James Walker, 1826 - 1901
Financier and namesake
In early 1900 James Walker, stonemason, contractor and builder donated the money needed to build a new hospital
in the city of Wilmington, NC. Walker supervised the building of the hospital but did not survive to see it open. He died on March 15, 1901, ten weeks before the completion of the building.
Upon opening the hospital had fifty beds, a laundry, heating plant and separate wards for men and women. In 1904 the first of several additions opened containing a ward for African Americans, a dispensary and nurses quarters. In 1915 a Contagious Ward was added and a Maternity and Children's Ward opened in 1917. The hospital continued to grow adding a new nurses quarters in 1926 and enlarging it in 1937 and 1943. Additional additions to the hospital increased the beds to 285 by 1966.
Portrait of James Walker, 1902, by Margaret
Walker Lippitt, in the collections of Cape Fear Museum, Wilmington,