Elizabeth Degen Bushman, Midwife in Lehi, Utah

Degen, Elizabeth portrait

From History of Lehi, pp. 523-524

Doctors, Nurses, Midwives and Hospitals

The first midwife to practice in Lehi was Lucy Smith Cox Dawson. She was a distant relative of the Prophet Joseph Smith (her maiden name was Smith). She was the wife of Daniel Cox with whom-she lived in the first fort at Sulphur Springs in the winter of 1850-51. Here, in a wagon box, she gave birth to a son, the first white child born in Lehi. In her day and generation she was the most popular and successful midwife in Lehi.

During the forty years, 1850 to 1891, she helped bring into this world over 1,100 babies with very few mishaps. Her usual charge was $1.50 which paid for the delivery and the care of the mother for two weeks. Very, very often she received nothing for her work, but undaunted she never refused to go when called.

Another early and successful midwife was Johannah (Grandma) Jacobs, as she was called. She was a Norwegian lady and the grandmother of about all the Jacobs families who lived in Lehi. Her time was 1852-1870. She also was popular in her day.

Time and space will not permit us to go into detail for all of these grand women, but this record would not be complete without the following list of names, many of whom not only did a splendid job of nursing among the sick and the afflicted, but in that day when we were without undertakers, these fine women went into the homes during times of diphtheria epidemics, etc., and washed and laid out the dead and prepared them for burial. If we miss any who helped in this great work we offer now our apology: Mrs, Elizabeth Bushman, Mrs. Martha Southwick, Mrs. Edwards, Mrs. Henry Simmons, Mrs. Lydia Jane Titcomb, Mrs. Alice Steele, Mrs. Kate Allred, Mrs. Mary Long, Mrs. Annie Goates, Mrs. Bateman, Mrs. Vilate Sharp, and perhaps many others.

Elizabeth Degen Bushman was born 12 September 1802 in Holstein, Switzerland.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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1 Response to Elizabeth Degen Bushman, Midwife in Lehi, Utah

  1. Lynn B. Barlow, MD says:

    No amount of praise can be truly given in admiration to these women and others who braved the weather, tragedy, exhausting duty in caring for their charges. May God bless and reward them for their selfless dedication to His children. I say their reward should be unlimited.

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