One of the first women physicians in Canada and sister of the late Senator E.D.Smith, Mrs. Adam Shortt, 89, died in Ottawa last Friday after a long illness. Mrs. Shortt had one of the longest and most distinguished careers among Canadian women.
Formerly Elizabeth Smith, she was born in Winona in 1895. After matriculation at Hamilton Collegiate, she resolved to study medicine and enrolled in the Royal Medical College at Kingston. She received her M.D. degree in 1884 - just one year later than the first woman graduate in medicine in Canada.
Mrs. Shortt practised in Hamilton for 3 years and then married Adam Shortt, a member of Queen's University staff and later professor of political economy. Mr. Shortt died 18 years ago.
From 1887 to 1893 she was lecturer at Queen's in Medical jurisprudence and sanitary science in the Women's Medical College, which she was largely instrumental in creating.
When her husband accepted an appointment as one of the two members of the first Civil Service Commission of Canada in 1908, Mrs. Shortt moved to Ottawa.
In Ottawa, she helped to organize the Women's Canadian Club and was its second president. For 7 years she was president of the Local Council of Women, vice-president of the National Council for 5 years, and for a time acting president of the council for Canada.
Always a great worker for social welfare, some of Mrs. Shortt's greatest work was done in connection with the Mothers' Allowance Act, which she helped to bring into being.
But of all the projects for social betterment, Mrs. Shortt reserved her greatest enthusiasm for the building of a residence which would provide a home for elderly women of limited income. She interested several wealthy women and her dream became a reality. The Elizabeth Residence, called after its founder, was established and stands to this day.
Mrs. Shortt is survived by a son, Dr. George Shortt of Detroit; two daughters, Miss Lorraine Shortt, of Ottawa, and Mrs. Roger Clarke, of Vineland; and two sisters, Misses Violet and Gertude Smith, of 81 Balsam Avenue South, Hamilton.
Her eldest brother, Senator E.D.Smith, died 3 months ago.