Mabel Hayes Boettger Papers

ca. 1906-1931. 1/2 box (6 folders), 25 items.MSS. COLL. #48

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses throughout the inventory, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


The Mabel Hayes Boettger Papers primarily consist of material related to the subject’s career as a nurse. In addition, there are items that document other highlights in the late teenage and early adult years of Ms. Boettger’s life.

Researchers interested in the nursing profession during the 1920s should consult the books on nursing and the certificates she received that licensed her to be a registered nurse.

Arrangement:  The Mabel H. Boettger Papers are arranged into four series, and within each series materials are filed alphabetically. The following are the four series: Financial, ca. 1931; Miscellaneous, ca. 1922; Photographs, ca. 1906-25; and Printed, ca. 1906-23.

Provenance:  The items in this collection descended to Ms. Boettger’s daughter, Mrs. Jasper Seabolt of Greensboro; she donated them, along with numerous three-dimensional objects, to the Greensboro Historical Museum in 1984.  (Archival Accession Numbers: 1984.95.1-16)

Processing:  This collection was organized and the finding aid prepared by F. D. Pitts III in April 1997.


Mabel Hayes Boettger, born about 1890, was a resident of Oberlin, Kansas, when she graduated from high school in 1906. She attended the Ford Hospital Training School for Nurses in Omaha, Nebraska, receiving a diploma from that institution in 1922. She became a registered nurse in Nebraska in the same year, and subsequently, in 1923, received certificates licensing her in Kansas and Wyoming. She married Dr. James P. Boettger in Oberlin, Kansas, in 1923. She had at least one child, a daughter (Mrs. Jasper Seabolt) who moved to Greensboro, North Carolina, some time prior to 1984.

Biographical Sources: The chief source of information on Ms. Boettger comes from the material in the collection.


The types of materials in this collection include books, certificates, a commencement program, a diploma, invitations, photographs, and visiting cards, most of which pertain to Ms. Boettger’s career as a nurse.

Researchers interested in the nursing profession during the 1920’s should consult the books, certificates, diploma, and a photograph of Mabel H. Boettger in a nurse’s uniform.

For researchers interested in the history of education, the high school program for the commencement ceremony could be of interest because it indicates the course of study available in some places during the first decade of the twentieth century. The visiting cards are noteworthy in that they represent a custom that is no longer practiced.

It should be noted here that the collection does not contain any material directly associated with Greensboro or the state of North Carolina.


1.  Financial.  1 folder (1 item).  ca. 1931.

The one item in this series is an account book that records various financial transactions. The recorder of the information is unidentified.

2.  Miscellaneous.  1 folder (2 items).  ca. 1922.

The material in this series pertains to an unidentified person’s, presumably Ms. Boettger’s, course of study in a program related to the medical field.  Included is a list of courses and corresponding numerical grades.

3.  Photographs.  1 folder (2 items).  ca. 1906-1925.

The two photographs in this series are of Mabel H. Boettger. One is of her as she looked when either visiting or living in Oberlin, Kansas, as a young woman; the other shows her, looking older, in a nurse’s uniform in Norton, Kansas.

4.  Printed.  3 folders (19 items).  ca. 1906-1923.

The printed series contains the most revealing information on the subject.  A small bible, inside which are pasted a photograph of “Mother” Hayes and various newspaper clippings with religious themes, may be found in 4:1. Descriptions of the certificates and the diploma are in 4:2. The invitations from Mabel Hayes’s senior high school class and for her wedding, high school commencement program, and visiting cards are in 4:3.

Note: Three books associated with this collection have been placed in the general collection: The American Pocket Medical Dictionary; Reference Hand-Book for Nurses; A Nurse’s Handbook of Obstetrics (1984.95.9-11). Inside two of the books are identical postcards depicting a scene in which Ford Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, is the most prominent feature.


SeriesFolder Contents
11Financial -- Account Book
21Miscellaneous -- Notes
31Photographs -- Boettger, Mabel H.
41Printed -- Bible
2Printed -- Certificates and diploma
3Printed -- Invitations and visiting cards

Index to the Mabel Hayes Boettger Collection
(ca. 1906-1931)

NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.

Boettger, James P.: 4:3 (1923)
Boettger, Mabel H.: 2; 3; 4 (ca. 1906-25)

Education: 2; 4:2-3 (1906-23)

Ford Hospital Training School for Nurses, Omaha, Neb.: 4:2 (ca. 1922)

Hayes, James D.: 4:3 (1923)
Hayes, Mother: 4:1 (nd)

Kansas: 3; 4:2-3 (1906-23)

Nebraska: 4:2 (1922-23)
Nursing: 2; 3; 4:2 (ca. 1906-25)