Ellis Reynolds Shipp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ellis Reynolds Shipp.

Ellis Reynolds Shipp (January 20, 1847 – January 31, 1939)[1] was one of the first female doctors in Utah and west of the Mississippi. She founded The School of Nursing and Obstetrics in 1879, and was on the board of the Deseret Hospital Association. She successfully combined motherhood and a medical practice, saying, “It is to me the crowning joy of a woman’s life to be a mother.”[2] In her 50-year medical career, she delivered more than 5,000 babies—and led the School of Nursing and Obstetrics in training 500 women who became licensed midwives.[3][4]


Born Ellis Reynolds, she came with her family to Utah Territory in 1852. Her family was among the early Mormon pioneer settlers of Pleasant Grove, Utah. In 1866, Ellis Reynolds married Milford Shipp. She bore a total of ten children, six of whom survived infancy.[5]

Shipp began studying at the University of Deseret,[6] then in Philadelphia at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1875, leaving her children behind in Utah Territory in the care of her husband's three other wives. Brigham Young sponsored her education in the Eastern United States and she later did further medical studies at the University of Michigan.

Shipp wrote the words to "Father, Cheer Our Souls Tonight"[7][8] which is in the 1985 English edition of the LDS hymnbook. In 1910, she published a book of her own poems entitled Life Lines.[9]

Ellis Reynolds Shipp served as a member of the Relief Society General Board from 1898 to 1907. She also served on the general board of the Young Women.[10] Both the Relief Society and the Young Women are organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


A neighborhood park in Salt Lake City, Utah is named in her honor a few blocks from where she lived and practiced medicine.[11]

A public health center in West Valley, Utah is also named in her honor.[12]

One of the women's dorms in Heritage Halls at Brigham Young University is named in her honor.

For her work in medicine, Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp is honored with a display room in the Pioneer Memorial Museum. The large four-floor building near the Utah state capitol building is maintained by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers.[13]


  1. ^ "Certificate of Death". State Board of Health, State of Utah. February 4, 1939. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  2. ^ "Ellis Reynolds Shipp—Mother and Doctor". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  3. ^ Karen Kay Jaworski. "Ellis Reynolds Shipp". University of Utah. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  4. ^ "The History of Ellis Reynolds Shipp, Utah". Online Utah. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  5. ^ Jaworski, Karen Kay. "Ellis Reynolds Shipp". Utah History Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  6. ^ Davis Bitton; Thomas G. Alexander. "SHIPP, ELLIS REYNOLDS (1847-1939)". The A to Z of Mormonism. Scarecrow Press. p. 210. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  7. ^ ""Father, Cheer Our Souls Tonight" (text)". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  8. ^ ""Father, Cheer Our Souls Tonight" (text and music)". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  9. ^ Shipp, Ellis Reynolds (1910). Life Lines: Poems. Salt Lake City, Utah: Skelton Publishing Company. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  10. ^ "Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp". University of Utah. 2004-03-15. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  11. ^ Ellis Reynolds Shipp Park
  12. ^ Ellis Reynolds Shipp Public Health Center
  13. ^ "Utah Pioneer Memorial Museum". Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Retrieved 2011-12-21.