Ida Butler, a graduate of Hartford Hospital School of Nursing (1901), served as head of the maternity and gynecology department of Hartford Hospital for 12 years. Beginning in 1906, she was also a Red Cross volunteer nurse with the local chapter.

The Red Cross

During World War I, she went to France with the Red Cross, serving as chief nurse at a children’s hospital. When she returned to the U.S., she was called to Washington where she organized a convalescent hospital for women in government service.

In 1919, Butler became the head of Insular and Foreign Nursing Services for the National Red Cross. The following year, she was made assistant director of the National Red Cross Nursing Service. She was promoted to director in 1936, a position she held until 1938.

Return to Hartford

Butler returned to Hartford in 1938 to reenter local volunteer work. She directed nursing services for the Connecticut State Defense Council. At the beginning of World War II, she was named head of the associate committee of nurses of the Emergency Medical Service of the Governor’s War Council. She also led the nursing recruiting committee of the Hartford Red Cross.


Butler was awarded the Florence Nightingale medal by the International Red Cross Committee of Geneva in 1937 (highest award made to members of the nursing profession), the French Reconnaissance Medal, and the Connecticut Distinguished Service Medal.

Section 8, Lot 1


Hartford Courant. “Miss Butler Dies; Active in Red Cross.” March 12, 1949

Photo Credit:

Ida Butler, Public Domain