HJ/EDJuly 24, 2006

A rich history of medicine

By Lynda Jensen

Few may know that Dassel has a rich background in medical history, with a long line of doctors and even a hospital to its credit.

The medical clinic that stands today, next to Peterson’s Pharmacy, was built in 1959, according to the Dassel Area Historical Society.

This clinic was home to Dr. Joseph Houts, who practiced in Dassel for more than three decades, starting in 1953.

His practice came to an end in the late 1980s, when he sold his practice to Hutchinson Area Health Care, which is the Dassel Medical Center that stands today.

Some residents may also remember Dr. Marvin Johnson practicing in Dassel. He arrived in 1955, working in association with Dr. Houts at that time.

Other doctors of note would certainly be the Peterson family.

The Petersons played a critical part in serving the Dassel area for nearly three quarters of a century through Peterson Pharmacy, which still operates today, and through George and Alfred Peterson, who both served as doctors for several decades.

Dr. Alfred Peterson served Dassel from 1875 to 1955 – a career that spanned 80 years. He worked full-time until 1953, then continued part-time until 1955.

It was said that Dr. Alfred delivered more than 2,500 babies spanning three generations in the Dassel area.

Dr. George Peterson practiced from 1878 to 1919.

Another early physician would be Dr. Galen Sellers, who established his medical practice in 1937, working, for the most part, out of the building that is known as the Bob Wilde Studio today.

Dr. Sellers charged about $3 per visit, making office and house calls. He did not charge clergy or for sports physicals.

The first doctor was Dr. CA McCollum, who practiced from 1871 to 1887 in Dassel.

After him, Dr. JH Kauffman, whose house still stands today at 250 Pacific Street, located just south of the tracks across from main street.

Next week, the Enterprise will feature pharmacists and early cures used years ago in Dassel.

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