Jessie Groves Collection, 1915-1977


Jessie Lucile Groves (1894-1994)

Jessie Groves was born in Montgomery County, Indiana on February 6, 1894. Following training as a nurse at the Culver Union Hospital in Crawfordsville, IN she moved to Indianapolis in 1915 to take a position as the Night Supervisor at Long Hospital on the campus of the fledgling Indiana University School of Medicine. Just two years later, at the age of 23, Jessie became the Operating Room Supervisor at Long Hospital. In 1938 she added this same position at Riley Hospital, and thus became the Operating Room Supervisor for all of the Indiana University Medical Center. She spent the rest of her career working at Long and Riley hospitals, retiring sometime in the 1950s. Jessie died in Crawfordsville on February 13, 1994, having just celebrated her 100th birthday.

Scope and Content

From the beginning of her career in Indianapolis Jessie Groves took candid photographs of nurses, doctors, and the campus, compiling these in a photo album (or perhaps albums). These photographs arrived in the IUPUI University Archives sometime in the 1970s. In 1977 University Archivist Jeannette Matthew interviewed Jessie, and that tape is also a part of the Archives collections. At some point the album was dismantled and the photographs were integrated into the rest of the university photo collection. Almost all of the photographs have now been reassembled and the album has been virtually recreated through digitization. The photographs provide a personal documentary record of the first four decades of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Medical Center.

The entire collection of photographs from the scrapbook and others gathered throughout Jessie's career are available online, along with the complete oral history and transcription.

Updated Jan 27, 2016 by Webmaster