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