On her way to a house call

146 years later an indefatigable spirit still inspires. 

Dear Cousins:

This is the first of what I hope will be many postings on the Scudder 2.0 website.


An American saint

Dr. Ida S. Scudder, MD
December 9, 1870- May 23, 1960

The fact that you are reading this is due largely to two people Ida S. Scudder, an “American Saint”and Richard Scudder, the proverbial “Man behind the curtain”. Two people whose capacity to help has been inspirational.

It is fitting that we are celebrating Aunt Ida’s birthday here today.


Richard Scudder Scudder Technologies

But I am getting ahead of myself.

The path to this posting began when I attended my first Scudder Association Annual Dinner, at the Yale Club, in New York, several years ago.

My sister had heard about it and thought it would be fun. I was a bit less enthusiastic about going than she as I had always thought the Association was mostly about sifting through arcane genealogical records of Scudders long gone. Yet, I had a vain curiosity to see what a room full of Scudder’s might look like, my wife Barbara was equally curious, so we accepted.

We were pleasantly surprised to walk into a room of 150 strangers and find ourselves instantly at home. It was like attending a family reunion filled with cousins, we’d never met.

An unexpected surprise came when Cy Sherman, a long standing officer of the Association, gave a presentation on her Aunt Ida.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 9.29.29 AM copy

Dr. Scudder embarking on a house call that would last a lifetime

Cornell Medical School Graduation

Cornell Medical School Graduation – 1899 America’s First Woman Doctor

During the course of her talk, I found myself falling in love with the woman “holding on to her hat” with one hand and a donkey cart with the other. Her pluck and compassion filled me with admiration and admittedly a little guilt.

Operation Theatre

Ida Scudder founded the first hospital that welcomed women in Vellore, India, 1902. Today, it is the second largest private hospital in India, serving over 2000 in-patients a day and over 6,000 outpatients.


Her example inspired me on so many levels, as a Scudder, an American and finally as a person. She was simply the best. A “Scudder”, outside my immediate family, I could truly be proud of.

So it was imbued with Aunt Ida’s spirit, that I accepted the Association’s President, Rob Fish’s invitation to help get the word out.

Working with Katie Gross, my brother George and several “Friends of the Association” we endeavored to create a system that would take the Association into the 21st Century. A daunting task on limited resources.

However, in our darkest hour, Aunt Ida, sent an angel, Cousin Richard Scudder, of Scudder Technologies, Phoenix, Arizona, to ride in with his white hat and save the day.

For the last year he and his consultants, have worked diligently to assemble a digital member resource management system, and social media system that is state of the art. We all owe a true debt of gratitude to Richard.

While I am on the subject of thanksgiving, both Richard and I would like to express our appreciation for the patience, forbearance and confidence that Katie, George, Rob and the Board have demonstrated during the course of this project. We pray you find it worth the wait.

Aunt Ida’s legacy

Aunt Ida’s legacy continues. We encourage you to help keep her spirit alive and well.

In the months ahead I  look forward to using this venue, as well as FaceBook, LinkedIn and other social media to update members on the great work that continues to be done both here and abroad on behalf of the Scudder Association. I would encourage other members to contribute their thoughts and news here as well. It is my sincere hope that as you witness the continuing results of the good work begun by the Scudders nearly 200 years ago, you will share my sense of pride.

Let us celebrate Aunt Ida’s birthday and spirit and her endeavor as “cousins” to perpetuate them both.

William S. Scudder
Communications Chair


Watch how much difference one woman can make.

Aunt Ida’s spirit lives on. This short video will astound you with how great a difference one person can make.






© Scudder Association Foundation, All rights reserved



  1. Laura Feierabend

    Super article! Our niece Kendra, nee Scudder, (T-2-3-3-1-1-1-2-2-8-2-3-2) just named her new baby Ida Scudder Nordgren; her husband’s cousin had met Ida B and was inspired to go into the medical field, as I understand the story. My own family also has ties to mission field in India, going back to my great great grandparents Ferdinand and Doris Hahn in Ranchi 150 years ago through great grandparents Carl and Louise Nottrott thru 1920 and grandparents Herman and Marie Feierabend in Raipur etc. thru 1957 and my uncle Ted and Jane Feierabend at Christian Medical College in Ludhiana thru the early 1980’s.

    • William Scudder

      Thank you for your comments. No question, Ida Scudder was inspiring. The only question is how many lives did she touch? Something positive to think on in the new year.

    • William Scudder

      Let’s see if we can get it back where it belongs.

  2. Caryl Ginever

    My paternal grandmother was Miss Franses
    Shudder. She was brought up in Keri Keri, New Zealand and her father was a boat builder. There is still a beach called “Skudders Beach in Keri Keri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

  3. Sandra Briggs

    My father was born Donald Scudder Briggs in 1910 on East Main street in Huntington, New York. He married Pauline Thompson. They had two daughters who never had children. I am the only one left as my older sister died in December, 2016. As a result I now have a box I’ve never seen before full of Scudder pictures and memorabilia. If I don’t do something with the contents of this box it will ultimately be thrown out because no one I know will know what to do with it… including myself. I live in California.

    Can someone help me out here???

    • Richard Scudder

      Hello Sandra, I’ve sent you an email with information about checking our your family information and sharing of this wonderful information. We are so glad you’ve contacted us.

  4. terri kelly

    My name is Terri Kelly and I am writing a children’s biography of Ida S. Scudder for BJU press. I would love to stay in touch with family members and interview for research. I’ve read the books about Dr. Ida, but want more info. Also I have questions about her brothers, particularly Henry (referred to as Harry in books).
    My email is terri@terribkelly.com
    My website is: terribkelly.com
    My other book is about missionary, Mary Slessor (See Amazon or BJU Press; Mary Slessor, Missionary Mother)
    Thanks so much, Terri Kelly

  5. Pat

    I recently purchased an antique sofa that is reported to have come from the Scudder estate, Pennington (Scudder’s Falls, Scudder Mill, Scudder Fall Bridge, etc.). It is now in my living room. I would like to learn more about the Scudder Estate and the Scudder family.

    • Richard Scudder

      Hello Pat,

      Thank you for visiting our family association’s web site. This area was populated by many Scudder families. Do you have any more information about which Scudder family the estate was from or at least a city, date of estate, etc. We may be able to help with more information. Our family association records are being archived now which may be resource in providing more info when we have access to them again.

      Rich Scudder
      Board Member


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