Amelia Young Cox Harshman, R. N., a Knoxville Nursing Pioneer

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[Amy married, moved to Maryville, and had children.]

On talking with our Metropolitan Life Insurance agent one day I found that the company wanted to start a nursing service in Maryville. I applied and was accepted. This was paid for on a call basis for which I received $1.00 per visit for maternity cases where mother and baby each had a complete bath, and 75 cents for an advisory visit. I also developed a much-needed private visiting nurse service for which I charged $2.00 per visit and $5.00 for assisting the doctor at delivery. This service became so popular that I was soon earning $200 per month.

[Following an auto accident, Amy’s fifth child was stillborn.]

After about six weeks for recovery, I went back to work. It was difficult to find help with housework.

Our church life in Maryville was very meaningful. I taught a class of teenagers, often making a nursing visit before and another after the class. I was not required by Metropolitan to make Sunday calls, but if I had a very sick patient or a new mother, I preferred to see they had unbroken care. While I was working very hard I had recurring attacks of abdominal pain so went to Dr. Ellis, and he told me after he had made a complete examination that I had a sub-acute appendix and also needed perineal and cervical repair and suturing of abdominal muscles.

[Amy recuperated and went back to work as a nurse. She continued in that profession, eventually becoming the “beloved project nurse” for the Homestead Settlement in Crossville, Tennessee. She buried Tobe Cox in 1946 and married Floyd Harshman in 1965. Afterward, Amy worked for Crossville Hospital as a unit clerk. A KGH graduate and Crossville co-worker, Polly Robinson Whittle, said Amy took that job, “to earn enough money to receive Social Security payments in her old age.”]

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