By Sandra Schumacher
Ida Noyes could have easily moved into the eastern blueblood society that enticed so many young women who were in her position. Instead she chose a life of human service both in education and in medicine. By the time she was born in Rhode Island in 1859, her family had been in this country over two hundred years settling first in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1634. Her paternal ancestors numbered several who chose the life of Minister and most graduated from Harvard University. The Rev. James Noyes, also a Harvard Graduate, was one of the first trustees and founders of Yale University.
It should come as no surprise that there is little written about the accomplishments of her maternal ancestors, except for the poor Margaret Noyes who was declared a Witch. This fate would not fall upon Ida Noyes whose parents were on the move: by 1860 they were in Stowe, Maine and by 1864, Detroit Michigan where she attended primary school, high school and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1881.
Ida Noyes experienced a pivotal moment while a student at the university. Her chosen field was Journalism, but while studying the Latin/Scientific course, she became interested in the field of medicine. Following her graduation, she taught in the Detroit public schools for five years while she continued studying medicine at the Michigan Medical College.
Soon she married B.N. Beaver and they moved to Dayton Ohio. There she became active in the W.C.T.U. and became an important public speaker on their behalf. She was one of three women who helped found ‘Bethany Home’….a refuge for “repentant and outcast women.” Ida had not forgotten her love of medicine and her desire to heal, so she entered Woman’s Hospital Medical College in Chicago, a department of Northwestern University, and received her M.D. degree in March 1891. She interned at the Woman’s Hospital for a few months, then moved to Denver Colorado and began the practice of medicine where she specialized in the diseases of women.
It was Denver’s altitude that provided the impetus for her to move after divorcing Mr. Beaver and remarrying the ex-governor of Colorado, Albert W. McIntire. They spent a few years in Cleveland Ohio before settling in Everett Washington in 1901, where Dr. McIntire opened her medical practice and private hospital at 3129 Colby. She actively worked in the successful Washington women’s 1910 campaign for suffrage. McIntire spoke to groups, helped gain continuing press coverage for the cause and frequently opened her clinic office for meetings of the Everett Suffrage Club.
Ida Noyes McIntire was known as a highly gifted woman, active in local charities who considered human service life’s highest calling, just as many of her New England male ancestors had two centuries before. Her decision to serve in the medical field was courageous considering the era in which she lived. When she died in 1932, it was no surprise that she left the bulk of her estate for the welfare of retired Congregational Church ministers in the state of Washington. It was her final tribute to her remarkable family and the last act of human service from a woman who lead the way for other female doctors in our community, and a person who exemplified leadership qualities that all can aspire to.
1860 Federal Census, Stowe, Maine
Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: Noyes, Schenectady NY History
Illustrated History of Skagit and Snohomish Counties, by Shiach, Eilliam Sidney eds. pub 1906 page 905
Issues of the Everett Daily Herald, and the Labor Journal and Votes for Women, 1909-1910.
Obituary, The Everett Daily Herald, June 29, 1932
© 2008 By Sandra Schumacher All Rights Reserved; WLP Story #49