Ora framer Porter: Little is known about Ora Porter's childhood, except the fact that growing up in a predominantly white society during the Victorian era provided young black women with few career choices. Census records show that black women in Bowling Green and elsewhere were almost entirely limited to domestic service.
Infant mortality rates were high and disease epidemics common. Perhaps Ora Porter was influenced by these things when she decided to attend the Tuskegee University School of Nursing. She graduated in 1904 and returned to Bowling Green.
Back home, Porter worked for the privately owned St. Joseph's Hospital. As a general rule, however, few people went to hospitals in the early days of the 20th century, so Porter often cared for people in their homes.
Ora Porter worked to improve life in Bowling Green not only through her medical career, but through her civic activities as well. She was among the organizers of the George Washington Carver Community Center and was active in local elections and events.
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