Letter of Walter Clark to Dr. Charles O’Hagan Laughinghouse24 October 2008
Staff Person: Maury York
Charles O’Hagan Laughinghouse (1871-1930), a native of Pitt County, North Carolina, worked as a physician in Greenville from 1893, when he was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, until his untimely death. Locally, he served for many years as county coroner, county health officer, and physician of East Carolina Teachers Training School. Active in state health affairs, Dr. Laughinghouse assumed leadership roles in the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina and the State Board of Health. He served as state health officer from 1926 until 1930. Beginning around 1900, Dr. Laughinghouse worked tirelessly to establish a hospital in Pitt County. He was instrumental in having a bond proposal submitted to Pitt County voters in the fall of 1916. The failure of this measure prompted North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Clark to write this letter of condolence. Clark, editor of the State Records of North Carolina, was a leading voice of the Progressive Movement in North Carolina during the early Twentieth Century. Frustrated by this and future setbacks, Dr. Laughinghouse and three other local physicians in 1924 opened Pitt Community Hospital as a private facility. It was located above a store on Fifth Street in Greenville.
For more information about the Charles O’Hagan Laughinghouse Papers, see the online finding aid available at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0267/