Julia Ingram

Born: c. 1852

Died: Sept 23, 1933

Dr. Julia Ingram was one of Louisville's first female physicians and surgeons.

Born in Charlestown, Indiana, in the mid-1850s to William and Nancy Ingram, Julia went to school in Jeffersonville, Indiana — just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. After graduating Jeffersonville High School she attended DePauw University in Indiana. She taught at her high school for a brief period and then decided to attend medical school. She received her medical degree from Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, one of the few medical colleges in the United States that offered medical degrees for women at the time. After getting her degree, she worked as an intern at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston.

In 1883, Dr. Julia Ingram moved to Louisville with Dr. Anna F. Lawrence of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The two set up a medical practice that would last for over thirty years.

Dr. Ingram worked both as a physician and a surgeon. Additionally, she did research and wrote on her findings in medical periodicals such as the Medical and Surgical Reporter.

As a respected medical practitioner, Dr. Ingram earned a place in the Louisville Medical Society, the Kentucky State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. In 1885, the Louisville Medical Society unanimously elected her as Secretary and Treasurer — the first time a woman was elected to an official position in the organization. According to one of her colleagues, "She has been a member of the society a little over a year, and is one of its most zealous members."("Secretary" 1895)

Dr. Ingram was integral in the development of the first program in Louisville to train nurses along with Jennie Casseday, a wealthy lady who had been an invalid for nearly three decades. Jennie was a reformer at heart and helped persuade her well-connected friends to raise money for the program. Board members for the project included Casseday, Florence Brandeis, and Dr. Julia Ingram. Ingram worked with her contacts in New York to bring Florence Jones, a trained nurse, to Louisville to lead the program. The training school opened in March 1887 and provided an opportunity for girls from poorer families to have advanced education and a career path.

In addition to over 30 years in her profession, Dr. Ingram worked to improve her community. She participated on many boards and committees, including as a vice president of the Consumers' League of Kentucky, and a member of the boards for the local Red Cross, Kentucky Children's Home Society, and the Louisville Woman's Club.

She particularly dedicated her efforts to advocating for women and children. After a lecture by Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Chapmann Catt at the Church of the Messiah in 1895, Dr. Ingram joined the Louisville Equal Rights Association. She continued to be interested and involved with the woman suffrage movement and was selected as an alternate delegate from the Louisville Woman Suffrage Association to the national meeting in 1911.

Dr. Ingram also acted as one of the directors of Louisville's Children's Protective Association, an organization which investigated child abuse and neglect in cooperation with the Juvenile Court. At a conference of juvenile court judges, Dr. Ingram argued against what she felt was a double standard applied to "wayward" girls as opposed to boys. She believed that with the right instruction these girls could modify their behavior and be even stronger in character afterward. As a doctor who attended many young women, Ingram also advocated for sex education — or "sex hygiene" as it was called at the time — in schools.


"Children's Protective Association Elects." Courier - Journal, October 31, 1917, 6.
"Disagree with Indiana Judge: Delegates Discuss Child Problems at Conference." Courier - Journal, November 16, 1911, 6.
"Julia Adeline Ingram, 1852-1933: Louisville Physician and Suffragist." Humanities and Social Sciences Online, Updated July 29, 2018, accessed October 23, 2020, https://networks.h-net.org/node/2289/discussions/2119434/julia-adeline-ingram-1852-1933-louisville-physician-and.
"Local Suffragists Name National Delegates." Courier - Journal (Louisville, Ky. ), October 4, 1911.
"Louisville Equal Rights Minute Book, 1889-1895." Filson Historical Society (Louisville, Ky.), 1889.
"Mrs. Halleck Again Head of Consumers' League." Courier - Journal, November 26, 1913, 7.
"Mrs. Julia Fouts Ingram Succumbs at Age of 96." Courier - Journal, April 23, 1912, 2.
"Night Calls." Courier - Journal, September 5, 1897, 4.
"On White List." Courier - Journal, November 29, 1911, 4.
"Physicians' Course of Lectures to Louisville Women." Courier - Journal, April 26, 1903.
"Report of the Commission to Investigate the Conditions of Working Women in Kentucky." In Frances MacGregor Ingram Collection, Filson Historical Society (Louisville, Ky.), December 1911.
"Rites Monday for Dr. Ingram." Courier - Journal, September 24, 1933, 8.
"School for Nurses." Courier - Journal, December 23, 1885, 6.
"School Instruction on Sex Hygiene Is Urged." Courier - Journal, February 16, 1912, 5.
"Secretary Julia Ingram." Courier - Journal, May 9, 1885.
"Training School for Nurses." Courier - Journal, October 29, 1888, 8.
"Women Doctors: Female Practitioners Who Have Made a Success in the Profession." Courier - Journal, March 18, 1894.
"Women's Rights: Long Petition from Louisville Ladies Presented by Senator Alexander." Courier - Journal (Louisville, Ky. ), February 10, 1892.
Article clipping [no date or title], In George Yater Papers. Box 4, University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections (Louisville, Ky).
Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs. "Minutes." In Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs Papers, Filson Historical Society (Louisville, Ky.), January 17, 1908.
League of Women Voters of Louisville/Jefferson County. "Joint Meeting: School Election League and Louisville Suffrage Association." In League of Women Voters of Louisville/Jefferson County Collection, University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections (Louisville, Ky), November 26, 1920.
Lensing, Mildred. "Women Doctors Have Made Great Gains since the Days of Pioneer Frances Coomes." Courier - Journal, September 23, 1951, 6.
Speer, Justine J., and Arnita A. Jones. "A History of Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing." The Filson Club History Quarterly 67, no. 4 (1993): 462-81.