Marker Text: Wilma Carton was born in Columbus, Texas, on September 25, 1882, the first child of Mississippi natives Senie Needham and Thomas Jefferson Carlton. The family settled in the Pin Oak area of Milam County by 1880 and grew to include three more daughters and a son. Her father, whose original surname may have been Davidson, worked as a farmer, a bailiff in the county sheriff's office and rail car inspector. He was killed by another railroad employee in 1899. Her mother moved to Cameron and operated a boardinghouse there. Wilma, 17 at the time of her father's death, left Texas to attend the Union Benevolent Association training school, an early, acclaimed nursing school in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In 1904, Carlton graduated from her training, which was based on Florence Nightingale's renowned example. That same year, Drs. Arthur Carroll Scott and Raleigh R. White, Jr. established their Temple Sanitarium and a supporting nurses training program. In 1905, they hired Wilma Carton as the program superintendent. She oversaw the teachers, courses and schedules for the nurses in training, and was the liaison between them and the hospital's physicians. She was also known for here compassionate bedside manner and her embodiment of Florence Nightingale's teachings.
During her 17-year career in Temple, Carlton served as a statewide leader in nursing, working toward licensing standards. Active in the Red Cross, she was a member of national and state professional groups, such as the Texas Graduate Nurses' Association, which she served for two terms as president. Carlton became ill in September 1922 and died on December 27 of that year at the age of 40. (2005)
Marker No: 13010
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: 31.079840, -97.363548
Location: 2401 South 31st Street, Temple