Midwives Supply Needed Service Community


Dublin Core


Midwives Supply Needed Service Community

Alternative Title

Midwives Supply Needed Service Community


African Americans--Florida--Sanford
Sanford (Fla.)
Georgetown (Sanford, Fla.)
Midwives--United States


A newspaper article about African-American midwives in Seminole County, Florida, in the 1960s. The article states that of the 760 babies born at the Seminole Memorial Hospital in 1963, nearly 400 were delivered by African-America midwives. The article explains that the demand for midwifery was due to rising costs in hospital delivery and prenatal care. The article also discusses the licensing for midwives, the delivery process, and then highlights two midwives in Seminole: Mary Moye and Marie Jones Francis. Moye, who lived at 1515 West Sixteenth Street, had been practicing midwifery for 40 years and had been licensed and registered for 20 years at the time that the article was published. According to the article, her services typically cost between $65 and $90.

The article also highlights Marie Francis, the "midwife of Sanford." Francis left behind a successful hotel and restaurant she owned in Sarasota in 1942 to return to Sanford and become a midwife. World War II caused a shortage in doctors and nurses, so Florida's Children's Bureau sent Francis to Florida A & M to acquire her practical nursing license in 1945. She specialized in premature babies and returned to Sanford to aid her mother, Carrie Jones, at Fernald-Laughton Memorial Hospital before they opened the ward in their home. "When her health starting failing," she recollects in a newspaper article, "I took over." Francis converted her house at 621 East Sixth Street to also serve as a maternity ward, where she delivered over 40,000 babies over her 32 year career. She became a midwife in the same vein as her mother, Carrie Jones, and together they ran the Jones-Francis Maternity Hall in Georgetown.

Francis served her community in several ways. She delivered babies for both white and black families from Seminole County, primarily patrons who either preferred natural births or could not afford deliveries at a hospital. In the 1950s, it cost $70 to stay nine days where soon-to-be mothers were taken care of. Francis was assisted by her sister, Annie Walker, who did the cooking. The house and ward also served as a school, where Marie Francis taught nurses the art of midwifery. Nurses would come from across the state to learn how to delivery infants naturally. A heavy burden on a single working mother, Marie Francis had three daughters, Cassandra Clayton, Daphne Humphrey, and Barbara Torre. Clayton and Humphrey became school teachers and Torre became a purchaser at Seminole Memorial Hospital.


Austin, Dottie


Original newspaper article: Austin, Dottie. "Midwives Supply Needed Service Community." The Sanford Herald, July 24, 1964: Private Collection of Daphne F. Humphrey.


Date Created

ca. 1964-07-24

Date Copyrighted


Date Issued



Humphrey, Daphne F.

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original newspaper article: Austin, Dottie. "Midwives Supply Needed Service Community." The Sanford Herald, July 24, 1964.

Is Part Of

The Sanford Herald, July 24, 1964, page 3.
Marie Jones Francis Collection, Georgetown Collection, Sanford Collection, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




2.2 MB


1 newspaper article






Seminole Memorial Hospital, Sanford, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally created by Dottie Austin and published by The Sanford Herald.

Rights Holder

Copyright to the resource is held by The Sanford Herald and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


Firpo, Julio R.

Digital Collection

Source Repository

Private Collection of Daphne F. Humphrey

External Reference

Dickinson, Joy Wallace. “A Very Rich Trail: Florida’s Black Heritage is Celebrated in an Updated and Expanded State Publication." The Orlando Sentinel, February 24, 2008, J1. http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/02/24/3287685.htm.
Moore, Stacy. "Midwife on Job Here 32 Years." The Little Sentinel, April 4, 1979, 26.
Flewellyn, Valada Parker, and the Sanford Historical Society. African Americans of Sanford. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2009.
"Oral History of Daphne F. Humphrey." Interview by Julio R. Firpo. Home of Daphne F. Humphrey. April 8, 2011. Audio record available. RICHES of Central Florida.
"Oral History of Daphne F. Humphrey." Interview by Julio R. Firpo. Home of Daphne F. Humphrey. April 8, 2011. Audio record available. RICHES of Central Florida.

Document Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 newspaper article


Austin, Dottie, “Midwives Supply Needed Service Community,” RICHES, accessed July 24, 2024, https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/2944.