Dr. Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier

Dr. Clemence Sophia Harned LozierDr. Clemence Sophia Lozier was one of the earliest women who practiced medicine and was thoroughly identified with the cause of medical education for women.

She was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, December 11, 1813, and left an orphan at the age of eleven. At seventeen she left school to marry Abraham Witton Lozier, an architect by profession, who built for her a home in Tenth Street, New York, where they lived until 1837. Then the ill health of her husband threw upon her the support of the little family.

Mrs. Lozier opened a school for young ladies and for eleven years it drew its clientele from families of the highest social standing in New York.

During this period she studied medicine under the direction of her brother, Dr. William Harned. In 1837 her husband died and she moved to Albany where she continued the charitable work among the poor, which she had commenced in New York under the Moral Reform Society.

Learning that Miss Elizabeth Blackwell, after great difficulties, had graduated from the medical college in Geneva, Mrs. Lozier decided to take advantage of the same opportunity, but Geneva, frightened by the result of having one woman attend the clinics, refused to give a second woman the chance.

Mrs. Lozier attended a course of medical lectures at the Central New York College at Rochester, and later was admitted to the Syracuse Eclectic College where she graduated in 1853.

On receiving her diploma she returned to New York and entered at once in the practice of her profession, in which she met signal success from the first. In her own home she gave a course of lectures to women on anatomy, physiology, and hygiene, and from these crowded lectures came the idea of a medical college for women in this city.

A charter was secured by Dr. Lozier by the passage of an Act of Legislature in November, 1863, after a long and bitter struggle.

This college formally opened with a class of seven students in rooms at 724 Broadway. The faculty consisted of four men and four women, Dr. Lozier taking the Chair of Diseases of Women and Children. She was also President of the College.

in June, 1868, a property for both college and hospital purposes was purchased at Second Avenue and 12th Street. Eleven years later 136 women had graduated from this College, and during the 25 years in which she was permitted to note the results of her foundation, Dr. Lozier saw the College grow from its small beginning to be known and recognized as honorably as any in the country. 219 women were graduated and settled in practice from Maine to California. The hospital cared for 200 patients annually and the dispensary served the needs of nearly 2,000 each year, all in the hands of her own students and graduates.

In her own practice she was pre-eminently successful and spent a large part of her income to advance the cause of women. For seven years she maintained, largely from her own purse, the Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital for Women. Then she made it a gift of ten thousand dollars and turned it over to its Board of Trustees, who appointed her dean.

Her own home was always open to advocates of women's cause, and in her parlors were held monthly meetings. The most noted reformers of those days were Miss Susan B. Anthony, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Wendell Phillips, Hamilton Wilcox and Mr. and Mrs. Gerritt Smith. Miss Susan B. Anthony often made her headquarters with Dr. Lozier who helped her with considerable sums when her publication, The Revolution, fell in financial difficulties.

Dr. Lozier was small and slender and possessed unusual personal beauty. her fine head and benevolent countenance marked her as a woman of intelligence and character while her gentle manner, her modesty and unfailing tact and charm won her a host of friends.

She had a high standing in her profession and was often called in consultation by the leading physicians of her day, including Dr. Sims, Dr. Carnochan, Dr. Jacoby, Dr. Valentine Mott, Dr. Carrol Dunham and a host of others.

The keynote of her whole life was her spiritual faith and belief, for she was deeply religious. She did not neglect her home life, nor sacrifice it to her professional career. With a great love for children and animals her heart went out to everyone who suffered, and this eager sympathy was the core of all her energies.

All her children died in early infancy except her seventh and last son, who also was a physician. Dr. Abraham Witton Lozier married twice and both his wives studied medicine and were graduates of his mother's college. Of his three sons and one daughter only one remains [at time of the writing of this article], Jessica Lozier Payne who married Stephen Henry Payne of Elmira, New York, in 1896. Her father died the day before she was married, having survived his mother eight years.

Dr. Clemence Sophia Lozier - idealist, optimist and worker, died of angina pectoris April 26, 1888, at the age of 76 in her home, 103 West 48th Street, New York. She kept her faculties and her interest to the last moment of her busy life in which her one motto had been "Service."

Regarding the family and medical background of Dr. Lozier, Eminent Women of the Age gives the following:

"Her father was a farmer, David Harned - a name well known at that period in the Methodist Church, of which he was a faithful member, and in which his brothers were successful preachers. Her mother was Hannah Walker. Previous to their residence in New Jersey, they spent some years in Virginia, where Indian tribes, noted for their sagacity, were then numerous. Mrs. Harned, a devout Quakeress, and with much missionary spirit, mingled freely with them. From them she gained valuable information, which, added to reading and close observation, with strong natural predilection, qualified her to act efficiently in the neighborhood as an attendant upon the sick. Subsequently she spent seven years in New York City engaged in general practice with the advice and co-operation of her cousins, Drs. Dunham and Kissam, by whom she was highly esteemed. William Harned, an elder brother of Clemence, was also a physician of good reputation in New York, and for some time partner of Dr. Doane, formerly quarantine physician, in an extensive chemical laboratory."

Small wonder then that Clemence Lozier passed on the medical torch to her own son, Dr. Abraham Witton Lozier.

The above was first published as "The Life Story of Dr. Clemence Sophia Lozier" by her granddaughter, Jessica Lozier Payne as part of an article entitled "History of Women in Medicine" by Bertha L. Selmon, M.D. in Medical Woman's Journal, April 1946. Here is another Biography and History of the College which appeared in the same article and journal.

Read the Charter of Incorporation for New York Medical College for Women.

Also, see Descendants of Dr. Clemence Lozier

Also, see Dr. Charlotte Lozier Denman

Also, see Jessica Charlotte Lozier Payne

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