“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Fairfax in Nicollet County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

A Doctor's Life

A Doctor's Life Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
1. A Doctor's Life Marker
The Post's surgeon lived here. In addition to treating the sick and injured, the post surgeon was himself a commissioned officer, in charge of enforcing proper sanitary measures. The regular inspection of living quarters, the water supply, cooking, and sanitary facilities came under his authority. The doctor and his staff not only served the needs of the military personnel, but often cared for the sick in the surrounding area. For soldiers and civilians alike, accidents and diseases, rather than battle wounds, were the major problems.

All in a Day's Work

In 1856, Dr. Alex Hasson, assistant surgeon at Fort Ridgely, wrote about a patient with a dislocated shoulder:

The patient was brought to the hospital somewhat drunk and in great agony, and being a powerful man, was almost unmanageable. Without the induction of anesthesia, all attempts at reduction... would have been attended with great risk of aggravating the original injury.... A towel strongly charged with chloroform, partly through persuasion and partly by force, was applied to his mouth and nostrils, and almost in a moment he lay senseless and relaxed.

Minnesota Historical Society
Fort Ridgely

Erected by the Minnesota Historical
A Doctor's Life Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 25, 2013
2. A Doctor's Life Marker
The surgeons' living quarters, located here, was at the south end of the post; the hospital was located at the north end.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 44° 27.157′ N, 94° 44.086′ W. Marker is near Fairfax, Minnesota, in Nicollet County. Marker can be reached from County Highway 30 1.1 miles west of State Highway 4, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in Fort Ridgely State Park; fee area – a Minnesota state park vehicle permit is required. Marker is at or near this postal address: 72404 County State Aid Highway 30, Fairfax MN 55332, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Surgeon's Quarters—Headquarters (here, next to this marker); Five Days and Nights on the River (a few steps from this marker); Officers' Quarters—C (a few steps from this marker); Surprise Attack at Redwood Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); A Second Wave of Attacks (within shouting distance of this marker); Reinforcements Arrive (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Ridgely State Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Officers' Quarters—B (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fairfax.
More about this marker. caption: David Geister, All in a Day's Work, Surgeon's Report, 1856, 2005
Also see . . .  History of Weather Observations - Fort Ridgely, Minnesota 1853-1867. "Some of the first buildings to be constructed at the site were the log houses on the north end of the post. In the midst of these was the hospital. It was built of rough logs and, according to a 1857 report, had five rooms... Under orders of the Surgeon General, the surgeon at each post was responsible for keeping a weather log. In the Fort Ridgely Meteorological Register, the records are for the most part, well kept and are filled with many interesting remarks." (Submitted on February 11, 2014.) 
Categories. Forts, CastlesScience & Medicine
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 11, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 375 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 11, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
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