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MOONEY, ELLA RIDLEY (1867-1951)

The first woman pharmacist registered in Indian and Oklahoma territories, Ella Courts Ridley was born on October 18, 1867, in Calloway County, Kentucky, to Robert Courts and Louisa A. Coleman Ridley. Robert Ridley was a physician. On August 12, 1883, Ella Ridley married Jesse Mooney, a physician who practiced medicine among the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory. In 1897 Ella Mooney began teaching at the Moral, Oklahoma, subscription school. She was the first woman in Oklahoma to pass the pharmacy board examination and received her license on July 1, 1901. The couple had eight children and operated drug stores in McGee, Moral, Dale, and McLoud, Oklahoma. Jesse Mooney died in 1915, and Ella Mooney married W. H. Shaffer in 1931. Ellaville, a post office named for her, existed from 1901 to 1905 and was located three miles southwest of Maud. Ella Shaffer died in Shawnee on October 17, 1951, and was buried in Riverside Cemetery in McLoud.

SEE ALSO: WOMEN, WOMEN AND WORK.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Charles W. Mooney, Localized History of Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma to 1907 (Midwest City, Okla.: Thunderbird Industries, 1971). Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star, 18 and 19 October 1951. George H. Shirk, Oklahoma Place Names (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965).

Kelly Brown

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