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Andrews, Ludie (1875–1943?), black nursing educator, was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, the daughter of a poor family. Little is known about Andrews’s parents or early years, though something clearly happened to inspire in her a desire to become a nurse. In 1901 Andrews applied to Spelman College’s MacVicar Hospital School of Nursing. On her application, she asked for financial assistance, explaining that her family could not help her pay. Her mother had a large family to support and “an old flicted husband,” who was not Andrews’s father. Andrews also said that she had been married but did not currently live with her husband and expected no support from him. Letters praising Andrews and talking about her “good moral character” that came from the pillars of Milledgeville society proved instrumental in securing Andrews’s admission....

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Margaret Arnstein. Right, with Secretary of HEW Oveta Culp Hobby. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (A018286).

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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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Mary E. Bass. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B02453).

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Bass, Mary Elizabeth (05 April 1876–26 January 1956), physician, medical educator, and historian, was born in Carley, Mississippi, the daughter of Isaac Esau Bass and Mary Eliza Wilkes. She grew up in Marion County, where her father operated a gristmill and dry goods store. The 1890s economic depression bankrupted Isaac Bass, and the family moved to Lumberton, Mississippi, to invest in pecan orchards. The Basses were pious Baptists and active in civic concerns....

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Blackwell, Elizabeth (03 February 1821–31 May 1910), physician, reformer, and medical educator, was born in Bristol, England, daughter of Samuel Blackwell, a prosperous sugar refiner, and Hannah Lane. Her father’s interest in abolitionism and in “perfectionist reform,” the belief that through education and spiritual regeneration human beings could achieve a just society on earth, coupled with a series of financial reversals, prompted a move to the United States in 1832 when Elizabeth was eleven....

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Blackwell, Emily (08 October 1826–07 September 1910), physician and medical educator, was born in Bristol, England, the daughter of Samuel Blackwell, a prosperous sugar refiner, and Hannah Lane. Her father moved his family to the United States when Emily was five, primarily because of his interest in abolitionism, perfectionism, and reform. Although Samuel died in 1838, his children inherited his activist legacy: ...

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Bodley, Rachel Littler (07 December 1831–15 June 1888), botanist, chemist, and educator, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Anthony Prichard Bodley, a carpenter and patternmaker, and Rebecca Wilson Talbott, a teacher. An 1849 graduate in classical studies of Wesleyan Female College in Cincinnati, Rachel Bodley taught there and served as preceptor in higher college studies until 1860, when she decided to pursue her interests in botany and chemistry. She began advanced studies in the natural sciences at the Polytechnic College in Philadelphia in 1860 and returned to Ohio in early 1862 to accept a position as professor of natural sciences at the Cincinnati Female Seminary....

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Crandall, Ella Phillips (16 September 1871–24 October 1938), public health nurse and educator, was born in Wellsville, New York, the daughter of Herbert A. Crandall, a manufacturer, and Alice Phillips, a seamstress. She grew up in Dayton, Ohio, to which her father moved in 1872 to work with the railroad. The Crandalls were Presbyterians, and Crandall’s father served on Dayton’s school and health boards....

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Davis, Frances Elliott (28 April 1882–02 May 1965), public health nurse, nurse-educator, and community advocate, was born in Shelby, North Carolina, the daughter of an unlawful interracial marriage between Darryl Elliott, a part African-American Cherokee sharecropper, and Emma (maiden name unknown), the daughter of a plantation owner and Methodist minister. Darryl Elliott fled the state early in Frances’s life, leaving her to be raised by her mother. Both parents had died by 1887, after which Davis was raised in a succession of foster homes. At the age of twelve she was sent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she lived under the guardianship of the Reverend Mr. Vickers. In the Vickers household she was regarded more as a domestic helper than a ward; consequently her early formal education was pursued on a sporadic basis. Determined to succeed, she possessed the intrepidity to upgrade her reading skills on her own....

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Goodrich, Annie Warburton (06 February 1866–31 December 1954), nursing administrator and educator, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the daughter of Samuel Griswold Goodrich, a life-insurance salesman, and Annie Williams Butler. As a young girl she moved to New York City and was tutored at home until 1877, when she entered a private school in Berlin, Connecticut. Three years later she accompanied her family to her father’s new assignment in London, England, and completed her secondary education at private schools in England and France. In 1885, when her father’s health failed, she moved with her family to Hartford, Connecticut, but soon relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, where she supported herself as the companion of an unmarried socialite. In 1890 she returned to Hartford to help care for her mother’s aged parents. Concerned by the lack of skill displayed by the nurse who served as their primary caregiver and needing a means of financial support, that same year she enrolled in the New York Hospital Training School for Nurses. She graduated two years later and immediately became a head nurse at the hospital....

