Rose N. Clayton, North Greenville College nurse for 20 years died on September 25, 2002 at the age of 99.
Rose was the daughter of the late Albert and Edna Whildon Neves and a native of Greenville County. She attended North Greenville Academy in 1917-1918 and after finishing at North Greenville went on to Brevard College and from there to Nashville where she started her nursing training at Vanderbilt Medical University Hospital. She was called home from Vanderbilt because of her father’s illness and finished her nursing degree at the Baptist Hospital in Columbia. After receiving her degree, she worked in Columbia in community nursing.
She was assigned through the International Mission Board to San Jose, Costa Rica where she helped build a mission hospital. She remained there for five years when she became ill and had to come home. She intended to go back but never did.
Once she was home she worked for Greenstreet Baptist Church as a nurse as well as community mission work in the Spartanburg area. She met her husband, Eber Clayton in Spartanburg. They had one son, Neves Clayton.
Eber passed away when Neves was young, so Rose had to fall back on her nursing to support her son and her. She was working as the nurse for summer camps at North Greenville College when she met Dr. M.C. Donnan. He saw her here working over the summer and said to her, “Ms. Rose, you need to come to North Greenville to work.” So she did. Neves was nine when his mother moved them to campus. They lived in a small apartment below the nurse’s office. Neves remembers students spending the night in the infirmary, and his mother staying up all night taking care of them.
The infirmary was located in the old student center which was located where the Donnan Administration building and Neves Dining Hall are currently located. It wasn’t until later that the Tuttle Clinic was built; however, Ms. Rose was the first to live in it.
According to Neves Clayton, his mom was known for her sore throat remedy, which the students hated. She would get a long cotton swab and put medicine on it and swab the back of their throat with it.
Rose saw her Christian calling to be in medicine. Even while at North Greenville, she would go out into the community and provide her services for free. She tried to take care of folks in the community. “North Greenville was a challenge and home for my mom,” stated Neves.
Ms. Rose Neves Clayton was survived by her son, Neves Clayton, three grandchildren, Angela McLeese and Mark and Jonathan Clayton; and a great-grand-child, Justin McLeese.
Article published in the Spring 2003 issue of the North Greenville College Magazine.