Jane S. Morrin
Interviewed by Marci Farr
3 October 2008
Oral History Program
Weber State University
Jane S. Morrin
3 October 2008
Copyright © 2009 by Weber State University, Stewart Library
The Oral History Program of the Stewart Library was created to preserve the institutional history of Weber
State University and the Davis, Ogden and Weber County communities. By conducting carefully
researched, recorded, and transcribed interviews, the Oral History Program creates archival oral histories
intended for the widest possible use.
Interviews are conducted with the goal of eliciting from each participant a full and accurate account of
events. The interviews are transcribed, edited for accuracy and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewees
(as available), who are encouraged to augment or correct their spoken words. The reviewed and
corrected transcripts are indexed, printed, and bound with photographs and illustrative materials as
available. Archival copies are placed in Special Collections. The Stewart Library also houses the original
recording so researchers can gain a sense of the interviewee's voice and intonations.
The Dee School of Nursing was founded in 1910 to provide training for nurses who would staff the new
Dee Memorial Hospital. The first class of eight nurses graduated from the school in 1913 and the school
continued to operate until 1955, with a total of more than 700 graduates. A new nursing school and home
located just east of the hospital was completed in 1917 and all nursing students were required to live in
the home during their training.
This oral history project was created to capture the memories of the school's alumni before their stories
disappear in the same way the Dee Hospital has disappeared. The oral interviews focus on how the
women became involved with the school, their experiences going through training, and how they used the
Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews between a
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well-informed interviewer, with
the goal of preserving substantive additions to the historical record. Because it is primary material, oral
history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete narrative of events. It is a spoken
account. It reflects personal opinion offered by the interviewee in response to questioning, and as such it
is partisan, deeply involved, and irreplaceable.
All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to
the Stewart Library of Weber State University. No part of the manuscript may be
published without the written permission of the University Librarian. Requests for
permission to publish should be addressed to the Administration Office, Stewart
Library, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, 84408. The request should include
identification of the specific item and identification of the user.
It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Jane S. Morrin, an oral history by Marci Farr,
3 October 2008, WSU Stewart Library Oral
History Program, Special Collections,
Stewart Library, Weber State University,
Jane S. Morrin
Class of 1941
Jane S. Morrin
August 1, 2009
Abstract: This is an oral history interview with Jane S. Morrin. It was conducted
October 3, 2008 and concerns her recollections and experiences with the Dee
School of Nursing. The interviewer is Marci Farr.
MF: This is Marci Farr. We are interviewing Jane Morrin on the phone. She
graduated from the Dee School of Nursing in 1941. It is October 3, 2008. Hi
Jane, how are you today?
MF: We are just going to start off with just a few questions about your early life, where
you grew up, your family, and where you went to school.
JM: I was born here in Ogden. I attended the city schools, graduated from Ogden
High in 1938. I came from a family of five children.
MF: What made you decide that you wanted to become a nurse?
JM: It was something that I wanted from the time I was a very young child when I first
even knew what I nurse was. I had wanted to do that all my life.
MF: Why did you decide the Dee School of Nursing?
JM: it was close to home and it was the only one I really knew anything about.
MF: It was convenient and close. What were some of your impressions when you
first got to the school, when you started your training?
JM: I was just thrilled about everything because this was something I had always
MF: Had you been away from home before? Was this your first time?
JM: It was my first time, yes. You entered as soon as you graduated from high
MF: What were some of your favorite classes?
JM: We took anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and ethics classes, and
medical…the study of medicine that you would give to a patient…and OB and
surgery, all those things that are necessary to develop a nurse.
MF: Did you have some classes down on Weber campus, the old Weber campus
JM: Yes, down on Jefferson between 24th and 25th.
MF: Did you walk down every day?
JM: Not every day but, you know, we had quite a few classes down there. Just our
first year though. After our first year classes were all on campus, on the nurses
MF: Who were some of your instructors?
JM: Well some of them were staff instructors that did nothing but teach and some of
them were doctors.
MF: When you first arrived at the nursing home you were assigned a roommate,
MF: Do you remember who your roommate was?
JM: Yes, her name was Alice Ray.
MF: There you were two to a room, correct?
MF: And you had to stay in the nurse’s home.
MF: And live there. What were some of the rules you had to follow?
JM: There were a lot of rules really. We had room inspections, once a week they
checked to see if our beds were made properly and everything was picked up
and neat. And then every night our lights had to be out at ten o’clock.
MF: You did have a curfew?
MF: Tell us about your housemother.
JM: Her name was Mrs. Woods.
MF: So how was she?
JM: She was strict but she was fair.
MF: So you got along well with her?
MF: You had all of your meals at the nurse home too, right?
JM: We had to go over to the hospital for our meals.
MF: Oh okay you had it there. Tell us about a typical day at the hospital when you
started your shift work.
