Lansing, MI (Residence of Dr. L. Anna Ballard, 312 N. Capitol Avenue)
5Y J6YJ(First woman physician in Lansing) (1910) (Ingham County)
- Contributed by Paul Petosky
Dr. L. Anna Ballard, Who Died Recently, Active Pioneer Here
First Woman Physician in City Associated with Leading Doctors
Appreciation of the life of Dr. L. Anna Ballard, who died a few days ago
at the age of 86, is contained in a sketch sent to The State Journal by a
close friend. She was Lansing's first woman physician.
the biography, Doctor Ballard was born in Lansing in 1848, which was the
year in which the legislature first met here in the old so-called
"temporary" capitol, the capital having been moved from Detroit to Lansing
township by legislative action the year previous.
The Lansing woman
who was to make a name for herself as a doctor in the state during her
active years, attended the public school here and later went to the
Michigan Female college, conducted by the Rogers sisters, A. C. and Deliah,
on the site new occupied by the Michigan School for the Blind. As a matter
of fact, though the sketch did not mention it, the original building for
the early "college," forms the nucleus for the present institution.
Miss Ballard's parents, who had migrated north the year she was born, lived
in one of Lansing's early business sections, on the east bank of the Grand
river, where East Main street now intersects South Cedar street. This is
part of "Upper Town"; the oterh business section, now informally termed
"North Lansing," was "Lower Town." Miss Ballard studied medicine at
the University of Michigan, continuing her work in a women's hospital in
Chicago. This was followed by a period in which she was in charge of the
drug store of a Doctor Topping, a brother-in-law, at DeWitt, with whom she
studied medicine further.
In 1869 and '70, she was a teacher in
Central high school, but 10 years later, having completed her medical
studies, commenced the practice of medicine in Lansing. Doctor Ballard was
a successful physician, winning the respect and friendship of her
contemporaries, especially Dr. Hulbert B. Shank (father of Dr. Rush J.
Shank, another well known local doctor of a later day), and Dr. J. W.
Active in civic matters as well as those touching on her
own profession, Doctor Ballard was identified with the work of her church,
the Y.W.C.A., the W.C.T.U., and Woman's club, and the Industrial Aid
society. She was influential in the organization of the first Lansing
Medical society. One of her addresses on a medical subject, before the
joint meeting of the judiciary committees of the legislative house and
senate, was considered so outstanding that a leading lawyer of the upper
house had the speech printed in pamphlet form and distributed to lawyers
Mary B. DeLamarter, associate of Doctor Ballard
as a teacher in Central high school in the early '70s, wrote a poem in
memory of the late doctor, which was red at the funeral services.
Source: Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michgan) 29 Aug 1934
Dr. L. Anna Ballard Obituary can be found