One of Berkeley County’s first Black public health nurses gave decades of care to Cainhoy area

Posted By Bill Payer on Feb 1, 2023 | 0 comments

An article in this week’s Daniel Island News illustrates that history is alive as long as someone remembers and shares.


Elizabeth Bush

“Huger resident Janet Wright can still picture her. 

It was more than 60 years ago when Wright first interacted with the late nurse Eugenia Broughton, who cared for patients on the Cainhoy peninsula between the 1930s and 1970s. But the memories are still fresh.

“I can see her now,” Wright recalled. “She had her lipstick on and her glasses with a chain at her neck… And she had a little nurse cap on her head – and a white uniform and white shoes.”

Wright was just about five years old when her grandmother first took her to see Broughton, one of Berkeley County’s first Black public health nurses, to get her shots for school. At the time, Broughton had a mobile clinic inside a trailer that she would set up at various places in the community to provide care.

“She didn’t play!” Wright chuckled. “You could cry, you could scream, and she’d hold that arm and she would stick that needle in!”

“But she was a sweetheart,” Wright continued. “She wasn’t mean, but she was straight in what she had to do.”

Fred Lincoln, a native of the nearby Jack Primus community, has similar memories of Broughton.

“Every year I would have to walk all the way from past that gas station (at the intersection of Jack Primus Road and Clements Ferry Road) up here to get the immunization before we went back to school,” said Lincoln, in an oral history interview collected by the Daniel Island

Historical Society at Keith School in 2022. “(Nurse) Broughton would be right there in a little trailer… And that last injection they gave, that thing hurt for like three days. We had these guys who would say ‘Oh, Ms. Broughton don’t use a needle, she use a rusty nail!’”

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE

Nurse Eugenia Broughton (center) checks an expectant mother as a helper looks on. (Daniel Island News)
Nurse Eugenia Broughton (center) checks an expectant mother as a helper looks on. (Daniel Island News)

This article is great example of the importance of the DIHS oral history project, The Cainhoy Collective. To learn more about that effort to collect and preserve grass roots, real people history CLICK HERE

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