Woman of the Century/Martha George Ripley
RIPLEY, Mrs. Martha George, physician, born in Lowell, Vt., 30th November, 1843. She MARTHA GEORGE RIPLEY. was the oldest of rive children. Her paternal ancestors came over in the Mayflower. Her maternal grandfather was Scotch, and served in the Revolutionary War. Her mother, Esther A. George, a woman of fine intellectual powers, became the wife of Francis Rogers. One of the first to be interested in the anti-slavery movement, she was also a pioneer in the temperance cause. Dr. Ripley's father was a man of character and ability. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers left Vermont, when Martha was eleven months old, and settled in northwestern Iowa. There she grew up. Hungry for knowledge, she availed herself of every advantage the country' offered, and acquired a substantial education. When the war of the rebellion broke out, her deepest interests were enlisted in the struggle. Too young to go as a hospital nurse, she found an outlet for her sympathies and activities in work for the United States Sanitary Commission. Endowed with a natural aptitude for teaching, she worked several years in the school-room. June 25th, 1867, she became the wife of William W. Ripley. Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Ripley removed to Massachusetts, where they lived for thirteen years. The science of medicine had always been a subject of deep interest to her. Even before she thought of obtaining a thorough education, she devoted much time to that study. Mr. Ripley's health becoming impaired by close application to business, his wife felt a new desire for proficiency in medical science, and in 1880 entered the Boston University School of Medicine. At her graduation in 1883 she was pronounced by the faculty one of the most thorough medical students who had ever received a diploma from the university. Soon after, she settled in Minneapolis, Minn. There her medical knowledge and skill have brought her reputation and an extensive and lucrative practice. In her large practice she very soon saw the need of a temporary home for a certain class of patients. Maternity Hospital, founded by her, and for several months carried on by her unaided efforts, has risen in response to that need. Her work in its behalf has continued earnest and constant. She is now attendant physician of the institution and one of its board of 'directors. A born reformer, her zeal for human rights has grown more ardent with years. Deeply interested in the enfranchisement of woman and in temperance, she has done valiant service for both causes, devoting to them all the time not required by family and professional duties. The center of a happy home, where three young daughters are growing up to inherit her health of body and of mind as well as her earnest, progressive spirit, she proves that in devotion to outside interests she has not forgotten the more sacred ones of her own household. Elected president of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association in 1883. she served in that capacity for six years. An earnest advocate of that cause, and an effective speaker and writer, she has done good work in helping to bring many unjust laws into harmony with the higher civilization of the present day and the golden rule of christianity.