Having a doctor in a small town has always been important. Many doctors came to certain areas because mill operators hired them to care for their employees. Once located, they also cared for the people within the community and surrounding countryside. Doctors would take care of any medical needs including broken bones, tonsillectomies and minor surgery, obstetrics, and even tooth extractions. The doctors were fortunate to have midwives in the area to assist them during childbirth. Often, the midwife handled the delivery herself. Since the doctor usually had "wheels," either horse and buggy (or sleigh) or an automobile, house calls were very common. Doctors' offices in Trout Creek have been located in homes or above the present Trout Creek Market. For major medical emergencies, people were transported, sometimes by train, to a hospital, possibly in Marquette.

Doctors serving the area have included: Buckland, Moll, W. K. Porter, Larson, Lake, Blake, Whiteshield, Sturgeon, and Hogue (from Ewen). For a number of years now, people have had to travel out of the area to seek medical attention. Lumber companies also needed the services of veterinarians. Dr. McQuestion was one hired by Weidman. Dr. John Talsma, D.V.M., of Bruce Crossing, is currently rendering his services in the area. The remainder of this section contains additional information on some of the above mentioned doctors who practiced in Trout Creek.


The following information is from Mabel Whiteshield Williams, daughter of Dr. Charles and Mrs. Anna Whiteshield, and Doris Williams Vaghn their granddaughter.

I can remember my father often saying, "I would rather be a big fish in a little pond, than a little fish in a big pond." The priest, the mill owner, and the doctor comprised the big people in our little town. My father, Dr. Charles Whiteshield, was the doctor for the mill owner, Mr. Weidman. His drugstore and office were in the center of the town.

Mother and Dad lived happily hunting and fishing, which he loved, and racing the stork (being a deputy) up and down the road to patients near our town. They are gone now and lie sleeping in the Ewen Cemetery, but many remember the sweet-faced mother at the drug store and the jovial, hearty doctor, who spent many years in Trout Creek.

Dad was a great fisherman, and once pulled a monster muskie out of Eagle River. Dear Mrs. Duby, who ran the hotel, planked it with an apple in its mouth and served it to his associates from Marquette, The Upper Peninsula Development Bureau, to the pleasure of all. It was the Bureau which named Dr. Whiteshield the Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula.

"Cloverland," and a book of his poems on the beauty and wonder of that attractive countryside was published titled Cloverland Echoes. The book was filled with poems of nature and humor and pictures of fishing and river scenes. He did not forget to thank our Maker for the wholesome joys we knew. One of his poems ends "And the whole world thrills to the Master's Will, the North begins right there." (Ray Knivila remembered that Dr. Whiteshield made a tour of the Western states some time in the 1930's boasting of the beauty of Ontonagon County. His sponsor was the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce.)

Doris Williams Vaughn moved with her grandparents, the Whiteshields, from Powers to Trout Creek in 1923. She was living with them and remembers a church picnic, or it could have been organized by the mill, as they rode out to Camp 33 on railroad cars -- flatbeds with benches. The occasion was an introduction to the young people of town and she remembers writing poetry on birch bark. She attended high school in Trout Creek for only one year in which she won the National Oratorical Contest here, placing second in the District, and getting all A's. Though she lived here briefly, she returned many summers for visits, enjoying Grandma's cooking, and the doctor's jaunts into the surrounding country for fishing and visiting patients. On one occasion she watched him deliver a baby. Many people still living in a 60-mile radius of Trout Creek were delivered by him. She states he was a fine obstetrician; the family country doctor, who answered a telephone call and got into his car at all hours to care for the sick.


Dr. Carl Frederick Moll was born in 1870 and died in 1935. He married Katherine MacKenzie in 1894 at St. John's Church in Negaunee. She was the daughter of another prominent U.P. physician, Dr. Augustus MacKenzie. Dr. Moll moved to Kenton with his family in 1906 and practiced medicine there until 1917. His general practice covered the area from Sidnaw to Bergland. There were few hospitals in the area at that time. Most of the health care and delivery of babies was done in the home.

Moll was doctor to most of the lumber camps in the area. The camp owners were very quick to seek good medical care for their "lumberjacks" since a well man meant more profit for them in the long run. His mode of travel was on horseback, horse and buggy, or horse and sled. He also used the D.S.S. and A. Railroad where it was available. He was one of the first in the U.P. to own an automobile. The life of a country doctor was very hard at that time.

