"When Orlean was in her 50s, a neighbor went into labor and no doctor could be found. This began her career as a midwife, and for the next nearly fifty years, she traveled the Virginia countryside, never charging for her services, and becoming known for her compassion and skill. In more than 1,000 deliveries, she never lost a mother or a baby. Orlean delivered her last baby at age 94, and died in 1939. The cabin was her last home."
Her husband, John, deserted the Confederate army during the Civil War and hid in the mountains until the war was over. He built this cabin in 1865.
John Puckett died in 1912 while Orlean lived on, by herself, until she too died 27 years later.
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*Paula wanted me to let Gregory Woodfill, an OB-GYN in Wilmington, NC, know that Orlean Puckett, acting as a midwife, was paid the sum of $6 for her labor and delivery services when the family she was helping could afford it. When they couldn't - which was often - she worked for free.
** Orlean Puckett was known to travel as far as 20 miles - often on horseback - through the mountains - to deliver babies.
*** Though no one is sure as to when exactly she was born it is thought to have been around 1844, which made her 95 when she died. Orlean Puckett was still delivering babies until 1938, when she was 94 years old.
**** In 2012 Orlean Puckett was selected by the state of Virginia to be a member of "Virginia Women in History."
***** Despite the fact that John Puckett had quit the Confederate army and had hid out for the duration of the war, Orlean Puckett, in 1913, applied to the state of Virginia for a widow's pension, her husband having served … for a time.
****** Because she was illiterate Orlean Puckett's spelled her first name over the years at least five different ways. It just wasn't high on her list of priorities back in the day.
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