Dr. Eliza Hughes
-From "History of the upper Ohio Valley: with family history and biographical sketches. A statement of its resources, industrial growth and commercial advantages," Brant & Fuller, 1890, pg 581-82.
Dr. Eliza Hughes
Eliza Hughes, a sister of the late Dr. Alfred Hughes, was born in Wheeling, and received a thorough English and collegiate education. Her desire for the study of medicine was first awakened by the reading of the medical works in her brother's library. Although always most eager and earnest in the perusal of such matters, it was long before she entertained the idea of entering upon a regular course of professional study; and even after having formed the resolution it was with no definite intention of practicing. When the thought was first suggested to her mind, she did not give it expression. Knowing the prejudice widely entertained against women adopting such an occupation in life, she shrank from the remarks the decision would give rise to; but her purpose once acknowledged, her determination did not falter, notwithstanding the pressure of opposition. Having resolved to adopt the medical profession, she commenced the study of medicine in 1855. Attended a course of lectures at the Homoeopathic Medical college of Cleveland, Ohio, and later a second course at the Pennsylvania Medical college (Homoeopathic) at Philadelphia, where she graduated in 1860, which she returned to Wheeling and established herself as a medical practitioner. She was the first female graduate of any medical school, and the pioneer of her sex in the practice of medicine in the state of Virginia. Although devoted to her profession, in which an extended practice gave many duties, she nevertheless contributed much literary matter to the press, being known both as an authoress and poetress. She died in Wheeling, W. Va. (note: she actually died in Portland, Ohio), in May, 1882, aged sixty-five years.