Who Knew? Twenty Plus Who Paved the Way!

Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw








I hope everyone had a pleasant time off and enjoyed the offerings of the season. I’ve had less time to research but that didn’t stop me from trying. For this post I’m sharing some statistics about some of these early women doctors. For this post, the focus is the women who were practicing prior to 1890. This is a sample of what I start with as I go about putting together the story of the lives of these amazing women.

Of course we know of Alida Avery, one of, if not the first women doctor in Colorado. Then of course there is Julia Loomis, who was Colorado Springs first, who passed away in 1880. There is Harriett Leonard, the first in Manitou Springs.

Here then is a sampling of some of the others who received a licensed prior to 1890. I am still in the early stages of research and I know I will find more.

Augusta B. Nelson practiced in Denver, received her license in 1888 and was 59 at the time.

Mary Ogden practiced in Denver, received her license in 1886 and was 45.

Caroline F. Parker practiced in Longmont, received her license in 1883 at the age of 43.

Celestia D Messinger practiced in Leadville and other places was 41 when she was licensed in 1883

Anna Marsh received her license in 1881, the year licensing started and was 43. She started her practice in Greeley.

Madeline Marquette (Baker) was licensed in 1888 at a young 28 and along with Dr. Josepha Williams opened a private sanitarium in Denver.

Mary Mallory, licensed in 1888 also at 42 years of age. She started her practice in Salida, but moved to California in 1890.

Julia McNutt was 41 in 1884 when she received her license and practiced in San Juan County Colorado

Trail to the North Star mine up King Solomon Mountain, Cunningham Gulch. San Juan County, Colorado. 1875.


Julia Adams was 50 in 1881 and practiced in Chaffee County. Her license is #124.

Elnora W. Anderson was a young 35 in 1881 when she received license #184, setting up a practice in Denver.

There are twenty plus additional women on the list, and with rare exception the age at time of receiving their license is forty or older. Yes a lot of them set up a practice in Denver, but as you can see by the sample above they also headed out to the mountains and other less populous areas.  The more I learn about these women who followed their dreams the more I want to know. Their desire and fortitude show me that a dream doesn’t end when you reach a certain age, it is ageless. Can I do any less?

Until next time, here’s to history and the stories it tells.

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Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
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