Mary Jane (Smith) Drodge / Dodge

Dodge Mary Jane nee Smith Drodge

Mary Jane was a midwife from 1944 to 1964. She trained under another midwife, Jessie Price of Little Heart’s Ease.

Mary Jane, like other midwives, had her granny bag packed and ready for when she was needed. Her daughter Alma told me that her mother’s  granny bag looked like an overnight bag. When Alma and her siblings were growing up, their mother’s granny bag was kept locked and they didn’t know what was in the bag.

When the call came, Mary Jane would travel by boat, horse and/or sleigh. Sometimes she would be gone for a week at a time. Mary Jane would stay with the mother until she was able to take care of the baby herself. There were times when Mary Jane would accompany the baby and mother to Come-by-Chance hospital, if there were issues with the baby’s health.

Mary Jane didn’t always get paid but sometimes she would receive $5 for her work.  She helped the women of Little Heart’s Ease, Southport, Hodge’s Cove, Loreburn and probably others communities in the area. She delivered over 50 babies. The last baby that Mary Jane delivered was Dallas Green who was born in Little Heart’s Ease on July 22, 1964.

Mary Jane was the daughter of Ebenezer and Siscely (Spurrell) Smith. She was born in Island Cove on November 12, 1905. Mary Jane married John Drodge on 30 April 1925. They had four children. John passed away on April 11, 1942. Mary Jane’s second husband was John Dodge – they were married on January 10, 1946. John and Mary Jane had two children. Mary Jane passed away on April 17, 1989 at the age of 83 years.

 

Special thanks to Mary Jane’s daughter Alma (Dodge) Whalen for this information.