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Mecklenburg County Health Department records

Identifier: MS0224

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised chiefly of annual reports and minutes. Also includes evaluation of public health programs in Charlotte by the American Public Health Association and photographs.


  • Creation: 1915 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The Mecklenburg County Health Department traces its origins back to the 1890s when the office of County Physician became an elective office. Dr. S. W. Bratton was chosen by the County Commission as the first physician to fill this post. Prior to the creation of this office, the sheriff coroner would solicit the services of a doctor at a specified rate per day. A severe smallpox epidemic precipitated the creation of the office of City Physician in 1896. Dr. F. O. Hawley was elected to fill that post and he served until his death in 1916.

The Health Department was organized in 1917 and Dr. C. C. Hudson was hired as the first health officer. In addition to a staff of four full-time and two part-time people, the Red Cross sent a unit of five nurses to assist in the Department's work. During the 1920s, the city and county departments were consolidated. By 1960, the Charlotte and Mecklenburg Health Department had been placed under one health director; the staff expanded to 128 for the city and 36 for the county. The Mecklenburg County Health Department currently operates out of facilities at 249 Billingsley Road and 2845 Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte.

In 1973, the North Carolina General Assembly transferred all duties and responsibilities of a local policy Board of Health to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. As such, the Mecklenburg County Board of Health was officially terminated on December 17, 1973. When the County Commissioners assumed control on January 31, 1974, it created the Mecklenburg County Health Commission. The Commissioners mandated the Health Commission to review and consider all health matters and to make suitable recommendations to the Commissioners. The Health Commission held its first meeting on May 7, 1974, with dental surgeon E. U. Austin, serving as the first chair.


1.5 Linear Feet (circa 200 items, including 36 photographs and 4 volumes)

Language of Materials



The Mecklenburg County Health Department works to promote and protect the public's health. The collection includes annual reports, minutes, and photographs of department staff and clientele.


The collection contains two series while the rest of the files are arranged into a single, alphabetical folder title series. The two series are: Newspaper Clippings and Photographs (1924-1965).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Mecklenburg County Health Department through Gary Black, 1995.

Related Materials

Charlotte (N.C.) Records (UNCC Manuscript 127).

Processing Information

Processed by Randy Penninger and Brooke Fox, August, 1996.

Mecklenburg County Health Department records
Finding aid written by Randy Penninger and Brooke Fox
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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