THIS IS A RATHER LENGTHY OBITUARY. IT CAME FROM A RELATIVE'S SCRAPBOOK. THE NAME AND DATE OF THE PAPER ARE UNKNOWN.
"1863 - Dr. James McCrea - 1939
An entire community mourns this week the death of its pioneer physician, Dr. James McCrea, who died at his home in Fulda at 1:00 o’clock Tuesday morning, December 19, after an illness of several months. He has been critically ill for a number of weeks, gradually losing his strength until he lapsed into a coma on Saturday, in which he lingered until the end came.
With an unusually strong physical condition, he has spent his years doing for others, helping them regain their health and confidence, often times by the sheer force of a stubborn tenacity which would not admit defeat. The same force kept him ever hopeful of his own ultimate recovery.
In March he went to Rochester for an examination and it was found that an operation was the only way to relieve an abdominal condition. This done, he returned home and spent three months, after which he returned to Rochester for radium treatments. He appeared hopeful that these would improve his condition.
In the late summer Mrs. McCrea accompanied him up North Shore Drive to near Two Harbors where they took a cottage for several weeks, and she has remained his constant attendant through out his illness.
In recent weeks his condition has been aggravated by constant hiccoughs during waking hours, and Mrs. McCrea has been assisted by her nephew, Vernal Roep, and by Mrs. E.E. Slaybaugh, who have been in constant attendance upon him. Fortunately, as the disease progressed, there was no pain and he slept peacefully away.
James McCrea was born of Scottish parents, James and Elizabeth McCrea, at Franktown, Canada, on September 25, 1863. His early education was to prepare him for the teaching profession, and after attending Normal school he taught n Canada for nine years. He then started his medical studies at McGill University at Montreal, Canada, and was graduated in April 1894. After his graduation he took the medical examination in Minnesota and lived briefly in St. Paul. In the same year he was admitted to practice in the State of South Dakota, and went to Salem, where he remained for several months.
He was married to Miss Emma Schneider of Salem at Howard, S.D., on August 1, 1895. They lived briefly at West Concord, this state, and in March 1896 came to Fulda which has since been their home.
During the intervening years the history of his life would be the history of every advance the small town has known in 43 years, not only in medical science but in transportation, roads, and public health education. He started his career when the horse and buggy, or walking, were the only means of transportation, and trips as long as 20 miles were made through much and sleet, and snow, often with the pace as slow as a mile or two an hour. But whether the patient was seriously ill or not, the presence of Dr. McCrea was information for those in charge, and courage for the family.
In many cases he worked in the crudest surroundings. Nights were often spent to a point of exhaustion before even reaching the patient. But he lived through better years after cars and good roads were the rule rather than the exception, and people became more able to follow the doctor’s orders.
He was a strict believer in the ethics of the medical profession. The families he has helped and counseled are legion, and he will be sadly missed in the community which has trusted him so implicitly and which he has served so long.
He was an avid reader and his education in medical science kept pace with the finest medical centers in the land; he was a real specialist in baby cases, and had a technique well in advance of many famed obstetricans. He was a member of the Minnesota State Medical Association and also of the Southwestern Minnesota Medical Association.
Dr. McCrea lived a methodical life which kept him in the best possible condition to attend to his large practice. He was fond of the best music, and the movies, coming late in his life, never ceased to be one of his finest recreations. He ever marveled at the thoroughness and detail of the pictures shown on the screen. He was given an unusual business acumen and has wisely managed his own affairs. He was one of the incorporators of the Citizens State Bank, and was active in it’s management since its beginning in 1908.
He is survived by his wife, and by two sisters, the Misses Margaret and Elizabeth McCrea, of Detroit, Michigan.
The funeral services will be conducted at the home Thursday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock, by the Rev. L.A. Peterson of the Presbyterian church, and interment made in Prairie Hill cemetery. The pall bearers will be the six men of the bank staff: B.W. Lloyd, A.H. Bodelson, O.E. Jorgenson, F.W. Penrod, Harry Moon, and Allen Peterson.”
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