Woman of the Century/Flora L. Aldrich
FLORA L. ALDRICH. ALDRICH, Mrs. Flora L., doctor of medicine, born in Westford, N. Y., 6th October. 1859. Her maiden name was Southard. Her father was a farmer, and her childhood was spent on a farm known as "Sutherland Place." Her paternal ancestors were among the original Dutch settlers of the Hudson river valley at Kinderhook and Hudson. Among them are the names of Hoffman and Hubbard. Of the Southard family little is known, as the great-grandfather was an adopted child of a Hudson merchant and could remember only that his name was Southard, and that he was stolen from a port in England. From all that can be gathered he is believed to be of good English family, and probably Southworth was the original name. Her maternal ancestors were of the Sutherland family, who have a clear connection with the nobility of England and Scotland. Her early education was conducted almost entirely by her mother, who ranked among the educated women of her day. Before Flora was eleven years old she could trace nearly every constellation of stars, and knew the names and characteristics of flowers, insects, and birds in that section of her native State. When she was in her twelfth year her mother died, and her education subsequently was academic and by instruction under private teachers. When eighteen years old she was an advanced scholar in many branches. Interest in the sick and suffering was uppermost in her mind, and her chosen life-work would have been that of a missionary. Her marriage with Dr. A. G. Aldrich, of Adams, Mass., in 1883 resulted in her beginning immediately the study of medicine and surgery. A year later they removed to Anuka, Minn., where they now reside. She was graduated in 1887 from the old Minnesota Medical College, now the Medical Department of the State University, and has since taken post-graduate courses in the best schools in this country. She is now preparing for a course of study in Europe. In addition to her professional attainments, Dr. Aldrich has talent as a writer, and has nearly ready for publication a volume of almost two-hundred poems. In religious belief she is Episcopalian. Though exceedingly busy in her profession, both as physician and surgeon, in social life and the literary and scientific world, she is at the head of several literary and social organizations, and is greatly interested in charitable and philanthropic work.