LOTW 78: Harbin’s Helping Hands

By: Jordan Brannen

This letter stood out to me for a few reasons. While it is well known and documented that the current Harbin Clinic in Rome, GA is named for Dr. W.P. Harbin because of his hard work in the Rome community, Dr. Harbin’s contribution to the Berry schools is much less known. The rhetoric is endless from Martha Berry about how the students had little to no money for schools, but one rarely thinks about how this also means that the students had little to no money for anything, including health care procedures. This letter shows how he was kind enough to operate on countless Berry students with no intentions of being paid for his invaluable time and services. It also shows how appreciative he was of Dr. Frank Wright, former Berry student and patient of Dr. Harbin, for trying to pay him the money he owed for his surgery. Instead of accepting the money, Dr. Harbin suggests that Dr. Wright donate the money to the Berry schools. After reading this letter, I gained a new respect for Dr. Harbin that surpassed my previous high opinion of him.

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