Miss Mabel Weed and Alice Barbara
photo courtesy of K. Bodding

Miss Mabel Weed (June 6, 1871–November 17, 1957) was a social worker who, along with Bertha Wright, a pioneering public health nurse, founded the Baby Hospital c.1912. The Baby Hospital eventually became Children's Hospital Oakland. (NB: A few sources spell her first name Mable, but most sources, including her headstone, have the more common spelling.)

Miss Weed was born in Seattle, Washington to Dr. Gideon Allen Weed (March 7, 1833–April 22, 1905) (who was twice mayor of Seattle 1) and Dr. Adaline Melinda Willis (Weed) (March 12, 1837–September 12, 1910). She was adamant about being called "Miss Mabel Weed", never just Mabel Weed.

Bertha Wright and Miss Weed met when both were working at the Berkeley Charities Organization. When Bertha Wright resigned to take the position of Berkeley school district nurse, Miss Weed took over as secretary of the organization.

The two women formed a household, and Miss Weed adopted three children: Philip Raimond Weed (January 26, 1915–July 23, 1964), Alice Barbara Weed (August 6, 1916–October 31, 1978) and Jean Constance Weed (b. January 8, 1923-April 13, 2015). They also raised a number of foster children together.

Other Organizations

L-Bertha Wright, B-Alice (Ada) Wright, R-Mabel Weed with Philip at 1915 Panama Pacific International Exhibition
photo courtesy of K. Bodding

Besides being a social worker and helping found Children's Hospital, Miss Mabel Weed was an assistant librarian in Berkeley for six years (c.18991905). She was also involved in numerous social welfare organizations and committees, including:

  • State Conference of Social Agencies
  • State Board of Charities and Corrections
  • Assistant Director of the California State Department of Welfare
  • Alameda County Society for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis - other notable members include Frank K. Mott, and J. W. McClymonds2
  • Precinct captain for elections - in 1912; California voters passed women's suffrage in 1911
  • Berkeley Charities Organization
  • Berkeley Red Cross
  • Berkeley Art Association - other notable committee members include architects John Galen Howard and Bernard Maybeck
  • Berkeley Gardening Association
  • Berkeley Outdoor Art Club - fighting billboards and "other allied landscape disfigurements" 3
  • San Francisco Council of Social and Health Agencies
  • San Francisco Community Chest
  • Berkeley Anti-Tobacco League
  • American Association of Social Workers

When Bertha retired from the hospital in 1926, she and Miss Weed moved to San Francisco, Woodside and finally to Palo Alto, California. Mabel was the assistant director of the progressive Peninsula School in Menlo Park from c.1930-1938. She opened and ran a book and gift store in Palo Alto called "The Little Shop Around The Corner" on Ramona Street from c.1940-1943.

Death and Burial

Miss Mabel Weed died at the age of 86 and is buried in Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto, California, with her son Philip Weed.

Links and References

  1. Death of Pioneer Doctor San Francisco Call April 25, 1905
  2. Tuberculosis Fighters Hold Annual Meeting San Francisco Call March 20, 1910
  3. Women Wage War Upon Billboards San Francisco Call July 12, 1908