Physicians of Dodge County, Nebraska

Ever since the dawn of civilization the "art of healing" as the work of a physician has long been called, has been foremost in the minds of intelligent men and women, especially is this true when the body is prostrate with some one of the numerous fevers, when the world looks dark and gloomy, and pain is constantly reminding the patient of a serious illness. It is then, if not at other times, that men and women desire the care of a well-read and fully competent physician. They may, in full health, about the affairs of life, have spoken lightly of the family doctor and his medicine chest, of the theory of his particular school of medicine, but when languishing upon a bed of sickness, they take a different view of the physician and ask that he be sent for at once.

It should be remembered that the leading professions of the world have always been the doctor, the minister, the lawyer. These professions are of the higher and more dignified type of callings which men everywhere respect and at some time during the short span of years have need for. True, not every doctor since Galen, has been competent and even honorable and trustworthy, but the exceptions are few. for our physicians in modern times must needs be intelligent, trained, thinking men and women, who realize they hold the lives of the community in their hands. Great advancement has been made in the science of medicine in the last half century. In surgery and dentistry the improvement in twenty-five years has been a marvel to all who stop and think of old treatments. Dodge County is old enough to have lived under "old fashioned" and newer doctors, and both classes have averaged with others in their times.

As near as can now be ascertained the following comprises about all of the Dodge County physicians who have practiced for any considerable period of time, since the earliest settlement, in the fifties:

Abbott. Luther J.
Agee James C.
Anderson Louis N.
Atkinson Ira E. J.
Barnes. Charles E.
Bates. H. Y.
Bear Alexander
Bell Mrs. Nelly
Borglum M. D.
Braucht F. E.
Brown Frank W.
Brown Nathan H.
Brunner. Henry
Buchanan Albert E.
Burbank F. L.
Byers George A.
Byers R. C.
Byers Samuel J. N.
Calkins F. E.
Capek Ernest
Colburn C. L.
Crabbs J. H.
Croll Nercer B.
Crook Charles V.
Davies Rupert A.
Davies William J.
De Myers Henry
Devries J. S.
Earhart Dr.
Eby C. D.
Eigler Charles O.
Fees Arthur W.
Geragosian Vahn James
Golding D. G.
Guidinger W. A.
Hardy J. M.
Harvey Andrew
Haslam George J.
Hunter Major H.
Inches Charles
Kinyoun F. H.
Kirby Lupper
Knallenburg W. H.
Leake E. N.
Martin E. W.
McDonald Robert C.
McKnight H. P.
Metzinger J. J.
More Z. N.
Morrow H. N.
Mullens A. B.
Nayel Dr.
Nieman Gustav
Overgaard Andrew P.
Oxford Charles
Oxford Edwin J.
Parchen H. W.
Pederson H. C.
Porter Dr.
Preston S. A.
Rathbun G. H.
Reeder Grant S.
Richardson Ira F.
Robinson Charles O.
Schemel Karl
Schoettler Dr.
Seiver. Mrs. Charlotte
Sexton T. C.
Sexton Thomas C.
Smith Leander B.
Stratton M. D.
Townsend Louis J.
Turay Charles E.
Unlan M. D.
Van Buren E.
Van Metre. Richard T.
Zellers. M. T.

Past and Present Physicians of Dodge County

It is always a difficult task to write the history of the medical profession in any given locality, for the simple reason that the physician is usually too busy about the cares of his office and outside practice, to take sufficient time to record data that might in years to come be of invaluable service to the local historian, in treating on such a topic. Outside of short sketches, of now and then a prominent medical doctor, found in "Who's Who?" or similar publications, there is but little compiled concerning physicians until death and then their obituary notices are seldom long preserved, save by their own families. In this connection let it be stated that the writers and compilers of the History of Dodge and Washington Counties, have used every known effort, called upon well posted members of the profession, etc., for data relative to the men who have lived and practiced medicine in these counties, yet have been unable to secure much to make an interesting medical chapter.

However, that the names of such physicians as are recalled, with such notes as have been furnished the writer, the following incomplete list of the physicians and surgeons who have practiced here from an early day to 1920, some for a short time and others for a longer period, will be here given:

Doubtless the first physicians who treated the ill who lived in Dodge County, as now bounded, was a physician living at the Quincy Colony in Fontanelle, which is in Washington County now but then within Dodge The files of the Fremont "Tribune" give in their issue of July 24, 1868, the names of Drs. L. J. Abbott, J. H. Crabbs and Dr. Bear, practicing in Fremont then. It is believed there were but few ahead of them in this county. In a fist furnished the writer by Dr. George J. Haslam, of Fremont, he gives it as his belief that the first physician in the city of Fremont was Doctor Stratton. Dr. Alexander Bear was about the same time, and later located at Norfolk, Nebraska. Other very early doctors in the county were: Doctors Schoettler. Earhart, Borglum, who moved to Omaha, Henry Brunner, who graduated at Wurzburg, Germany, practiced there and at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and in Iowa, after which he located in the practice at Fremont in the '50s. Dr. E. Van Buren moved to Hooper, practiced till death in July. 1881. Doctor Navel, Doctor Porter, Doctor Unlan, Doctor Inches, a graduate of New York University Medical College, and is now practicing in Scribner.

