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Dick, Gladys (18 December 1881–21 August 1963), medical researcher and physician, was born Gladys Rowena Henry in Pawnee City, Nebraska, the daughter of William Chester Henry, a house and grain dealer, and Azelia Henrietta Edson Henry. Her family relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska, following her birth, where she attended local public schools before entering the University of Nebraska. After earning her B.S. in 1900, she had hoped to attend medical school, but faced her mother's stern opposition to the idea, which few women at that time pursued. She spent the next two years teaching high school biology in nearby Kearney, Nebraska, and took additional graduate course work at her alma mater. After finally gaining parental approval, she left Nebraska and journeyed east to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine....

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Lancefield, Rebecca Craighill (05 January 1895–03 March 1981), medical bacteriologist, was born in Fort Wadsworth, New York, the daughter of Colonel William E. Craighill, an officer in the U.S. Army Engineering Corps, and Mary Wortly Montague Byrum. She attended Wellesley College, graduating in 1916, and then taught for a year at a girls’ school in Vermont....

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South, Lillian Herreld (31 January 1879–14 September 1966), physician, epidemiologist, and bacteriologist, was born near Bowling Green, Kentucky, the daughter of J. F. South, a physician, and Martha Bell Moore. She graduated from E. B. Potter College in Bowling Green in 1897. South studied at the Paterson (N.J.) General Hospital School of Nursing, earning an R.N. degree in 1899. She then enrolled at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, graduating with an M.D. in 1904. From 1906 to 1910 she practiced medicine in Bowling Green with partners ...

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Tunnicliff, Ruth May (01 May 1876–22 September 1946), physician and bacteriologist, was born in Macomb, Illinois, the daughter of Damon George Tunnicliff, a lawyer, and Sarah Alice Bacon. Her mother had attended the Illinois Women’s College and Vassar. Ruth Tunnicliff prepared for college at home with the aid of tutors. Before entering Vassar she spent a year at the Kenwood Institute in Chicago. After receiving her A.B. at Vassar in 1896, she took premedical studies at the University of Chicago from 1898 to 1900. She then entered the Northwestern University Women’s Medical College in 1900. When that college was unexpectedly closed in 1902, she took her final medical year at Chicago’s Rush Medical College, obtaining her M.D. in 1903. During her medical studies Tunnicliff lived at Hull-House, an innovative center for social services....

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Williams, Anna Wessels (17 March 1863–20 November 1954), public-health physician and bacteriologist, was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the daughter of William Williams, a private-school teacher, and Jane Van Saun. She studied at home with her father and at the State Street Public School, where her father served as a trustee. Williams was excited by science when she first used a “wonderful microscope” at age twelve. She graduated from the New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton in 1883. She then taught for two years, earning money for medical school. Williams apparently was motivated to become a physician when her sister Millie almost died in childbirth (some sources suggest her sister suffered from diphtheria), and she vowed to discover an effective treatment. At first her religiously devout mother objected to her career goal, but Williams won her approval when she suggested that she would apply medicine to missionary work....