Woman of the Century/Julia Holmes Smith
SMITH, Mrs. Julia Holmes, physician, born in Savannah, Ga., 23rd December, 1839. Her father was Willis Holmes, of South Carolina, a descendant of an old English family well known as planters in that Slate and Alabama. On her mother's side her grandfather was Capt. George Raynall Turner, of the United States navy. The early life of Miss Holmes was spent in New Orleans. JULIA HOLMES SMITH. Her education was entrusted to a maiden aunt. Miss Turner, who taught the child to read before she was four years old. Passing from the care of her aunt, the girl was sent to the famous seminary conducted by Gorham D. Abbott in Union Square, New York, under the name of the Spingler Institute. There she was graduated at the age of eighteen, and after one year in society became the wife of Waldo Abbott, oldest son of the historian, John S. C. Abbott In 1864 her husband died, leaving her with one son. Willis John Abbott. The widowed mother labored for the next eight years to support herself and her child by literary and journalistic work and teaching. In 1872 she became the wife of Sabin Smith, of New London, Conn., and removed to Boston, where she was first attracted toward the profession in which she has been so successful. Happening to summon a physician to treat a slight cold, she met for the first time a woman practicing medicine. The physician was Prof. Mary B. Jackson, who was at that time past seventy years old and an honored member of the faculty of the Boston University School of Medicine. So much impressed was Mrs. Smith by the character and profession of Dr. Jackson that she soon turned toward the same calling. Holding high ideals of womankind, it has always been the boast of Dr. Smith that, although receiving careful teaching during her life from many distinguished persons, her career was shaped by two women, the one in childhood inculcating a taste for study, and the other later in life directing that taste toward a profession, the practice of which has given her a national reputation. She began her professional education in Boston University School of Medicine in 1873. There she remained three years, but, her husband's business calling the family to Chicago, she was graduated in 1877 from the Chicago Homeopathic College, and has been in practice in that city ever since. She has been active in the intellectual work of the women of that city. She is a member of the Fortnightly and was for two years its secretary Of the Woman's Club, one of the foremost institutions of its kind in the country, she was thrice elected president. She has long been a prominent member of the Association for the Advancement of Women. She was the organizer and first president of the Woman's Medical Association, the only society of the kind in America. Other organizations of a professional character with which Dr. Smith is allied are the American Institute of Homeopathy, of one of the bureaus of which she is the secretary, the Academy of Physicians and Surgeons, the Illinois Homeopathy Association, and the board of directors of the Illinois Training School for Nurses, in which she is a lecturer. In literary work Dr. Smith has always been active. Her articles upon literary and general topics have appeared in publications of the highest class and are quite numerous. Of her purely professional publications, two are worth special reference. In 1889 she contributed to the New York "Ledger" a series of articles on "Common Sense in the Nursery." which met general approval. She is the only woman who contributed to "Arndt's System of Medicine," her share in that work, which is a generally accepted authority, being something more than one-hundred pages on medical topics. Dr. Smith is active in social life in Chicago, despite the heavy demands that her practice puts upon her.