John Wesley Umstead, Jr


John Wesley Umstead, Jr, was the brother of Governor William Bradley Umstead.

The following biography was submitted by Seth Warner.

John Wesley Umstead, Jr, son of John Wesley Umstead and his second wife Lucie Elizbeth "Lulie" Lunsford, was born in Durham Co, NC, 6 or 7 April 1889, died 21 August 1968. He married Sallie Hunter Reade, born 28 Dec 1889, died 29 Aug 1970.
He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil in 1911 and subsequently served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Board of the consolidated University. For 30 years he and Sallie shared their home and their table with University of NC students who were short on cash and long on ambition. His roommate at the university was Frank Porter Graham, for whom a son was named.
While serving 14 terms in the state legislature, John worked hard for prison reform, better public education, treatment for alcohoism and other areas. But his most important achievement lay in the field of mental health.
On 5 Jan 1942 the War Department announced that it would build a military camp, known as Camp Butner, 15 miles north of Durham in Granville Co, NC. After the war, John was primarily responsible for undertaking negotiations with the War Assets Administration, leading to the purchase of the site by the State for $1 (which John, personally, paid) for the creation of a mental hospital. The first patients arrived in 1947, and the hospital was renamed the John Umstead Hospital on 7 Apr 1959.

See also
The Power of One by Brooks Preik, which mentions John Wesley Umstead, Jr.


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