The Journal of Minnie Mellema

This is a journal kept by Minnie Mellema of Grand Rapids, MI., from 1930 through 1939.

This journal covers some of the cases she worked on which were mostly births. Most of these births took place at the mother's home, however, in several cases there is another address listed with the mother's home address. The first of these addresses was 1035 Chatham St. NW. It appears that this house was perhaps a "birthing house." The second of these addresses was Miss Laven's home address, 418 Union, which appears to have been a "birthing house" in the final years of this journal. Before 1930 children were born at home with the help of the local doctor, midwife or family member.

I found the "History of Midwifery and Childbirth in America: A Time Line." online at:

Their time line lists the 1930s as such:

"1930: The American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecology was established.

During the 1930s, general practitioners and specialists had a division of labor. Specialists such as obstetricians sought to achieve ascendancy over the non-physician specialists, such as midwives, in their specialized areas. Specialists also sought to impress upon the general practitioner the limit of his or her abilities.

1932: The MCA began to train qualified public health nurses in midwifery.

1933: The White House Conference on Child Health and Protection issued a report stating that maternal mortality had not declined between 1915 and 1930, despite the increase in hospital delivery, the introduction of prenatal care and more use of aseptic techniques. The number of infant deaths from birth injuries actually increased by 40 percent to 50 percent from 1915 to 1929 for one of two reasons: either women received inadequate or no prenatal care or excessive intervention took place and was often improperly performed.

1935: Thirty-seven percent of births occurred in hospitals.

1939: Fifty percent of all women and 75 percent of all urban women delivered in hospitals."

The 1930s was a transitional period when more women chose to have their babies in hospitals instead of at home. Minnie's journal seems to show this transition as there are fewer entries in the final years of the journal.

Permission to print this journal here was given to me by Minnie's granddaughter, Marva Jelsma Guerriero. The journal is in her possession and she retains copyright to this material.

Additional information and explanations are at the end of this journal.


Journal of Minnie Mellema


- 1930 -

Mrs. John Bloem

2442 Melita Ave. NE

Doris Jean, 8 lbs., February 24th, 1930

Dr. C. Moen


This was my first experience as a practical nurse.

- 1932 -

Mrs. Marinus Jones

Francis St., Lansing, Mich.

Raymond W., August 6, 1932, Born at hospital

Dr. Snell


Emma came home the third day and I stayed with her three weeks.

[received] $25.00

Mrs. John Bloem

1651 Broadway Ave. NW.

Mryna Jane, 8 lbs., Monday, October 10, 1932 at 1:40 pm

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

[received] $20.00

- 1933 -

Mrs. Peter Jeltema

1210 Mason St. NE

Ronald Eugene, 8 lbs., Tuesday, May 9, 1933 at 5am

Dr. De Boer

Multi [8]

I was not there for the delivery[,] came after me about 6am. Was only there days -- 10 days_ $1.50 = $15.00. [received] $16.00. Gave me a gift of $1.00.

Mrs. Edward Stalter

Straight St.


Dr. Moen - Dr. McBride


Was not there for the delivery. $2.00 a day --

Mrs. George Fore

624 Cordelia St. SW

Stillborn - boy, Saturday, July 8th, 1933 at 6:20 pm

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

Was there for delivery. 13 days - $20.00

Mrs. Clarence Elzinga

2110 Melita Ave. NE

Robert, Tuesday, October 24, 1933 at _____

Dr. C. Moen,

Multi [2]

12 days @$2.00 = $24.00

Was there for the delivery. Gave me an Electric Toaster as a gift.

- 1934 -

Mrs. George Gillette, age 27 years

837 Temple St. SE

Monday, Jan. 1, 1934 at 12:40 pm

3 lbs. 13 oz.

Premature- Put the baby in an incubator at Blodgett Hospital for 5 weeks.

Dr. Hunderman

Multi [3]

From Jan. 2 to Jan. 11 - $20.00

Was not there for the delivery. Miss Laven came after me the next morning.

Mrs. Harry Benedict

745 Evelyn St. NE

________, 7lbs.

Monday, Feb. 12, 1934 at 7:30pm

Dr. Bolender

Multi [2]

12 days @ 10 days $2.00 & 2 days $1.00 [went home nites] = $22.00

Mrs. Harry Grummet [?]

1519 Marshall Ave. SE

Dr. Hunderman.

She had a broken leg. I went Sunday Feb. 25 and stayed until Wednesday March 28.

