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Darlene E. Kelley
donkeyskid@webtv.net                              
May 16, 1999
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Historical Collections of Ohio
The Kelley Family Book compiled by Hermon Alfred Kelley   1897   
And Then They Went West
by Darlene E. Kelley    1998   
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In the days before
there was a resident doctor on the island, everyone doctored his own
ailments as best as he could, or went to Sandusky for medical attention,
unless he was too ill to make the journey. In cases like toothache,
there were but two alternatives, let it ache or have it extracted by Mr.
Addison Kelley, who had provided himself with a few pairs of forceps.
Sometimes, Mr. Kelley was called to perform a surgical operation, such
as setting a broken bone, lancing a felon, boil or abcess and the like.
In case of childbirth, certain women of the island in whom confidence
was placed were usually called upon.  Such a one, was Mrs. Datus Kelley,
who often assisted at such times.  On one occasion about 1860, Mr.
Addison Kelley was called upon to perform an obstetic operation.  The
mid-wife found that the case was beyond her experience.  The patient
could not deliver her burden, which proved to be twins and after may
hours of labor, desperate measures were decided upon as the only hope of
saving the mother's life.  Mr. Kelley was without suitable obstetrical
instruments, but knew what he should have, and called upon his
brother-in- law, Mr. Charles Carpenter, to assist him in making them.
Together, they went to Jake Hay's blacksmith shop, where they fashioned
at the forge a crude but efficient appliance.  With this rough
instrument, and without the aid of anesthetics, they suceeded in saving
the life of one of the twins and the suffering mother.  The child grew
to manhood and was in (1924) a resident of the island.  The mother lived
for many years after her awful experience.  Sometimes Doctor Townsend of
North Bass would make a visit and remain a few days or weeks at the
island if need be.  He was somtimes sent for, but many of the island
people preferred Doctor Gawn of Sandusky.  Miss Doctor Jane Spalding
went to the island in 1867 and was its first resident doctor, yet Doctor
Gawn was called upon by some who had no faith in women doctors.  Mr.
Jerry Dean's diary records states that on February 6th,1871. Oscar Dean
and Uri Ward started for Sandusky to get Doctor Gawn.  They left at
three in the afternoon and returned at about eleven at night, having
been eight hours in making the round trip of about twenty miles.  They
undoubtedly went in Mr. Oscar Dean's mailboat, for the ice had been
swept away on January 29th.  They probably rowed or sailed to Marblehead
and walked on the ice across the bay to Sandusky. Within five hours
after the doctor's arrival, an eight and a half pound boy was born in
Mr. Dan Huntington's house.  It is not recorded whether the doctor was
taken back to Sandusky on February 7th, but if he did not go that day,
he had to remain five days, for the record shows that no one crossed
after that date until February 12th.  The mail carrier, Oscar Dean,
attempted to cross on the eleventh, but was unable to do so.  Captain
Corydon Woodford who formally lived on the island tells the following;
In the spring of 1879, his brother Charlie was very ill and his mother
thought that no one could help him like Doctor Townsend whose home was
North Bass Island but who was thought at the time to be at Point au
Pelee Island.  Accordingly, Captain Woodford, then a young man and
another man started for Pelee in a row boat.  They took with them a lot
of mail that had been accumulating at the Kelley's Island post office
awaiting an opportunity to be forwarded to Pelee. At that time, the
Canadian postal department did not provide a regular mail service for
Pelee island.  It often happened that no mail would be sent from
Kelley's to Pelee island for a month or longer, especially in winter
time for the crossing between these islands is then dangerous and
difficult.  The two men were favored and made the passage in a row boat
without especial incident.  There being no post office on the island,
they took the mail to Henry Reinheimer's house and sent word to the
islanders to come for their mail.  They remained in Hank's house and
interveiwed each new arrival as to the whereabouts of Doctor Townsend.
Men came straggling in all day from various parts of the island.  Some
came as far as twelve miles, on a chance that there was mail for them.
