Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dr. George Anderson

            Dr. George Anderson was a physician in Greene County for over 50 years.

            He was born on June 20, 1867 in Cadiz, Ohio.

            Anderson graduated from Franklin College in New Athens, Ohio and then went to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore, Maryland.

            On December 24, 1891 Dr. Anderson married Winnifred Barrett of Columbus, Ohio.  They first lived in Lumberton, Ohio where he practiced medicine.

            The Andersons moved to Alpha in Greene County in 1893.  They purchased the house and practice of Dr. McClure.  The buildings were located on the corner of Alpha Road and the Old Dayton-Xenia Pike which is now called Whitey Marshall Drive.

            Dr. Anderson used different modes of transportation to reach his patients through the years.  In the beginning he used a horse and buggy to make his calls day or night. Sometimes roads were so muddy he had to go on foot. In the winter he replaced the buggy with a sleigh.  In later years he drove a Model-T coupe and then a 1918 Buick Sedan. 

            Andersons’ grand daughter, Nancy Rhodehamel, recalled in “Beavercreek Chronicles” produced by the Beavercreek Historical Society an accident he had with the Buick.  He didn’t clear the traction tracks in time and the back of the Buick was sheared off.  She says, “Nonplused, my Grandpa climbed out of his car (which was now in two sections), straightened his glasses, donned his trademark hat, grabbed his black bag and proceeded on to see his patient.”

            The doctor had no office staff and patients did not make appointments.  People wishing to see him in his office went there and waited for his return.  Rhodehamel, recalled,  “…neighbors on the “party” line would relay the Doctor’s location and progress to those waiting in his office.”

            The office had floor to ceiling shelves that were lined with brown jars of powdered drugs and syrups.   Dr. Anderson mixed his own medicines. Powders were poured into small folded paper packets which were dispensed to patients.  The doctor used a closet as a laboratory and had a small alcohol lamp to sterilize solutions. A huge sterilizer was used to sanitize his equipment.

.           For home visits Rhodehamel wrote he “packed his saddle bags with gauze rolls, bandages, coal-tar ointment, surgical instruments and even anesthesia (ether).”

            Dr. Anderson did all types of surgery, sometimes in his office, but often on the kitchen table in a patient’s house.  He also delivered babies in the patients’ homes. 

            Most doctor calls, office or home, cost $1 and medicine was about 35cents per dose.  However, rich people were charged more.  Some patients paid in produce.  No bills were sent and everyone paid when they could.

            The Anderson’s had three children: Harold who died at age nine, Horace, and Winifred. 

            Dr. Anderson retired after over 50 years in medicine. He bought several farms in Beavercreek with his son, Harold and raised champion swine. 

            Dr. Anderson died October 19, 1945. He is buried in Beavercreek Township Cemetery