Early Doctors and Nurses of Eatonville

Doctor Tanner (ca. 1906)
Doctor Tanner (ca. 1906)

Eatonville was without a doctor until 1904 when Dr. D. A. Martiny came to town. After him came Dr. Tanner (pictured). Tanner was here only a brief time before Dr. Martiny took over again.

Before Doctors There Were Telegrams and Talented Women
Before the doctors came to town, you just had to just hope you didn’t need urgent care. The nearest doctor was in Tacoma and could only be reached by a messenger on horseback to Spanaway where there was a telephone.

Eatonville was lucky to have some women in the area who knew something about patching people up and child birth — notably Mrs. Mary Long.

Mary was born in Terrytown, Penn., in 1956, came to Washington in 1889. She lived in Tacoma for a short while, before coming to Eatonville. Mary, know then at Mrs. Garret, was the only doctor and nurse the forest communities of Eatonville had.

“She ministered with unwearied devotion to all who called for her expert care. Just before her death (1938), 75 people from Eatonville and vicinity  called to ask her for birth certificates, as she had been the attendant at their births. (Information taken from History of Tacoma Eastern Area.)
Photos Courtesy of Debbie and Gary Saint.
Click on image to enlarge.

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