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Dr. Martha E. Hutchings Griffith


Source: Portrait & Biographical Records of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, p586-587

MARTHA E. GRIFFITH, M.D. Martha E. Griffith, M.D., was born near Madison, Jefferson County, Ind., her parents being John W. and Elizabeth (Craven) Hutchings. She received the advantages of a fair education at the Vernon Academy, and when about twenty-one began to read medicine with Dr. N. Richardson, an old friend of the family and one of the best-known physicians in southern Indiana. She has always been of a lively nature and was a general favorite with both sexes of those near her own age, but her determination to read medicine was such an unusual and unheard of thing that it was not long before her former friends had deserted her, and she was given to understand that some of them could not accept as a companion a girl who would so break away from all tradition as to enter the practice of medicine. She was shunned by some of her former companions, and everything was done to dissuade her from her intention. Although she was almost ostracized, she was of a determined mind and had a strong will, and she became more determined than ever to carry out her plans; therefore she continued her studies and became more and more interested as she searched the depths of the science. At this time there were but two lady physicians in regular practice in the State. One of these was a woman who has been very closely connected with the history of Crawfordsville, Mrs. Dr. Mary Wilhitt, and the other was Dr. Mary Thomas, of Richmond. When prepared, Miss Hutchings repaired to the Philadelphia Woman's Medical College and matriculated at the opening of the school in 1866. She continued her attendance there until she graduated in March, 1870, having spent some time in special hospital work and study at the New England Hospital for Women at Boston. She was the first woman to enter a medical school from Indiana, and her classmates were earnest women, with similar views of woman's ability and fitness for the duties of a physician's life. Among these were many who have attained more than local prominence in medical life. Miss Hutchings returned to her old home in 1870, opened an office in Madison and entered upon a general practice. A lady physician was still something strange to the people, and as she had expected her practice grew slowly. She realized that time and time only could overcome the old-established predjudices, but her ever gentle manner, guided by the heart of a true woman, brought her friends and practice. She met with success in her treatment of cases from the start, and in no long time was widely known as a successful practitioner. Miss Hutchings remained at Madison until her union for life with Dr. Griffith and she has since kept up her practice at Darlington and Crawfordsville. Since the death of her predecessor and friend, Mrs. Wilhitt, who has but recently been called higher, Mrs. Griffith is the only lady physician in Montgomery County. She is highly respected by the members of the profession, who for some years made her Vice-President of the Medical Society, in which she is an active and influential worker. Her practice in recent years has grown more toward the diseases of women and children, and in these she is considered eminently successful in her treatments. She is a lady of wide information, and while she keeps abreast with the advances made in her profession, she also finds time to keep familiar with the efforts made by other as earnest women who are working for the advancement of the sex. Dr. Griffith is a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and has frequently attended the State conventions as a delegate. The demands of a practice and a family preclude her engaging more fully in the great work, yet every move meets with her sympathy, and takes such pleasure in the fact that a time has come, when in the eyes of the world a woman may be a doctor and still retain her refinement and tenderness. In her, woman suffrage finds a supporter, and the venerable mother (now deceased) of Frances E. Willard casting her vote at Evanston was to her a sight worthy of imitation. She is a member of the Woman's Relief Corps, and also of the Woman's Aid Society of the Christian Church. Mrs. Griffith has been the mother of two children: Helen, who died at the age of two and one-half years; and James Barton, a student in the Sophomore class at Wabash College. Mrs. Griffith is a member of the Indiana State Medical Society.


Source: Waveland Independent Waveland, Montgomery County, Indiana January 2, 1925

Dr. Martha Griffith, the mother of Dr. J.B. Griffith, died in Crawfordsville on Sunday. Dr. Griffith was one of the few women doctors of this state and has been engaged in practice with her husband, the late Dr. T. J. Griffith. Besides her professional work Dr. Griffith found time for social activities, and was instrumental in obtaining some of the best medical legislation in Indiana. The funeral was in charge of M.A. West of this place and was held at the home on Tuesday afternoon. Burial at Darlington.


Source: 19th Century Database of Indiana Physicians Return Montgomery County Page. Return to higher directory.

Griffith, Martha E.H. Schools attended: Woman's Medical College of Penns., Phila. Year Medical Grad or Attendance: 1870 Membership in Medical Orgz.: Indiana State Medical Society 1882-83 Obit location: J. Ind. state Med. Assn. v 18; 76 1928 County: Montgomery (Darlington / Crawfordsville) Med. Reg./Exam.: 1.13.98 Sex: F Sources: P1886 / Physicians Directory of Kentucky and Indiana 1893 / Indiana State Board of Health 1882, 1884, 1890 Record# 10650 in database 19th Indiana Century Physicians



Copyright 2009 USGenWeb Project for Montgomery County, Indiana, Karen Zach. 2002 HTML compiled by:Blacksheep Genealogy


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© Copyright 2013 Karen Zach

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the submitter, for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information.

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

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12 October 2012