The papers are divided into subgroups reflecting the nature of Laughinghouse's professional activities, business affairs, and personal life.
The Professional Work subgroup consists of correspondence and a variety of other material concerning Laughinghouse's medical practice, health work, and service to several organizations.
The Medical Practice series of the subgroup (1910-1928, undated) is comprised of material reflecting the scope of Laughinghouse's Greenville practice and his general medical interests. General correspondence (1919-1928, undated) concerns the doctor's day-to-day practice. It reveals information about his patients, their sicknesses, and Laughinghouse's advice to them; medicines, supplies, and equipment Laughinghouse used; and Laughinghouse's relationships with other physicians. Other topics include the doctor's work as a medical examiner for the Norfolk Southern Railroad Company, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and a variety of insurance companies; the fitting of artificial limbs ordered from A.A. Marks of New York City; and Laughinghouse's referral of patients to hospitals and sanitoriums, notably St. Luke's Hospital in Richmond and the North Carolina Sanatorium for the Treatment of Tuberculosis at Sanatorium (Hoke Co.), N.C. Other letters discuss patients being treated for tuberculosis (1919-1926), the evils of narcotics and drug addiction (June, 1925), malaria control in Beaufort Co., N.C. (Aug., 1925), Negro hospitals in Greenville (Oct., 1925), plans for the Charlotte journal
Southern Medicine & Surgery (Feb., 1926) and the nature of rabies and cases of it in N.C. (Feb., 1926).
East Carolina Teachers' Training School correspondence (1916-1926) reflects Laughinghouse's work as the school's physician. Of particular interest are letters concerning health conditions of the school from its beginning until 1919 (Nov., 1919) and the nature of the infirmary (June, 1926).
An account book (1926) contains a list of medical bills owed Dr. Laughinghouse at the time of his retirement as a practicing physician.
Patient records (1913-1927, undated) include affidavits, bills and lists of Laughinghouse's overdue accounts. A file of miscellaneous documents contains tax stamps and inventories for opium, Laughinghouse's licenses (1921-1924) and a certificate appointing him a member of the visiting staff of the State Hospital for the Insane (1926).
Two folders of speeches concern a variety of health-related themes. Laughinghouse's presentations (1923-1926, undated) discuss "A Medical Section for the Medical Society of North Carolina," sterilization, the importance of physical education in schools, the uselessness of quarantines, public health services in North Carolina, "The Part of the Physician in Health Education" and acute diseases of the abdomen. Speeches by other (1925, undated) concern family physicians, public health, and the need for the creation of community health centers similar to one in Rutherford Co.
Copies of legislation introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly relate to venereal disease, prostitution and narcotics sales.
Miscellaneous material pertaining to health affairs in Pitt County (1917-1925, undated) includes statistics, a list of registered midwives, information concerning the county's relationship to the State Board of Health and insurance companies, accomplishments of the local health service and the need for improved sanitation.
A variety of publications reflects Laughinghouse's interests in the field of medicine. Topics include Dr. Stuart McGuire's experiences at an evacuation hospital in France during World War I; surgery; delinquency among girls; midwifery and childbirth in Beaufort Co., N.C.; health affairs in Durham Co., N.C. (1918); and health and disease in general.
Newspaper clippings, some of which were written by Laughinghouse, pertain to miscellaneous subjects in the medical field.
The State board of Health series constitutes a vivid record of Laughinghouse's service as a member of the board. Correspondence (1916-1929, undated), particularly the letters of Laughinghouse, Dr. Joseph Howell Way, Dr. Watson Smith Rankin, and Dr. G. M. Cooper, provide insights into the behind-the-scenes operation of the board and these doctor's intense concern for the future of health affairs in North Carolina.
Much of the correspondence concerns personnel matters. These letters, many of which evidence the frankness and humor of Laughinghouse and Way, discuss the intention of Rankin to resign the position of State Health Officer (Oct.-Nov., Dec., 1924), his possible successors, efforts to persuade Laughinghouse to assume Rankin's position (1925-1926), and Acting State Health Officer Cooper's recalcitrance following his replacement by Laughinghouse (June-Sept., 1926).
