Woman of the Century/Ellen Lawson Dabbs

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DABBS, Mrs. Ellen Lawson, physician, born in her father's country home, five miles east from Mt. Enterprise, in Rusk county, Texas, 25th April, 1853. She was reared in the country. Her father, Col. Henry M. Lawson, was a typical southern planter and a Georgian by birth, who settled in Texas in 1844 with his young wife and her first child. The mother came of a wealthy Georgia family, and, reared as she had been in luxury, with her husband she braved the dangers and privations of a pioneer's life. Colonel Lawson took a prominent part in early Texas politics. He represented his county for several years in the legislature. Ellen was the only girl in a family of eight children, of whom she was the fourth She attended the country schools until she was fourteen years old, and then her father sent her to Gilmer, Tex. She attended school there for two years, and in that time made rapid progress in mathematics and the languages. She taught school as an assistant for six months, then went to Georgia, entered college and was graduated as valedictorian of her class from Furlow Masonic College, in Americus. After graduating, she returned to Texas and taught school and music for five years. In Galveston, Tex., she met J. W. Dabbs, a merchant of Sulphur Springs, Tex. In a year they were married. He was a widower with four children, all boys, and was struggling to get a foothold as a merchant. Mrs. Dabbs looked after his boys, did most of the housework, clerked in the store, bore five children in nine years, helped her husband to make a fortune, and as his first wife's children came of age, she saw him deed over to them the property that she had made by work and economy. Feeling the need of some profession, she commenced the study of medicine. She read under the direction of Dr. E. P. Becton. She went north to Iowa and entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Keokuk, where she was graduated after two years of study. She then took a course in a school of midwifery in St. Louis, Mo. She returned to Sulphur Springs, her old home, in 1890, and practiced there eighteen months. ELLEN LAWSON DABBS.jpgELLEN LAWSON DABBS. She owned an interest in a newspaper and did some editorial work. In 1891 she sold her interest in the paper and settled in Fort Worth, Tex., with her four surviving children. There she has done some writing for the reform press. She was sent as a delegate to the Industrial Union held in St. Louis, in February, 1892. She was put on the committee on platforms and resolutions, and was appointed by the Industrial Convention as one of the committee of thirty to confer with the executive committee of the People's Party. She was disappointed because the People's Party failed to recognize woman in their platform. Knowing injustice under existing laws, she is a firm believer in equality before the law, and constantly pleads for the right of suffrage. She is an advocate of temperance and was sent as a delegate to the State Woman's Christian Temperance convention held in Dallas in May, 1892. She is the State chairman of the Woman's Southern Council.