Mary Walker, M.D.
November 26, 1832 - February 21, 1919

Mary Walker was born the fifth daughter of Alvah and Vesta Walker in Oswego, New York. Mary's parents believed their daughters should go to college and encouraged them to do well in school when they were young. After working as a school teacher, Mary attended Syracuse Medical School.

After Mary graduated from medical school in 1855 she went to Ohio to be a doctor and married Albert Miller, who was also a doctor. Mary and Albert moved to Rome, New York and began to practice medicine together. Unfortunately, the marriage did not last. Dr. Mary Walker stayed in Rome and continued to practice medicine. In addition to being a doctor Mary helped fight for social causes and became somewhat contraversial because she chose to wear pants like men of her time.

When the Civil war broke out Dr. Mary Walker volunteered to work first as a nurse and then as a surgeon. She was a prisoner of war for a brief time and became the first woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Later the government tried to take her medal away, probably because Dr. Walker was so outspoken for women's rights and also because of questions as to whether Dr. Walker had actually earned the medal. Dr. Mary Walker refused to give the medal back and wore it proudly until her death.

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