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Alice Bennet 1851 ~ 1925


Alice Bennet

Miss Bennet was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts, January 31, 1851. She taught in the district schools in her early youth but took up the study of medicine in the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in March, 1876. Spent one year as an interne in the New England Hospital, of Boston. After graduating, engaged in dispensary work in the slums of Philadelphia.

In 1876 she pursued a course of scientific study in the University of Pennsylvania, from which she received her degree of Ph.D., in 1880, and that year she was elected superintendent of the department for women of the State Hospital for the Insane, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The placing of a woman in charge was without precedent and the results were awaited with anxiety by the public and the profession. At the end of twelve years the hospital was acknowledged to be the leading institution of the kind in the state, if not in the country, and this experiment has been the cause of this course being adopted by other states and the question is being very generally agitated as to whether this should not be generally adopted.

When Miss Bennet entered upon this field of her labors she had but one patient and one nurse. More than two thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five insane women have been cared for, and in 1892 there was a force of ninety-five nurses under her.

She is a member of the American Medical Association, of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, of the Montgomery County Medical Society, of which she was made president in 1890; of the Philadelphia Neurological Society, of the Philadelphia Medical Jurisprudence Society, and of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

She has several times delivered the annual address on mental diseases before the State Medical Society and was appointed by Governor Pattison, of Pennsylvania, as a member of the board of five commissioners to erect the new hospital for the insane of the state.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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