Title: Physician
Birthdate: January 2, 1831
Death Date: February 9, 1918
Plot Location: Section 131, Lot 43

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There’s very little to say about Anna’s medical career, primarily because she had a late start after her first career as a wife and mother. However, through her family and church, she contributed to the history of this cemetery.

She grew up with four younger siblings in her house in Philadelphia. When the last little Stewart was born, Anna was almost 17 so she had plenty of practice playing nurse to all of them. Caring for others, even if just temporarily, provided good  experience that would be needed in both careers. 

Their father, Daniel, came from Ireland and was blessed in his business as a broker. The Christian life was taught and practiced in the home with support from their church, St. Paul’s Episcopal, where each child was baptized. He enabled them to have a comfortable life, as evidenced by the sizable estate he left and this family monument that was erected at Mount Moriah in Section 1. 

While each of the children did well, they were grounded in modest behavior and not slaves to materialism. Both of Anna’s husbands were ministers, giving their children the foundation for living righteously and walking with humility.

Anna became William Dalrymple’s wife in 1855 and mother of their three children starting in 1856. She also filled the role of pastor’s wife in the various locations where they served together. Through the next 20 years he led congregations in Philly and its suburbs, including Radnor, Kennett Square, and Marcus Hook. They were in the appropriately named coal town of Minersville in Schuylkill County in 1870.

William preached his last sermon at his church in the Port Richmond section of Philly in 1875. He was buried here in Section 131, which was an entire section donated by the cemetery to the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Church for its ministers and their families.

Anna may have received some support from the ministerial pension fund but she still had her son, Fisher, at home along with Mary, 13, and Jessie, 7. In 1880 Fisher was married by the current pastor of his father’s last church. In the midst of adjusting to these major life changes, Anna pursued higher education at Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the country’s first school dedicated to training women to earn their M.D. degree. 

That degree became hers in 1883 at the age of 52. The college was located next to the Women’s Hospital of Philadelphia on North College Avenue so students could get hands-on experience. (It became the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1970, merged with Hahnemann University’s medical school, and became Drexel University College of Medicine in 2002.) 

At the time, the Dalrymples were living just a few blocks away on North 22nd Street. That’s where Anna based her practice, although home visits were the rule in those days. It didn’t bring her wealth or fame, but she helped people, and that’s what mattered.

She soon met a man that mattered a great deal and married him in 1886. A year earlier the Rev. John B. McCullough buried his wife here in the same ministerial plot, in lot 40.  He was a pastor for 26 years before helping start the Chester Heights Camp Meeting Association. The group bought a farm near Wawa in Delaware County and created a campground and retreat center. When he met Anna he was editor of the Philadelphia Methodist, a monthly magazine.

John had two grown sons, one who worked with him at his office in Philadelphia and one who was a doctor in Trenton. After they married, he sold his house in Germantown, she sold hers, and they moved to a home on what is now Temple University property off Cecil B. Moore Avenue. 

Whether Anna continued to practice medicine and for how long is unknown. John graciously welcomed her two daughters to live with them as they pursued careers as public school teachers.

They spent every summer at the campground in Chester Heights. It was only for eight more summers, however, because John died in 1894 at age 71. Anna had him buried next to his first wife.  Read more in his Notable life story here.

After another eight years, Anna’s youngest, Jessie, left the nest. She was 33 when she married a professor of ophthalmology at Temple, Dr. Wendell Reber, in 1902. They never had children but soon invited her mother and sister to join them in their home in Germantown.

Anna took as her last mission the goal of providing enough money for the perpetual care of Section 131. She had long been a prime mover in keeping the Conference burial ground beautiful, being respected in church records as “a vivid and striking personality.” She not only promoted the fundraising effort but contributed greatly to it, along with her son, Fisher. 

The goal of raising $5000 to maintain the section was reached in 1920, but it was two years after Anna died at age 87. Most of the money was paid to Mount Moriah to have the cemetery do the work.

Her daughter’s husband, the eye doctor, died of pneumonia at the end of 1916 and Anna followed him a little more than a year later. The two school teachers/sisters stayed together until Mary died in 1940 and Jessie in 1945.

Almost everyone mentioned in this story was buried at Mount Moriah. Anna’s grave is beside her first husband, and is noticeable for its distinctive horizontal cross. Her two daughters are also in Lot 43 along with Jessie’s husband Wendell. One of her brothers, Robert Stewart and his wife are in Section 103, and another brother, William, and his four Stewarts are with Anna’s parents by that large monument in Section 1.

Japanese maple tree in front of a monument at Mount Moriah Cemetery

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