4 1/2 weeks = $61.00

My first experience with broken bones.

Mrs. Bert Cummings

348 Dean St. NE

Barbara Jean, 8 lbs., Tuesday, May 15, 1934 at 2:17 pm.

Dr. Moen

Multi [3]

Miss Laven called me after the delivery and Mr. Cummings came after me about 3:30 pm. Left May 25, 1934. 10 days @ $2.00 = $20.00

Mrs. Nick Fink, age 23 years

Comstock Park

Patricia Mary, 9 lbs. 8 oz., Sunday, Sept. 2., 1934 at 6:35 pm

Dr. Bolender


Miss Laven came after me after the delivery about 9 pm. Baby was born with a fractured clavicle.

Sept. 2 - Sept. 9. Stayed seven days @$2.50 = $17.50

Mrs. Waino Padio [?], age 36 years

711 Ethel Ave.

Marguerite Inez, 9 lbs., Friday, Sept. 7, 1934 at 9:05 pm.

I went on Sunday Sept. 9 to Sept. 17.

Dr. Moen

Multi [3]

8 days @ $2.50 = $20.00

--Stayed with Miss Laven from Sunday, Oct. 14 to Thursday Oct, 18., 1934. --

[do not know why Minnie stayed with Miss Laven]

Mrs. George Gryson, age 23 years

431 Breens Ct. SW upstairs

Arlene May, 9 lbs. 12 oz., Saturday Oct. 20, 1934 at 1:20 am.

Dr. Hunderman


I went with Miss Laven about 9 pm. Friday Oct. 19, and stayed on for four days to Oct. 23. $2.50 = $10.00

Mrs. Lucy Colyer

Lyon St.

She was out of a cast from a broken hip. I went home nights.

Oct. 24 to Oct. 30. $1.50 a day = $10.00

Mrs. Frank De Haan, age 42 years

3040 Eastern Ave. SE

Robert William, 10 lbs. 4 oz., Saturday, Nov. 17, 1934 at 3 pm

Dr. Hunderman

Multi [12 children]

Called 8:30 am. I went with Miss Laven for the delivery and left at 6 pm.

Mrs. Herbert Moelker, age 23 years

1010 Easter Ave. SE

Betty Jean, 8 lbs., Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3:10 am.

Dr. Hunderman


Called 11:30 pm Nov. 24. I went with Miss Laven for the delivery and stayed until Tuesday Nov. 27, 2 1/2 days @ $2.00 = $5.00

Mrs. Chris Naum, age 38 years

135 Banner St. SW

John Stuart, 8 lbs., Thursday, Dec. 13, 1934 at 3:18 pm.

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

Went at 10 am. with Miss Laven for the delivery and left at 4:30 pm.

Mrs. Mike Boorsma, age 22 years

East Paris Road RFD #6

Roger Dale, 7 lbs. 4 oz., Thursday, Dec. 27, 1934 at 10:25 pm.

Dr. Hunderman


Miss Laven came after me at 6 am. than we went to her home at 10 am and left again at 4 pm., had supper there and after the delivery left at 11:45 pm.

Mrs. Gerald Musser, age 21 years

1907 Willard Ave.

Carol Ann, 7 lbs. 14 oz., Friday Dec. 28, 1934 at 11:20 pm.

Dr. Hunderman


Went at 9 pm. and stayed until Jan. 3, 1935. 7 days @ $2.50 = $17.50

- 1935 -

Mrs. Glen Carner, age 38 years

Knapp St.

Charles Robert, 9 lbs. 2 oz., Friday Jan. 18, 1935 at 8:10 am.

Dr. Wright

Multi [4]

Went at 5 am. Friday and stayed until 10:45 pm Monday, Jan. 21. [received $11.00]

Mrs. John Bloem, age 25 years

1423 Scribner Ave.

Janet Marie, 7 lbs. 2 oz., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 1935 at 6:10 am.

Dr. Moen

Multi [3]

Miss Laven came and got me from Mrs. Carner's and took me to Viola's Monday at 11 pm. and I stayed until Saturday Feb. 2, 8 pm. when John brought me home. 10 days = $15.00

Mrs. R. Sharp & daughter

334 Woodmore Ave.

From Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 2 pm. until Monday Feb. 11, 4:30 pm. No time off. They had the flu.

