A native of Tyler, Texas and graduate of Meharry Medical College in Tennessee, Hackett specialized in obstetrics. With the assistance of his wife, Ayra, he practiced medicine and delivered newborns in their home for five years. After unsuccessfully lobbying for the creation of an African-American community hospital, he purchased the residence of former Territorial Governor Joseph Kibbey and opened the private Booker T. Washington Memorial Hospital at 1342 E. Jefferson St. in 1921. Initially, the hospital had only a few beds, each arranged on the home’s screened porch, but soon expanded to three adjoining lots, where six cottages were built for tuberculosis patients. Hackett opened a pharmacy nearby and recruited black nurses from Southern schools to join his staff.
In 1927, the Arizona Republican called it “the finest and most completely equipped hospital owned and devoted to the welfare of colored people west of the Mississippi.” But Hackett’s 25-bed medical center served other races, too – people seeking more affordable health care and those who needed clandestine treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Because of unpaid bills and Hackett’s failing eyesight, the hospital closed in 1943, reopening as the Winston Inn to accommodate black servicemen during World War II. Dr. Hackett died in 1949 at the age of 67, but his legacy lives on. “I still meet people who my father delivered,” says his daughter, 95-year-old Winstona Aldridge, who still lives in her father’s old hospital-home on Jefferson Street.
Thirty years before Woodstock made his maiden landing on Snoopy’s belly, a cat named Krazy was dodging bricks in a pioneering newspaper comic strip. ...
The Lincoln Legacy
North Phoenix owes two of its hospitals, a street name, a resort, and much of its community spirit to one visionary man. ...
Arizona’s Territorial prostitutes led challenging lives wrought with violence, disease and addiction – but research reveals some new insights. ...
As Tempe celebrates its musical legacy, friends remember the troubled life of late Gin Blossoms guitarist Doug Hopkins. Local musician Lawrence Zubia tells a story about Doug Hopkins, in which Hopkins hops a slow-moving freight train at Mill Avenue,...
Fifty-two years ago, Valley TV personality Sherri Finkbine terminated a tragic pregnancy –and unwittingly gave birth to a controversial legacy that lives on today. It was the biggest medical story in Arizona history. And more than a half centu...