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Wayne County News
October 27, 1927


During the year 1927, the state health department granted licenses to 521 persons, on recommendation of local physicians, to practice midwifery in the state. The midwives are to be found in every county, the greatest number being in the more rural communities where medical service is hard to obtain. Among the number are 16 men, several of whom had studied medicine but are not licensed to practice, and a number of women who had some training as nurses.

Of the 521 persons granted midwife licenses in the State this year, 28 are in Wayne County, and these are the only persons qualified, under the law, to serve in this capacity.

Following is the list of licensed midwives in Wayne County:

Mrs. James Wheeler, Route 2, Fort Gay
Mrs. Matilda Ann Vinson, Webb
Nancy Thompson, Box 35, Queen's Ridge
Mrs. Sallie Smith, Ferguson
Laura B. Smith, Radnor
Eliza Smith, R. F. D. 1, Box 68, East Lynn
Dora Smith, Dickson
Isabelle Skeens, Route 1, Box 70, Prichard
Virgie Roberts, Route 2, Box 51, Fort Gay
Mrs. Elizabeth Porter, Grassy
Mrs. Enster Perry, Dunlow
Adelia Evans, Webb
Mrs. Hulda Finley, East Lynn
Mrs. Mahala Farley, Queen's Ridge
Maggie Farley, Queen's Ridge
Mrs. Armilda Gilkerson, R. F. D. 2, Wayne
Liza J. Adkins, Wayne
Allie Brown, R. F. D. 1, Box 14, Dunlow
Eva Moore, Prichard
Sinda Messer, Crum
Mary Mathis, Dunlow
Rachel Marcum, Crum
Polly L. Crum, Wilsondale
Armilda Marcum, Dunlow
Mrs. Ollie Crum, Webb
Martha Copley, Webb
Mrs. Ires Dyer, Cove Gap
Mollie Dortin, Wilsondale

The state health department calls attention to the fact that all of these licenses must be renewed in December 1927 for the year 1928 under the law passed by the Legislature of 1925. This law requires every person practicing midwifery in the state, and who accepts any renumeration for services rendered, to register with the state health department, the registration to be accompanied by the endorsement of a local physician before the license can be granted. The law further states that midwives shall practice only in normal cases, defining the conditions under which a physician must be called. All midwives are required to place in the eyes of the new born baby two drops of one percent solution of silver nitrate to present sore eyes and blindness and also to report the birth to the local registrar.

By the passage of this law, it was hoped to raise the standard of those practicing midwifery and to give some supervision to the work, in an attempt to reduce the high maternal and infant death rate in this state, which last year showed a toll of 299 mothers and 1748 babies under one month.

After the law was enacted, a survey was made by the state health department in an effort not only to acquaint those affected by the law, with its provisions, but also to give instruction to those applying for a license.

The survey revealed a number of interesting facts, among the most important being that the practice of midwifery is on the wane in West Virginia. This is due to the fact that midwifery was practiced more generally by the older generation of women and that very few are entering the field; that an increasing number of families are employing physicians, the midwife acting only in the capacity of a practical nurse; and that, because of good roads and education, more and better medical attention is available. The survey further disclosed the fact that in many instances those applying for a license were graduate nurses or women with some training, living in the more isolated communities where medical care is hard to obtain.

Education of the mother and expectant mother is being aided through the motherhood correspondence course conducted by the state health department and those counties having full time health units. A total of 13, 021 mothers have been enrolled for this course up to July 1927, in many instances the names being sent in by local physician or midwife.


Two bodies were exhumed in the town of Wayne, Tuesday of this week, after having been in their graves for nearly seventy years.

The bodies were those of Colonel Joseph Mansfield and his daughter Louisa Ann Mansfield. The bodies were taken up by relatives from the garden plot of the Boyd-Adkins property in Wayne and removed to the L. B. Ferguson cemetery at Elmwood, a mile South of town.

Colonel Mansfield was buried here in 1861--sixty years ago. He was born in Jefferson County, Virginia, and married Miss Amanda Smith, better known to her many Wayne County friends as "Aunt Amanda" Osburn. She died at Wayne last Spring at the age of 97 years. Colonel Mansfield was a colonel in the militia of Cabell County, and then of Wayne County, from the time it was designated a separate county until the opening of the Civil War. With the State Militia he went into service when the Federal army invaded this portion of the state, and he was shot by a picket at Neary, in Putnam County, in July of 1861. He died at the Asa Booton farm on Miller's Fork, this county, as he was being removed to his home.

Notwithstanding the fact that Colonel Mansfield's body had been in its grave here for 66 years, his skeleton was found intact when the body was taken up Tuesday. Even some portions of the clothing he wore could be recognized. It was discernible that the casket in which he was buried was made from walnut lumber, and the nails in the casket were the square type of nails that were common seventy years ago. The body was re-interred alongside that of his wife, the late Amanda Osburn, at the request of relatives.

The little daughter of Colonel Mansfield, Louisa Ann, died a short time before her father, in 1860, at the age of about one year. She died from measles. When her body was taken up Tuesday, very little could be found of her remains, most of the bones having perished to dust. a quantity of dark dust was removed as the remains of the little girl.


A company composed principally of local people has been organized here for the manufacture of King-Kol, a fuel to take the place of gasoline, and it is claimed it will have thirty percent per gallon more efficiency than the ordinary gas and will cost but little more.

Incorporation papers will be taken out in a few days and business started.

The building formerly used by the High Grade Oil Co. at Fifteenth and Beech Streets, has been secured and will be used for the new factory.

W. S. Tabor of Birmingham, Ala., will probably be manager. He has rented the Ezra Ball property on Poplar Street and will move his family (a wife and one small daughter) here in a few days.




Honor roll for the fourth month is as follows: Jewell Newman, Pearl Edra Newman, Virgie Irby, Letha Irby, Evelyn Plymale, Louise Ray, Phoebe Staley, Leata Marie Smith, Leonard McCoy, Mary Catherine McCoy, Beulah Staley, Evelyn Ray and Ruby Newman.

Jewell Newman has made the greatest effort in all her classes of any pupil in school this month.

We are planning to have a Christmas tree party Friday, December 22.

The Work and Win 4-H Club baked pumpkin pies and presented them to the kiddies at the Union Mission in Huntington for Thanksgiving. They also prepared a big basket of good eats for old "Uncle George" and "Uncle John" Pyles, two of our old men who live alone.

The girls are planning some good deeds for Christmas week.

Sam Jay, Leonard and Mary Catherine McCoy have made perfect attendance every day this year.

In spelling this month we kept a record of the ones who made perfect spelling lesson and we list the following who were perfect: Phoebe Staley, Virgie Irby, Letha Irby, Jay Staley, Leslie Ray and Pearl Edra Newman. Jay Staley and Pearl Edra Newman have missed only one word each during the whole four months of school.


The little town of Iaeger has two first class hotels and a traveler's inn, where all the traveling salesmen stop, two or three department stores, a meat market, soft drink stands, one theatre, high school and graded school, two churches, electricity and water system.

C. E. Price's five sons are all located here at present and are building a 16 mile stretch of road which will connect with State Highway No. 8. H. C. Price has a twelve room house and boards the single white men. Mrs. Elizabeth Sparks of Wayne County is running the boarding house. He also has a modern office in the same building.

Transcription by June White

Wayne County News