Additional correspondence concerns the importance of county hospitals and local health work (Sept., 1916; Feb., 1920; Dec., 1924; Jan.-Feb., Apr., Sept., 1926; Oct.-Nov., 1929), work of the Pitt Community Hospital in Greenville (Dec., 1924; Mar., 1925), Leonard Tuft's intention to start a hospital at Pinehurst (Jan.-Mar., 1925) and the interest and assistance of the Duke Endowment and the International Health Board in the field of medicine (Feb., 1925; Apr., 1925; Nov., 1925; Mar., 1926, Aug., 1926; Sept., 1926).
Other letters of significance relate to Laughinghouse's work at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio ([July, 1918?]) and at other military bases (Aug., 1918); the resignation of Pitt County Health Officer Fryer (June, 1919); problems associated with and procedures for distributing diphtheria antitoxin in N.C. and S.C. (Sept., Nov., 1919); a poorly written article by Dr. James M. Parrott of Kinston (Oct., 1924); the treatment of tuberculosis at small hospitals (Apr., 1925); the role of the State Board of Medical Examiners and its need for a whole-time secretary (Nov., 1925; Mar., 1926; July, 1926); the declining health and impending death of Dr. Richard Henry Lewis of Raleigh (Jan., 1926; Apr., 1926); the Tri-State Medical Association and the abandonment of its annual volume in favor of a journal (Jan., 1926; Feb., 1926); the election of a Dr. Crowell as president of the Tri-State Medical Association (Feb., 1926); the nature of the hospital at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Mar., 1926); a meeting of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina at Wrightsville (June, 1926); the trial of a western N.C. physician named Carroll (July, 1926); the establishment of a new hospital for Haywood County (Aug., 1926); malaria control in N.C. (Aug., 1926); and the need for state aid in the quest for early detection of cancer (Sept., 1927). Monthly reports of the State Board of Health are interspersed throughout the correspondence.
State Board of Health monthly reports (1925-1926) are followed by miscellaneous material concerning the board. Typescripts among the miscellany concern tourist camp regulations (1926), board personnel, the Bureau of Vital Statistics, communicable disease control, county health departments, and N.C.'s statewide privy law.
The Pitt Community Hospital Series (1914-1927) reflects Dr. Laughinghouse's efforts to convince the people of Pitt County to support a local hospital. Early correspondence (1916-1917) concerns his campaign in behalf of a hospital bond referendum and, after its failure, his work to amend a 1913 law so that local governments could initiate plans for a hospital. Letters of H.O. Hyatt of Kinston (Dec., 1916; Jan., 1917) include detailed suggestions for achieving these goals. Much of the correspondence (1923-1926) reflects Laughinghouse's interest in the Pitt Community Hospital, located in Greenville, which he and other doctors built with their own funds. Topics of particular interest include the relationship of the hospital and East Carolina Teachers' Training School (Nov., 1923); the recovery in Michigan of ailing Dr. E.T. Dickinson, the hospital superintendent (1924; Jan.-Apr., 1925); and efforts to have the county purchase the hospital (May, Oct., 1925; Apr., May, Aug., 1926). Among the latter correspondence are discussions of problems caused by the need to serve Negroes at the hospital and the need for financial aid from the Duke Endowment and the Commonwealth Fund of N.Y.C.
Miscellaneous material in the series, including newspaper clippings, pamphlets and typescripts (1914-1926), discuss the need for community hospitals in Pitt and Lenoir counties and local hospitals elsewhere. Included also are minutes and reports concerning the management of Pitt Community Hospital and a copy of an act to allow Pitt County to establish and maintain a public hospital.
