Tag Archives: Justina Ford

Women in Western History

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Mrs. J.J. Brown from Denver Post, 10-28-1932.

This week in Colorado, Women’s History Month will be celebrated at an event called “Meet the Women in Denver’s History”. On Wednesday, March 24, 5-7 p.m., at Denver’s Molly Brown House Museum, docents will dress as historic characters while visitors enjoy an open house. I have the privilege of meeting and greeting patrons in the carriage house gift shop, and to sign copies of my biographies. Characters from my books who will be portrayed are Margaret Tobin Brown, Justina Ford, and Emily Griffith, and Augusta Tabor from an upcoming project. Debra Faulkner will also be signing her books about Emily Griffith and Mary Elitch Long. Hope to see Denver history buffs there!

To learn more about Women’s History Month, visit the National Women’s History Project at The focus of their project is writing women back into history. Also, visit the Women Writing the West blog for more observations about Women’s History Month. .

As stated on my web site, my mission is to preserve and share the stories of pioneers from Western history through books, articles and presentations. My objectives and endeavors are not gender specific. Many of my female characters enjoy strong and productive relationships with their significant others without which they would not be able to achieve the magnitude of their goals and aspirations. We often learn about women through the work of their partners, thus allowing them the opportunity to step forward for their own well deserved recognition. Teamwork often creates an inspiring dynamic and role for others to follow. Those who forge ahead as individuals are no less inspiring, and often exhibit astounding courage, strength and intelligence. We have so much to learn by letting all of their voices be heard.

Joyce Lohse – 3/22/10


Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Denver history, Western history


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News from Pikes Peak Country

This past weekend, Pikes Peak Library District presented their 6th Annual History Symposium, Rush to the Rockies! The 1859 Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush. It was their usual interesting, informative, entertaining, and classy affair, attended by about 200 regional history enthusiasts. I attended this time as a guest instead of as a presenter. My friend, Gayle Gresham, was one of the presenters this year. Another friend from Women Writing the West, Cynthia Becker, sat with me in the audience. PPLD brings together the best researchers in the region to preserve and share their brand of history, which is then compiled for publication. My work was included in a compilation about General William Palmer, published in March. Next year, I hope my essay about Dr. Justina Ford will achieve the same honor with inclusion in the compilation about Doctors, Disease and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region.

Again this week, I drove the 60 miles south to my former home, Colorado Springs, to speak to the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society. I enjoyed visiting with members and felt an instant rapport due to our shared enthusiasm for genealogy. Last week, I presented a history talk to the Colorado Women Flyfishers. It was a great time in an unusual venue. I managed to find a couple of links between Women of the West and flyfishing. It was a fun stretch.

Next week, I will present Colorado History to the Highlands Ranch History Society. After that, I have a small break before a presentation in Boulder in July, and at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, also in July. In August, I will be at Parker Days, and at Boom Days in Leadville, and a presentation for the Longmont genies. Then off to UCLA in September for Women Writing the West. Phew! Busy times. Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy history.

Joyce Lohse, 6/11/09
For more information and presentation schedules
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Posted by on June 11, 2009 in Western history


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Justina Ford’s Story

February is Black History Month. Currently, I am preparing a presentation which will take place at the Colorado Springs Pioneers’ Museum on February 21, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. The subject is Justina Ford, Colorado’s first African American female doctor. During her career between 1902 when she arrived in Denver, and 1952 when she passed away, she delivered over 7,000 babies. “The Lady Doctor” turned nobody away. She made house calls when she was not allowed to practice in the hospital. This suited many of her clients just fine. After all, many of them could not be admitted to the hospital due to ethnicity or lack of funds. In addition, some did not speak English, or their culture made childbirth and medical treatment in their home preferable. Dr. Ford was extremely capable and determined to bring her patients the best care possible. She was also knowledgeable about preventing germs and infections. Calmly and deliberately, she practiced medicine and took care of her people. By the end of her career, she achieved recognition for her work during a half century as a doctor.

To learn more, read my award-winning book, “Justina Ford: Medical Pioneer”, part of the “Know You Know Bio” series from Filter Press. Order information can be found at,, and Also, the Black American West Museum is located in Dr. Ford’s home at 3091 California Street in Denver. For more information on the museum, visit

Joyce Lohse – 2/10/09

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Posted by on February 10, 2009 in Denver history


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