Ruth Litchfield Marsh (1893-1991), Hingham Visiting Nurse

Ruth Briggs Litchfield, 19 years old, 1912. Photo courtesy of Meg Kenagy

At the end of August 1918, the worldwide influenza pandemic hit the Boston area. Doctors and hospitals were overwhelmed. Red Cross volunteers and nurses stepped in to help. In Hingham, Ruth Litchfield Marsh, two years out of nursing school, worked throughout the crisis. She was 25 years old. It was through this experience that she became committed to public health, working over her long life with the Hingham Visiting Nurses Association and as a volunteer for South Shore Hospital.


Ruth, the elder of S. Frances and Wilbur Litchfield’s two daughters. Photo courtesy of Meg Kenagy.

Ruth was born in April 1893 at 11 Union Street, Hingham, the first of two daughters of Sarah Frances Briggs and Wilbur Trowbridge Litchfield. She lived most of her life on School Street. She married George Marsh in May 1919, had four children and many grandchildren. Her house and gardens were always beautifully kept and she always had time to bake a casserole for a neighbor, talk to a child, and teach sewing. When she died at 97 years old, she was remembered for her many contributions to the town:  Girl Scout leader, nurse, volunteer, member of the Women’s Alliance of the Old Ship Church.  She was my grand-aunt and I, as well as many others, remember her compassion and gentle sense of humor.  For more about the life of Ruth Litchfield Marsh, you can read: The House on School Street, Eight Generations, Two hundred and four years. One family.



About megferriskenagy

A freelance writer, author, and essayist, Meg Ferris Kenagy grew up in Massachusetts and today lives in Oregon.She is the author of "The House on School Street, Eight Generations. Two hundred and four years. One family." A mother, grandmother, sister of six sisters, an amateur painter, a letter writer, and a collector of stamps, boarding passes, and bookmarks, she would love to hear from you.

6 thoughts on “Ruth Litchfield Marsh (1893-1991), Hingham Visiting Nurse

  1. Karen Abbey Banks says:

    Ruth Litchfield Marsh and my grandmother Hester Leavitt Abbey were life long friends. I have a painting by George Marsh hanging in my home. I imagine it was a wedding gift to my grandmother as it hung in her home in Cuba when she was living there.

  2. pbagger says:

    Karen, are you local? We have a number of items that your grandmother donated to our Society. We’d love to meet you and learn more about her life.

    • Karen Abbey Banks says:

      I am not but my sister Diane Abbey Elliott lives in her home in Hingham. She would be the one to talk to.

  3. […] life and the farm her grandchildren remember so fondly, because her granddaughter, my great-aunt Ruth, did record her […]

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