was there to help and there are many living and working in Calhoun county today who would not be there had it not been for attention they received from Minnie in a time of need.
     May 2, 1968, Miss Hamilton received the Merit Award from the West Virginia Public Health Association. In 1983 Calhoun county named its new health center the "Minnie Hamilton Health Center." In 1984 a scholarship in her honor was endowed by Dr. and Mrs. Richard Hamilton at Parkersburg Community College, with the annual recipient to be a nursing student with preference to be given to students from Calhoun county.
     September 19, 1985, Minnie Blanche Hamilton was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the West Virginia Public Health Association at ceremonies held in Beckley, West Virginia.

(Minnie Blanche Hamilton died in the summer of 1981 at the age of 81.)



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