Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fitzpatrick Maternity Home

A typical scene in a maternity home...My grandmother Elizabeth Fitzpatrick ran a maternity home in St. Vincent from 1943 into the late 1950's. I don't know if any unwed mothers ever gave birth there, but plenty of married ladies did. While growing up, I met many women, some even from my church, who were either born there, or had their children there. When I was looking up general information on maternity homes, all references were about homes for single mothers to give birth in, and usually to arrange adoptions of those babies. This was not the kind of maternity home my grandmother ran.

Here's some information I tracked down - thanks to Cindy at the Kittson County Museum - about the Fitzpatrick Maternity Home...

From SCHEDULE A - GENERAL DATA
[Prepared June 4, 1946]

Fitzpatrick Maternity Home
Established 1943
Owned/Operated by Mrs. Albert Fitzpatrick
Location - St. Vincent, Kittson County, Minnesota
Types of Services/Licensed as - Maternity
Building - Frame, built 1906
Elizabeth FitzpatrickWater - Cistern/city water
Facilities - Outdoor toilet
Beds - 1 Room, 2 beds
Bassinets - 2
Number of patients for last year - 4 admissions
Number of births - 11
Number of stillborn - 1
Physician Visits - Daily
Administrator - Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, age 58, Practical Nurse (15 years experience)
Charges - $3.00 per day for care of mother & baby
Maternity Services - Patients deliver in room with assistance of Practical Nurse/Doctor
Types of Therapy offered - Diathermy, Massage, Hyperthermia

This record is from the St. Vincent Birth & Death 
Register book, recently rediscovered by Kris 
Baldwin Ohmann in St. Vincent's town shed; 
this record shows the birth of my older sister, Betty
at the Fitzpatrick Maternity Home in 1950...
[Click to Enlarge...]