6 days at $2.00 [balance $2.00] $10.00

Mrs. Raymond Russell, age 33 years

2018 Den Herder Ave. NE

Elizabeth Ann, 5 lbs. 6 oz., Thursday, Feb. 14, 1935 at 12:55 am.

Julia Ann, 6 lbs. 2 oz., Thursday, Feb. 14, 1935 at 1:00 am.

Dr. Moen

Multi [2 & 3]

This was the first time I saw twins born.

Mrs. Thorger Jorgensen, age 23 years

2033 Darwin St. SW

Marlene Mae, 9 lbs. 12 oz., Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1935 at 1:18 am

Dr. Ruth Quigley


Went with Miss Laven at 11:45 left after the delivery at 3:30 am. This case was before Mrs. Carner, the first one of 1935.

Mrs. Marinus Jones, age 28 years

902 Richmond St.

Thomas LaVerne, 8 lbs. 6 oz., Wednesday, March 6, 1935 at 7:40 am.

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

Went with Miss Laven Wednesday at 6:30 am and left Saturday March 16, 8 pm.

10 days = $15.00. Baby was born with an enlarged Thymus.

Mrs. Lyle Blossom, age 21 years

59 Oxford St.

Thomas Walter, 8 lbs. 4 oz., Friday, April 4, 1935 at 12:45 am.

10 days @ $2.00 = $20.00

Dr. Wright

Multi [2]

Went with Miss Laven Thursday April 4 9:30 pm and stayed until Sunday, April 14, 5:30 pm.

Mrs. Virgil Goldner, age 19 years

1035 Chatham St. - 63 Caledonia St. NE

Daniel Arthur, 8 lbs. 1 oz., Wednesday, April 17, 1935 at 3:22 am.

Dr. Isla De Pree


I stayed at Miss Laven's and helped her for 4 days. Mrs. Goldner came at 11 pm Tuesday and went home in the ambulance Saturday April 20 at 8 pm.

Mrs. Louis Zimmerman, age 21 years

621 Crescent St. NE

Donald Louis, 7 lbs. 12 oz., Monday, April 22, 1935 at 12:40 pm.

Dr. Moen


Mr. Zimmerman came after me at Miss Laven's at 11am Monday and I left with Miss Laven after the delivery at 2 pm.

Mrs. John Bolt, age 19 years

823 Sigsbee St.

Jack Calvin, 7 lbs. 12 oz., Monday, April 29, 1935 at 9:40 pm

Dr. Holkeboer


MIss Laven came after me at 6 pm and I left with her after the delivery at 11:45 pm.

Mrs. John Feenstra, age 21 years

1029 Arianna St. NW

Barbara Ann, 7 lbs. 4 oz., Saturday May 25, 1935 at 1 pm.

Dr. Moen


I went with Miss Laven from her home at 6 am and left after the delivery at 3 pm.

Mrs. William Burdall, 19 years

1148 First St. NW

William Lee, 7 lbs 10 oz., Tuesday, May 28, 1935 at 5:50 am

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven sent Mr. O'Neil after me at 2:30 am as she was finishing up on that case. We left Burdall's after the delivery at 8 am. I stayed with Miss Laven all day Tuesday and Mel brought me home after supper.

Mrs. Corneluis Van DerTuin [?], age 34 years

1035 Chatham St. NW - Grandville Mich.

Genevive Mae, 7 lbs. 12 oz., Sunday June 2, 1935 at 4:10 am.

Dr. Hunderman

Multi [2]

Miss Laven came after me Friday May 31 at 5 pm and I stayed and helped her until after the patient went home in the ambulance Thursday June 6.

--Thursday evening Miss Laven, Miss Mitchell, Ben and myself went to Keiths to see Phil Oosterhouse Dance Revue. --

Just a little note on a night out for this busy bunch. Ben is Minnie's husband. Must be Minnie wanted to remember the evening by adding it to this journal.

Mrs. James R. Hooper, age 46 years

427 Prospect Ave. SE

Eleanor Marie, 7 lbs 10 oz., Monday, June 10, 1935 at 12:35 am

Dr. Wright

Multi [5]

Went Sunday June 9 at 11 pm and stayed until Wednesday June 27 at 8 pm. 17 days @ $2.50 = 42.50; gave me a gift of $2.50 making a total of $45.00. A lovely family!

Mrs. Walter Evert, age 28 years

1035 Chatham St. - 754 Henry Ave. SE

Janice Kay, 8 lbs. 8 oz., Sunday, July 21, 1935 at 7:10 pm.

