Guide to the Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association Records MS 65

Finding aid prepared by Samantha Mills
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
April 10, 2017

Title: Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association Records
Identifier/Call Number: MS 65
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.75 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1882-1969
Abstract: This collection contains minutes, membership lists, and other records of the Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association, an association for graduates of the Nurses Training School at Agnew Hospital which met from the mid-1910s to 1960s.
creator: Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The wooden frame building for the Agnew Hospital and Nurses Training School was built in 1899-1900 at 5th and Beech (1501 5th Avenue) in San Diego. The hospital was named after David Hayes Agnew (1818-1892). Agnew graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1838 and went on to practice surgery and teach anatomy at the University of Philadelphia. He gained a reputation for his skill and judgment as a surgeon. The original building became known as the Annex when a new brick building, named the Agnew Hospital and Training School for Nurses, was built in 1906. It was large enough for one hundred beds and became the main hospital and school building. The Annex was sold in 1920 to become apartments. There is no official date for the close of the main hospital and school. The building became the El Rey Hotel, and in the 1960s it was a residence for senior citizens.
The nurses training program was a three year course. The first class of five nurses graduated in 1903, and the last class of eighteen nurses graduated in 1919. Graduates gained a reputation as being well-trained, recalling 12-hour training days, and later 20-hour shifts, and $25 per week as salary. The Agnew Nurses Association changed its name to the Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association in 1916. Annual gatherings to be held on the first Saturday in October were initiated in 1919 and lasted through the 1960s. At these meetings, professional journals and current medical topics were discussed. The Alumnae Association also kept track of Agnew nurses and their welfare. Notable graduates include Mrs. Mary Wolking (class of 1913) who spent thirty years working for the San Diego Department of Health and 21 graduates who served in the Red Cross during World War I.

Scope and Content

This collection contains minutes, membership lists, and other records of the Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association, an association for graduates of the Nurses Training School at Agnew Hospital which met from the 1910s-1960s. Other records include histories, articles, financial documents, correspondence, and luncheon and commencement invitation. Additionally, there is information on the curriculum of the Nurses Training School, and notices about member deaths. Records are sparse during World War I because 21 members joined the Red Cross to aid in the war effort.


This collection is arranged by material type.

Preferred Citation

Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association Records, MS 65, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Katherine VanDrunen in March 2008 and Samantha Mills in April 2017.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Agnew Hospital and Nurses Training School .
Agnew Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association.
Agnew, David Hayes, 1818-1892
Nursing schools
Nursing schools--Alumni and alumnae
San Diego (Calif.)

Box-folder 1:1

Development of Alumnae Society, 1882 October 6 – 1963 and undated


Correspondence (Agnew, Laura Lea Flynn, Mary Wolking; Orion M. Zink); biographical notes on David Hayes Agnew; curriculum; history of training school; record of first meeting; and constitution and by-laws.
Box-folder 1:2

Meeting Minutes (bound), 1916 January 31 -1921 September

Box-folder 1:3

Meeting Minutes (bound), 1939 June 3 -1944 December

Box-folder 1:4

Meeting Minutes (bound), 1948 June 5 -1956 December 1

Box-folder 1:5

Meeting Minutes (bound), 1957 February 2 -1967 June 7

Box-folder 1:6

Meeting Minutes (loose), 1941-1969 and undated

Box-folder 1:7

Doctor and Alumni Lists, 1903-1919 and undated

Box-folder 1:8

Membership Lists, undated

Box-folder 1:9

Membership, 1946-1963


Contact information; records of dues paid; lists of meeting notice recipients; order form for American Football League All-Star Game; and list of names for Annual Luncheon.
Box-folder 1:10

Financial Records, 1936 July 10 – 1957 June 25


Bay City Building and Loan Association investor letter and certificates; receipt from First National Bank of San Diego; letters from First Federal Savings and Loan Association.
Box-folder 2:1

Financial Records, 1944-1965 and undated


Receipts; dues; note on investment; treasury report; florist expenses; accounting and attendance for Annual Luncheons; and other accounting notes.
Box-folder 2:2

Financial Records: Cash Ledger, 1918-1969

Box-folder 2:3

Correspondence, 1954 December 1 – 1965 March 30 and undated


Letters and notes between or regarding Mary K. Tuffley; Mrs. Taylor; Estelane Smith Warburton; Clarence E. Rees; Laura Lea Flynn; Lucy Jones Proudfoot; Constance Cavender; Mary Wolking; Della Stewart; Mary Dittus; Hazel Holland; Gladys Featheringill; Marguerite Mitchell; Harriet Myers Kellie; Naomi D. Taplin; Otila Prince Shields; Grace Blake Brown; Marie Moen; May Ryan Gibson; Mrs. Barbic; Estelle R. Ammon; and Charlie M. Fox.
Box-folder 2:4

Commencement Invitations, 1903-1919


Invitations; 1916 program; and valedictory address by Anna Rohde.
Box-folder 2:5

Annual Luncheon Invitations, 1916 October 4 – 1968 December 4

Box-folder 2:6

Death Notices, 1959-1969 and undated


Funeral information, bereavement acknowledgements, and obituaries, regarding: Mary Tuffley; Walter R. Stahel; Ruth Emily Spencer; Julia S. Chubbuct; Ora Rhodes Fraker; Dr. Pickard; Gertrude; Emma Shellenberger; Bertha Emma Bonorden; Carrie Stimmel; Elsie E. Day; and Frederick Shesler.
Box-folder 2:7

Photographs and Articles (copies), 1917-1964 and undated