It seems remarkable that the news of the arrival of the mail should have
spread so rapidly when one considers the sparingly settled condition of
the island at the time.  Many families were isolated by several miles
from their nearest neighbors. After waiting twenty-four hours, and
seeing practically everyone who would be likely to know about the
doctor, they became satisfied that he had returned to his home. They
then rowed back to Kelley's Island to report the failure and started for
Put-in-Bay.  Their boat was put in a wagon and taken to Carpenter's
point where it was lanched and away they went again, rowing against a
fair sized sea raised by a brisk Northwest wind.  Both were powerful men
and in due time, the eight miles were crossed and they made a successful
landing on South Bass or Put-in-Bay Island.  Fortunately for them, the
first person they asked , knew where the doctor was.  They were directed
to Mr. Ladd's house and found the doctor about to leave and return to
North Bass or Isle St.George.  They stated their errand, and the
energetic little old doctor immediately agreed to accompany them to
Kelley's Island.  It seems incredible that the old man should have been
so dauntless and so willing to face the dangers of passing from island
to island in all kinds of weather, and at all seasons of the year in any
and all kinds of boats.  With his long white beard blowing in the wind
he seated himself in the boat.  His medicine case, was strapped to his
shoulders like a soldier's knapsack.  He was a wirey little man and made
no trouble in a boat, for he was quick to help to trim ship when
necessary, and to aid in bailing out the water that occasionally dashed
over the side.  Except for being thin, he resembled a typical Santa
Claus, for he had a large and very red nose and white hair and beard and
a quick spiritely manner.  The exertions of these men, however, were in
vain, for Charley Woodford soon passed on to that " bourn from which no
traveler returns."  Miss Spaulding, the resident doctor found the island
amost too healthful a place.  Her coming was greatly appreciated,
however.  It was said that as the first winter approached, that Doctor
Spaulding decided to leave the island, and was at the dock ready to
board the steamboat that was to take her to Sandusky.  It being
advertisd as positively its last trip for that season, when some of the
fishermen dicovered that she was about to depart.  Every arguement was
used to dissuade her and finally the hat was passed around among the
crowd on the dock and quite a handsome fund was raised and offered to
her as an inducement to remain.  She accepted amid great enthusiasm of
the men.  A simular occurrence took place in the following year.
Evidently determined to be well paid for spending the winter on the
island, Doctor Spaulding is said to repeat this performance for several
years.  She finally disposed of her practice to another woman doctor
Miss Sarah A. Henderson, who arrived on the island early in 1874. ( A
German doctor named Bellamy left the island in 1868.  It was not known
when he arrived.)  Doctor Henderson was the only doctor on the island
for a short time, for Doctor Spaulding returned and resumed her practice
with the natural result of creating a division among the inhabitants
which lead to some bitterness.  Doctor Henderson moved to Sandusky in
December 1877.  Doctor Spaulding remained until 1879 when she went to
Santa Barbara, California and ended her days in California.There was
some uncertainty as to dates, for there was some overlapping; but she
was succeeded by the following doctors about in the order named:  Dr. Wm
Pomar, Dr.Geo.Fann, Dr.A.Snyder, Dr.J.J. Klein, Miss Dr. Morley, Dr
Hodge.  The last two married and left the island.  Then followed Dr.
Rankin, Dr. R.N. Sheldon, Dr. R.D. Reynolds, the latter remained but two
years and removed to Greenspring, Ohio, where he developed to a higher
degree than before, that very attractive sanatarium, whose medicinal
waters have been resorted to from the earliest times.  The native
American Indians regarding it very highly and in their treaties with the
whites reserving the Springs and contigueous territory for their own
use. Dr. H.D. Peterson followed Dr. Reynolds and remained for several
years before moving to Sandusky where he died in 1924.  Dr.O. Van Epp
came on the island while Dr. Peterson was there and after Dr. Peterson
left, Dr. Farrel arrived.  Dr. Van Epp then moved to Point au pelee
Island.Dr. J.G. Griffin took up his practice on the island about 1906
and remained until 1911 when he moved to Akron, Ohio.  Dr. G.W. Manning
began in 1914 and left in 1915.  Dr H.M.Jump came in 1915 and died on
the island 1918. Dr.Wm T. Sullivan, 1919-24. Dr.Hass in 1924 at the last
of my record.

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