This is The Place Heritage Park honors one of the first female doctors in Utah with a statue

Sep 20, 2023, 12:47 PM | Updated: 5:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A statue of one of the first female doctors in Utah was dedicated at “This is The Place Heritage Park” on Wednesday.

Ellis Ivory, executive director at This is The Place Heritage Park, said Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp influenced thousands of lives through her passion and work. Ivory describes Reynolds-Shipp as one of Utah’s early trailblazers.

“She was part of the many wonderful women who actually created the Deseret Hospital. That was the first hospital like that west of the Mississippi,” Ivory said.

A plaque with a old photo of Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp surrounded with her colleagues.

A plaque with an old photo of Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp surrounded by her colleagues. (KSL TV)

Reynolds-Shipp realized many – including herself — were losing children as infants. Wanting to create a positive change, she went on to school and then passed her knowledge to hundreds through the Ellis Reynolds Shipp School of Obstetrics and Nursing.

It’s believed Reynolds-Shipp helped deliver some 6,000 babies herself and graduated over 500 nurses and midwives through her own school.

“She wanted to do everything she could to help so that even though they were living out here in the wilderness, they could have the medical help they needed,” Ivory said.

The text imbedded on the book that Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp is holding.

The text embedded in the book that the statue of Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp is holding. (KSL TV)

The statue’s unveiling hit especially close to Ivory as his grandmother was one of her students who learned to be a nurse and midwife.

Roger and Stefanie Hunt sculpted the new statute. They captured Reynolds-Shipp in her element.

“Holding a baby while she lectured, so that this woman who couldn’t afford and technically didn’t have time to do it ’cause of a baby, but she enabled her to do that. It just goes to who she was,” Roger said.

The sculptors said this is not their first statue here, as they have created some 30 sculptures in the park. For this newest one, they said between the model and the disinherited product, it took them about half a year to create.

The statue of Dr. Ellis Reynolds Shipp in front of the Deseret Hospital at “This is the Place Heritage Park” (KSL TV)

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This is The Place Heritage Park honors one of the first female doctors in Utah with a statue