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Arnstein, Margaret (27 October 1904–08 October 1972), public health nurse and educator, was born Margaret Gene Arnstein in New York City, the daughter of Leo Arnstein, a successful businessman, and Elsie Nathan, a volunteer social worker. She was exposed to public health nursing at an early age by her parents, both second-generation Jewish Americans of German heritage, who were involved with ...

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Baker, Sara Josephine (15 November 1873–22 February 1945), physician and public health administrator, was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the daughter of Orlando Daniel Mosher Baker, an eminent lawyer, and Jenny Harwood Brown, one of the first Vassar College graduates. In her autobiography Baker described her father, who came from Quaker stock, as a sober, quiet man who “never uttered an unnecessary word,” while her mother, “gay, social and ambitious,” traced her ancestry back to Samuel Danforth, one of the founders of Harvard College. A happy child, Baker drew inspiration from both parents. Wishing to make it up to her father for not being born a boy, she became an enthusiastic baseball player and trout-fisher and read ...

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Beard, Mary (14 November 1876–04 December 1946), public health administrator, was born in Dover, New Hampshire, the daughter of Ithamar Warren Beard, an Episcopalian minister, and Marcy Foster. At the age of twelve she contracted diphtheria and was confined to her home for an extended convalescence, during which she was cared for by a kind visiting nurse. Deeply moved by the experience, she determined to devote her own life to nursing. She eventually dropped out of high school and then worked for several years as a private tutor in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1899 she enrolled in the New York Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated in 1903 and the next year began caring for sick people in their homes as a staff nurse for the year-old Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Waterbury, Connecticut....

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Boswell, Henry (26 March 1884–16 December 1957), physician and tuberculosis sanatorium administrator, was born in Hinton, Alabama, the son of John Boswell and Georgianna Neal. Nothing is known of his parents’ occupations. Boswell grew up in Choctaw County, in west central Alabama, attending grade school in Hinton and public high school in nearby Rock Springs. He moved north to Tennessee to seek a medical education at the University of Nashville, from which he received an M.D. in 1908. After graduation, he held a brief internship at the Nashville General Hospital before accepting a position as house surgeon at Providence Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, where he worked until late 1909....

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Cochran, John (01 September 1730–16 April 1807), physician and hospital director, was born in the area of Sadsbury (now Cochranville), Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Ulster emigrants James Cochran and Isabella Cochran. Cochran grew up in the rough community surrounding his father’s tavern, which was the center of all local activities. At age thirteen he attended the school in nearby New London opened recently by the Reverend ...

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Earle, Pliny (31 December 1809–17 May 1892), psychiatrist and asylum superintendent, was born in Leicester, Massachusetts, the son of Pliny Earle, a manufacturer and farmer, and Patience Buffum. Raised in a lenient but devout Quaker household, Earle first attended the Leicester Academy and then a Quaker boarding school in Providence, Rhode Island. Between 1829 and 1835 he taught at the latter and served briefly as its principal. In 1835 he entered the University of Pennsylvania as a medical student and received an M.D. in 1837. His thesis dealt with the treatment of insanity, a subject with which he had become familiar through visits with ...

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Galt, John Minson, II (19 March 1819–18 May 1862), physician, was born in Williamsburg, Virginia, the son of Alexander D. Galt, a and Mary Dorothea Galt (his parents were third cousins). He was the namesake of, and later successor to, his paternal grandfather, John Minson Galt I, who in 1793 was appointed attending physician to the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, in Williamsburg. This institution, renamed the Eastern Lunatic Asylum in 1841 (later the Eastern State Hospital), was the first public hospital in the United States founded exclusively for the care of the mentally ill....

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Gray, John Purdue (06 August 1825–29 November 1886), physician, alienist, and asylum superintendent, was born in Half Moon, Pennsylvania, the son of Peter D. Gray, a Methodist minister and farmer, and Elizabeth Purdue. He received his early education at Bellefonte Academy and Dickinson College, from which he graduated with an A.M. in 1846. He studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1849 and immediately becoming resident physician at Blockley Hospital in Philadelphia....

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Hunt, Ezra Mundy (04 January 1830–01 July 1894), physician, sanitarian, and public health official, was born in Metuchen, New Jersey, the son of Holloway Whitfield Hunt, a Presbyterian minister, and Henrietta Mundy. He graduated from Princeton University in 1849 and enrolled in New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (Columbia University). While in medical school he was apprenticed to Abraham Coles of Newark, New Jersey, to gain practical experience. Hunt graduated from medical school with an M.D. in 1852. In 1853 he married Emma Louisa Ayres of Rahway, New Jersey; they had five children, two of whom died at an early age. Three years after his wife’s death in 1867 he married Emma Reeves of Alloway, New Jersey; the couple had one child....