|She was a member of an old literary society, the Lansing Woman's Club.
"In the winter of 1887, she led the effort with the state legislature to amend the law on the age of consent and succeeded in getting the age raised from ten to fourteen years. Her address at this time before the joint judiciary committee was an earnest, eloquent appeal."21
"Among my never-fading memories is the kindly, courteous way I was received by my brother physicians, the brotherly help of Dr. H. B. Shank and Dr. J. W. Hagadorn," writes Dr. L. Anna Ballard, who, after teaching a few years and later studying medicine, returned to Lansing in the spring of 1888. This pleasant reception "eased the path of those first few years, years of proverbial hardship to most young doctors and specially to a pioneer woman physician.
Dr. Ballard was a student with Dr. G. W. Topping f DeWitt; was graduated at the Woman's Medical College, Chicago, in 1878.
In an earlier day in gynecology reliance was not so exclusively upon surgery as became the vogue in the late nineties. Much was written of pessaries and no little ingenuity displayed in their manufacture. There was the pessary for anteversion, the pessary for retroversion, the stem for ante- or retro-flexion, the cup for uterine support. Shorting the ligaments for uterine prolapsus succeeded mechanical support and extirpation of the uterus for procidentia later appeared.
Similarly "treatment" for malposition and the incidental congestion attendant thereon was given by glycerine soaked tampons and by applications of various sorts to the cervix uteri. It is probable that a paper by Dr. L. of Urethral Neoplasms by Injection of Carbolic Acid," and commended by Dr. J. H. Carstens in 1886 as "very valuable" and one that should not be lost, would be received in up-to-date gynecological society of the present period as the record of a temporizing and questionable performance. However, it is a thoughtful production well worth reading and gives a report of two cases treated successfully by this method instead of the treatment "universally recommended," and followed therefore by the author, of excision and cauterization of the with nitric acid.
Dr. Ballard writes,†
"In the American Medical Association Directory I find three very early names:
"Dr. Martha C. Strong, Jackson, Michigan, graduate Michigan University, 1875. Do not know if living. In my early years I had many consultations with her.
"Dr. Della Pierce, Michigan, 1890, Kalamazoo.
"Dr. Matilda Towsley, graduate Woman's Medical College, Pennsylvania, 1869: in practice in Kalamazoo in 1906."
† Personal letter