Woman of the Century/Corresta T. Canfield
CANFIELD, Mrs. Corresta T., physician, born in Charcloii. Ohio. 6th March, 1833. The Canfields, for meritorious service, received from the king of England, in 1350, a grant of land on CORRESTA T. CANFIELD. the river Cam, in Yorkshire, and settled thereon. After occupying that grant for three-hundred years. they came to America, shortly after the arrival of the Plymouth Pilgrims, and were among the first settlers of New Haven, Conn. Dr. Canfield is descended from French Huguenots and New England Presbyterians. Her mother, reared at a time when it was thought a sin for a man to kiss his wife or babe on Sunday, did not neglect the moral training of her children. Intellectual, well-read, in advance of her time, the daughter has inherited energy, will power and executive ability. Corresta entered the seminary of Chardon at an early age, but she was soon married. Though a wife and mother, reading and study were kept up. From her childhood she was ambitious to be a physician. Left alone without resources, at the close of the Civil War. the ambitions of early youth revived. In 1869 she entered the Woman's Homeopathic College of Cleveland, Ohio. With the help of a half-year's scholarship Mrs. Canfield finished the first college year. In the second year she became an assistant of the president. Dr. Myra K. Merrick, and gained nieans to continue in college. She was graduated with first honors in 1871, having served or some time as demonstrator of anatomy. During the following summer she practiced in Fort Wayne, Ind.. earning enough to enable her to enter the Men's Homeopathic College of Cleveland. While there, she was demonstrator of anatomy in the woman's department, and practiced enough, visiting patients mornings and evenings, to defray expenses. She attended all the lectures, passed through the whole curriculum and was graduated third in the men's course, the faculty acknowledging that she was entitled to a prize, but would not establish a precedent by awarding it to a practicing physician. A full-fledged M. D., she settled in Titusville, Pa. Having but fifteen dollars capital, she borrowed enough to buy out a resident physician, and under great opposition so won public patronage as to pay all her debts the first year. There she remained nearly ten years and amassed a small sum. She next spent a year in traveling. In 18S2 she settled in Chicago, where she has built up a large practice and served in many public offices. She is at present a member of the board of censors of the American Institute of Homeopathy, having been elected for the second time. She was the first woman who served in that capacity. One was elected the previous year but was not allowed to serve on the board of censors. Three years before her admission women were not permitted to join that society, and much opprobrium was still attached to those "hybrids" who did. Even women shared in that feeling. After a time, seeing none of her sex actively represented in the society, she felt that, to enjoy its privileges, one should assume its duties. She therefore prepared a paper and read it before the institute. She has served as president, vice-president and secretary of the Woman's Medical Association of Chicago, vice-president of the Hahnemann Clinical for two years, and has been appointed on the woman's committee for a homeopathic congress to be held during the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.