Professional Women of 1909, Part 6

This series has covered women who ran boarding houses, worked as hairdressers, artists, principals, and lawyers.  Here are the next five women listed in the 1909 business directory for the city of Sioux Falls.  Todays list includes a dentist who attended Northwestern University, and a doctor who was arrested for manslaughter after an “illegal operation”…  Most of my information is gleaned from census and city directory information accessed through Ancestry.com, but general online research is done too.  Sources are cited in text.

Mrs. L.J. Price

Mrs. Price was included in the 1909 business directory as secretary of the Ladies History Club.  In 1906-1909, Loren Price was listed in the city directory as a traveling salesman, in 1906 for Brown Drug Co., but no occupation is listed for Ella [Sioux Falls City Directory (1906), 190, (1909), 221].  It appears Loren J. and Ella Price lived in Iowa and came to Sioux Falls only temporarily [Twelfth U.S. Census, ED #89 (June 8, 1900), 5; Thirteenth U.S. Census, ED #181 (April 26, 1910), sheet 12B; Sioux City Directory (1912), 489; Fourteenth U.S. Census, ED #216 (January 2, 1920), sheet 1B].  Loren Price and Ella Allen had married in Sutherland, Iowa in 1889 [Vol. 353, Iowa Department of Public Health. Iowa Marriage Records, 1923–37. Microfilm. Record Group 048. State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa].  Loren worked as a druggist/registered pharmacist for his entire career and remarried Flora Wonser in 1927 after Ella’s death the previous year [Obituary from Sutherland Courier (IA) 24 Oct 1940 on “Loren Joseph Price,” Find-a-Grave website; “Ella May Allen Price,” on Find-a-Grave website; Iowa, Marriages, 1809-1992. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013].

The Ladies History Club (now just the History Club) was founded in 1879 as a social benevolent club for women in Sioux Falls.  More on their history can be found on their website, linked here.


Mrs. M.C. Schwartz

Mrs. Mary C. Schwartz was listed in the 1909 business directory as a dentist.  Mary C. Martin was born in 1858 in Iowa [Thirteenth U.S. Census, ED #336 (April 15, 1910), sheet 1A; “Mary C. Schwartz,” on Find-a-Grave website].  She perhaps married a man named Harter.  In March 1893, she graduated from the dental school at Northwestern University in Chicago, one of two women in a class of twenty-eight [Quarterly Bulletin of the Dental School, Northwestern University , Alumni Number (1908), 41; Western Dental Journal 7 (April 1893), 189].  She married John Schwartz in 1897; John was a Swiss immigrant and also graduated from Northwestern in 1897 [Quarterly Bulletin, 41; Vol. 393, Iowa Department of Public Health. Iowa Marriage Records, 1923–37. Microfilm. Record Group 048. State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa].  They worked as dentists in Lime Creek, Washington Co., Iowa before coming to Sioux Falls [Twelfth U.S. Census, ED #117 (June 1900), 9].

Endnotes, Minutes of the Nineteenth Session of the Dakota Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Sheppard and Beavis, 1903.

Endnotes, Minutes of the Nineteenth Session of the Dakota Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Sheppard and Beavis, 1903.

She had a partnership with her husband John at 115 1/2 N. Phillips Ave, and then continued with her own office in the Emerson Block after his death in 1908 [Sioux Falls City Directory (1903), 210, (1906), 279, (1909), 310, (1910), 324, (1911), 289, 423, (1913), 455, (1916), 559, (1918), 396; “John Schwartz,” Find-a-Grave website].  They lived at 813 S. Main Ave. [Thirteenth U.S. Census, ED #336 (April 15, 1910), sheet 1A].  She had retired by 1920 and died in 1934 [Fourteenth U.S. Census, ED #182 (January 2, 1920), sheet 1B; “Mary C. Schwartz,” on Find-a-Grave website].  John and Mary were buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls.

Some further reading:


Mabel Shakstad, secretary, Bob and Nels Clothing Co.

