First Utah Woman Doctor Succumbs

Widow of Pres. Charles W. Penrose Closes Career at 93 years.

Dr. Romania Bunnel Pratt Penrose, widow of President Charles W. Penrose, died Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the home of her son, Mark C. Pratt, 1145 South Ninth East street after a long illness.  Dr. Penrose was the first woman to practice medicine in Utah and had had a long and prominent career.

She was born in Washington, Indiana, on August 8, 1839, coming to Utah, September 3, 1855.  Here, in her work for the Church, she saw the advantages of medical training and decided to go east to pursue studies in medicine.

Graduating from the Women’s College in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1877, with the degree of doctor of medicine, she returned to Salt Lake and for a number of years was superintendent of the old Deseret hospital.  During this time she gained wide prominence as one of the first women in the west to pursue a professional career.

Dr. Penrose retired from active practice in 1912, after practicing her profession in Salt Lake for 35 years, specializing in eye, ear, nose and throat work.  She had written a number of articles and had herself been the subject of much writing praising her work.

Surviving her are four sons, children of a former marriage to the late Parley P. Pratt Jr.: Mark C. Pratt, Salt Lake; Parley P. Pratt, Louise L. Pratt and Irwin E. Pratt, all of Los Angeles; ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

[Parley Parker Pratt Jr. & Descendants, Cora S. Winkler, 1992]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Dec. 2006]

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