Mary Phylinda Dole was born on August 31, 1862 in Shelburne, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of George Carpenter Dole, a farmer, and Philinda Field Dole. After the deaths of her parents, Dole went to live in Ashfield, Massachusetts with her father's cousin in 1871. She attended the local district school and Sanderson Academy. Dole attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary between 1881-1884 and graduated in 1886. She studied at the Women's Medical College of Baltimore in Maryland from 1886-1888 and earned an M.D. degree. She returned to Mount Holyoke in 1888-1889 and received a B.S. degree. She interned at the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston, Massachusetts in 1889-1890. In 1891 Dole opened a private practice in Greenfield, Massachusetts. In 1893 she left for further study in Germany and France, where she worked at the Pasteur Institute. She returned to Greenfield a year and a half later, practicing medicine there until she moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1906. From 1901-1907 Dole served as a trustee of Mount Holyoke College. In 1919 she moved to Northhampton, Massachusetts. In 1927 she retired from medicine and began hand weaving. She was President of the Mount Holyoke Club of Franklin County and honorary president of the Mount Holyoke Club of New Haven. On May 7, 1937 the Alumnae Association awarded Dole the Gold Medal for Eminent Service. In 1941 she published her autobiography, "A Doctor in Homespun." Dole died at her home in Shelburne, Massachusetts, on February 23, 1947, at the age of eighty-four.
From the guide to the Dole papers MS 0774., 1885-1947., (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)