I went to Miss Laven's Sunday 12:30 pm and Mr. Evert brought me home Sunday nite at 11 pm. so I could do the washing. Went back Monday at 6 pm and stayed until Friday at 8 pm when Miss Laven brought me home so I could do the washing on Saturday. She called me Wednesday morning and I went over for the day. Miss Laven took Mrs. Evert home Wednesday night about 9 o'clock and from there brought me home.

Mrs. Gerald Posthumus, age 23 years

1035 Chatham St. - 1300 Butler St.

Carol Lee, 8 lbs., Saturday, August 10, 1935 at 3:30 am.

Dr. Geenen


I went to Miss Laven's Friday evening because she was not feeling well and Mrs. Posthumus came to her home about 11:30 pm. so I stayed right through. She stayed 10 days. Went home Monday, Aug. 17, 1935.

Mrs. Jacob Hielkema [?], age 28 years

1035 Chatham St. - 602 Naylor St.

Marjorie, 9 lbs., Wednesday, August 14, 1935 at 6:05 am

Dr. Hunderman


Miss Laven was called at 2:30 and when she got there, they was packed and ready to move, so she called us and said she was bringing the patient in the ambulance to get the back room set. She stayed 10 days, went home Sat. Aug. 24, 1935. [in the margin is the note: "she had a rash."]

Mrs. George Youngs

741 Gladstone Ave.

Liver Trouble

Dr. George B_ert

From Wed. Oct. 2, 10 pm. to Wed. Oct. 16, 8:30 pm.

Mrs. Melvin Laven, age 31 years

2848 Cornelius Ave. SE

Donald Melvin, 6 lbs 12 oz., Wednesday Oct. 9, 1935 at 2:35 pm

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

Miss Laven called me at Mrs. Youngs, Mr. Laven came after me about 10:45 am and took me back at 7:30 pm. Mr. Laven gave me $1.50

- 1936 -

Mrs. Carl VanderMolen, age 19 years

338 Gladstone Ave. SE. - 1035 Chatham St.

Terrance Milton, 8 lbs. 2 oz., Wednesday, January 1, 1936 at 8:32 pm.

Dr. Isla DePree


Mis Laven called me about 10:30 am and I stayed with her until after the patient went home Wednesday Jan. 15 at 5 pm. Miss Laven brought me home Thursday, Jan. 16 at 5 as we made some calls Thursday. Miss Laven brought me home Friday nite so I could do the washings and came after me again Saturday. Paid me $3.00, $5.00, $1.00. [in small writing on the edge] 7th day P__itis & infected looking.

Mrs. Lawrence Enders, age 26 years

44 W. Leonard St.

Lawrence Wesley, 7 lbs 12 oz., Monday, January 20, 1936 at 8:07 pm.

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven came after me about 1 pm., left 10 pm., I went to her house for the night.

[received] $1.00

Mrs. John Custer, age 28 years

2942 Edgewood Ave. NE

__________, Wednesday, January 22, 1936 at 9:40 pm

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

Miss Laven came after me Wednesday 5 pm and I stayed until Sunday 4:30 pm. No time off. 4 days $8.00

Mrs. Peter Minnema, age 45 years

1113 Noble St. SE

Isla Mae, 6 lbs. 12 oz., Saturday, Feb. 1, 1936 at 11:30 am

Dr. Hunderman, Dr. Campbell precipitated

Multi [2]

Miss Laven called me 1 pm., came after me about 2:45 pm., stayed until Thursday Feb. 6, 11:30 pm. $12.00, no time off. Mrs. Minnema has a tumor and had planned to go to the hospital but baby came too fast so I stayed until Mrs. Van Let's case went home, then she came.

Mrs. Clarence Andre, age 32 years

1300 Butler Ave. SE - Ada, Michigan

Clarence Richard, 8 lbs., Friday, February 7th 1936 at 7:15 pm.

Dr. Ten Have


Miss Laven called me about 10:30 am, came after me at 11 am. and we left there at 9:30 pm.

Mrs. Peter Hamstra, age 31 years

818 Joslin St. SE.

Charles John, 10 lbs., Wednesday February 12th 1936 at 3:05 am.

Dr. Hunderman

Multi [2]

Miss Laven came after me at 12:30 am Wednesday Feb. 12 and I stayed until Friday February 21, at 5:30 pm. 10 days @$2.25 = 22.50. Mrs. Hamstra paid me $24.45 instead. Mr. Hamstra bought me a boiler [3.25] and bulbs [1.20]. Had Sunday off from 1:30 pm until 9 pm. He [Mr. Hamstra?] worked at Page's Hardware.

