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File:Mary Jane Safford.jpg

Mary J. Safford

Mary Jane Safford-Blake (December 31, 1834 – December 8, 1891) was a school teacher, a prominent nurse in the Union army and worked closely with Mary Ann Bickerdyke treating the sick and injured near Fort Donelson.

In 1862, she accompanied the army of Ulysses S. Grant during the Battle of Shiloh, where she comforted and ministered to the wounded. Later, she served aboard a pair of military hospital ships on the Mississippi, the City of Memphis and the Hazel Dell.

When the war ended in 1865, Safford studied medicine, graduating from the Medical College for Women in New York City four years later. She also studied at the University of Breslaw in Germany, where she performed the first ovariotomy ever done by a woman.

In 1872, Safford opened a private practice in Chicago. She developed a plan for mass housing centered around a common service area for cooperative housekeeping to reduce drudgery for women. Later, she became Professor of Women's Diseases at the Boston University School of Medicine and a staff doctor at the Massachusetts Homeopathic Hospital. After her marriage, she adopted the name Mary Jane Safford-Blake.

Among her publications was Health and Strength Papers for Girls.

Safford spent her later years in Tarpon Springs, Florida with her brother Anson and his family. She died on December 8, 1891.

See also[]

  • Safford House


Further reading[]

  • Fischer, Leroy H., "Cairo's Civil War Angel, Mary Jane Stafford." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, No. 54, 1961.