Lizzie York Keason (1871-1960)

Midwife Lizzie Keason of Tiger recalled in a 1955 interview when she was 84 years old that she had delivered 525 babies and assisted in the delivery of hundreds more. She called her talent a "God-given thing," never losing a mother or a baby in her entire career. 

Keason carried a medical bag with her own medicines and clean cloths. Many of the medicines she made herself from roots, herbs and "other things of nature."

"Aunt Lizzie" had little formal schooling, but women came from miles around for her help. She received little pay for her work; one family for whom she delivered nine children paid her $3 in total. She said she didn't care. "Folks had to be born," she would say.

Lizzie Keason lost three children of her own in an era when early death was quite common, but doctors and other medical professionals were not at all common. Keason summarized her life's work this way: "All my life I worked hard. My biggest job was working for my fellow man...The most I ever charged for bringing a baby was $5. But I was well paid."

Help us plan for
Rabun County’s Bicentennial Celebration

Special Exhibit:
Rabun’s Twentieth Century in Review

At the turn of the twentieth century, Rabun County remained largely isolated from the outside world. This would change dramatically with the coming of a railroad which also brought tourism, logging and dam building.
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