|Upcoming DHS Events|
BROWN BAG LUNCH:
WILD WOMEN OF THE WEST
Presented by: Ann Shelton
Sponsored by: Clampitt Paper
Wednesday, March, 10th Noon-1:00pm
DISCOVERING DALLAS' HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS
Saturday, March 13th, 9 AM-2 PM
Tour Guide: Mike Hazel. Cost: $50/non members, $40/members.Lunch: Dixie House,Lakewood.
Saturday, March 27th, 9 AM-3 PM
Tour Guide: Juanita Gonzalez Cost: $60/non members, $55/members.Lunch: TBA
Until I came to work for the Dallas Historical Society, I had never been in the Collections Department of a museum. I assumed that the place would be full of historic "stuff" --a suit of armor here and old portrait there. There is some of that, of course, but mostly the place is full of boxes, hundreds of them, all neatly numbered and catalogued, each quietly protecting some particle of our past. For a historian like me, opening one of these boxes is like opening a Christmas present. Every one contains some kind of treasure.
Recently, one of the boxes was opened and a WWI uniform was taken out to be readied for an exhibit. We have many uniforms so this one did not attract much of my attention, until I noticed that it was a woman's uniform and a doctor's at that. That piqued my curiosity about the woman who had worn this uniform, so I copied down the accession number and went to our files.
The uniform belonged to May Agnes Hopkins, M.D, (1883-1972). Dr. Hopkins, a native of Austin, was the only Texas woman doctor to serve in France during WWI, assigned to the Smith College unit of the Red Cross. Some of us may not fully appreciate what an accomplishment that was for a woman to become a doctor but remember that women did not get the right the vote in national elections until 1920.
One of the first battles of the American Expeditionary Forces in France was during the German assault on Chateau-Thierry. This particularly bloody fight was part of the battle of the Marne, July 15 to August 6, 1918. Dr. Hopkins took charge of evacuating wounded American soldiers and moving them to safety behind the lines. She later became a medical leader in the southern zone of France where she assisted in establishing children's hospitals and provided care to repatriated children after the war.
When the Great War ended, Dr. Hopkins returned to Dallas and resumed her pediatric and endocrinology practice. She opened clinics for children and unwed mothers, was one of the first doctors to inspect milk for the city of Dallas and served on the staff of Baylor Hospital. She also taught at the Baylor University College of Medicine. Dr. Hopkins belonged to several professional organizations including the Dallas County Medical Society, the American Medical Women's Association, the American Medical Association, and the Texas Medical Association. Dr. Hopkins continued her practice until just before her death in 1972.
In past newsletters I have wrongly referred to some of the items in our collection as the "odds and ends" of Dallas history. But I see, now, that our collection is more like the pieces of a quilt. We stitch together an old uniform here, a portrait there, add in thousands of photographs or a famous watch, or an ancient table, and the story of how Dallas grew evolves for us to share with anyone who wants to know how we came to be in this place.