Anna Windrow Holm was a midwife in Uppsala but emigrated to America where she trained as a physician and had her own practice.
Anna Windrow Holm was born in 1860 in Stockholm. She was the daughter of Eugenia Charlotta Christina Montan and Carl Ludvig Malmqvist, who worked with wine transports. She had an older sister, Carolina Wilhelmina (Mimmi), whose married name was Åbjörnsson and who later became an actress but died at only 33 years of age.
Very little is known about Anna Windrow Holm’s early years but according to the sources, she was “brought up at the French School” in Stockholm, which probably meant that she spent her first school years there. On 1 April 1885, Anna Windrow Holm started her training as a midwife at the Barnmorskeläroanstalten in Stockholm and she qualified with only the best assessments on 27 March 1886. It was extremely unusual to have such good marks, to compare with her course mates. Anna Windrow Holm had also completed the instrument course that was a higher course giving the midwife the right to use delivery instruments.
Immediately after qualifying, Anna Windrow Holm moved to Uppsala where she worked for three years as a midwife and she was made the matron on the maternity ward at Akademiska sjukhuset in Uppsala. In 1889, she emigrated to the USA to work as a midwife with a private practice. She also became a midwife instructor and responsible for the practical training of midwives on the newly started Swedish midwifery course in Chicago. It had been initiated by the Swedish physician and obstetrician Sven Windrow (who upon his arrival in America was named Windrufva). The Swedish school of midwifery started in Chicago in 1889 to supply the extensive Swedish population in the city with Swedish-speaking midwives. The course was structured according to Swedish principles and resembled the structure that existed at the midwifery schools in both Stockholm and Gothenburg at that time. The Swedish form of training in which theoretical and practical knowledge was interwoven, took after the German model in this respect.
Sven Windrow and Anna Windrow Holm were married in 1892 and the year after, their only son was born: Stellan Windrow. In about 1900, Anna Windrow Holm divorced her husband “in absentia”. One year later, she married the apothecary Victor J. B. Holm who was twelve years older. That same year, Anna Windrow Holm also started her training as a physician at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago in 1901. The course belonged to the University of Illinois and had started in 1882. In all, 160 medical students attended the course in 1901, of whom 16 were women. There were 28 students in Anna Windrow Holm’s class, of whom six were women. Anna Windrow Holm was in her forties when she trained as a doctor, and she later practised as a doctor for over 20 years. She had her own practice and, as was the case with many women doctors, specialised in women’s and children’s ill health. Anna Windrow Holm was a well-known name among Swedish Americans. In her leisure time, she participated in several theatre productions, among others in connection with charity evenings at the Swedish Club in Chicago.
Anna Windrow Holm died in Chicago in March 1934. She was survived by her son Stellan, who became an actor and lived in Paris.