FANNIE E. SOUTHERN
It is interesting to chronicle the history of a successful woman – one who is not afraid to put forth the effort and expend the energy necessary to make the enterprise she undertakes a meritorious success. Such a woman is Miss Fannie E. Southern, lessee and manager of the Rideout Memorial Hospital in Marysville. She is a native of California, born at Southern Station, Shasta County, a daughter of Simeon and Sarah (Lafferty) Southern. The father was a pioneer of 1849.
Simeon Southern was born in Stephensburg, Ky., September 6, 1822, and was descended from an old and prominent family in Kentucky. He served in the Mexican War in Jefferson Davis’ Regiment, and was transferred to the front. He was in the Battle of Buena Vista and in the battle at which Santa Ana met defeat. In the winter of 1848-1849 he was with his company in Salt Lake City. After the close of the war, he returned to civil life and came across the mountains to California, in 1849. He ran the Eagle Hotel at Shasta for a period of three years, and then removed to French Gulch, where he was proprietor of the Empire Hotel. In 1859 he located at Dog Creek, Shasta County; and there he kept a hotel until he removed to Southern Station, a stage station on the stage trail. This station took its name from him. When he located there, it was only a pack trail, and the inhabitants were principally Indians, with a few scattering miners. When the Southern Pacific Railroad was built through, he gave the right of way through 740 acres of his land. They located a station on the land, three-quarters of a mile from Southern Station, and called it Sims – also for Mr. Southern, for he was familiarly known by every one as Sim Southern. However, Mr. Southern continued to run the hotel and store at Southern Station, where he was the pioneer. In 1872 he succeeded in securing a postoffice, and it was named Hazel Creek. He was the first postmaster, and continued in that capacity until his death, which occurred at Redding, December 6, 1892.
In pioneer days Simeon Southern had married, the ceremony occurring in the old town of Shasta, on February 26, 1856, when Miss Sarah Emma Lafferty became his wife. She was born on November 5, 1837, at Cumberland, Ky., and crossed the plains to California in an ox-team train in the early fifties. She was one of the noble pioneer women of the early days, who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to settlement and pioneering in a new country. Devoted to her family, neighborly and affable of manner, she was a woman endeared to all with whom she came in contact. She passed away in Redding, May 26, 1919, mourned by her family and many friends. Sim Southern was a man of much business ability and met with reasonable success in his ventures. He was well-read and well-posted, had a retentive memory, and, being a good conversationalist, was an excellent story-teller. His place was a well-known resort for hunters and fishers, who came again and again to enjoy fishing and hunting, while making their headquarters under his hospitable roof. Prominent men from all over the United States stopped at his place, and the old hotel register contains autographs of some very distinguished men. Of the eight children born to the worthy pioneer couple, seven grew up, of whom five are living; and Fannie E. is the youngest in the family. She grew up among the healthful surroundings and beautiful scenery of the upper Sacramento River, enjoying the great out-doors to the fullest. She received a good education in the public schools of Shasta County; and then, having chosen the profession of a nurse as her life-work, she entered upon the necessary study and training in a San Francisco hospital, where she graduated as a nurse. She followed her profession in that city until 1905, when she went to Chico and started the Florence Nightingale Hospital in that city, continuing as owner and superintendent until 1908. She then sold the establishment and coming immediately to Marysville, in April, 1908, established the first hospital in this city, which she named the Rideout Hospital, because it was located in the old Rideout home. It was opened May 1, 1908, and met with merited success from the outset. Her success assured, Miss Southern was desirous of securing larger and more modern quarters. So when Mrs. Rideout built the present hospital as a memorial to her husband, Miss Southern continued her business by leasing and furnishing it, and opened it as the Rideout Memorial Hospital. It will accommodate thirty-five patients. All the modern conveniences for their best care are provided, and only graduate nurses are employed. The hospital has a modern operating room, X-ray room, laboratory, etc., as well as an obstetrical department, which is located in one end of the hospital and includes private rooms, delivery room, and nursery.
When the first detention home was established in Yuba County, Miss Southern was appointed the first matron, continuing in that capacity until 1918, when she resigned. She was a charter member of the San Francisco Nurses’ Association, and was one of the organizers of the Nurses’ Journal, of which she was the first treasurer, the journal being devoted to forwarding the interests of the profession. She is very philanthropic; and her kindness of heart and generous nature are much appreciated. She has educated five different children.
Fraternally, Miss Southern is a member of the Marysville Chapter, O.E.S., and Marysville Parlor No. 116, N.D.G.W., of which she is past president.
Miss Southern is also interested in horticulture and owns a fifty-acre orchard in Sutter County, devoted to prunes, peaches and almonds, which she superintends. She finds recreation in her work as a member of the Marysville Art Club. Thoroughness in everything she undertakes is the outstanding characteristic of this enterprising and capable woman.
History of Yuba and Sutter Counties, Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, 1924
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