The Medical Societies series contains correspondence and miscellaneous material (1916-1927) relating to organizations Laughinghouse belonged to, including the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina and the Tri-State Medical Association of the Carolinas and Virginia. Correspondence of particular interest discusses the U.S. Army Medical Reserve Corps (1916), unethical advertisements appearing in
Southern Medicine & Surgery (Feb., Mar., 1923), Albert Anderson's speeches on mental health (Oct., 1924), Watson Smith Rankin's contributions to the medical profession in N.C. (Apr., 1925), the opposition of Joseph Howell Way and others to substituting a journal for the state Medical Society's annual volume (Mar., Oct., Nov., 1925; Jan., Feb., Mar., 1926), the need for a whole-time secretary for the State Board of Medical Examiners (Nov., 1925), and the Duke University Medical School and its potential as a great medical center (Nov., 1925).
Miscellany in the series includes a report advising that
Southern Medicine & Surgery not become the official organ of the state Medical Society (1926), an address summarizing the history of the Tri-State Medical Association (1927) and clippings concerning Laughinghouse's election to the presidency of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina (1917).
Laughinghouse's business-related activities are reflected in the Business Subgroup. The Grimesland Estates Series consists of correspondence and miscellaneous material concerning the settlement of the estates of members of the Laughinghouse and Grimes families at Grimesland (1914-1930). Correspondence of 1917 and 1919 concerns the estates of Alston Grimes and Mrs. Joseph John Laughinghouse. The bulk of the correspondence (1923-1930) reflects efforts of Junius D. Grimes of Washington, N.C., and Charles O'Hagan Laughinghouse to settle the estate of N.C. Secretary of State John Bryan Grimes. Letters discuss the Grimes children, the sale of timber, the value of property in Pitt County and in Raleigh, tenants and rentals, tobacco-farming practices, loans necessary for running the Grimesland farms and financial difficulties the executors faced. Of particular interest are letters discussing insurance for tobacco barns (Jan., July, 1925; July, 1926), a quack pellagra remedy used by a tenant at Grimesland and Laughinghouse's recommendations for curing the disease (June, 1929), real estate values and trends in Raleigh (Sept., Oct., 1929), Governor Oliver Max Gardner's tentative plans for a state-owned model farm on part of the Grimes estate (Dec., 1929), and the interest of W.I. Young in growing "pedigreed" cotton seed on the farm (Dec., 1929; Jan., 1930).
Legal and financial records in the series (1914-1925) include the will of Alston Grimes (1914), documents related to the Alston Grimes estate (1918), and a report concerning the estate of John Bryan Grimes (Dec., 1924).
The National Bank Building Series includes correspondence and miscellany relating to the ownership of Greenville's National Bank building by the firm of Higgs, Hardee and Laughinghouse (J.W. Higgs, J.S. Higgs, E.B. Higgs, D.W. Hardee, and Charles O'Hagan Laughinghouse) and its management by the Atlantic Coast Realty Company. Correspondence (1916-1925) reflects the manifold problems the firm dealt with constantly. Letters, primarily between Laughinghouse and E.B. Higgs, discuss faulty elevators and heating plants, problems with custodial services, leaks,miscellaneous repairs and the firm's reluctance to raise office rents for fear of losing tenants. Topics of particular interest include the Greenville Public Library Committee's desire to have the library remain in the building rent-free (Nov., 1916) and the possibility of selling the building to the National Bank (Dec., 1922; Jan., 1923).
Miscellaneous records in the series include a contract between Higgs, Hardee and Laughinghouse and the Atlantic Coast Realty Company (ca. 1917); a report covering the operation of the building from March 23, 1921 to April 4, 1922); an undated broadside describing the building; miscellaneous financial records.
The Laughinghouse Papers's General Business Series contains correspondence (1916-1931) concerning Laughinghouse's routine purchases, investments and financial affairs. Much of the correspondence concerns his attempts to collect the many notes owed him by area citizens. Notable letters discuss the labor and material costs for the renovation of a four-room tenant dwelling owned by Laughinghouse (Jan., 1916); the success of a Coca Cola firm in Williamsport, Pa. (July, 1917; Aug., 1917; Mar., 1918; Sept., 1919); and the efficacy of opening a branch of Greenville banking and Trust Company in Grimesland (Nov., 1925).
The Personal Subgroup contains correspondence and miscellany relating to the personal affairs and interest of Laughinghouse, his family and his friends.
