I found Dr. Sholly while
stumbling searching through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America.
Sholly was born to David S. (of monster porker fame) and Lucetta in 1865, attended local schools, and eventually became a teacher before leaving to attend medical school, graduating in 1897.
These accomplishments alone are worth noting, but what makes them even more special is the fact that Dr. Sholly — Dr. Agnes Sholly — became a doctor just fifty years after Elizabeth Blackwell gained admission as the first female medical student in the United States.
I’m proud to have her in my family tree. But, when I looked at her findagrave.com page, I see it’s quite unnecessary to write a post because the writer of her memorial has already hit the high points.
I’ll just fill in a few details.
In 1888, when she was teaching primary school, Agnes received the princely sum of $22.00. Strangely enough, while there’s a good deal of variance in the salaries, it doesn’t appear to be gender related, which seems quite forward thinking for the time.
She was still teaching in 1893, but by 1894 was visiting home from college with a friend.
From the Pennsylvania School Journal, 1893
In February 1905, the Middleburg Post announced her marriage to C.W. Knights. I’ll share what it said.
Marriage Secret for Almost Two Years
It has just leaked out that Ex-Commissioner C.W.Knights, of Port Trevorton, this county, was married at Buffalo during the Pan-American Exposition to Dr. Agnes Sholly of Shamokin, a daughter of David Sholly of Selinsgrove.
The marriage was kept a secret on account of Dr. Sholly’s practice in Shamokin. The POST extends its congratulations to the couple, even if it is almost two years after the event.
I have to give the Post credit for referring to Agnes with the correct title of Dr., and not relegating her to Miss, as I might have expected from a newspaper at that time.
Also noteworthy (and timely) from her findagrave memorial: “Removing to Selinsgrove just prior to the First World War, Dr. Knights had planned to retire, but with the outbreak of the influenza epidemic, she opened her office in her home and continued with her profession.”
Her death came just twelve days before she was to be honored for fifty years of medical service to her community.
Addendum: I just realized I didn’t explain how we’re related. Agnes was my 2x great grandfather’s niece, which makes us some kind of cousin. I’m sure I could look up how many times removed. But if you really want to know, so can you. 🙂