STILL RELEVANT?  |   September 2017
Mother Still
Author Notes
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Thomas A. Quinn, DO, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Bradenton, 5000 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton, FL 34211-4909. E-mail:
Article Information
Pediatrics / Pulmonary Disorders
STILL RELEVANT?   |   September 2017
Mother Still
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2017, Vol. 117, 552. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2017.108
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2017, Vol. 117, 552. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2017.108
Born in 1835, Mary Elvira Turner, later to be known as Mother Still, was a school teacher in Edgerton, Kansas. While visiting a neighbor in 1860, she was asked to examine the neighbor's children, who had become ill.1 Fearing the children had scarlet fever, Turner summoned the physician from Baldwin, a nearby town, to examine them. That night, Turner met Andrew Taylor Still, MD, a recently widowed father of 4.1 
The scarlet fever epidemic brought A.T. Still to Edgerton frequently, and he took every opportunity to court the young school teacher.2 When he asked Turner to marry him in 1860, she accepted under the condition that he stop chewing tobacco. He agreed, and they were married on November 25, 1860.2 Their daughter, Marcia, was born in 1863. Soon after, tragedy struck the Still family.2 Their oldest daughter, Marusha, was away visiting her grandparents when their 12-year-old son and 11- and 9-year-old daughters died of meningitis in February 1864.2 Then, less than 1 month later, their 1-year-old daughter, Marcia, died of pneumonia.2 Marusha was so distraught at the loss of her 4 younger siblings that she never moved back home.2 The Stills went from having a thriving family with 5 healthy, happy children to an empty house. 
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