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North Jersey History Center Online Exhibits

The Dean Sisters


Memorial Hospital Laboratory Pamphlet Cover

circa 1917

NJH&GC Jennie Dean Beaver Collection

In 1907, sisters Elvira and Jennie were studying to be physicians at Cornell University Medical College in Ithaca, New York.

Beginning in 1868, Cornell’s charter offered education to “any person” who passed the admission exam.  This intention made Cornell one of the first universities to provide co-educational instruction.

The sisters’ paths separated during their medical residencies, only to reunite again at the laboratories of Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey.  

Elvira and Jennie were born in Athens, Pennsylvania then built lives for themselves in Morristown. They continued to share their medical expertise and participated in civic organizations, while raising families.  They died seventeen years apart in Morris County.


Cornell Class Book of 1907

Cornell University