Something quite interesting to come out of my research at the moment is just how many Townsville women in the early 1900s were setting up their own general private hospital - not just a lying-in hospital in their own home, but a general private hospital.
It's always seemed as if the general consensus was that the doctors set up these hospitals and then employed nurses to manage and run them. What I am finding is that many of these women, who I assumed were just managing the place for a doctor, actually OWNED the private hospital. In some instances they purchased, or even had the property built, for that purpose.
A few examples include: Mai Treacy, who purchased the 'Nestle' hospital in Fryer Street and renamed it the 'Lister'; Margaret Monaghan (pictured) who ran 'Tauntonia' Private Hospital in Walker Street; Madge Clements, who secured a property on Melton Hill to set up 'Ardlamont' Private Hospital; and Eva Duman, who purchased a property with her sister Gladys to run 'Verwood' Private Hospital, in Hermit Park.
The local doctors did attend patients/perform surgeries etc. at these hospitals, but they were not running them. This is exciting stuff for an historian!
This research is part of a book I am working on that will tell the remarkable stories of North Queensland's independent/private midwives who worked tirelessly in our communities between 1890 and 1940.