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March 28, 2018

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Annice Florence Jeffreys Myers, Medical School class of 1883

“A womanly woman with a well-balanced and a well-stored brain, a woman of broad sympathies, keenly alive to the betterment of her kind, whether individually or in the mass, was Mrs. Annice Jeffrys [sic] Myers, wife of Jefferson Myers.” So was the announcement of Annice Florence Jeffreys Myers’ death in an Oregon newspaper.

Annice Florence Jeffreys was born 5/21/1860 in Wayne County, Ohio. While the Medical School graduated 6 of the first 7 women doctors in the U.S., the School was closed to women 1856-1879. On 4/28/1879 the faculty voted to admit women students. Three women graduated, one each in 1880, 1883, and 1884, before medical education was closed again until 1919. Annice Jeffreys was the woman who graduated from the School of Medicine in 1883.

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Annice Florence Jeffreys Myers

After graduation, Dr. Myers practiced medicine for about 16 years - about 7 years in Cleveland before moving to Salem, Oregon where she practiced medicine for around 9 years. While we do not have the exact date in the Archives, she married Jefferson Myers around 1900 or 1901.

In addition to her work as a physician, Dr. Myers was involved in other activities. She was a suffragette serving at the local and national level: vice president at large of the State Equal Suffrage Association and auditor of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. She was Chairman of the Committee of Arrangements for the 37th Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Portland in 1905 at the time of the Lewis and Clark Exposition. (Dr. Myers and her husband, who was President of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition Commission, had traveled to the last convention in Washington, D.C. to invite the Association to bring its next meeting to Oregon.) Dr. Myers also served on the Association’s Committee on Congressional Legislation.

She was deeply involved in assisting working women improve their conditions. She helped them gain opportunities for better jobs to become independent. She helped many become nurses “and she opened the way for many to other useful fields.” As one obituary stated, “It was the work of helping girls that occupied most of her time during the last few years, however, and she was planning to organize this work and carry it out on a much larger scale when taken ill last September.”

Dr. Myers died 5/10/1911 in Portland, Oregon. She was survived by her husband, 4 sisters, and 1 brother.

See past Women’s History Month posts from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Posted by hxy2 at March 28, 2018 03:22 PM

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