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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
University Archives & Manuscripts - K-State Women
Bessie Belle Little (?-1952)

Bessie Belle Little graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1891 and worked as an assistant in Sewing at KSAC, 1893-1894. She pursued special studies in Physical Culture in New Haven, CT, in 1894, becoming an instructor at the KSAC School of Physical Education in 1897. She held the Chair of Physiology and Physical Training at Belmont College in Nashville, TN, in 1899 and was the director of Physical Training at Bryn Mawr College, PA, 1900-1904. In 1902, she and her father, Dr. C.F. Little, donated the money for a new wing of the Charlotte Swift hospital in Manhattan, KS, named after Belle's mother. The Hospital cooperated with KSAC in offering a five year nurses course. Little was a student at the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia, PA, 1902-1906, taking leave from her position at Bryn Mawr College to complete her medical degree in 1904. She received her Master's degree from the Woman's Medical College in 1906 and interned at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, MA, 1906-1907. She returned home and opened a medical practice, becoming the first woman doctor in Manhattan, KS, in 1907. She also worked as assistant physician in the Department of Student Health at KSAC in 1922. Little managed the Charlotte Swift Hospital until she sold it to the Sisters of St. Joseph, who renamed it St. Marys, in 1936. She died on Sept. 24, 1952.

Sources of information:

Vertical File. Little, Bessie Belle
Alumni Records, 1914