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Who was Salome Taylor?

Ben Steelman
StarNews
Salome Taylor

This photo of Salome Taylor accompanied a history of Community Hospital written by Dr. Hubert A. Eaton for the National Medical Association convention in August 1965 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A pioneer Wilmington nurse, Salome Taylor came to Wilmington in 1922 to become superintendent of nurses at Community Hospital, the city’s African-American medical facility in the segregation era, originally located at 415 N. Seventh St., Wilmington [Map this]. She supervised the training of nurses at the hospital and oversaw the graduation of its first two nurses in 1924.

In 1926, her duties were increased when she succeeded Dr. Foster Burnett as superintendent of Community Hospital. She remained with the institution through its move in 1939 to a larger building at 511 S. 11th St., Wilmington [Map this].

 Taylor resigned as hospital superintendent in 1940 but stayed on as superintendent of nurses until her retirement in June 1950. Under her supervision, the nursing student body greatly expanded. In 1942, the Community Hospital School of Nursing received high marks from the Standardization Board.  

“Some who worked with her over a period of many years went so far as to say that Community Hospital would never have survived had it not been for Miss Taylor,” Dr. Hubert A. Eaton later wrote in the Journal of the National Medical Association.

Eaton credited Taylor with helping to organize black medical professionals in Wilmington. She founded a local association of graduate nurses in 1930, serving as its first president.  

Taylor retired to her home at 715 Red Cross St., Wilmington [Map this]. In May 1963, the city of Wilmington declared a “Salome Taylor Day” in her honor.

Taylor trained at Lincoln Hospital in New York City. She died Jan. 3, 1964, in Wilmington at the age of 83 and was buried at Pine Forest Cemetery.

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