Josephine Kinman Brewer (1910-1998)

Rabun County's first public health nurse opened the county's first health department on July 1, 1939 and began giving immunizations and directing a center for expectant mothers and well babies. Josephine Kinman had studied at Emory School of Nursing and Peabody College in Nashville. Later she traveled to the Frontier Nursing Service, School of Nurse-Midwifery in Kentucky, where she studied with the famous "Nurses on Horseback." Kinman received certification as Georgia's first nurse-midwife in March of 1942.

In November of 1942, Rabun County opened Georgia's first locally-funded rural maternity hospital. Kinman continued to be paid by the state, and a grant from the Campbell Foundation of Atlanta enabled the county to begin a clinic that would see two thousand babies delivered by February of 1951. The maternity hospital took all expectant mothers regardless of race, ability to pay or whether they lived in Rabun.

Josephine Kinman joined the American Red Cross during World War Two and served in India. After the war, she returned to Rabun County, married, and became District Director of Public Health Nursing. Now Mrs. Brewer, she wrote a weekly health newspaper column, had a radio show and served on Rabun County's Board of Health for more than ten years. After her death in 1998, Josephine Kinman Brewer was eulogized as "the woman who helped nurse Rabun County into the world of modern medicine."

Help us plan for
Rabun County’s Bicentennial Celebration

Special Exhibit:
Rabun’s Twentieth Century in Review

At the turn of the twentieth century, Rabun County remained largely isolated from the outside world. This would change dramatically with the coming of a railroad which also brought tourism, logging and dam building.
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