Martha “Patty” Hicks Buford (1836–1901) established the Church Home for Aged, Infirm, and Disabled Colored People as a hospital for needy members of the black community in Brunswick County. Buford was a devout and active Episcopalian who worked to better the lives of African Americans in post-Reconstruction Southside Virginia. She also established schools and church schools to provide educational opportunities. Church members supported her labors through the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. The hospital was incorporated by the General Assembly during its 1881-1882 session, destroyed by fire on March 17, 1891, and quickly replaced with a larger hospital on the same foundation. The Church Home is an unusual example of an institution established for African Americans following Reconstruction when there were no medical facilities available for them in Brunswick County. The hospital closed in 1907.
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NHL: National Historic Landmark
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