Dr. J. H. Crabbs was among the first in Fremont and has been dead many years, as has also Dr. L. J. Abbott, above named; he was appointed as superintendent of the State Insane Asylum at Lincoln and made an excellent man at the head of that great institution. Doctor .Abbott was a rugged, strong, many-sided character and held numerous public positions; he was a member of the last Territorial Legislature and had to do with the formation of the State of Nebraska. He was the son of a doctor and was born in Blue Hills, Maine, September 15, 1831. He graduated from Ohio Medical College, spent two years in Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, from which school he received his diploma March 12, 1854. He commenced his medical practice with his father, at Troy, Ohio, continuing six years. In the autumn of 1860 he came to Douglas County, Nebraska, bought a claim in what is now Irvington. He developed his claim and practiced medicine at the same time. His chief business, however, was raising sheep, he being among the first in the Territory of Nebraska to engage in such an enterprise. He continued until 1866 when he sold and moved to Fontenelle, where he practiced two years, then located in Fremont. He was a pioneer doctor and had many professional drives more than fifty miles in length, up and down the Platte and Elkhorn valleys. He helped organize the first State Medical Society in 1868, and was its president in 1877. He was United States examining surgeon for pensions from 1871 to 1881; was interested in educational affairs, member Fremont School Board: delivered able addresses at the corner-stone laying of the second courthouse of this county; wrote an authentic "Centennial History" in 1876 of Dodge County, and was author of many able articles for the press.

Dr. George J. Haslam, still a leading practitioner in the City of Fremont, graduated from the University of Ireland, Dublin; member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England; B. S. Victoria University, England; F. R. C. S. and a member of the American College of Surgeons; has practiced in Fremont since 1891; with Dr. L. J. Abbott founded the first hospital of Fremont. Doctor Haslam is a member of the American Medical Association; surgeon to the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railway and the Union Pacific Railway at Fremont; is Medical director of the North American Life Insurance Company, Omaha; Lieutenant U. S. Army Medical Reserve; is a thirty-second degree Mason.

Doctor Inches is a graduate of New York University College, and is now practicing at Scribner.

Dr. Leander B. Smith is a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa; came to Fremont to practice in 1879; retired in 1913; is now the oldest continuous medical doctor in Dodge County; never lost three weeks time for vacations.

Dr. William J. Davies; graduate of Rush Medical College, 1887; conducted a drug store in Fremont twenty-five years; commenced the practice of medicine in 1887.

Dr. J. S. Devries, a graduate of the University of Nebraska; came to Fremont in 1888; in 1897 moved to Fontenelle and in 1903 back to Fremont; took post-graduate course at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia; in 1918 took a post-graduate course in New York.

Dr. M. T. Zellers, of Hooper, is among the pioneer physicians of this county, having settled in Hooper about 1890, and is still in practice there. He is a graduate of Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Cleveland, Ohio.

Dr. Ira E. J. Atkinson practiced in this county for a time, moved first to Dodge Village and later to Lincoln.

Dr. E. W. Martin graduated at Cincinnati Medical College, 1881; first practiced five years in Kentucky; came to Fremont in 1886; belongs to the various medical societies and associations; still in practice in Fremont.

Dr. C. L. Colburn practiced here in the nineties, later moved to California and is now deceased.

Dr. N. H. Brown, deceased.

Dr. T. C. Sexton, graduate Washington University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. H. W. Parchen, graduate of Northwestern Medical College, St. Joseph; practiced here at one time and is now practicing at Hoskins, Nebraska.

Dr. Nercer B. Croll left this county for Omaha, practiced there, but is now deceased.

Dr. E. N. Leake, graduate of New York Homeopathic Medical College; also of Flower Hospital. New York. Dr. Nellie Bell, graduate of Kansas City Homeopathic Medical College in 1895.

Dr. Charles Oxford moved from this county to Omaha, where he died.

Dr. Charles O. Eigler moved from this county to Denver. Colorado. Dr. J. J. Metzinger, graduate of University of Iowa; Iowa College of Homeopathy, Iowa City, 1899; came to Fremont in 1900; member of the various medical societies; has been president of the county society. Dr. Andrew P. Overgaard, University of Nebraska; College of Medicine, Omaha; practiced for a time here and later removed to Omaha.

Dr. Frank W. Brown after a short practice here moved to Omaha. Dr. F. E. Calkins, graduate of State University of Iowa; College of Homeopathy, Iowa City, 1899; practiced at Hill City, South Dakota, to 1902, then came to Fremont.

Dr. Ira F. Richardson, graduate of Southwest School of Medicine and Hospital, Kansas City.

Dr. Arthur W. Fees removed from this county to Blair and later entered practice at Omaha.

Dr. Lupper Kirby moved from this county to Fort Kearney. Dr. Ernest Capek, formerly of Dodge County, is now practicing in Schuyler.

Dr. D. G. Golding, graduate Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, now resides in California.

