Marion Stevens, WWI dentist.

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Dentist Marion Stevens with her brother Caleb, ca. 1919. Library of Congress, Prints & Photos Div.

Marion Cecelia Stevens (1895–1964) was the daughter of Frank W. Stevens, founder of the Stevens Advertising Agency in Reading, MA. She earned her DMD degree from Tufts in 1916. In 1916-17, she was a member of the visiting staff of the Forsyth Dental Infirmary for Children in Boston. Specializing in children’s dental care, she was the first U.S. female dentist with the Red Cross in Toul, France, in World War I. She then traveled to Serbia as a member of the American Women’s Hospitals unit of the American Medical Women’s Association and received the Order of the Red Cross, Serbian, and the Order of St. Sava from the Serbian government for her service.

In November 1917, she wrote a letter to Charlotte Conger, executive secretary of the American Women’s Hospitals, that was published in the January 1918 Woman’s Medical Journal. It provided a few details about the environment in Toul:

. . . I went out to my new headquarters, the Asile Cazerue de Luxemburg, an old French barracks, about two miles out. There are many buildings here and at present five hundred children, all refugees. I shall do all I can for the dental welfare of those children, and feel very much encouraged to find their teeth in as good condition as they are. . . . .We are near enough to the front to hear the can[n]ons and see a large number of aeroplanes.

As Toul and Nancy have been bombed a lot of late, we are always ready to go the cave route . . . whenever the warnings are given. (16)

In January 1920, Stevens married Georgia physician Northen Orr Tribble (who had served with the Army in England and France, as well as with the Red Cross in Eastern Europe), whom she had met in Serbia. For the ceremony, the bride and groom wore their service uniforms. Stevens was an instructor at Atlanta-Southern Dental College (now part of Emory University) in 1920–25. She is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

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Last day to RSVP, “DC Women in WWI” talk.

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DC’s own Adelia Chiswell (member, Red Cross Motor Corps)

Today is the last day to RSVP for my talk on “DC Women in World War I” at the March 16 luncheon of the Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of DC (AOI), the oldest civic organization in Washington, DC. I’ll also be signing copies of my book In Their Own Words: American Women in World War I.

The luncheon, which is open to nonmembers, will be held at Capitol Skyline Hotel (Metro stop: Navy Yard) from 12–2 pm and is $35 per person. To RSVP, visit the AOI Web site.