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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

TOWSLEE, LILLIAN GERTRUDE, M.D.

TOWSLEE, LILLIAN GERTRUDE, M.D.

TOWSLEE, LILLIAN GERTRUDE, M.D. (4 Dec. 1859-22 April 1918) lectured, published, and designed and invested in real estate while maintaining an active medical practice. She helped found Woman's Hospital (see WOMAN'S GENERAL HOSPITAL) and, as its second president (1916-18), succeeded MARTHA CANFIELD. Towslee was born in Lodi, OH, to Maria Pollock Towslee and George Washington Towslee. She attended Lodi Academy and graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (1882). She taught music while studying MEDICINE at Wooster University (Cleveland); she graduated in 1888. After a few months of post-graduate work in New York City, Towslee opened a general practice in Cleveland. She specialized in gynecology, which she taught first at Wooster Medical School (beginning in 1889) and later at the the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ohio Wesleyan University. Towslee, gynecology editor of the Woman's Medical Journal (1897-1903), also lectured on hygiene at the forerunner of Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University (later CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY) and at the Schauffler Missionary Training School (see SCHAUFFLER COLLEGE OF RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL WORK). She served on the staff of Cleveland General Hospital and chaired the advisory board of the Training School for Nurses of City Hospital.

Towslee was a charter member of the ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF CLEVELAND, a trustee of the CLEVELAND MEDICAL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (1898-1900), and an active member of CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. She served as president of the women's league of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY and of the Health Protective Association. Towslee, a single woman, lived with companion Mrs. Katherine D. Arthur and an adopted son, George Arthur Towslee, in a home on Carnegie Avenue which she designed and had built in 1895.


Woman's General Hospital Records, Dittrick Museum of Medical History.