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North Jersey History Center Online Exhibits

Jennie Dean Beaver

Jennie Dean Beaver in operating room at Morristown Memorial Hospital

Jennie Dean Beaver in operating room at Morristown Memorial Hospital

NJH&GC Photograph and Image Collection

Jennie Dean was born in Pennsylvania in 1877, the daughter of Fannie Archer and George Thompson Dean. She earned her Bachelors degree from Cornell in 1907 and continued on to Cornell Medical School, graduating in 1910 as a medical doctor. After a three-year internship in Philadelphia, Jennie arrived in Morristown in 1913 to work at Morristown Memorial Hospital as one of its first female physicians. She set up one of the Hospital’s first clinical laboratories and practiced as a pathologist and anesthesiologist.

In response to the need for physicians to aid the war effort, Dr. Dean volunteered with the Red Cross and served in France during World War I as Inspector of a Bacteriological Laboratory American Red Cross Hospital. After the war she continued her work with the Red Cross for the Palestine Relief Commission.   During this assignment, Jennie met her future husband, Reginald Beaver, a former British Army Captain, who was working as a businessman in Egypt.

44 Elm Street

44 Elm Street, Morristown

44 Elm Street, Phyllis Giordano Mondelli.  North Jersy History and Genealogy Center

They married in Morristown in 1920 and returned to Egypt for Reginald’s work. However, Jennie contracted infectious Sand Fly Fever so the Beavers returned to Morristown in 1922 where Dr. Beaver  resumed her work with Morristown Memorial Hospital when it was still located at 66 Morris Avenue.  Jennie continued her medical studies, and became one of the country’s first practicing (and first female) allergists.  Her research paved the way to a better understanding of allergic reactions. Dr. Jennie Beaver established her practice at 44 Elm Street.

Jennie Dean Beaver Accepting Merit Award

Jennie Dean Beaver accepting the Golden Merit Award.

NJH&GC Photograph and Image Collection

Jennie Beaver was an active member of the Morristown medical community and a fellow of the American Medical Association. Her interest in public health was reflected in her role as medical inspector of the Hanover Township schools and her involvement in the creation of the Morristown chapter of Planned Parenthood.  In 1960, Dr. Beaver was honored with the Golden Merit Award from the New Jersey Medical Society for 50 years of medical practice.

Dr. Jennie Dean Beaver died on August 2, 1965, at the age of 88, two years after her retirement.  She was survived by her husband and two sons.