Mary P. Hallowell Hough, AM, MD

Updated: Feb 6

Here's something I didn't even realize: the author of "Early history of Ambler, 1682-1888" was Dr. Mary Pane Hallowell Hough. She was a successful female physician in Ambler.


I stumbled upon her name again in the Biographical annals of Montgomery County in 1904. Her name was under her father's name: William J. Hallowell. That was when I knew she was someone I need to research about!

Dr. Mary Pane Hallowell Hough (1858-1941)

Mary Hough was born in Horsham township where her ancestors settled at since 1724. She attended the Friends School in Horsham, and graduated from Swarthmore College in 1878 with a AB (Bachelor of Arts) degree. She later earned her AM (Master of Arts) degree in 1881.


She then entered in the Women's Medical College of Philadelphia where she earned her MD degree in the same year, 1881. She was an intern at the Staten Island Hospital of New York for 6 months after graduation.


In 1886, she married Dr. Charles B. Hough. They moved to Ambler where they continue their practice. After practicing for 50 years, Mary retired in 1931 to begin her research on the history of Ambler and Montgomery County, PA.


When writing "Early history of Ambler, 1682-1888," she traveled to Philadelphia to find records about Ambler, specifically in City Hall. At first it was considered a hobby, but it grew into a keen desire to preserve the importance of Ambler happenings. She received help from the Ambler residents, but most of the work was done by Mary. In early 1935, the editor and publisher of the Ambler News published her manuscripts into serial form. After many requests to have them in book form, it was published in 1936.


Clipping from the Ambler Gazette; September 10, 1903 (paragraph pg 1)
Clipping from the Ambler Gazette; September 10, 1903 (headline pg 1)
Clipping from the Ambler Gazette; April 18, 1912
Clipping from the Ambler Gazette; July 31, 1941 (pg 1)
Clipping from the Ambler Gazette; July 31, 1941 (pg 7)

She had 4 children: William J.H. (1888-1969), Margaret Freas (1890-), Tacy Paul (1891-) and Israel E. Hough (1896-1977). Ironically, they didn't follow in their parents' footsteps of becoming doctors:


William became an architect, and Israel became a real estate broker with John Rorer of North Wales. It's unknown what her daughters did.








So where was her house?


Surprisingly, her house was located not too far away from another doctor: Dr. Daniel Webster Shelly. It seemed that she moved around Ambler under she resided on the NW corner of Forest Ave. and Hendricks St. The first map below could be her office next to her husband's.


Montgomery County 1893, Ambler Borough; J. L. Smith, Publisher
Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher; Mary had her own property while her husband Charles had his own right across from hers.
Google Satellite Plan View: Somewhere on the NE corner of Mattison Ave and Poplar St was where her property was located
Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher; Her house
Google Satellite Plan View: 315 Forest Ave, Ambler, PA 19002 (rough estimate)
Google Satellite Birdseye View: Looking North; The porch of this house stood out to me. Comparing the 1916 map to this, it makes sense this would be her house.

After finding out who she was, I began to think I'm just like her: I always wanted to research my community, and put it together on a piece of paper. In my case, I put my research in a blog like this. We published our works to the public for everyone to learn about our community's history. Something that is worth telling.


Dr. Mary Pane Hallowell Hough is now my inspiration for this blog.


Bibliography:


"Distance Calculator." DaftLogic. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.


Leonard, John William. Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada 1914-1915. (New York: The American Commonwealth Company, 1914): 406.


Hough, Mary P. H. "Early history of Ambler 1682-1888." Accessed May 26, 2020. https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/hough/ambler/ambler.html.


Mueller, A.H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 26, 1916.


Smith, J.L. Montgomery County 1893, Ambler Borough, 1893.


"Wissahickon Valley Public Library's Ambler Gazette Collection." POWER Library: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library. Accessed May 27, 2020. http://digitalcollections.powerlibrary.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/wivp-gazett.


#pahistory #ambler #archives #googlebooks #historicpreservation #swarthmorecollege #womensmedicalcollege #doctor #physician #horsham #friendsschoolhorsham #amblergazette #woman #women #MPHH

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