20th Century Club hears report on first female doctor

The recent meeting of the 20th Century Club was held at Grace Episcopal Church. President, LaQuita Wisner called the meeting to order with the reading of the Collect. The roll was called by Linda Minyard. There were 10 ladies present and seven absent. Minyard also read the minutes of the September meeting, which were approved as read. Peggy Koen gave the treasury report.

Under old business, Norma Caldwell reported that the annual Christmas luncheon would be held at Donald W. Reynolds Community Services Building on Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Under new business, Minyard brought to the floor, two members who had move out of town. After discussion, motion was made to JoAnn Gregory in accordance with constitution that these members be removed from membership with the stipulation that they be reinstated when and if they move back to Pine Bluff. Motion was second by Wisner. Motion was carried.

The business session was adjourned and Caldwell gave an informative report on Elizabeth Blackwell. Blackwell was born Feb. 3, 1821, in Bristol, England. In August 1832, she came to New York, when her father moved his sugar refinery to that city. She became very active in social reform at a very early age, during the 1830s. In 1844, with the help of her sister, Ann, she procured a teaching job that paid $400 per year in Henderson, Ky. The idea to pursue medicine was first planted in Blackwell’s head by a friend in Cincinnati who was dying of a painful disease, possibly uterine cancer. She was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the UK Medical Register. She was the first openly identified woman to graduate from medical school, a pioneer in promoting the education of women in medicine in the United States, and a social and moral reformer in both the United States and in England. Blackwell died May 31, 1910, in Hastings, England, at the age of 89.

After Caldwell’s report, the ladies enjoyed a time of refreshments and fellowship.