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The Waring Historical Library Digital Archives Program Women's History Month Highlight: Marguerite Andell

by Tabitha Samuel on 2023-03-17T12:00:00-04:00 | 0 Comments


Marguerite Andell Blog Post Header Graphic


Marguerite Andell (center) seated on a tank surrounded by military service people

Marguerite Andell during military service in World War I.
Click image to view in digital collection.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Waring Historical Library Digital Archives program highlights Marguerite Andell, who was the longest serving director of nursing from 1924 until 1948.

Born on November 6, 1885, Miss Andell was a native of John's Island, South Carolina. After graduating from the Roper Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1914, she served as a general duty, private duty, and public health nurse.

Although not yet allowed to vote on the home front, Miss Andell joined the thousands of women who served on the war front as nurses for the Red Cross in the European theatre of World War I. She spent a year in France with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps as an American Red Cross Nurse. Her certificate of identification issued by the War Department on November 4, 1918, marking her embarkation from Hoboken, New Jersey, serves as a relic from her military service in the Waring’s digital collection of her personal papers.

Upon her return to Charleston, Miss Andell joined Roper Hospital as surgical supervisor and then operating room surgical supervisor until 1924. In that year, she became Superintendent of Nurses and Director of the Roper Hospital Training School. During her tenure, Miss Andell proposed ideas that were ahead of her time. She recommended replacing the ten-hour day and twelve-hour night duty with the eight-hour day. In addition, she supported increasing South Carolina's high school programs from three to four years, and requiring the four-year experience for nursing school admission. After working for 24 years, Miss Andell retired in 1948 due to eye problems.

Throughout her career, Miss Andell actively served in local and state professional nursing organizations. She served as president of the South Carolina State Nurses Association-District 1, president of the Roper Hospital Alumnae Association, and in 1935 became the first nurse president of the State Board of Nurse Examiners, a position she held until 1950. Additionally, she was a member of the board of directors of the S.C. State League of Nursing Education. In the Charleston community, Miss Andell was vice president of the City Federation of Women's Clubs. She received service awards from the Charleston Chapter of the Red Cross, and the Cadet Nurse Corps.

1918 certificate of identification of Marguerite Andell for service in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps

1918 certificate of identification of Marguerite Andell for service in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Click image to view in digital collection.

In 1946, the nursing students dedicated their first annual, Tres Anni, to Miss Andell: "To the person who, through the years has been a true friend to us all. And who like Socrates, has taught us to 'know thyself.' In spite of the tremendous responsibilities of her position, she has made each of us realize more fully the true meaning of our profession."

Miss Andell died in May 1968 and is buried in the Johns Island Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

The digital collection of the Marguerite Andell Collection, 1919-1946, features a photograph album, postcards, and personal correspondence primarily documenting the military service and nursing career of Marguerite Andell.

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