House Calls

04 Jul

After the news of Mr and Mrs. Avery Scott returning from Mexico, in the March 1, 1907 edition of the Byars Banner I found an interesting section about medical fees.

Byars Banner 1907 Medical Fees on American Saga

These fees were established by the North Chickasaw Medical Society following guidelines adopted by the American Medical Association.

It cost $10 plus mileage to have a baby with normal labor. A difficult labor was $15.

If you were having twins (or more!) it was $5 extra for each additional baby.

Mileage was 50 cents or 75 cents. It’s not really clear, but you can read the article and see what you think.

Office visits for a prescription were 50 cents; and an office visit with an exam was $1 and up.  I guess the fee depended on what needed to be examined.

There have always broken bones to set and fees for treating a fracture started at $5 for a finger or toe; a forearm was $15; arm, $15; and a broken thigh was $35. The fee doubled for compound fractures and of course mileage was extra.

Then there was a section about amputations.

Why on earth is there such detail about the fees for amputations? What kind of farm accident or machinery were they using that would cause injuries that led to an amputation? Fees started at $5 for a finger or toe, but bigger body parts were more expensive to amputate than to treat if it was just broken.

The Sept. 7, 1906 section provided the answer.

The Purcell Register was compiling these historical news snippets from the Byars Banner which was published from 1904 until 1911. The editor of the Register didn’t print all the gory details, but on Sept. 7 noted there were a number of articles about severed limbs due to falls from trying to board a moving train!


Then there was this:

Dee Ferguson tried to board a moving train near Byars, got his foot caught between the wheel and the brake and had to have his foot amputated by Dr. Johnson and Dr. Tyree, who pronounce him recovering now.

There was no fee listed for amputating a foot, but since the cut would have to be made on the lower leg, the $45 for a leg amputation would probably apply.

Plus mileage.

In other news:

“A woman whiskey peddler was arrested in her tent near an Oklahoma Central Railway camp, with lots of whiskey.”

In October a street car in Muskogee left the tracks, overturned and two people were killed and many were injured.

A few days later Mrs. Jefferson Davis, wife of the President of the United States passed away. Jefferson Davis was president of the Confederate States, not the United States, but oh well.

Here’s the article I pulled this from.


There was political news, the Constitutional Convention was coming up. Oklahoma would become a state in November, 1907.

Dr. Anderson moved here from Alabama to set up an office. Seems like a good move for him with all those severed limbs, train accidents, lightning set fires, and babies being born.

Interesting reading.



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Posted by on July 4, 2015 in Random Observations


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