Edna Mildred Peterson was born on April 2, 1902 in Skamokawa, WA to Andrew and Hilma Peterson. She attended West Valley Grade School, a one-room school house, and graduated from high school at Redman Hall in Skamokawa.
She entered the nursing profession and obtained her Registered Nurse degree from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Vancouver, WA in 1924. She worked at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, OR, until she took the position as head of the infirmary at the University of Idaho in 1929.
At the U of I, she managed the old infirmary facility, and supervised the building of the new infirmary which was finished in 1937. She was actually the first patient in the new infirmary as she had contracted tuberculosis. U of I President of the time, Harrison C. Dale, wrote to Edna when he found out she was sick. He hoped she would have a speedy recovery, and said her position was there for her when she was able to work again.
However, when Edna overcame the illness, she accepted a position with the Red River Lumber Company in Westwood, CA. She became the administrator of their small hospital, and never returned to Idaho. In her later years she completed a nurse anesthetist training program at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA and eventually retired in 1968 after serving in the nursing profession for forty-four years. Edna Mildred Peterson passed away in 1988.
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Edna Mildred Peterson papers, MG 529, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.