Dr. S. A. Preston, University of Nebraska; College of Medicine, Omaha; came to Fremont in 1908; belongs to various medical societies; was railway surgeon at Howells, Nebraska, six years; also contract surgeon for the United States Steel Company, in Michigan.

Dr. L. J. Townsend, a graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago, practiced here for a time but is now at Sioux City, Iowa.

Dr. Richard T. Van Metre, graduate of State University, Iowa practiced at Dow City, Iowa, till 1911, then moved to Fremont; entered U. S. service July, 1918, served until January, 1919; belongs to the various medical societies.

Dr. Grove H. Rathbun, born December 31, 1881, at Bedford, Iowa, died at Fremont, Nebraska, September 5, 1919. He was a graduate of Omaha Medical College ; practiced in South Dakota at various places had charge of hospitals at Leed and other points : located at Belle Fouche, South Dakota, seven years, came to Fremont in 1912; was a skilled surgeon, widely known as such. Bought a large residence on Nye Avenue, fitted up the same and there operated extensively, also operated much at the city hospital. He was married and had three children. He died in the prime of his manhood.

Dr. Albert E. Buchanan, Fremont, was born in Smyth County, Virginia, August 21, 1872: entered Emory and Henry College of Virginia, an institution of historic note. He there received the degree of B. A. He then matriculated in the Virginia Medical College at Richmond, Virginia: graduated in 1900; practiced three years at locations in his home state, and in May, 1903, came to Nebraska, resided and practiced medicine at Cedar Bluffs, Saunders County, Nebraska, until 1910, then located in Fremont.

Dr. Charles E. Barnes, University of Illinois; College of Medicine, Chicago, practiced for a time here and now practices in Omaha.

Dr. Charlotte Seiver, graduate of John A. Creighton College, Omaha, 1915; located in Fremont, July, 1915; secretary of the Dodge County Medical Society, still in practice in Fremont.

Dr. Andrew Harvey. University of Nebraska, College of Medicine, Omaha, 1913; came to Fremont in 1915; served on the draft board in Dodge County, during the late World war; belongs to all the ordinary medical societies and associations.

Dr. James C. Agee, University of Nebraska, College of Medicine, Omaha, 1903; practiced at Valley thirteen years ; served in the Spanish-American war one year; came to Fremont in 1915; enlisted in World war, but was rejected; has been city physician for two years last past. Dr. H. N. Morrow, Fremont, graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago; located in Fremont in 1905; is a member of the County and State Medical societies; is a Free Mason and Odd Fellow and has been city physician one year.

Dr. H. C. Pederson, University of Nebraska, 1905; practiced in Donnebury, Nebraska, fourteen years ; enlisted April, 1917, in World war service; discharged January 1, 1919, when he came to Fremont and entered practice. He was abroad twenty-two months and served in various camps in this country.

Dr. Grant S. Reader, Fremont, was born March 25, 1885, at Tipton, Cedar County, Iowa; graduate Tipton High School, 1903; Cornell College, 1907; Rush Medical College, 1911; was an interne at St. Joseph's Hospital, Chicago; practiced medicine at Kirkland, Illinois, 1911 to 1915; post-graduate work New York, fall of 1915, special work in diseases of children. He came to Fremont, February, 1916. Entered Army July 15, 1918, called to active duty August 15, 1918, to U. S. General Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, where he received special course in diagnosis of heart and lung diseases. Was assigned to duty at Camp Funston, Kansas, September 14, 1918, as special chest examiner oh duty from September 14, 1918, to June 30, 1919, then sent to Camp Jackson, South Carolina, as special chest examiner, discharged July 9, 1919; returned to Fremont, Nebraska, August 1, 1919, and has been engaged in medical practice ever since.

Practicing Physicians in 1920

The following is supposed to be a correct list of the physicians and surgeons in active practice in Dodge County, in the summer of 1920:

City of Fremont
George J. Haslam
James Agee
A. E. Buchanan
F. E. Braucht
F. E. Calkins
W. J. Davies
J. S. Devries
E. N. Leake
Andrew Harvey
Mason & Mason, chiropractor
E. W. Martin
H. N. Richardson
Charlotte Seivers
L. B. Smith
R. S. Van Metre
Charles A. Bone
Myrtle A. Bone
Donald A. Atkinson
J. T. Young
Fred H. Berhenke, chiropractor
North Bend Physicians
R. E. Huff
Paul R. Hamond
W. E. Doane
S. W. Yates
Dewia Hegwer
Uehling Physician ~ Dr. H. P. McKnight
Scribner Physicians
Drs. G. Bartlett E. L. Hustead
Dodge Physicians
Drs. Guidinger F. B. Patterson
Snyder Physicians
Dr. George Byers Dr. Kinyoun
Winslow Physicians ~ None located
Hooper Physicians
Drs. M. T. Zellers
J. Howard Heine
Clinton D. Heine
B. B. Hauser
Nickerson Physician ~ Dr. R. C. Byers

Dodge County | Nebraska AHGP

Source: History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska, Rev. William H. Buss and Thomas T. Osterman, Volume 1, The American Historical Society, Chicago, 1921.

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