Catherine Mulcahy discusses her childhood experiences with illness, including the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 and smallpox, as well as the death of her parents, which resulted in her living at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Helena, Montana. She describes life in the orphanage, her high school years attending St. Vincent Academy, and her decision to become a nurse. Mulcahy talks about her experiences during nurse’s training including the duties that nurses were expected to perform during the early 20th century, and her graduation in 1928. She mentions meeting her husband and having children, how their family was affected by the Great Depression, and how she resumed her nursing career after World War Two. Mulcahy describes her decision to transition from general hospital nursing into private duty. She concludes by briefly recalling changes she witnessed in medical technology and procedures during her time as a nurse.
When this interview was conducted, the interviewee requested to remain anonymous in the transcript and audio. Archives and Special Collections has chosen to lift this restriction now that the interviewee is deceased.
Nursing, Montana; Orphanages, Montana; St. Vincent Academy, Helena, Montana; St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Helena, Montana
Montana Women's Oral History Project, OH 049, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral History Number
1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (24 p.: 28 cm.)
Mulcahy, Catherine, "Catherine Mulcahy Interview, August 10, 1981" (1981). Montana Women's Oral History Project. 55.