Biography of Anna A. Perkins, M. D.
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Anna A. Perkins, M. D. The success and efficiency of women in the field of medicine are too well established to require any comment. While women physicians are not numerous in any one community they are usually regarded as among the ablest and most successful in the field of local practice, and those in Kansas are no exception to the rule. For a number of years Dr. Anna A. Perkins had enjoyed a splendid practice at El Dorado and over Butler County and is known among hundreds of families throughout the community as both a kindly and able doctor and a friend and good counselor.
A resident of Kansas since she was six years of age, Doctor Perkins was born near Amboy, Illinois, in 1871. She came to this state with her parents, Ansel A. and Orilla (Van Hansen) Perkins. Her father was born in Connecticut and her mother near Montrose in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. They removed to Illinois during the ’60s, were farmers there until 1877, and in that year became pioneers in Harvey County, Kansas. Their farm was located about nine miles northwest of Halstead. In 1881 they moved into the Village of Halstead, but soon afterward went to Newton, where Doctor Perkins’ mother died in 1887. Some years later her father went to North Dakota, and finally returned to Illinois, where he died in 1910. There were five children: Floyd, of Coldwater, Kansas; Ford L., of Newton, Kansas; Hattie, wife of L. C. Helvie of Coldwater; Lida, wife of B. P. Philip; and Anna A.
Doctor Perkins acquired her early education in Kansas. She attended the public schools of Harvey County, and when only sixteen years of age became a teacher herself. Even as a girl she had high ideals as to a woman’s usefulness in the world, and her vision of her career had been substantially realized. After teaching five terms she took a course in nursing in the Axtell Hospital at Newton. This experience was only preparatory to her preparation for the life of a doctor. Entering the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Kansas City, Kansas, she was graduated M. D. in 1897.
On securing her degree Doctor Perkins at once opened an office at El Dorado and now for twenty years had been broadening her service and work and easily ranks among the ablest of her profession in Butler County. She had a general practice, and had successfully performed some of the most difficult work devolving upon a physician. She stands high among her professional brethren and had held all the different offices in the Butler County Medical Society. She is also a member of the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. At the present time Doctor Perkins is a member of the El Dorado School Board.
Few of her brothers in the profession have done more to keep themselves in touch with advancing medical knowledge than Doctor Perkins. She had taken post-graduate work in the Post-Graduate School of Medicine at Chicago. In 1914 she was with a party of American physicians who made a clinical tour of Europe, visiting the leading hospitals in the great centers of medical and surgical learning in the old world. They began their tour of inspection and observation by visiting the principal hospitals of Philadelphia and New York. In Europe they attended clinics at Paris, Berne, Zurich, Munich, Vienna, Dresden, Leipsic, Berlin, Jena, Heidelberg, Frank fort-on-the-Main, Cologne, Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool. The practical knowledge and the inspiration from such a tour are inestimable, and Doctor Perkins feels that it had been the greatest single influence in her professional life. She observed some of the world’s greatest surgeons at their work. One of them is now chief surgeon of the German army, while another, whose skillful work she witnessed, is chief surgeon of the Austrian army.