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Feb. 28, 1948: Meet Minnesota's best family doctor

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History Updated: March 1, 2014 - 2:33 PM
 
After earning his medical degree at the University of Minnesota in 1905, Dr. William Wallace Will set up practice in Bertha, Minn., 150 miles northwest of Minneapolis. For the next four decades, he cared for the residents of the small town, treating fevers, setting broken bones, delivering thousands of babies and writing more than 100,000 prescriptions. In 1948, the State Medical Association honored him as Minnesota’s outstanding general practitioner. The honor earned the 68-year-old physician a photo spread in the Minneapolis Tribune’s Sunday magazine. Two of the best photos shot by staffer Bud Jewett are republished here, along with their original captions.
 
Shoveling snow is one of the few ways Dr. Will exercises. He has no hobbies.
 
Dr. Will has delivered more than 4,000 babies since he set up practice in Bertha. His latest one was Steven Lee, shown when he was five days old, son of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Hukriede. Three of the Hukriedes’ other six children were delivered by Dr. Will after the parents moved to Bertha. Dr. Will has been an officer in the state medical society since 1921.
 
FOLLOWUP: Looking at the second photo, I wondered: How'd that howling baby turn out? I found a phone number for a Steven L. Hukriede, 66, in Florida. I called and left a message. I'll let you know if I hear back.

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