Mabel was listed in the 1909 business directory as a secretary at Bob and Nels Clothing Co.  Mabel B. Shakstad was born in about 1886 in South Dakota to Norwegian-immigrant parents; her father worked as a carpenter [Twelfth U.S. Census, ED #346 (April 28, 1910), sheet 15A].  She was not listed with a profession in 1904 [Sioux Falls City Directory (1904), 212].  She worked at Bob and Nels Clothing as a cashier for several years while living with her family at 310 S. Walts Ave. [Sioux Falls City Directory (1906), 211, (1911), 292].  Her brother Oscar P. started the Shakstad Electric Company [Sioux Falls City Directory (1910), 252].  I can’t seem to find much else about Mabel…

The Bob and Nels Clothing company was founded by R.E. Vreeland and Nels Arnston in about 1891 and was a men’s clothing store, presumably catering to Norwegian immigrant customers (based on owners’ names…) [Kingsbury, v.4 (1915), biography of later store president Peter Morstad].


Eva Shreve

Eva Shreve was listed in the 1909 business directory as a physician.  Eva Phillips was born in August 1865 in Pennsylvania [Twelfth U.S. Census, ED #260 (June 1, 1900), 1]..  She married Franklin Shreve in Detroit in 1884, who was also a doctor, she attended medical school in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Chicago, and they came to South Dakota in 1899 [Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Montana Business Gazetteer (1906), 2280; 1900 census; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics via Ancestry.com; SD State Census, 1925].  In 1900, other members of the household at 101 E. 10th St. included their daughter Goldie, Eva’s mother, a physician from Ohio, Lawyer M. Bickmore (b.1848), and an African-American nurse, Fannie Oliver, from Mississippi (b. 1868).  In 1900 and 1906, there were 2-3 other women working as physicians or osteopaths in Sioux Falls [Sioux Falls City Directory (1900), 216-217, (1906), 302-303].  She continued working as a physician and surgeon for decades after her husband’s death in 1905, eventually with an office on Phillips Avenue [Sioux Falls City Directory (1906), 213, (1910), 255, (1912), 302, (1916), 394, (1935), 437, (1942), 296].

Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Montana Business Gazetteer, 1906, p2280.

Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Montana Business Gazetteer, 1906, p2280.

Sioux Falls City Directory (1910), 255.

Sioux Falls City Directory (1910), 255.

In 1914, Dr. Shreve-Hawkins was arrested for manslaughter in a malpractice case that claimed she undertook an illegal operation on Mrs. C.J. Giles that resulted in her death after other physicians came and took her to a local hospital [Hot Springs Weekly Star (SD), May 8, 1914 via chroniclingamerica.loc.gov].   — In searching “illegal operation” online for that time period, it seems to have been a euphemism for abortion.  If you have any ideas about that point, please let me know.  I may have to get into the archives to get more information on this intriguing news item…

Frank had attended medical school in Cincinnati, was licensed in SD in 1897 and in Indiana in 1901, died in 1905, and was buried in Sioux Falls [“Franklin Shreve,” Find-a-Grave website].  For some reason, Eva is listed in the 1905 state census and the 1910 federal census as “divorced.”  Her daughter Goldie died in 1911 [“Golda Shreve,” Find-a-Grave website].  She possibly married a man named Hawkins–her name was hyphenated starting in about 1912.  Eva died in 1949 and was buried at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Sioux Falls [“Dr. Eva Shreve Hawkins,” Find-a-Grave website].


Mrs. M.L. Stepp

Mrs. Stepp was listed in the 1909 business directory as a dressmaker.  Maude McClelland was born in January 1874 in Spirit Lake, Iowa to Irish-immigrant parents [Twelfth U.S. Census, ED #261 (June 6, 1900), 6; Vol. 435, Iowa Department of Public Health. Iowa Marriage Records, 1923–37. Microfilm. Record Group 048. State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa].  She married William Stepp, a barber at the Cataract, in about 1899 although they later divorced [1900 census; Thirteenth U.S. Census, ED #331 (April 18, 1910), 3A].  She rented an apartment that she worked from at 132 N. Phillips Ave [Sioux Falls City Directory (1906), 280, (1910), 325].  There were nine other dressmakers in Sioux Falls in 1906 [Sioux Falls City Directory (1906), 280].  In 1910 in Spencer, Iowa, she married Flemming M. Leggett, a machinist from Sioux Falls [Vol. 435, Iowa Marriage Records].

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