Mrs. Dorris E. Wayman, age 19 years

2049 Johanna - 1035 Chatham St.

Linda Lou, 7 lbs. 14 oz., Monday March 9th 1936 at 2:27 am.

Dr. Isla De Pree


Miss Laven sent Mr. Wayman after me at 5:45 am Sunday and I stayed with her until the patient went home Friday Mar. 13th at 4:30. Patient stayed 5 days and then went to her sister in law's in the ambulance.

--Miss Mitchell was home from school sick at the same time. --

[another little note by Minnie....believe she is referring to another practical nurse.]

Mrs. George Frank VanDuren, age 24

835 Dorchester SW

Arlene Ione, 8 lbs., Wednesday, March 18, 1936 at 1:50 pm

Dr. Moen


Mrs. Farrand Holt, age 30 years

419 Barker Ave. NW

______, 9 lbs. 4 oz., Friday March 27, 1936 at 8:15 pm.

Miss Laven met me at church at 6 o'clock and we left at 9:30 pm

Dr. Isla De Pree

Multi [3]

Mrs. Wm. Leith, age 20 years

1539 College Ave. NE

Charles William, 8 lbs. 2 oz., Sunday May 24, 1936 at 3:10 am.

Dr. Isla De Pree


Miss Laven came after me about 9:30 pm May 23 and brought me home at 4:40 am May 24.

Mrs. Carl Vowter, age 20 years

947 Tamrack Ave. NW

Phylis Jean, 7 lbs. 2 oz., Sunday June 14, 1936 at 10:55 am. [Breech]

Dr. Hunderman


Mr. Vowter came after me about 4 am and Miss Laven and I left at 2 pm.

Mrs. William Valentine, age 24 years

66 Withey St. SE

_____________ [a blank line, no name, weight listed]

Tuesday June 16, 1936 at 5:35 pm

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven came after me about 9 am and we left at 7 pm.

Mrs. Harry Hudson, age 20 years

422 Shirley St. NE

___________ [blank line, no name, weight listed]

Wednesday, June 17, 1936 at 5:20 am.

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven came after me about 1 am and Dr. Moen and I left about 5:45 am. Dr. Moen took me out to breakfast before we went to the next case.

Mrs. Gerald Douthette, age 36 years

501 Northwood Ave. NE

Nancy Mae, 7 lbs 12 oz., Wednesday, June 17, 1936 at 10:50 am.

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven & I went here at 2 am. than at 6:45 am., left at 11:45 am.


--Thursday June 18 Miss Laven & Miss Mitchell took, Mildred, Bendert and myself to Detroit. Came home Friday nite June 19, 1936. -- [another little side note Minnie made. Mildred and Bendert are Minnie's children.]

Mrs. Jack Bolt, age 22 years

1486 Lake Drive

Harold Russell, 6 lbs 2 oz., Wednesday July 1, 1936 at 12:28am

Dr. DeVries

Multi [2]

Miss Laven came after me Tuesday June 30 about 9:30 pm and we left 2:30 am July 1.

Mrs. Gerard Van Oosten, age 21 years

1137 E. Fulton St.

Gerard Dennis, 5 lbs. 8 oz., Friday July 3, 1936 at 5 am.

Dr. Hunderman


Miss Laven came after me about 9 am and we left her home at 11 am July 2, left at 10 am July 3. Baby lived four hours. Cerebal Hem.

Mrs. Charles Bassett, age 23 years

115 Home St.

Richard Charles, _____, Monday July 6, 1936 at 12:23 am.

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven sent Mr. Bassett after me about 5 pm. Sunday July 5, and we left July 6, at 2 am.

Mrs. Ben Rietema, age 40 years

850 Logan St. SE

Mary Lou, 7 lbs. 2 oz., Saturday July 18, 1936 at 8:55 pm

Dr. Hunderman

Multi [4]

Jones, Hundermans and Mellemas went to Laven's for the evening and as soon as I got there put on an apron and Rene took me over as Miss Laven was already there. Miss Laven and I left about 10 pm.

Mrs. William Pettiford [colored]

740 Sherman St.

William Charles, 7 lbs 2 oz., Friday October 2, 1936 at 9:32 am.

