Jane Smedberg Wilkes is remembered as the "Godmother of Charlotte Hospitals." A native of New York City. Jane Smedberg married Navy Captain John Wilkes in 1854. Captain Wilkes ran Mecklenburg Iron Works. Captain and Mrs. Renwick had nine children, five of whom died at an early age.
Among her many charitable works, Mrs. Wilkes was especially interested in improving medical care in the community. She helped to establish a military hospital in Charlotte to care for Confederate soldiers.
After the war, Mrs. Wilkes joined a group of local women who in 1878 founded St. Peter's Home & Hospital. A tireless fund-raiser, Mrs. Wilkes often traveled to New York to ask wealthy relatives for donations to finance hospital improvements.
In 1888, the money she raised allowed Mrs.
Wilkes and her supporters to open Good Samaritan Hospital, North Carolina's first, hospital . for black patients.