County : Sierra
Category : Healthcare
Magnolia Ellen Yoakum was born as a premature baby in a small village in the hill country of Texas. She grew up undersized as the youngest of eight children on a backwoods farm. She excelled in school and eventually became a teacher. Later, she met and married C. P. Ells. Unfortunately, the marriage did not work out, so she made a life changing decision. Magnolia knew that she had a gift. She also had an inclination to help other people. As her daughter explained, she could not have done what she did if it were not for “education, the study of human nature, an intense desire to help people and a very strong will power.”
With her divorce, she enrolled in college at Lubbock, Texas where she took a two-year pre-medical course. She studied the nervous system of the human body and many different courses in psychology and education. As a single mother, she worked around her classes in a boarding house. She sacrificed because she wanted to devote her time helping others.
When she finished her education, she relocated to Hot Springs, New Mexico. Hot Springs had achieved some fame for its healthy climate and numerous hot springs. There, she opened a clinic and achieved national fame, for she used her knowledge, confidence, and—what more than a few people witnessed—a natural power to heal. Patients had a feeling of electricity when she touched them.
She treated over a hundred people a day. Many traveled from out-of-state and even medical doctors consulted with her. She did not accept appointments and turned no one away. She had six booths with tables in them and she worked from booth to booth. Her treatment was short—she only used her hands. She talked with the patient to understand what the problem seemed to be, and then rendered an opinion as to whether she thought she could help or, if the person required medical attention or surgery, she recommended them to a doctor.
Her satisfied patients are too numerous to ignore. Some, like C. H. Farmer of Texas, took her cure twice for two separate problems. On a third occasion he had an infection of his prostate gland. She told him that he should see a medical doctor to see if he needed an operation. The operation was successful.
Magnolia believed in education and was generous with her time, gifts, and money. She paid for some youngsters to go through high school when their immediate families could not afford to let them go. She gave to many charities as well as organizations. Magnolia Ellis truly was a magnificent person.
Geronimo Springs Museum/Sierra County Historical Society The Courier, January 13, 1994