Albion Interactive History / People / Elizabeth Palmer

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

Dr. Elizabeth Hamilton Palmer, 1852
First Woman School Board Member

    Died July 7, 1899

Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of a physician and surgeon, was born inRepublic, Ohio, on November 29, 1852. She married Frank E. Palmer a year before she finished medical school in 1882, at what became the University of Surgery and Medicine in Cleveland. Her husband had enlisted for the Civil War at age fifteen and served throughout that war. He was also a medical graduate of the same school.

The Palmers came to Albion in 1882 where they engaged in general practice for seventeen years. The Palmers built the house at 108 West Erie as a residence, office, and infirmary where they cared for seriously ill patients.

No night was too dark nor road too long to stand between Elizabeth and her duty. At the same time, she did not neglect her home and she took in young people who had lost their parents. Her popularity eclipsed that of her husband.

Elizabeth was a member of the executive committee of the E.L.T. Club and a member of the Board of Education, serving as its president at the time of her death. She was the first woman elected under the new Michigan law granting school suffrage to women.

She died on July 7, 1899, by her own hand in Brockway Woods, which is now known as Victory Park. After her death, Frank Palmer retired from medicine and entered public life, serving a term as Albion’s mayor.

Source: Albion Public Library, Local History Room

First woman school board member, served from 1891 to 1899.

From: Albion AAUW. Some Notable Women of the Albion Area. Albion, Michigan: American Association of University Women. 1998.

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