JM: There are a lot of variables there. Because it would depend on what unit you
were working in and what time of day, whether you were on a morning shift, if
you were on a morning shift you did bed baths and treatments and that sort of
thing whereas in the afternoon, the later day you got patients ready for bed and it
just depended on where you were and at what time.
MF: What was your floor that you preferred the most while you were working?
JM: I liked pediatrics.
MF: What did you do if you had a night off, if you were not working?
JM: Well since my family lived in Ogden I could go home. We could date. If it was a
weeknight we still had to be in at ten o’clock but if it was a Saturday night we
could be out until midnight.
MF: What about being married during that time? Could you be married and be part of
the nursing program?
JM: Oh no.
MF: Could you be engaged?
JM: Yes, I was engaged; the last few months that I was there.
MF: Do you remember any traditions that were associated with the Dee Hospital?
JM: No not really.
MF: Were you required to attend church if you had a Sunday off?
JM: No, it was our choice.
MF: Tell us about your capping and pinning ceremony, where they took place.
JM: They took place in the auditorium down at the old Weber College.
MF: How long after you got into the program did that take place?
JM: Well the capping…it seems to me like it was six months but I am not sure. We
did not get it right off the bat.
MF: Is that when you received your cap and your first stripe? Is that correct?
MF: That would tell what level you were at.
JM: Yes and every year you got another stripe so when you were a senior you had
the three stripes.
MF: Do you remember any of the doctors, any doctors that stick out in your mind?
JM: Yes there was Doctor Draper, and Doctor Ward, and Doctor Dumke, and Doctor
MF: So did you prefer any of them over another.
JM: Yes you always had the ones you tried to avoid and the ones that you really
MF: When was graduation?
JM: It was in September of 1941.
MF: Now this was also during the war. Can you tell us a little bit about during the war
how that affected the nursing?
JM: Well I can remember the war, you know, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It
was on a Sunday. And I had that day off. I went to work on Monday and of
course it was pure chaos. We had a lot of, well not a lot but several, Japanese
nurses that were staff members. There were patients there that absolutely
refused to let those girls into their rooms, yet they were wonderful people. It was
a hard, hard time.
MF: I forgot to ask you this, where your graduation was held? Was it also at Weber?
JM: Yes, at the auditorium at Weber.
MF: While you were in training did you get any kind of stipend at all?
JM: Yes we got five dollars a month; just a little spending money.
MF: After you graduated did you stay at the Dee Hospital? What did you do after you
JM: Yes I stayed there but I did not work too long because I got married as soon as I
graduated and a year and a half later I started my family. In those days if you
were pregnant and were starting to show you had to quit right then. Now they
can work right up until the baby.
MF: Did you continue with nursing after you had your children or you did you retire?
JM: No. My husband made a good living and I did not have to work.
JM: I did do volunteer work. After my children got a little older I was a volunteer
nurse for the Red Cross. I helped with their blood program.
MF: Did you know any of the members of the Dee family?
JM: Well in my later life I knew them but at that time I did not know.
MF: Who did you know later on?
JM: Tommy Dee.
MF: Is there anything that you want to share with us? Any thoughts you have had
while we have been talking? Anything else that you have thought of that you
would like to tell us about while you were in training?
JM: It just absolutely amazes me how nursing has changed.
MF: It has changed hasn’t it?
MF: How do you think it has changed?
JM: It has all become technical. You know, all the computers and stuff. I do not even
know how to work a computer. At this age in my life I am not going to, why would
MF: Do you think that nurses nowadays are more educated where you guys were
more trained as like hands on? Do you think?
JM: We really did more hands on nursing, very definitely. Now it is just they come in
and check a machine and, you know, I think it is less personal.
MF: It is. I think so. I think you are absolutely right. What was one of your greatest
challenges when you were going through the nurses program?
JM: Well, one of the hardest things for me was the way we had to change shifts. You
know, trying to get enough sleep was part of it because one week we would work
days. The next week we would work the swing shift, they did not call it that then
and then sometimes we would work a split shift like we would work from seven to
eleven at night, sleep for four hours and go back to work at three in the morning
and work till seven.
MF: That would probably be very tough.
JM: I think that was my hardest thing was trying to get the sleep.
MF: Do you think that your training served you well?
JM: It was wonderful because I had six children and we had some health problems
with some of the children and that just helped me tremendously with taking care
of my children. Then as I got older I was always taking care of my parents or my
in-laws, I was a caregiver all my life. I have really fond memories and the people
in my class were just wonderful gals. There were twenty-five of us that started
and only sixteen of us graduated. Those sixteen, we just over the years we
MF: … in contact.
JM: And then the nursing school has reunions. I have not been able to go to the last
two that they have had but they were always fun to go to.
MF: I am glad that you had a great experience. And we appreciate you sharing your
memories with us. We appreciate your time Jane and we hope you have a great
day. We appreciate you letting us visit with you.
JM: Thank you.
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