Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, 1867-1941
By Makenzie Ozycz
Undergraduate Student, Central Connecticut State University
Kate Campbell Hurd was born in Danville, Quebec, Canada on April 6,, 1887, but spent most of her adult life living in Middletown, Connecticut. Her parents were Dr. Edward Payson Hurd and Sarah Elizabeth (Campbell) Hurd.
Before settling in Connecticut, she attended the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1885, and received her medical degree in 1888. After receiving her M.D., she interned at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston.
Hurd then travelled internationally before returning to America and settling in Baltimore in 1890, where she worked as the Medical Director at the Bryn Mawr School for Girls; she taught with physical education and administered examinations. At the same time, she worked with Dr. Alice Hall and created the Evening Dispensary for Working Women and Girls.
She stayed in Baltimore until 1893, when she married William Edward Mead and the couple moved to Middletown, Connecticut. Hurd-Mead continued to work in Middletown. She became the consulting gynecologist at the hospital from 1907 until 1925. In this period, she joined the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association and the Connecticut League of Women Voters. During World War I she served as a member of the Connecticut State Council of Defense.
In addition to being the consulting gynecologist, Hurd-Mead helped organize the Middletown District Nurses Association, became vice president of the State Medical Society of Connecticut, president of the American Medical Women's Association, and organizer of the Medical Women's International Association. She was devoted to all of these causes and worked tirelessly until retirement in 1925.
After retirement, Hurd-Mead traveled around the world to learn more about the history of women in medicine. In these years she visited London, Europe, Asia, and Africa. When Dr. Hurd-Mead returned to Connecticut in 1929 she used the information she had collected during her travels to write two books, Medical Women of America and A History of Women in Medicine.
Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead died in 1941 at the age of 73.
The Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute (Harvard University) houses Papers of Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead. Several works about Dr. Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead's career are accessible on the National Institute of Health's website (https://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?query=%22Hurd+Mead%22&v%3Aproject=nlm-main-website). See also Carole Nichols, Votes and More for Women: Suffrage and After in Connecticut (New York: Haworth Press, 1983), p. 78.