Overlooked No More: Elizabeth Hayes, Coal Town Doctor who hunted down miners
The miners, members of the United Mine workers, sent a telegram to President Harry S. Truman asking for help, and a federal judge, Guy K. Bard, was tasked with investigating the company’s finances. Shawmut. At a hearing, Hayes and the miners testified about the terrible sanitary conditions, Biederman wrote, with Hayes’ testimony clearly moving the judge. She talks about giving birth to a child after she fell in a ditch and sewage splashed her clothes. Public health experts have encouraged women to give birth in the hospital “to use everything science has taught us about baby care,” says Hayes, however, she adds, “we do.” had to mix her formula with wastewater and dilute urine.”
Judge Bard appointed two new executives to run Shawmut, ousting Dickson and his top aide. The new executives rehired Hayes and agreed to fix the drainage problems and pave the way. Declaring victory, the miners ended their five-month strike.
Hayes became so popular that Woody Guthrie wrote a song, “Doctor is dying, ”About her and her father. The lyrics read, “My dad told me to fight for the cure / But I can’t cure it with the sewage around”.
Hayes decided to leave his job in 1947, and the miners and their families held a big farewell picnic. She married Charles Williamson and worked as a civilian physician at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. While her husband served in Korea, she moved to Brockway, Pa., and helped run a medical facility there. After her marriage to Williamson ended in divorce, she married LeRoy Voris, an agricultural researcher, in 1957. They lived in Washington and eventually retired to Pine Knoll Shores, NC.
Hayes died of a stroke on June 26, 1984, in New Bern, NC. She is 72 years old.
During the 1945 strike, when “Dr. Betty “has been a national sensation, The Philadelphia Record writes,” Dr. Hayes’ prescription – ‘Good and crazy – and start fighting’ – reminds us that there are many more Americans to follow her example. ”