Woman of the Century/Elmina M. Roys Gavitt
ELMINA M. ROYS GAVITT. GAVITT, Mrs Elmina M. Roys, physician born in Fletcher, Vt., 8th September. 1828. She is the second of eight children. She came of old Puritan stock, developing in her life that intense conscientiousness with regard to what she believes to be right, and that stern, uncompromising devotion to duty that characterized her New England ancestors. Her parents were to a great extent the instructors of their flock, both in religious and secular matters, for there were public schools but half of the year, and church privileges were few and far between. When Elmina was fourteen years old, business interests caused a removal of the family to Woonsocket, R. I. For the next twelve years the shadow of ill-health stretched across her pathway, and the possibilities of life lay dormant At last the door opened for her to begin what has proved most successful occupation. Hoping to benefit herself by striving for what seemed then almost unattainable, and seeing no avenue open to American women which promised more usefulness than the profession of medicine, she entered the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia, in 1862. In 1865 she was called to Clifton Springs. N. Y., as house physician in an institution there. Two years later she went to Rochester, Minn., and commenced a general practice, winning from the first signal success, which has always since followed her. In 1869 she removed to Toledo, Ohio, where she has since lived. During that year she showed one of her most marked characteristics, self-sacrifice, by adopting a blind sister's six children, the youngest but two days old and the oldest but twelve years old. She bravely bore her burden and now has the satisfaction of seeing all those children prosperous and happy. In 1876 she became the wife of Rev. Elnathan Gavitt, an elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but her marriage did not cause her to give up her profession, in which she had come to stand among the first in the State. Mrs. Gavitt is a woman of strong individuality of character. She has absolute belief in the brotherhood of humanity, and for that reason her skill has been exercised for the poor and the rich alike. For her work she has a peculiar fitness, and it has brought her into the closest contact with suffering and sorrow, for which her sympathies never fail.