Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Dr. Jane Lord Hersom, 1840-1928

By Sue McNelly, independent historian

Dr. Jane Lord Hersom

A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life (1893) p. 375. Edited by Frances Elizabeth Willard and Mary Ashton Livermore. For the 1897 edition, click here.

Jane Lord was born in Sanford, Maine on 6 August 1840. She was the daughter of Samuel Lord and Sophia Hight Smith. The Lord family had long been in the state of Maine with Jane Lord's great grandfather one of the early settlers. On 25 November 1865, Jane Lord married Nahum A. Hersom, who was a physician, having graduated in 1861. In 1872 the couple moved to Portland, Maine where Dr. Nahum Hersom built a thriving practice.

Jane and her husband had two children, but only one, a daughter born in October 1875, was living in 1900. The 1900 U.S. census shows Jane Hersom, physician, aged 59 with her daughter, Mabel L. Hersom, aged 24, living at 106 Pine Street, Portland, Maine.

In the Spring of 1882, Dr. Nahum Hersom travelled to Europe but upon arriving in Dublin, Ireland was taken ill and died.

Jane Lord Hersom began her medical studies shortly after the death of her husband in 1882. She studied at the Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia and graduated with her certificate in 1886. In Maine, many women had the opportunity to advance their education and Jane Lord Hersom was among many professional women who were affiliated with the suffrage movement. Always interested in the advancement of woman, Dr. Jane Hersom served as Treasurer of the Maine Suffrage Association in 1891, and later as a Director in 1897. She also served for 3 years as President of the Equal Suffrage Club of Portland.

Dr. Jane Lord Hersom died at the age of 88, on 28 Nov 1928 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, Maine.


1900 U.S. census, Cumberland County, Maine, population schedule, Portland, enumeration district (ED) 73, p. 3B (penned), dwelling 62, family 77, Jane L. Hersom; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 28 November 2017) from National Archives microfilm T623, roll 591.

iographical Review, Cumberland County, Maine; Jane Lord Hersom, M.D., Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1896; pages 275-76; RaynorShyn ( : accessed 22 November 2017).

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 11 November 2017), memorial page for Dr. Jane Lord Hersom (died 1928), Find A Grave Memorial no. 89218296, citing Evergreen cemetery, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine.

Maine, Pre-1892 Delayed Returns, Maine State Archives, Augusta; Ancestry ( : accessed 11 November 2017), marriage of Jane S. Lord and Nahum A. Hersom,25 November 1865.

Risk, Shannon M., "'In Order to Establish Justice': The Nineteenth-Century Woman Suffrage Movements of Maine and New Brunswick" (2009) Electronic Thesis and Dissertations. 181.

Susan B. Anthony, Ida Husted Harper, The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV (Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1902), Part 92, Chapter XLIII; digital images, Project Gutenberg ( : accessed 12 November 2017).

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