Woman of the Century/Sarah C. Hall
HALL, Mrs. Sarah C, physician, born on a farm in Madison county, N. Y., 15th August, 1832, of parents of mixed English and Irish extraction. Her maiden name was Larkin. She is collaterally related to Commodore Perry. Her family were Quakers, and she was educated in the society and wore its peculiar dress until she was a young woman. At the age of sixteen years she began to teach school and boarded round, which she continued to do till her marriage with E. J. Hall, in 1853. After marriage they moved to Indianapolis, Ind., where she took a prominent part in organized charity work. She also taught in city schools at times till she took up the study of medicine. Her own tastes would have led her to the law, but the influence of her family doctor, J. T. Boyd, who urged upon her the great necessity for women physicians and offered his services as her preceptor, decided her course. Except from him she received but little encouragement in her new departure. Her preparatory SARAH C. HALL. studies were made while caring for her two children and doing all her own house-work and sewing, and in 1867 she entered the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, from which she was graduated in 1870. She was one of the class which, in November, 1869. was hissed and insulted by the male students at the first Pennsylvania hospital clinic to which women were admitted, ignored by the lecturers, and followed and almost mobbed on the streets. The mere mention of such an occurrence now serves to show the advance of public opinion, but even at the time it caused a reaction in favor of women in medicine In 1870 Dr. Hall went with her family to Fort Scott. Kans., where they now reside. She was one of the very first regularly qualified women physicians to practice in that State. At first pointed out to the curious on the street as "that woman doctor," frequently asked if her fees were not lower than a man's "because she was a woman," and for the same excellent reason rejected as a proposed charter member of the County Medical Society, she has met with sufficient success to see those things changed. After invitations related for several years, she lately became a member of the present County Medical Society, chiefly to countenance with her company a young woman doctor, who had just begun practice in the city and wished to join the society. She has long been a member of the State Medical Society, holds the position of medical examiner to several insurance orders of standing, and lately became a member of the American Medical Association. Although necessarily making her profession her chief task, Dr. Hall is an active member of the Eastern Star and Woman's Relief Corps, in both of which she has held high office, while her heart and soul are especially given to her labors for equal rights. Her Quaker ancestry gave her a hereditary bias toward the equality of women, and her up-bringing never taught her that it could be even questioned. Her attention was first called to the need for its public recognition, when she received eight dollars a month and board for teaching the same school for which a man had the season before received twenty-four dollars a month and board, although the whole district declared her work to be better than his. Later and wider experience has only deepened her conviction of the necessity and justice of women standing men's equal in all things before the law. She attended many of the early suffrage conventions, both national and local. After moving to Kansas she was at first identified with suffrage work only in her own city, but during the campaign for municipal suffrage, in 1886 and 18S7, she came prominently forward in the State councils, and she has seldom since lost an opportunity to aid wherever possible. She has also been several times on the executive committee of the National and National American Woman's Suffrage Associations. In 1SS8 she was elected to sene a three-year term on the Port Scott school board. The suffragists of Kansas greatly desired that she should be one of their State's Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition, but the matter was unfortunately not brought forward till too late.