Note: This is an encore post from 2006 and reflects the minimal online resources that were available 12 years ago.
Aug. 2, 1907
The Times reports the death of Dr. Lucy Hall-Brown, a prominent woman physician who was active in the Red Cross. Although we know where she lived (Vermont and 30th Street), we have no idea where she went to school, her age or whether she had any survivors. Nor are we told why she was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y., rather than Los Angeles.
A Google search reveals that Hall-Brown was a frequent correspondent with Clara Barton, but not much more.
Still, it’s worth looking at any woman doctor from this period in history, so we can mine The Times obituary from some interesting facts: We know that she attended a Red Cross conference at Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1887 and another one in Vienna in 1897.
The Times also says she attended the International Congress of Medicine and Electro-Therapeutics in Paris in 1900 and was a member of the American Social Science Association. She made 25 trips to Japan, most recently in a 1906 tour sponsored by The Times, was a guest lecturer on hygiene and physiology at schools in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto and Kobe, and had returned to Los Angeles in July after a recent visit.
Her memorial was held at the Garret funeral home, 1237 S. Flower St., performed by the Rev. William Horace Day, the minister at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles at 8th Street and Hook. He later became the first president of Pomona College and died in 1942.
Hook? I don’t know that street.
Additional information from ancestry.com
Lucy Mabel Hall-Brown was born in Holland, Vermont, on Nov. 26, 1842, to Don C. Hall, a tavern owner. Her mother is unidentified. Lucy had two brothers, James and William. In 1870 she began studying medicine under the mentorship of Dr. G. Rood. Two years later she studied at the University of Michigan and graduated with a medical degree. She also studied at Milton College in Wisconsin and at Dearborn Seminary in Chicago. She then took a position in a hospital in Dresden, Germany. When she returned to the United States she worked under the supervision of Clara Barton as a resident-physician at the Massachusetts State Reformatory for Women. She would later turn down a promotion to succeed Barton as supervisor. She then became a professor of physiology at Vassar College. Later she opened her own practice in Brooklyn.
In addition to her extensive Red Cross work, Dr. Hall-Brown authored numerous medical journal articles, including alcoholism among women and health care in the women’s prison system.
On Dec. 29, 1891, she married Robert George Brown, an engineer and holder of several telephone equipment patents, at the home of Clara Barton in Washington, D.C. Brown had developed the first telephone exchange. Dr. Hall-Brown was rather tall for a woman in that era. According to her 1879 passport application, she stood 5 feet, 8.5 inches tall. She had blue eyes, dark brown hair and a dark complexion.
Thanks! It’s great that so many online resources have been added since I wrote that post 12 years ago.