Druscilla (Russenholt) Peters


Druscilla Alma Peters, R.N.
Surname as Student: Druscilla
Other Surname: Peters
Education: Presbyterian Missionary and Deaconess Training Home
Graduation Year: 1915
Designated: 1915
Where: Presbytery of London
Denomination: Presbyterian Church of Canada, United Church of Canada
  • 1905 - Born

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Drusilla Russenholt Peters, entered the Presbyterian Missionary and Deaconess Training Home from Winnipeg in 1913, graduating in 1915.  She was designated as a Deaconess by the Presbytery of London. Her first appointment as a Deaconess was to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in London, Ontario where she served at least until 1920.  Unfortunately, the records for the next few years are unclear, but by 1922 she was serving at the Canora, Saskatchewan Mission Hospital and Union Church.  Along with Deaconess Jessie Oliver, she managed 20 girls in residence and a 45 bed hospital as well as provided leadership for the congregation in the community. 

This mission work was made possible by a donation of $25,000 from Mrs. Waddell of Peterborough, Ontario along with a gift of 10 acres from Mr. Graham of Canora.  An annual grant from the town was augmented by the Women’s Missionary Society.  Local doctors worked out of the hospital for no salary initially.  A Superintendent and 3 nurses were the original staff when the hospital opened in 1914.

This hospital experience was perhaps what motivated her to take a leave of absence from the United Church Deaconess Order which she joined in 1925 when the Presbyterian and Methodist Orders were amalgamated, to take studies in nursing. (Photo with family circa 1920s)

Drusilla graduated in 1928 from the Regina General Hospital, receiving the Gold Medal and serving as the Valedictorian for her class.  From Regina, Drusilla returned to the employ of the Woman’s Missionary Society at the hospital at Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.  It was there, on November 30, 1929, she married Jacob L. Peters of Meadow Lake and was disjoined from the Deaconess Order as was the requirement of the time, as it was only open to single women or widows.