Dr. Hunderman


Miss Laven came after me 7 am Friday Oct. 2 and we left Friday Oct. 2 at 12:15 pm.

Mrs. Herbert E. Dennison

1824 Martin St. SE

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

One day at $3.00, he paid me.

Mrs. Gerritt Achtyers

1701 Godwin St.

Dr. Isla De Pree


Mrs. Alvin Klinkner, age 23 years

51 Hall St. SW

Dr. Holkeboer


Mrs. Charles Woronilcki [?], age 22 years

919 Lake Michigan Drive

Lawrence Charles, 9 lbs. 6 oz., Wednesday Nov. 18, 1936 at 2:58 pm

Dr. De Pree


Miss Laven came after me about 8:30 am Wednesday Nov. 18 and we left at 5 pm.

Mrs, William Scholten, age 28 years

1073 Kalamazoo Ave.

Herman William, 6 lbs. 10 oz., Thursday November 19 at 3:20 am.

Dr. De Vries


We left Laven's at 5:30 pm Wednesday Nov. 18, and left at 5 am Thursday Nov. 19.

Mrs. Melchoir Winn, age 23 years

1024 Douglas NW

Joan Marie, 8 lbs. 3 oz., Saturday November 21, 1936 at 5:28 pm.

Dr. Moen

Multi [2]

Miss Laven came after me about 1:15 pm and we left Winn's at 7 pm.

Mrs. Frank Stellino, age 25 years

235 Powell St.

Josephine Mary, 7 lbs. 6 oz., Friday December 18, 1936 at 2:57 am.

Dr. Gillette


Taxi came after me about 12:30 am and then Miss Laven went after Mrs. Stellino as she was going to stay at Miss Laven's 418 Union Ave. so I helped her part time.

Mrs. Wilbur VanMeter, age 24 years

833 Humboldt

_________, 7 lbs. 12 oz., Sunday December 27, 1936 at 7:37 pm.

Dr. Hunderman


Went there about 4:30 pm and left 9:15 pm.

- 1937 -

Mrs. Gunnard Johnson, age 28 years

660 Turner Ave. NW

Marilyn Beth, 11 lbs. 12 oz., Friday January 1, 1937 at 5:46 am.

Dr. Moen


Miss Laven came after me about 1:30 am and we left about 8:45 am.

Mrs. Sidney Ondersma, age 24 years

1009 Hazen SE -- 418 Union [Laven's] Stayed 10 days.

Eleanor May, 8 lbs., Thursday January 21, 1937 at 3:55 am.

Came to Laven's at 12:30 am Thursday Jan. 21. Left Saturday January 30, at 4:30 pm

Dr. Holkeboer


Mrs. Joseph Grassmid, age 29 years [$16.34]

RR#I, Ada Mich. - 418 Union [Laven's] Stayed 12 days

Winnifred Ann, 8 lbs. 3 oz., Friday January 22, 1937 at 10:55 am.

Came to Laven's Wednesday Jan. 20 at 3:30 pm. Left Tuesday Feb. 2 at 5 pm.

Dr. De Vries

Multi [4]

Mrs. Harold Stehouwer, age 24 years

638 Burton St. SW

Ronald Dwayne, 9 lbs. 4 oz., Thursday February 4, 1937 at 2:37 am.

Dr. Holkeboer


Laven called me at 7 pm Wednesday Feb. 3 and went to her house. We went there at 10 pm and left at 3:30 am Thursday.

--Stopped at Lucchesi and gave her evening care. $1.00 --

Mrs. Frank Firlik, age 28 years

930 Diamond Ave. NE

Donald Frank, 10 lbs. 2 oz., Thursday February 4, 1937 at 10:43 am.

Dr. Moen


Laven went at 4:30 am., came back and we both went at 8:30 am. Left at 12:15 pm.

--Stopped and had dinner. Then went and gave Mrs. Lucchesi and baby morning care. Went to Laven's and did the washing. Laven brought me home 5 pm. [$2.00] --

Mrs. Maynard DeGood, age 23 years

941 Prince St. SE - 418 Union [Laven's] Stayed 12 days

Marcia Lee, 5lbs. 12 oz. at 3:44 am

Marvin James, 6 lbs. 4 oz. at 4:50 am

Sunday Feb. 21, 1937

Admitted Friday nite at 10:30 pm. Feb. 19.

Dr. Beets

Pri. Twins

Went home Wednesday Mar. 3, 1937 at 5:30 pm.

