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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seven Base Hospital 46 Nurses With Early Assignments in the Fall of 1917

I've been blogging about the women of University of Oregon Medical School Base Hospital Unit 46 during World War I. In the last post I highlighted Chief Nurse Grace Phelps's challenges in recruiting and equipping women for the unit, with the "many and varied sad tales of the organization of the nursing personnel." Certainly one of these challenges came in November 1917 when the Red Cross "borrowed" seven of the nurses for assignment before Base Hospital 46 was ready to sail, part of a contingent of eight Red Cross nurses from Portland.

"8 Nurses Called," Oregonian, November 27, 1917, 8.




The Red Cross assigned the eight nurses to duty at the Presidio in San Francisco and at Camp Lewis near Tacoma, Washington. As the Oregonian reported it, a frustrated Grace Phelps reminded the seven who had signed on to Base Hospital 46 that they had to be ready for mobilization. It appears that Phelps accompanied them to the train station, "warning them as they pulled out that they were to hold themselves ready for an instant call for mobilization." She had worked so hard to gather the nurses needed, and now these were slipping away, if only for temporary duty. "You are merely lent at the call of the Government," she said. "Upon receipt of telegraphic notice you will be permitted to relinquish your duties immediately and report to the mobilization point of Base Hospital No. 46."

"Red Cross Nurses Who Left Portland Yesterday for Service at the Presidio of San Francisco, and Camp Lewis,"
Oregonian, November 27, 1917, 8.
A staff binder, part of the Grace Phelps papers at the incomparable Historical Collections & Archives at Oregon Health & Science University, gives us more information about the seven.

Those assigned temporarily to the Presidio were:

Emma Kern, a 1908 graduate of The Dalles Hospital Training School for Nurses with experience as a private duty nurse and with Good Samaritan Hospital.

Emma Kern, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University.  Courtesy Historical Collections & Archives, OHSU.


Helen Krebs, a 1914 graduate of the Multnomah County Hospital Training School for Nurses who had been Superintendent of the Raymond Hospital.

Helen Krebs, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University.
Courtesy Historical Collections & Archives, OHSU.

Letha Humphrey, a 1916 graduate of the Multnomah County Hospital Training School for Nurses and Surgical Nurse and Assistant at the Multnomah County Hospital.


Letha Humphrey, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University. Courtesy Historical Collections & Archives, OHSU.

 The other four Base Hospital 46 nurses were assigned to Camp Lewis. They were:

Louise Summers, a 1915 graduate of the Good Samaritan Hospital Training School for Nurses with experience as a private duty nurse.

Louise Summers, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University. Courtesy Historical Collections & Archives, OHSU.

Rita Mayse, a 1915 graduate of St. Vincent's Hospital Training School for Nurses with experience as both a private duty nurse and a with hospital floor duty.

 Rita Mayse, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University. Courtesy Historical Collections & Archives, OHSU.


Sadie Hubbard, a 1915 graduate of St. Vincent's with private duty nursing experience.

 
Sadie Hubbard, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University. Courtesy Historical Collections & Archives, OHSU.

Marjorie MacEwan, a 1916 graduate of Good Samaritan Training School for Nurses who had worked as a private duty nurse, an X-Ray laboratory assistant, and before her nursing training as a private secretary.

 Marjorie MacEwan, Grace Phelps Papers, Box 3, Binder 5, Base Hospital 46 Staff Files, Historical Collections & Archives, Oregon Health & Science University. Courtesy Historical Collections &Archives, OHSU.

The Oregonian account of their departure tells us something about how Grace Phelps felt about the situation but didn't record how these seven women felt. I would give a great deal to know if they were excited, nervous, anxious for adventure, or all three. 
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