Posted 4 years ago
Back in January of 2003 I stopped in a small Wisconsin antique and ice cream shop. That is where I found this group of Nurse's pins representing a long and hopefully happy life of service. The best item in the group is a gold nurses's pin from the Methodist Hospital of Madison, Wisconsin, insribed "Muriel Buckley 5-19-31" on the back. That inscription, which tells us that Muriel Buckley graduated from Madison's Methodist Hospital's School of Nursing in May of 1931, was the only clue to the identity of the group's original owner. After her graduation she joined the American Nurses Association and received a gold ANA pin. That pin with the initials ANA and the lamp of knowledge at first made me think of the other ANA but I am sure Nurse Buckley was more interested in saving lives than coins and probably did not know of the American Numismatic Association.
Next there is a silver 10 year service pin from Madison General Hospital which has the same generic coat of arms design that I have seen on pins from many different hospitals. The legends include the hospital name but the design never changes. Her WWII era American Red Cross Nurse pin has the serial number "HD 7485" on back. The prefix letters "HD" for "Home Defense" meant that Muriel would not accept an overseas assignment. Along with her Red Cross Nurse pin are three Red Cross service pins for 5, 10 and 15 years service plus two blood donor pins for 2 and 3 gallons. Muriel's group also includes a small charm or medallet issued by the Wisconsin Association for Retarded Children for 100 hours of service as a volunteer.
Rounding off the group are membership pins indicating that she was a member of the American Turners and the Dale Carnege Club.
By doing a search of her name on the internet I was able find out a bit more about Muriel's 92 year life of service.
Muriel Leola Buckley was born Oct 17, 1908 in Janesville, Wisconsin. She was granted her Wisconsin Registered Nurse license April 20, 1932 which she held until Jan.1, 1980.
On June 30, 1938 she married Frank Wagner (b. Aug.14, 1885, d. June 24, 1976) who was 23 years her senior. The couple apparently did not have any children but according to Muriel's obituary in the Capital Times the neighborhood children were always welcome in her home. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when she passed away in her Madison home, Oct. 5, 2001.
What kind of person was Muriel Buckley? She must have been very intelligent just to have completed the course of study required to become a registered nurse.
Her 25 years and 100 hours worth of long service awards prove that she was hard working, dependable and had a strong sense of social responsibility. The Red Cross pins in this group tell us that she was generous with both her time and her blood. She was also compassionate enough to have donated atleast 100 hours of her time working with retarded children.
Her membership in the American Turners with their motto "Sound Body and Sound Mind" implies that she must have shared that positive philosophy. Finally she may have been on the shy side atleast until she took the Dale Carnege courses and joined the Dale Carnege Club.
Her life of service must have been a blessing on everyone she met and yet if it were not for a hand full of pins most of us would have never known her name.