Health care in early Arizona was hardly reliable and frequently nonexistent. Often, settlers were on their own when tragedy struck with women taking on the responsibility for the well-being of their families. And if women were considered incapable of earning the title “Doctor,” they could certainly save souls. Meet a handful of women who influenced the history of the territory through their medical expertise and their spiritual leadership. Theresa Ferrin’s comprehensive understanding of healing herbs earned her the title “Angel of Tucson.” Florence Yount is recognized as Prescott’s first woman physician while Teresita Urrea was sometimes lionized for her hands-on healing powers. Saint Katharine Drexel invested much of her vast fortune in educating Navajo children. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet trudged across the blazing desert enduring untold hardships before arriving safely in the territory to administer to the health and well-being of the children of the desert.
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ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Award-winning author, historian, and lecturer Jan Cleere writes extensively about the desert southwest, particularly the people who first settled the territory. She is a magna cum laude graduate of ASU West with a degree is American Studies, and the author of six historical nonfiction books about the people who first ventured west. She lectures around the state about early pioneers who were instrumental in colonizing and civilizing Arizona Territory. Jan writes a monthly column for Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star, “Western Women,” detailing the lives of some of Arizona’s early amazing women. Her freelance work appears in national and regional publications.