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A Woman of the Century:   A Crowdsourcing Project of the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

October 1 - October 7

Women of the Week

Agnes Booth, an actress, and Dr. Flora L. Aldrich, a physician and surgeon, had birthdays this week.

  •  To learn about them by viewing their items, please click on their images.  

  • To read their biographical sketches in A Woman of the Century, please click on the highlighted page numbers to the left of their images.

Agnes Booth.jpg

BOOTH, Mrs. Agnes

October 4, 1843


Sydney, Australia

p. 106

Agnes Booth, then known as Marion Agnes Land Rookes, was born in Sydney, Australia, on October 4, 1843.  She was a dancer as a young woman and came to the United States to dance in San Francisco.  However, a heart condition required a change in Agnes's career path from dancing to acting. 

Over the course of her life, she also resided in New York, New York, Boston, Massachusetts, and Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.  Agnes was a very popular actress who married Junius Brutus Booth, of the famous Booth family of actors.  Her connections within the theatre world included theatre luminaries such as Kate Bateman, John Sleeper Clarke, Augustin Daly, Edwin Forrest, Tom Maguire, and Matilda Charlotte Vining Wood.

In addition to her life as an actress, Agnes was the mother of Junius Brutus Booth, Algernon G. Booth, Sydney Barton Booth, and Barton J. Booth.  Unfortunately, she lost Algernon at the age of seven in 1877, and then Barton, her youngest son, in 1879, when he was just four years old.  Four years later, the family mourned the passing of Agnes's husband, Junius Brutus Booth, Jr.

Agnes married theatre manager John B. Schoeffel in 1885, but she continued to use the name Agnes Booth in her acting career.

Agnes passed away in Brookline, Massachusetts, on January 2, 1910, and was buried in the Booth family plot in Rosedale Cemetery, Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Flora L. Aldrich (2).jpg

ALDRICH, Mrs. Flora L.

October 6, 1859

doctor of medicine

Westford, NY

p. 15-16

Dr. Flora L. Aldrich was born in Westford, New York, on October 6, 1859.  She married Dr. Alanson G. Aldrich in 1883 and pursued a medical career.  Flora graduated from Minnesota Medical College and studied in Vienna, Austria, and in Germany.  Eventually, she became a physician and surgeon in Anoka, Minnesota.  

On August 19, 1901, The Minneapolis Journal published a lengthy article about Flora's new book, Boudoir Companion.  The article, praised Flora's book, discussed her life and career, included a photograph, and noted:

"Her medical studies were  pursued in the best institutions of this country and Europe, and her knowledge of medicine is not only considered profound and accurate, but she is admired and respected by the medical profession everywhere."

According to The Minneapolis  Journal of January 4, 1905, Dr. Flora L. Aldrich had attended to a young man who eventually passed away after his teacher punished him.  The article also mentions that "Colonial Hall, the elegant new home of the Drs. Aldrich" in Amoka was the site for a reception of the Coterie Club. Their home was located "on the corner of Third avenue and Munroe street."

In addition to her medical work, Flora was  a public speaker, an author, a suffragist, a political elector, and a philanthropist. 

The October 19, 1911, edition of The Princeton Union noted: "Dr. Flora L. S. Aldrich of Anoka delivered an interesting talk to a group of Duluth club women in that city last Friday afternoon on 'Social Hygiene.'  Mrs. Aldrich is a skilled physician, a gifted writer and an interesting talker."  The next week, The Princeton Union reprinted Mary McFadden's article from The Duluth News-Tribune, which calls Flora a suffragist and mentions the publication of her book, The One Man.

A Democrat, Flora appeared on the ballot as a  Presidential Elector from Minnesota in 1920 for Democratic candidate James M. Cox.

Flora passed away on March 19, 1921.  In May of 1921, soon after her death, the Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs honored Flora at their convention.