McDowell House - Museum, Apothecary and Gardens

125 S 2nd St, Danville, KY 40422
(859) 236-2804


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McDowell History

Jane Todd Crawford

Dr. McDowell’s patient was Jane Todd Crawford. She was born in 1763 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, a few miles from McDowell’s birthplace. In 1794 she married Thomas Crawford. In 1805 they moved with their four children to Kentucky. The Crawfords built a log cabin on the Blue Spring Branch of Caney Fork, nine miles south of Greensburg and sixty miles from Danville. They were living there in 1809, when Mrs. Crawford had her ovariotomy.

In 1810, Thomas and Jane Crawford sold their land in Green County, Kentucky and moved to northern Kentucky. In 1817, they moved to Madison, Indiana, where they were known to their friends as Tom and Jenny Crawford. Tom became a substantial landowner in Indiana. He also represented Jefferson County (Madison) in the Indiana Legislature (1820-21). In 1821 Thomas died accidentally in a fall down the cellar steps on his farm outside Madison. Mrs. Crawford perhaps lived with one of her daughters for a time. Eventually she moved to her son’s home in Graysville, Indiana. She died there in 1842 and is buried in the Johnson Cemetery in Graysville. There is a monument to Mrs. Crawford, the heroine of the story, in the McDowell House garden.

Jane Todd Crawford
The Dawn of Abdominal Surgery by Dean Cornell, N.A - Commissioned by Wyeth Laboratories, Philadelphia