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Kentucky’s Frontier Nursing Service & Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Women & Jeeps This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The Frontier Nursing Service in one of their jeeps.

Thanks to Bus for spotting this interesting story. Stared in 1925 by Mary Breckinridge, the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) provided healthcare to rural folks in Kentucky. At first, horses and saddlebags helped them gain access to remote areas, but during WWII the group turned to jeeps. As these photos show, over the years FNS used a variety of different jeeps. There is even a 1931 documentary about the group (with additional information here):

In the late 1930s Edsel Ford donated a reconditioned Model A to the Service, which Mary named Henrietta. Several years later Ford replaced Henrietta with Henrietta II, a jeep. At some point the FNS secured another jeep, a WWII jeep Mary named “Jane”, named for a benefactor Clara “Jane” Ford”.


According to the Henry Ford website, this jeep was “Jane”.




It looks like the Service might have obtained a CJ-2A, but this picture is not conclusive:
frontier-nursing-service4Probably in the early 1950s, FNS obtained one or more CJ-3As:

frontier-nursing-service12 frontier-nursing-service11

Later, it obtained CJ-5s and CJ-6s:
frontier-nursing-service7 frontier-nursing-service-cj5 frontier-nursing-service-cj6

In 1952, Mary authored a story about the FNS titled Wide Neighborhoods: A Story of the Frontier Nursing Service.  It’s possible the book might yield more specific information about the introduction of jeeps into the FNS. IN the meantime, the University of Kentucky appeared to have more digital images of the FNS and jeeps, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the links to open.

The school founded by the FNS continues today as Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing.


6 Comments on “Kentucky’s Frontier Nursing Service & Jeeps

  1. Rhonda

    I am a Frontier Nurse and have two photos of the Jeep- one from last Fall and one a recent photo of the restoration.

  2. Bill

    Dave –

    re: Frontier Nurse Service. Ditto! I would LOVE to read a first-person account. I’m betting it’s beyond short-story length, and could be a book!


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