Photographs of St. Luke’s Hospital Nursing School Photographs, 1884-1886
Scope and Contents
This collection is of four mounted sepia photographs measuring: 10.5 x 15 cm, 10.5 x 18 cm, 13 x 21.5 cm, 19.5 x 24 cm in mylar envelopes.
- Majority of material found within 1885-1886
- St. Luke's Hospital (Bethlehem, Pa.) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection is open for research.
Biographical / Historical
St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania established a Training School for Nurses December 1, 1884. Dr. William Estes, director of the hospital, appointed Miss M. J. Merritt from Bellevue Hospital, New York City (first nursing school in the U.S.) as the first principal (Superintendent) for the nursing program. The school provided nurses primarily for the hospital but a few of the graduates went on for special training or to serve at the Robert Packer Hospital at Sayre, PA. When the school opened in 1884, it is reported to have had two pupils but in 1886 reports to have admitted 12, its third year of existance 1887 had 21 admitted. In 1887 the school had a total of nine graduates (photographs in collection). The 12th Annual Report of the Executive Committee of St. Luke’s Hospital in 1885 makes first mention of information about a training school for nurses. The 13th Annual Report of 1886 actually lists the first graduating class of three students - these three students are among the students in the collection’s photographs: Mary Augusta “Camp” Camp from Brooklyn, N.Y., Minnie Agnes “Grandmother” Ernst, Bethlehem, PA., and Minerva Anna “Doc” Jordan, Riegelsville, PA.. In 1887 six nursing students were graduated and they are also in the photographs: Carrie “Harty” DeHart, Easton, PA., Ernestine “Taps” Huebener, Bethlehem, PA., Annie Louise “Tunes” Malthaner, Bethlehem, PA., Emma Jane “Spocken” Spogen, Bethlehem, PA., Cornelia Bush “Wixie” Wicks, Liberty Fall, N.Y., Mahida Vestilla “Yosty” Yost, Bethlehem, PA. By 1888, Miss M. J. Merritt has been replaced by Mrs. M. S. Banks as principal with no mention made of Miss Merritt’s leaving, 1889 J. A. Hopkins is principal, 1890 F. E. Buxton is principal. St. Luke’s Hospital opened its doors in October 1873 as an emergency facility for treatment of the industrial and railroad accidents in the Lehigh Valley. By 1883 the institution had advanced to increased treatment of general diseases thereby gaining the rank as a general hospital - the only one between Philadelphia and New York. This progress necessitated the need for well trained nurses. The nurses in St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nurses received two years training before receiving a diploma. Throughout the years St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing has gained a fine reputation for educating qualified nurses.
1 Linear Feet (Flat Box) : 4 items
Language of Materials
Four sepia photographs of the first class of student nurses in St. Luke’s Hospital Training School for Nurses, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Dr. William Estes, director of the hospital, appointed Miss M. J. Merritt from Bellevue Hospital in New York City as the first principal of St. Luke’s Hospital Training School for Nurses. This school for nurses was the fourth school established in the United States. Bellevue was the first such school. In the 1870s St. Luke’s Hospital was the only hospital between Philadelphia and New York equipped to treat industrial and railroad accident emergencies. Ten years later the hospital increased it services to include general treatment of both male and female patients necessitating the need for more nurses.
The materials are arranged by format.
- Photographs of St. Luke’s Hospital Nursing School Photographs, 1884-1886
- Eleanor Nothelfer
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA