Mary Telford (Jewett) (1839 - 1906)

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Death: Died in Hinsdale, Illinois
Managed by: Elizabeth-Gaye Jeans
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About Mary Telford (Jewett)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Jewett_Telford

Mary Jewett Telford (March 18, 1839 - August 5, 1906)[1] was a humanitarian who worked as a nurse at Hospital No. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee, during the American Civil War. In her later years, Mary was a published author, editor of numerous journals, lecturer on the temperance circuit and charter member of the Woman's Relief Corps, an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic.

Mary Jewett Telford was born in Seneca, New York on March 18, 1839.[1] Accessed November, 2009 Mary’s father and mother, Dr. Lester Jewett and Hannah Southwick Jewett, were already parents to five children. After Mary’s birth, another four children would join the clan. The Jewetts lost infants Ruth and Oakley within days of each in 1846, probably of diphtheria or scarlet fever. After their burial at Old No. 9 Cemetery in Seneca,[2] the family made the decision to move to Lima, Michigan, to be closer to Lester’s brothers who had migrated there in the 1820s. In Lima, Lester built a cobblestone house that stands today.[3] Nathan Jewett, Mary’s youngest sibling, was born in Lima.

By the age of 14, Mary was teaching in the district school. Later, she spent one year teaching at Morganfield, Kentucky, before returning home to Michigan. It was there that her younger brother, William T. Jewett, enlisted in the 4th Michigan Cavalry.[4] Four months later, William was dead from typhoid fever. Then Mary’s elder brother, Edward Jewett, joined the 124th Ohio Infantry.[4] Mary longed to assist the soldiers convalescing from their wounds. Although she was denied a nursing position by the U.S. Sanitary Commission because she was too young, Mary persisted. Michigan Governor Austin Blair, a friend of her father’s, gave her a special permit and Mary was off to war.[5] Working at Hospital No. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee, must have been exhausting for the young nurse who, for eight months, was the sole woman in the hospital occupied by six hundred soldiers.

Mary did her best to keep up with the requests for water and the calls for assistance of all kinds. One of Mary’s duties was likely to have been the writing of letters for young men incapable of doing so themselves due to illness or injury. How many letters did Mary write? The answer is lost to history. We do know that, on more than one occasion, soldiers sought her out many years after the war to thank her for being their angel during those dark days of war. Mary was a strong woman, but even she could not withstand the constant lack of sleep and the strain of the stair climbing from ward to ward. After a year, Mary left the nursing job she loved, shattered in health and spirits.By the age of 14, Mary was teaching in the district school. Later, she spent one year teaching at Morganfield, Kentucky, before returning home to Michigan. It was there that her younger brother, William T. Jewett, enlisted in the 4th Michigan Cavalry.[4] Four months later, William was dead from typhoid fever.

Then Mary’s elder brother, Edward Jewett, joined the 124th Ohio Infantry.[4] Mary longed to assist the soldiers convalescing from their wounds. Although she was denied a nursing position by the U.S. Sanitary Commission because she was too young, Mary persisted. Michigan Governor Austin Blair, a friend of her father’s, gave her a special permit and Mary was off to war.[5] Working at Hospital No. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee, must have been exhausting for the young nurse who, for eight months, was the sole woman in the hospital occupied by six hundred soldiers. Mary did her best to keep up with the requests for water and the calls for assistance of all kinds. One of Mary’s duties was likely to have been the writing of letters for young men incapable of doing so themselves due to illness or injury. How many letters did Mary write? The answer is lost to history. We do know that, on more than one occasion, soldiers sought her out many years after the war to thank her for being their angel during those dark days of war. Mary was a strong woman, but even she could not withstand the constant lack of sleep and the strain of the stair climbing from ward to ward. After a year, Mary left the nursing job she loved, shattered in health and spirits.

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Mary Telford's Timeline

1839
1839
1864
1864
Age 25
1906
1906
Age 67
Hinsdale, Illinois
????
South Perinton Cemetery in Perinton, New York.