Monday, July 8, 2019

Myrtle May and Dr Niles

above Myrtle May Dickerson

Four Beebe Hospital Nurses Get Diplomas

LEWES, May 16. The annual graduation exercises of the Beebe Hospital Nurses' Training School, were held last night In the Lewes auditorium when four members of the graduating class were presented with diplomas and awards were made. The members of the class are Miss Irma F. White, of Milton; Miss Jennie Ellen Rowe, of Lewes: Miss Dorothy Virginia Holloway, of Berlin, Md., and Miss Myrtle M. Dickerson of Delmar.

The scholarship award of the Nurses' Alumni Association and the Student Council, was presented to Miss Jennie Ellen Rowe by Miss Louise Gilpin, president of the association. Mrs. J. K. Rowland, president of the Women's Auxiliary and Advisory Board of the hospital, presented the award of that body for the highest average, to Miss Myrtle Dickerson. The instruments annually awarded by Benjamin F. Shaw. II, grandson of the founders of the hospital, were presented by Miss Elnzabeth A. Wilkie, superintendent of nurses at the hospital, in the absence of Mr. Shaw who could not attend. Miss Wilkie also presented the hospital pins. Dr. James Beebe presented the' diplomas.

Dr. J. D. Niles, of Middletown, made the address to the class. Miss Irma Shaw read a paper on nursing. A dance followed at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club.

Above from The Wilmington News Journal 16 May 1935

In spite of only being a class of four they received the full graduation package of dinner, tea, dance and actual awarding of diplomas.  Of interest is the speaker for the event was Dr Jerome D Niles.  Dr Niles was a prominent doctor in Delaware holding many professional positions.  He was also connected with The Veil Maternity hospitals and was a black market adoption doctor.

Jerome D. Niles was born Feb. 28, 1884, in Kinneyville, Pa. He graduated from Lock Haven State Normal School in Lock Haven, Pa., and received his medical degree in 1905 from Medico-Chirurgical College in Philadelphia.

When he took the Delaware medical licensing exam in 1910 he scored a 75.8 -- with 75 being the minimum passing score.After completing his residency in Philadelphia, Niles moved about 1907 to Townsend, where he would live the rest of his life. 

A respected physician, Niles served as president of the Delaware Medical Society and the New Castle County Medical Society. In 1945, he was named president of the state Board of Health. A street in Townsend bears his name.

Sometime about 1930 -- the records have been lost or destroyed -- Niles converted his general practice in Middletown into a home for unwed mothers.

Niles died Jan. 18, 1963.

Above from the Wilmington News Journal October 8 2000

The Veil Maternity Hospitals that originated in Kansas City and sprang up in the Pennsylvania communities of Corry, Langhorne, and ultimately West Chester and Middletown.

The women, “usually the unfortunate daughters of well-to-do families,” paid $390 to $540 depending on services selected, plus $15 weekly for room and board, according to a brochure for the Veil hospital in Langhorne, near Philadelphia. Dr Niles received money both from the unwed mother families and the people who adopted which was unethical. Normal paperwork and adoption procedures were skirted.   The price to adopt ran from $50 to $500.  In the 1920s interfaith adoption was prohibited by many states.  Enter the private adoption hospital such as the one ran by Dr Niles that had no problem with babies by catholic mothers going to Jewish families.  Many of the babies were placed with well off Jewish families and he ran advertisements in Jewish newspapers. 

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