In 1918 he moved to Flint, Michigan. He was a prominent and influential member of the Genesee County and Michigan State Medical Societies, of which he was president from 1931-1933. He was also a delegate to the American Medical Association from 1925-1930. In 1930 he was made president of Hurley Hospital in Flint.

He had two sons, Dr. Arthur Moll, an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Reginald, a businessman who lived in the Bruce Crossing area. Dr. Moll has four living grandchildren, two in the area: Sally Moll McGuire of Ontonagon and Mary Moll Albright of Ewen. The two grandchildren out of the area are Carl Moll of Grand Rapids and Katherine Moll Carlson of Bradenton, Florida. There are many great- and great-great-grandchildren living in the area.

Dr. Moll was an avid horseman, hunter, and fisherman. He loved the Kenton, Trout Creek and Interior area. He owned a lake south of Trout Creek which was out of the family for a while. Bud, a grandson of Dr. Moll, and his wife Joan bought the lake in 1988.


Dr. Ward K. Porter was born in Hortonville, Wisconsin, on May 2, 1883. He attended high school in Merrill, Wisconsin, where he was an honor student and a letterman in football and track.

Following the family tradition, he enrolled at Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin, to study law. Two years later, prompted by the sudden death of his mother, he transferred to Northwestern University Medical School in Evanston, Illinois, where he ear ned his degree in medicine in 1907.

Dr. Porter began his medical practice in Wisconsin as a surgeon for the Northwestern Railroad. In 1913 he moved to Trout Creek and set up practice as a general physician and surgeon. In 1916 he married LeVerne B. Hardes who was born in Baldwin, Michigan, in 1883. She graduated from Traverse City High School and moved to Trout Creek with her parents in 1900. Her father, George Hardes, was a prominent lumberman who owned and operated the Trout Creek Manufacturing Company. After attending the University of Michigan, she returned to Trout Creek to help with the family business.

Dr. and Mrs. Porter had three children, George, Jack, and Bonnie. All three graduated from Trout Creek High School. George attended Northern Michigan University until the outset of World War II. During the war he served with the 41st Division in the south west Pacific. In 1948 he resumed his education and graduated in 1951 from the University of Michigan with a degree in civil engineering. He worked on electric generating station design and construction until he retired in 1983. He and his wife Ruth now reside in Jackson, Michigan. They have a son John of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Jack was drafted into the army in 1954. He was sent overseas to Korea and was killed in action two days after his arrival there.

Bonnie graduated in 1943 from Northern Michigan University. She retired in 1985 following a career in teaching in the Trout Creek, Escanaba, and Sault Ste. Marie school systems. She and her husband, Francis Rogers, reside in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. They have two daughters, Barbara of Traverse City, Michigan, and Lynn of New York City.

Dr. Porter died May 12, 1927, and is buried in Merrill, Wisconsin. Mrs. Porter died March 20, 1956, and is buried in Escanaba, Michigan.


Dr. Ray McQueston was a veterinarian in Trout Creek for many years in the thirties. He and his wife Laura came from LeRoy, Michigan, and lived in the house currently owned by Gerald Taeger but moved to Weidman Street, during which time she died. He was a devout person and was well known personally and professionally. He moved downstate later.


Dr. Lake came from Ewen to practice in Trout Creek at the office above the Co-op store, where he resided with his wife and two daughters, Dorothy and Leota. Dorothy married Alton Kircher, who was a coach here and recent inductee into the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame. Dr. Lake was also an occasional dentist. He enjoyed housework and cooking. They had a resort in Bergland at Sandy Beach. They left, probably in the early forties.


Robert H. Sturgeon, MD, an émigré from Ireland, was born in 1858. He worked for Swift and Co. in Chicago before moving to Winnipeg, Canada, to run a homestead claim with his mother and brother. Sturgeon returned to Chicago to study medicine at Northwester n University, graduating in 1891. He came to the U.P. and practiced as a physician and surgeon in the town of Interior of Ontonagon County for three and a half years. From Interior he moved to Iron River, Michigan.

Return to Table of Contents

Created by Lynn V. Boston. Last update 24-Feb-1997.