Correspondence (1902-1930), in addition to detailing many of Laughinghouse's routine activities, interests and personal finances, concerns his children, life during World War I and the field medicine.
Much of the correspondence deals with the education and careers of Laughinghouse's children. Letters discuss Randolph-Macon Academy in Bedford, Va., (Aug., 1916; June, 1917); the Bingham School at Mebane, N.C. (Aug., 1916); techniques his daughter, Helen, could use to cultivate friendship (Feb., 1917); and business courses at St. Mary's College in Raleigh and their usefulness in his daughter's search for employment (Sept., 1917). Letters to and from Charles O'Hagan Laughinghouse, Jr., his wife and his father-in-law, W.I. Young (1926-1930), discuss Charlie's work in the real estate and hotel businesses and his financial difficulties. Letters of interest among this correspondence concern the Atlantic Coast Realty Company's sales in deGraffenried Park in New Bern (May, 1927); Atlantic Coast Realty Company's practice of selling mortgages to their homes (May, 1927); an amusing poem critical of Al Smith's views on liquor (Jan., 1928); prospects for industrial development in the South and Dupont's intention to invest in Southern rayon plants (Apr., 1928); W.I. Young's belief that Charles Jr. should open a small plant in Greenville to manufacture shirts made of Sudanette (Oct., 1929); the machinery owned by the Havens [cotton] Oil Company of Washington, N.C.; unemployment in Greensboro and Greenville (Feb., 1930); the management and policies of the King Cotton Hotel in Greensboro (Feb.-May, Aug., 1930); the effect of Thomas Wolfe's
Look Homeward, Angel on a recently widowed lady (Mar., 1927); and the furnishings in Charles Jr.'s two-bedroom apartment in Greensboro ([June, 1930?]).
Personal correspondence reflecting Laughinghouse's interest in health and medicine concerns hospital fundraising and health affairs in Pitt County and Laughinghouse's cold reception from other doctors upon his return from World War I (Sept., 1919; Mar., 1920); the Martin Clinic in Hot Springs, Arkansas (Mar., 1920); artificial limbs made by J.E. Hanger of Washington, D.C. (Apr., 1925); and formulas for and the general care of infants (Apr., June, 1926).
The activities of Greenville area physicians in World War I also are reflected in the personal correspondence. Letters concern preparation for entering training in, and problems in the United States Army Medical Corps (Sept., 1917); the quality of medical personnel, their attitudes and other conditions at Fort Ogelthorpe, Georgia (Oct., Nov., Dec., 1917); conditions at a medical officers training camp at Chattanooga, Tenn. (Nov., 1917); the courses and various activities at Rockefeller Institute in New York City (Jan., 1918); and Laughinghouse (1902), plans of the Chautauqua Association of Pennsylvania ([1916?]), Charles L. Van Noppen's interest in sketches of Charles J. O'Hagan and Laughinghouse for the
Biographical History of North Carolina (Jan., July, Dec., 1917), extensive repairs made on a Haynes automobile (June, Aug., 1917), work of the Southern Sociological Congress against lynching and riot rule (June, July, 1919), the demand for and profitability of oil drilling off the coast of Texas (Sept., 1919), the thriving nature of Greenville (Sept., 1919), financial needs of the University of North Carolina and work of its alumni association (Dec., 1924; Sept., 1926), the conveniences in and cost of a "Big Six" Studebaker ([Apr., 1925?]) and the Greenville home and estate of Joseph John Laughinghouse (Sept., Oct., 1927; May, 1930).
Also included in the personal subgroup are files of miscellaneous material reflecting the interests and activities of the Laughinghouse family. World War I miscellany includes printed material, typescripts and newspaper clippings. Among them are Ned Laughinghouse's petition for exemption from the draft; printed lecture of Major Bell at Camp Greenleaf, Medical Officers Training Corps, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.,; lists of supplies allotted soldiers; instructions on how to pack, mark and load freight and baggage (1918); clippings concerning N.C. soldiers in the war; and "North Carolina in World War." an address by Walter Clark, Jr.
