Institute Profile

The Puckett Institute...

About Orelena Hawks Puckett

Orelena Hawks Puckett, born circa 1839, was a midwife in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. She is credited with bringing more than a thousand babies into the world. Orelena was an unselfish woman who did whatever she could to be of assistance to her friends and neighbors. She was sought out far and wide by expectant parents because of her compassion and reputation as a competent midwife. Her helping style made people feel confident and at ease. Orelena’s capacity to practice her craft in a supportive and compassionate manner forms the foundation for the mission of the Puckett Institute. Her last delivery was of her great-grandnephew in 1939, the year she died.

The interested reader can learn more about Mrs. Puckett in Karen Smith's book "Orlean Puckett: The Life of a Mountain Midwife 1844-1939" published in 2003 by Parkway Press (Boone, NC).