--Fords moved out Saturday Feb. 27, 1937 at 4 pm. --

[do not know what this is in reference. ]

Mrs. Robert Collins, age 21 years

Wealthy St. - 418 Union [Laven's] Stayed 10 days

Bonnie Lou, 6 lbs., Wednesday March 3, 1937. Admitted Tuesday March 2 at 11 pm.

Dr. Hunderman


[Mrs. Collins] Went home Saturday March 13, but I came home Friday nite about 8 pm. [$28.50]

- 1938 -

Mrs. John Bloem

1229 Scribner Ave. NW

Orla Lea, 8 lbs. 6 oz., Saturday Oct. 8, 1938 at 10:18 am.

Dr. Moen

Multi [4]

Stayed 12 days, I went home Wednesday Oct. 19

- 1939 -

Mrs. C. Balk

North Ave. NE

Thursday March 16, 1939 at 7:30 am, stayed until Monday March 20, 1939 at 9 pm. [$7.00]

Mrs. Florence Bectal

523 Woodridge St. NE

Tuesday March 28, 1939 at 7:30 pm until Wednesday April 5, 1939 at 10:30 am. [$12.00/$1.50]

I go about 7:30 pm and stay until about 11 am each day April 6 & 7 [$2.00]

Mrs. Charles Losey, age 21 years

2038 Melita Ave. NE

James Allen, 11 lbs., Monday April 10, 1939 at 9:15 am.

Dr. Kremer

Multi [2]

I went about 6:15 am Monday April 10 and came home Wednesday April 19. [$18.00]

Mrs. Howard Hoisington

845 Turner Ave. NW

______, 6 1/2 lbs.

Dr. Moen


I went about 6:10 pm Thursday and came home Friday 4:30 am.

Was there just for the delivery and then on Saturday went and gave her anenama. $5.00 charged them. [$2.00 paid me Mon. Aug. 7; $3.00 paid me Thurs. Sept. 28.]

Mrs. Clair Hansen, age 31 years

710 Marietta NE

Roger Paul, 9 lbs., Saturday Nov. 18 at 10:50 pm

Dr. Moen

Multi [3]

I went Sunday Nov. 19 at 4 pm and came home Sunday Dec. 3 at 2:30 pm. [$35.00 and $3.00 extra, total - $38.00]




1- In the individual entries there are two notations that may need to be clarified. They are "Pri." and "Multi [ ]." The first one "Pri" means the mother's first birth; the second one "Multi [ ]" has a number inside the brackets and this is the total number of children the mother has.

2- 1035 Chatham and 418 Union appear to be private homes where the mother's went to have their children instead of doing so in their own homes. 418 Union was the home address of Miss Laven who was a practical nurse that Minnie worked with. Its not clear if the home on Chatham was a "birthing house" or the private home belonging to another nurse.

An Introduction to the Medical Personal in the Journal

1-Minnie Mellema, author of this journal, was married to Bendert Mellema and in 1930, they had two children, Mildred and Bendert Jr. Minnie was working as a practical nurse. They lived at 2042 Melita Ave. NE.

2- Miss Nettie C. Laven, was a single woman who is listed on the 1930 census as a practical nurse. She lived with her parents. In 1930 a woman named Jessie Mitchell, whom I believe is the Miss Mitchell in this journal, is living as a lodger with the Laven family. She is listed as a teacher with the public school. They are living at 356 Carlton but Miss Laven appears to have moved at some point after the 1930 census to 418 Union.

3- Dr. Cornetta Moen, physician of obstetrics. She is married to Grant T. Moen, a dentist. They lived at 427 Paris Ave. in 1930.

4- Dr. Edward Hunderman, listed on the 1930 census as a Medical Doctor. He is living with his parents at 538 Eastern. He is single.

5- Dr. Isla DePree, is listed as a physician, general practice. She was living with her mother and brother in the 1930 census at 1565 Lake Drive. She is single.

6-Dr. Henry Davie Holkeboer, found in the 1930 census as a physician, intern. He is listed as living with two other interns and a "house physician." Their address is simply "Bostwick. Butterworth Hospital."

I have not been able to identify the other doctors.

7- Dr. De Vries

8- Dr. Kremer

9- Dr. Beets

10- Dr. Gillette

11- Dr. Greenen

12- Dr. Ten Have

13- Dr. Wright

14- Dr. Snell


Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
Created: 21 August 2011
URL: http://