The Greenville Board of Alderman file (1914) contains resolutions ordering the clean-up of an area near Cherry Hill Cemetery considered a health menace and authorizing S.J. Everett to install gas, telephone and streetcar systems in Greenville.
Laughinghouse-O'Hagan biographical material includes sketches concerning Dr. Charles James O'Hagan and Dr. Laughinghouse.
Among the Laughinghouse financial records (1916-1930, undated) are a notice of bankruptcy of C.T. Munford (1916) and an undated list of shareholders in Star Motors, Inc., of Greenville. Also included is a volume containing Mrs. Laughinghouse's household accounts (1920-1928) and a list of nurses working at 5th Street Hospital in Greenville (p. 3).
The American Legion series contains two minute books for the Pitt County chapter for the American Legion Auxiliary (1925, undated), a list of North Carolina chapters of the American Legion, a brief history of the organization and printed miscellany.
Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution material includes the 1930-1931 yearbook of the Caswell-Nash Chapter of the D.A.R. (Raleigh) and a typescript, "North Carolina Women of the Revolution."
Greenville Kiwanis Club miscellany includes a list of committees for 1926 and printed material concerning activities honoring Dr. Laughinghouse upon his departure for Raleigh (1926).
Published and typescript poetry relating to the medical profession and miscellaneous topics, most of which probably was collected by Laughinghouse, reflects his interests and ideals.
Dr. Laughinghouse's daughter, Helen, married Richard C. Stokes of Lynchburg, Va. Probably because of this, the Laughinghouse Papers contain a small collection of financial records belonging to the Stokes family (1865-1920). The majority of them belonged to D.R. Stokes of Lunenburg Co., Va. Among them are a contract between Stokes and freedmen sharecroppers (Jan., 1866); receipts; canceled checks; and an itemized list of goods purchased from Cardozo, Fourqurean & Co. of Richmond (1869).
Pamphlets in the collection concern "The Case for War-Time Prohibition" ; historic sites in Edenton, N.C.; the Gold Slope Mining Company of Willcox, Arizona (1926-1927); the Greenville Banking and Trust Company (1931, undated); Jefferson Davis; the activities of Greenville's End of the Century Book Club (1903-1904); and clothing made by Strouse & Brothers of Baltimore (1913). Also included among the pamphlets are copies of Harry Stillwell Edwards's
Eneas Africanus (1920), Clarence Poe's
The North Carolina of To-Morrow (1915) and Charles W. Tillett's
Ginger and Pepper Evolution and Reminiscences (1926).
Photographs include views of the O'Hagan, Laughinghouse, and Stokes families; Greenville; the baseball and football teams at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia (ca. 1941),; and unidentified persons and structures.
A file of miscellany contains deeds concerning land transfers in Pitt County, N.C. (1870), and Sumter County, Ga. (1870); a manuscript biographical sketch of Charles Brantley Aycock; a speech (ca. 1920) discussing Southerners' contributions to American wars, probably given by Dr. Laughinghouse to a convention of Confederate veterans; J.J. Laughinghouse's essay, "What Brought Into Existence the Ku Klux Klan" ; a list of enrollment statistics for E.C.T.C. (1909-1925); a financial statement of the University of North Carolina General Alumni Association (1926-1927); writings of Dr. Laughinghouse concerning the need for good roads (1916) and in behalf of Greenville's Better Babies Week; and a newspaper account of reunion in Greenville of Confederate veterans and Josiah W. Bailey's speech there.
Among the volumes in the collection are a nineteenth-century scrapbook filled with clippings containing poetry (probably collected by members of the Stokes family) and a guest register used in the Laughinghouse home (1919-1929).
Oversized material includes publications of the North Carolina State Board of Health relating to milk sanitation (1926) and the county health affairs (1924); plans for a lake-side resort in the Chimney Rock Mountains (undated); and copies of newspapers relating to America's involvement in World War I (
New York Times, 9 September 1917;
The Stars and Stripes, 15, 29 November 1918).