In Part II, I described Theresa Pake’s high school and college education, but although she was 25 years old and had had a great deal of education for a young woman of her time, she wasn’t satisfied.
Her next step was to attend nursing school at the Kalamazoo State Hospital. I’ve written here about how my great-great-grandfather Richard DeKorn built the historic landmark water tower at the state hospital.
Here is an engraving of the hospital circa 1863:
The Michigan Asylum for the Insane was built in 1859, the water tower in 1895, and, in 1911, was renamed the Kalamazoo State Hospital. According to internet sources, nurse’s training was a pioneering program (perhaps started in 1906? I’m not certain), and Theresa would have been there during a vibrant period for the program. After Theresa left Asbury College, she began training as a nurse and graduated in 1925. On May 15, 1925, Theresa was registered by the state.
Notice the pin she wears in this graduation portrait. She actually received two pins. One says “Kalamazoo State Hospital” and the other has the initials KSTS for Kalamazoo State Nursing School.
Here is Theresa with a classmate or coworker sitting outside the hospital. The caps they wear do not yet have the black stripe that is on Theresa’s graduation cap. Also, I wonder if the pinafore style uniform is an example of a student nurse costume.
And here Theresa sits alone:
Theresa’s career as a nurse meant that she worked hard her whole life. She was employed as a private duty nurse for many years. She also worked at Beloit Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin:
After graduating with a nursing degree, Theresa was free to begin her life with a career, quite a feat for a young woman in 1925.