HerStory Archive

KUHN, Mary Jane Catherine/kathleen

Also known as: née Ross, Cookie, Kitty, Ma, Sandhill Gertie

Born: 20 June 1896

Died: 23/06/1966

Additional Information:

Affectionately known as "Kitty," "Ma," and "Cookie" to the Aborigines.
ca 1949-50 - First cook at Alice Springs Hospital and a (first) union representative.  Community worker.  Mother of twelve (12) children.  Wife of railway worker Chris KUHN after whom KUHN COURT is named.


Resources

  • Image - Mary Jane Kathleen Kuhn

    Photo provided by, and used with permission of, her daughter Anne Marlene née Kuhn. From NPWHF Mary Jane Kathleen KUHN file.


  • References

    Cockrill, Pauline.  (1999).  Healing the Heart:  60 Years of Alice Springs Hospital 1939-1999.  Alice Springs, NT:  Alice Springs Hospital’s 60th anniversary reunion organizing committee.  p. 46.


  • References

    Petrick, Jose.  (2010, November).  The History of Alice Springs through Landmarks & Street Names.  St Marys, South Australia:  Openbook Howden Design and Print.  p. 106.
    KUHN COURT
    Christopher William Kuhn - Commonwealth Railway employee.
         …
         Chris and his wife Mary (nee Ross) lived for some time at Irripitana Siding, 24 km south of William Creek, SA, and followed the line as it progressed north.
         They brought up 12 children during their isolated, harsh and nomadic life on the railway outposts.  Their hospitality was well-known and they befriended many travellers.
         In addition, Mary wrote letters to columnists Madame Wu and Elizabeth George in the Adelaide Chronicle, using the pen name ‘Sand hill Gertie’.
         The family moved to Alice Springs after the tragic death of their daughter Denine, due to harsh conditions.
         Mary became cook at the old Alice Springs Hospital where she worked for many years and helped care for the sick Aboriginal children.
         …Mary died in 1966.
         They were survived by their children …