Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Jane Lord Hersom, 1840-1928


HERSOM, Mrs. Jane Lord, physician, born in Sanford, Me., 6th August, 1840. Her father and mother were of good English descent. She was educated in Springvale, Me., whither the family had removed. She began to teach before she was sixteen, going to school in the fall and winter and teaching in the summer. In 1865, when twentyfive years of age, she became the wife of Dr. N. A. Hersom. He took his bride to Farmington, N. H., where they settled. In 1862 Dr. Hersom had entered the army as an assistant surgeon, was promoted to first surgeon, and afterwards had charge of a field hospital. After the war he began a laborious country practice. His strength soon gave way so as to necessitate a vacation of five years. He then resumed work and established himself in Portland, Me., where he soon acquired a practice which demanded all his time and energies. In 1881 Dr. Hersom went abroad for needed rest and died in Dublin, Ireland, one week after landing. Mrs. Hersom had read medical works to her husband during his sickness, and, enjoying them, continued to read when the need was past. Her husband had been aware of her special fitness, and had often told her she would make a fine physician. The knowledge of his confidence in her abilities acted as a stimulus, and with characteristic energy she began her studies with Prof. S. H. Weeks, of Portland, Me. In 1883 she entered the Woman's Medical College in Philadelphia. After her graduation from that institution she began work in Portland, planning only for a small office practice. Her desires have been far more than realized. She has had a large and increasing practice from the first. She was elected physician of the Temporary Home for Women and Children, in Portland, which position she held for four years, until she was obliged to resign in order to attend properly to her other duties. She is a member of the American Medical Association, the State and County Medical Societies and also of the Practitioner's Club, of which she was elected president for 1892. She is an active member of the Woman's Suffrage Association. She became a woman suffragist through her experience as a student and physician. One of her children died in infancy, and one daughter is living.

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