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Anna Elizabeth Whitely
UM School of Nursing

B. 1872/1870 Manvers Township, York County, Ontario | D. 1918 Wimereux, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France

Diploma, Cleveland General Hospital Training School for Nurses; post-graduate course, General Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases, New York City.

Superintendent of nurses at St. Luke’s Hospital (formerly Cleveland General Hospital), Cleveland, Ohio; superintendent, Painesville Hospital, Painesville, Ohio, November 1905 to February 1906; September 1906 to May 1907; superintendent, University of Michigan Training School for Nurses, 1909 to 1910.

When Whitely was superintendent of nurses, there were sixty “pupil nurses’ in the school, who were considered part of the nursing staff. The remaining staff, all graduates, consisted of an assistant superintendent, a night superintendent, an operating room supervisor, and five head nurses. A graduate dietitian was also employed, reporting to Whitely. During 1909-1910, the “lecture course” consisted of 164 lectures, 76 classes, and 59 demonstrations, which were apportioned to probationers, and first-, second-, and third-year students. The lectures were given by the Medical Staff. The demonstrations were in massage, bandaging and dietetics. The classes were presumably given by Whitely and her assistant superintendent because there were no full-time instructors. Whitely reported in 1910 that the lecture course was “splendid” and was very much appreciated, but “with such a course and the extra work entailed by the great amount of sickness among the nurses the work was exceedingly heavy all year.”

When Whitely resigned, the Ann Arbor News reported, “She has gained the admiration and respect of all with whom she has been associated. Her services have been satisfactory, and the hospital and training school feel that it is a great loss to them and yet rejoice that Mrs. Whitely is being called to a more responsible and lucrative position.” (September 1, 1910, page 1)

Subsequently Whitely served as assistant superintendent, St. Luke’s Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, 1910-1912; superintendent, Painesville Hospital, Painesville, Ohio, 1912-1916; Lieutenant, Canadian Army Medical Corps; and volunteer nurse, Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force, assigned to #10 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, France, 1916-1918.

Anna Elizabeth Whitely née Henning was born in Manvers Township, York County, Ontario and in her youth resided in London, Ontario. According to 1910 census data Whitely, a widow, had entered the United States in 1901. She was married to James Andrew Whitely in 1895 at Goderich, Ontario.

Whitely’s date of birth is uncertain. January 22, 1872 is the date of birth typed into a 1916 Canadian military document, but there is documentation that Whitely may have been born in 1870. In the 1881 Canadian census and the United States 1910 census she was 11 years old and 40 years old, respectively. Furthermore, according to Canadian marriage records her age at marriage was 25. She died on April 21, 1918 in France from an abdominal tumor and is buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery.