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Mrs. Mary Breckenridge Runs the Frontier Nursing Service, Petting Her Horse Premium Photographic Print by Eliot Elisofon at

Nurses on horseback 1931. 3 young women on horseback, Frontier Nursing Service, KY. The horses and riders on a dirt road with hills to the right. Frontier Nursing Service was founded by Mary Breckinridge in Leslie County, Kentucky, in 1925. -Herald-Post Collection

High Sierra challenge

Mary Breckenridge with her horse Surprise and mules Dixie and Woody!

Sydney Hoyle Floundering on Back of Horse in Water at Full Cry Farm

Sydney Hoyle Floundering on Back of Horse in Water at Full Cry Farm Photographic Print by Art Rickerby at

Mary Breckinridge rode through the Kentucky mountains in the summer of 1928, visiting lonely cabins and riding up steep mountain canyons. She gave nursing care to men, women, and especially children. Word spread that she was a nurse and mothers flocked to her with their sick babies.

Mary Breckenridge (1881-1965), a nurse midwife. She founded the Frontier Nursing Service to provide maternity services to women in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky. Nurses visited families on horseback. This service significantly lowered the maternal mortality rate of the region served.

Nursing pioneer Mary Breckinridge moved to the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in 1925 with the dream of providing family-oriented healthcare to a rural population. She started the Frontier Nursing Service that year and later founded the Frontier Graduate School of Midwifery, today known as Frontier Nursing University. Photo by Wendover Collections/Frontier Nursing University