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University of Kentucky materials are on ExploreUK. This item: Image 5 of Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletin, Vol. 60, No. 1, Summer 1984.

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Image 5 of Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletin, Vol. 60, No. 1, Summer 1984

Part of Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletins

QUARTERLY BULLETIN 3 , crossings, Mrs. Breckinridge decided to locate the clinics along 1 the rivers that provide natural avenues of access. The Beech Fork clinic was to be the first of these clinics, and j work on it began in the fall of 1926. Construction was made F possible by a gift from Mrs. Helen Draper Ayer in memory of her i mother, Mrs. Jessie Preston Draper, and when the center was p finished, it became known as the Jessie Preston Draper Memorial l Nursing Center. { Mary Breckinridge insisted that all FNS buildings should be . placed on sites where the foundations could reach down to solid , rock, and also that they be located well above the highest level { that floodwaters were known to reach. In a mountainous area [ such as Leslie County, where the valleys are extremely narrow l. and the mountainsides are steep, and where there is little level l ground, good building sites are not easy to find. The site chosen i g for the Beech Fork Clinic was about 12 miles upriver from Wendover, and about 15 miles south of Hyden. But it was thirty- two miles from Pineville, which was the nearest point to which E supplies could be brought by rail. Equipment and building materials had to be brought in by mule teams, and the round trip to Pineville often took four or five days. In these circumstances, l the building ofthe Beech Fork Clinic turned out to be a pioneering { adventure in itself. l Fortunately, Mrs. Breckinridge could count on the support of the mountaineers, whose sturdy enterprise and integrity she I much admired and trusted, notwithstanding an unpleasant experience she had had in 1923 when she rode past an old house g near the future Beech Fork site soon after a man and his wife had li been killed by Federal agents seeking illegal moonshiners. The ` incident had brought out strong feelings in the community, l especially toward those who came in from beyond the mountains. i _ But Mary Breckinridge and her nurses won over the mountaineers, and when the time came to build the clinic, they worked eagerly. Each gave several days of free labor, and when the clinic was finished, each regarded it as his own nursing center. . To supervise construction, Mrs. Breckinridge appointed two nurses, Gladys M. Peacock, to whom she usually referred simply as "Peacock," and Mary B. Willeford, known as "Texas." These i enthusiastic and capable young ladies had come to FNS in

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