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Jacobi, Mary Corinna Putnam (31 August 1842–10 June 1906), physician, medical educator, and writer, was born in London, England, the daughter of George Palmer Putnam, a publisher, and Victorine Haven. George Putnam was in London to establish a British office for his firm. The family returned to New York in 1847 when Putnam’s partnership ended, and he started his own company. First of eleven children, Jacobi was a precocious child who determined early that she would be a physician, even though few women physicians existed. Her early education was primarily at home, although two years at the new school for girls on Twelfth Street, from which she graduated in 1859, stimulated her writing. Already an accomplished writer at seventeen, she had a story, “Found and Lost,” published in the ...

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Kenworthy, Marion Edwena (17 August 1891–26 June 1980), psychiatrist and educator, was born in Hampden, Massachusetts, the daughter of John Kenworthy, a textile manufacturer, and Ida Miller, a teacher. Kenworthy’s determination to become a doctor grew out of the emotional impact of her mother’s long-term illness and death when Marion was nine years old. As no preliminary undergraduate degree was required for application to medical school, Kenworthy entered Tufts University School of Medicine at age seventeen. Of the 144 students in her class, twelve were women. By the end of the first year, only seven women remained. She graduated cum laude in 1913....

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Catharine Macfarlane. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (B017739).

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Macfarlane, Catharine (07 April 1877–27 May 1969), physician and educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John James Macfarlane and Henrietta Ottinger Huston, educators. Macfarlane was encouraged by her mother to pursue a career in science: “My choice of medicine as a profession was influenced almost entirely by my mother, a woman of rare wisdom and judgment,” she wrote in 1947. At the age of fifteen Macfarlane was sent to Germany to attend the Girls’ School in Leipzig. Upon her return to Philadelphia in 1893, she entered the University of Pennsylvania, from which she received a certificate in biology in 1895. In 1898 Macfarlane earned her M.D. from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (WMCP) in Philadelphia, after which she served a one-year internship at the Woman’s Hospital of Philadelphia, followed by postgraduate study in gynecological urology at Johns Hopkins University. Further education included study with several of the most prominent figures in obstetrics and gynecology of her time at the Royal Charité, Berlin (obstetrics); Frauenklinik, University of Vienna (gynecology); and Radium Hemmet, Stockholm (radiology)....

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Marshall, Clara (08 May 1847–13 March 1931), physician and educator, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Pennock Marshall and Mary Phillips, Quakers and abolitionists. Education, medicine, and the advancement of women were intertwined themes throughout Marshall’s life. She recalled in later years that prominent educators and physicians from the community often visited her family’s home when she was a child. As a young woman and before entering medical school, Marshall taught school in Chester County....

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Mendenhall, Dorothy Reed (22 September 1874–31 July 1964), physician and public health educator, was born in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of Grace Kimball and William Pratt Reed, a wealthy shoe manufacturer. Although Mendenhall’s father died when she was six, the family was left comfortably well-off, and Mendenhall received an upper-class education at home, including instruction by a governess and frequent European travel....

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Merrick, Myra King (15 August 1825–10 November 1899), physician and educator, was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, the daughter of Richard King, a brickmaker, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). In 1826 the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Taunton, Massachusetts. At the age of eight, Myra began working in Taunton’s textile mills, helping to support a family that now numbered five children. In 1841 the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she secured employment as a nurse to several physicians in the area and developed an interest in medicine as a profession. After her marriage to builder and machinist Charles H. Merrick in 1848, the couple moved to Connecticut, where she began the study of medicine under New Haven physicians Eli Ives, professor of theory and practice of medicine at Yale University, and his obstetrician son, Levi Ives....

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Mosher, Clelia Duel (16 December 1863–22 December 1940), physician, professor, and medical researcher, was born in Albany, New York, the daughter of Cornelius Duel Mosher, a doctor, and Sarah Burritt. After graduating from the Albany Female Academy in 1881, Mosher returned home for eight years to conserve her delicate health. With her father’s help, she opened a florist business, earning enough money for four years’ tuition at Wellesley College. During her sophomore year illness forced Mosher to withdraw from school. By the summer of 1891 renewed strength and a growing interest in science prompted her to study entomology at Cornell, followed by courses at the University of Wisconsin during 1891 and 1892. She received a bachelor’s degree in zoology (1893) and an M.A. in physiology (1894) at Stanford University....

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Eliza Mosher On the fiftieth anniversary of her degree, 1925. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105825).