Woman of the Century/Mary Holloway Wilhite

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WILHITE, Mrs. Mary Holloway, physician and philanthropist, born near Crawfordsville, MARY HOLLOWAY WILHITE A woman of the century (page 784 crop).jpgMARY HOLLOWAY WILHITE. Ind., 3rd February. 1831, and died 8th February, 1892. Her maiden name was Mary Mitchell Holloway. Her father, Judge Washington Holloway, a native of Kentucky, was one of the pioneers of Crawfordsville. Her mother was Elizabeth King, of Virginia. When Mary was but seventeen years of age, her mother died. At an early age Mary Holloway developed strong traits of character. At the age of fifteen she united with the Christian Church, and she continued through life an earnest and active member. Wishing to be self-supporting, she engaged in school-teaching and sewing. Her thirst for knowledge led her to enter the medical profession. She studied and fitted herself unaided, and entered the Pennsylvania Medical College. Philadelphia, in 1854. She was graduated in 1856. She was the first Indiana woman to be graduated from a medical college. She was also the first woman in Indiana, as a graduate, to engage in the practice of medicine. Returning to Crawfordsville, she opened an office. On account of her sex she was debarred from membership in medical associations, but she went forward in a determined way and gained a popularity of which any physician might be proud. She made several important discoveries regarding the effects of medicine in certain diseases. Her greatest success was in treatment of women and children. In 1861 she became the wife of A. E. Wilhite, of Crawfordsville. an estimable gentleman, who, with two sons and two daughters, survives her. Three of their children died in infancy. With all her work in public life, Dr. Wilhite was domestic in her tastes and was a devoted wife and mother. She lived to see marked changes in public opinion in regard to the principles she maintained. Her counsel was sought, and her knowledge received due recognition. She was, in the true sense of the term, a philanthropist Her charity was broad and deep. She was especially interested in the welfare of young girls who were beset by temptations, and helped many such to obtain employment. She was unceasing in her warfare against the use of whiskey and tobacco. When employed as physician to the county almshouse, she was grieved at the condition of the children associated with the class of adult paupers, and she never rested until she had, with the help of others, established the county children's home. She was an advocate of woman's rights, even in childhood. In 1850 she canvassed for the first woman's rights paper published in America, the "Woman's Advocate," edited by Miss Anna McDowell, in Philadelphia. In 1869 she arranged for a convention, in which Mrs. Livermore, Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony were speakers. Subsequently she was a leading spirit in arranging meetings in the cause of the advancement of woman. She was a fluent and forcible writer, and contributed much to the press on the subjects which were near her heart. Her poetic nature found expression in verse, and she wrote many short poems.