Part Thirty-One ~ there weren’t just doctors
A few weeks ago we talked about the doctors of Westport, and how they were responsible for bringing new lives into our town and keeping residents healthy through the village’s epidemics and everyday illnesses.
But we haven’t yet talked about the two main nurses at our own Mount-View Hospital.
The Lynn Sisters.
Alice and Rebecca were the daughters of William Robert Lynn and Mary Ann Matchet, both immigrants from Ireland.
Alice, born in 1860, taught school for three years and then attended nursing school in Waltham, Massachusetts, in her early 20’s. She nursed in the Westport area for the remainder of her life and was one of the founders of Mount-View. Also serving as a midwife, Alice would often move into the home of the soon-to-deliver woman and stay for a time after the birth until the mother was able to look after her family again. As a result of Alice’s assistance, a great number of babies in Westport were named Alice.
In 1866 the Lynns had another daughter whom they named Rebecca, however, she died at the age of eight months. Apparently, William had loved the first Rebecca so much, that he also named his next daughter Rebecca as well. Rebecca was one of eleven children, but not unusual for the latter part of the 1800s, only six lived until adulthood. The second Rebecca was born in 1871. Rebecca also received her nursing diploma in Waltham, and together with Alice, she would serve Westport and area as nurse and midwife. As neither of the women married, they lived together in a house on Rideau Street. Rebecca died in 1966 at the ripe old age of 95 and is buried in the United Church Cemetery; which is the same final destination as her brothers Thomas and Abraham and her sisters Alice, who lived until she was 80, and Caroline (Whitmarsh), and their parents.
Mount-View Hospital on the edge of the Mill Pond.