Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Women in the Medical Profession


Flora L. Aldrich 1859 ~
Mrs. Aldrich was born in Westfield, New York, October 6, 1859. Her ancestors were among the early Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. Her maiden name was Southard, but little is known of her family. Her great-grandfather only remembered that his name was Southard and that he was stolen from a port in England. She married Doctor A. G. Aldrich, of Adams, Massachusetts, in 1883, and this resulted in her immediately taking up the study of medicine and surgery. Later removing to Minnesota, she graduated from the Minnesota Medical College and took post-graduate courses in many of the best schools of the country.

Sarah B. Armstrong 1857 ~ 1898
Miss Armstrong was born in Newton near Cincinnati, on July 31, 1857. She was educated in the schools of Cincinnati and later in Lebanon, Ohio, where the family made their home. At sixteen she became a teacher. She received the degree of B.S., in 1880, from the Lebanon University and the highest honors in a class of sixty-six members. She later became a teacher in this school and while engaged in this work, obtained her degree of B. A. and later that of M.A. In 1886 she took her first degree in medicine and was appointed physician to the college. Later she spent some time in New York taking a course in the hospitals of that city. She inherits the love for the profession from her great-grandmother who was the first woman to practice medicine west of the Alleghany Mountains. Miss Armstrong possesses a very fine voice and has also literary talents.

Cora Belle Brewster 1859 ~
Miss Brewster was born September 6, 1859, at Almond, New York. She was one of the students of the Northwestern University. Later she removed to Baltimore, Maryland, and began the study of medicine. In 1886 she graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of Boston. Completing her course, she returned to Baltimore and formed a partnership with her sister. Flora A. Brewster, M.D. and in 1889 they began the publication of the Baltimore Family Health Journals. This was later changed to the Homeopathic Advocate and Health Journal. In 1890 she was elected gynecological surgeon to the Homeopathic Hospital and Free Dispensary, of Maryland. She has achieved marked success as a medical writer, surgeon, editor and practicing physician.

Harriet B. Jones 1856 ~ 1943
Miss Harriet B. Jones was born June, 1856 in Ebansburg, Pennsylvania. She is of Welsh ancestry. Appreciating the necessity for women physicians, alter her graduation from the Wheeling Female College she went to Baltimore, to take a course as a medical student there, and graduated with honors from the Women's Medical College, in May, 1884. Wishing to make nervous diseases her specialty she accepted the position of assistant superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane in Weston, West Virginia. In 1892 she established in Wheeling a private sanatorium for women and nervous diseases. She is an active worker in the temperance cause.

Hannah E. Longshore 1819 ~ 1901
Was born in Montgomery, May, 1819. She was among the first women to practice medicine in this country. Her father Samuel, and her mother Paulina Myers were born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and belonged to the Society of Friends. When but a small child her family removed to Washington, District of Columbia. After her marriage to Thomas E. Longshore she made her home in Philadelphia and here read medicine with her brother-in-law, Professor Joseph S. Longshore. Her death occurred in 1901.

Anna M. Longshore Potts 1829 ~ 1912
Born April 16, 1829, in Attleboro, Pennsylvania. She was one of the class of eight brave young Pennsylvania Quaker girls graduating from the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia, in 1852. This was the first college in which a woman could earn and secure a medical degree and at the time mentioned, when Miss Longshore graduated, they were received with faint applause from their friends and marks of derision from the male medical students. In 1857, she became the wife of Lambert Potts, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania. After removing to Michigan, she made a tour of the Pacific coast, New Zealand, Sidney, New South Wales, England and the United States lecturing on the prevention of sickness.

Ann Preston 1813 ~ 1872
Born December, 1813, in West Grove, Pennsylvania, and died in Philadelphia, April 18, 1872. She was a daughter of Amos and Margaret Preston, members of the Society of Friends. When the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania was opened in 1850, Miss Preston was among the first applicants for admission and graduated at the first commencement of the college. She remained as a student after graduation and in the spring of 1852, was called to the vacant chair of physiology and hygiene, of this college. She lectured in New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia on hygiene. Miss Preston and her associates obtained a charter and raised funds to establish a hospital in connection with the college, and when it was opened she was made a member of its board of managers, its corresponding secretary and its consulting physician, positions which she held until her death. In 1866 Doctor Preston was elected dean of the faculty. In 1867, she was elected a member of the board of corporators of the college. During the twenty years of her medical practice she saw the sentiment towards women physicians gradually become more liberal, until they were admitted to hospital clinics with men.

Martha George Ripley 1843 ~ 1812
Born November 50, 1843, in Lowell, Massachusetts. She married William W. Ripley, June 25, 1867, and removed to Boston, where she entered the Boston School of Medicine, in 1880. At her graduation in 1883 she was pronounced by the faculty one of the most thorough medical students who had ever received a diploma from the university. Soon after she settled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and founded the Maternity Hospital. Mrs. Ripley was always deeply interested in the cause of woman's suffrage, and in 1883 she was elected president of the Minnesota Woman's Suffrage Association, serving as such for six years.

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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