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BECKMAN, Emil H., Dr. 1872-1916


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 10/23/2016 at 23:10:47

Dr. Beckman Laid To Rest

Remains Sent From Rochester in Private Car

Noted Surgeon Held In High Esteem By All Who Knew Him

The remains of the late Dr. E. H. Beckman arrived at Grundy Center Thursday evening and they were taken to the home of Dr. Beckman's mother, Mrs. C. Beckman. A short funeral service conducted by Rev. Krome was held at ten o'clock Friday morning after which the remains were laid in the family mausoleum in the Beckman cemetery.

A special car was provided by the Mayo Brothers to take the remains and the family and friends to Traer. From Traer the remainder of the trip was made with an auto hearse.

A complete account of Dr. Beckman's life was published in the daily paper f Rochester and

Dr. Emil Hessel Beckman
The community's sorrow over the death of Dr. E. H. Beckman was manifested at the funeral services held at two o'clock this afternoon at the First Methodist Episcopal church. The large church which has a capacity of over 1200 was filled to overflowing and hundreds were unable to attend the rites.

Rev. I. B. Wood preached the funeral sermon and in his discourse paid the highest tribute to the departed surgeon, scientist, and citizen. Mr. Wood's remarks were perhaps the most fitting that have ever been given here at such an occasion. He dwelt feelingly on the qualities of the late doctor.

The floral offerings present at the services came from many people. Never had such tokens been more abundant at a local funeral.

Albert O. Anderson played the organ during the services at the church.

The casket bearers were Dr. W. F. Braasch, Dr. A. H. Logan, Dr. E. Starr Judd, Dr. L. B. Wilson, Dr. C. T. Granger and J. Arthur Melone. The honorary pall bearers were Dr. D. C. Balfour, Dr. G. B. New, Dr. A. H. Sanford, Dr. Robinson, Dr. Adson of Rochester, Dean Lyons and Mr. McLain of Minneapolis; Drs. Law, White, Robertson, Beard and Geist of the University of Minneapolis, Drs. Donovan and LaRose of Bismarck, N.D.

Following the funeral services, the cortage was formed outside the church. It passed along Fifth street to the Great Western station. The local Knights Templar acted as an escort.

The body, accompanied by members of the family, left on the afternoon train for Grundy Center, Iowa, Dr. Beckman's old home, where interment will be made in the family mausoleum. Dr. William Braasch, Dr. A. H. Logan, Dr. G. B. New and Dr. A. H. Sanford acted as an escort to the remains enroute to Grundy Center. The relatives and escort occupied a private car.

Among the out-of-town people present at the services this afternoon were the following from Minneapolis: W. W. Holley, C. E. Porshek, active Alpha Kappa Kappa fraternity brothers of Dr. Beckman; Dr. S. E. Sweiter, Dr. Emil Geist and Dr. G. J. Thomas, alumni members of Alpha Kappa Kappa; Dean Lyons of the University of Minnesota, college of medicine and surgery; Dr. Chesley of the State Board of Health; Dr. Max White, Dr. R. Beard and Dr. McDaniels.

Out of respect to Dr. Beckman, the Mayo Clinic was closed this afternoon from 1:30 to 3:00 o'clock and the Commercial club from 2 to 5 o'clock. The directors of the Commercial Club attended the funeral in a body. The Commercial club also sent a floral offering of a spray of American Beauty roses and lilies of the valley.

Dr. Emil Hessel Beckman was born February 15, 1872, at Grundy Center, Iowa. His father was a native of Germany, and his mother of America. After passing thru the public schools of Grundy Center, Iowa, he entered Iowa College at Grinnell, Iowa, and graduated therefrom in 1894, with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. He taught school one year in the country in Iowa, and then became principal of the high school of Stillwater, Minn., where he also taught Latin and Greek. After three years in this position he entered the medical department of the University of Minnesota, and he graduated from the college of Medicine and Surgery in 1901. In his vacation between his junior and senior year, he assisted Dr. Chas. Granger in medical practice in Rochester, Minnesota. During his senior year in medicine he served as under-graduate intern in the City and county hospital of St. Paul, Minnesota.

In July, 1901, Dr. Beckman became assistant bacteriologist in the laboratory of the Minnesota State Board of Health at the State University, a position which he held for four years. At that time the epidemiological work of the board was handled largely through the laboratory, and much of Dr. Beckman's time was spent in investigating epidemics of diphtheria, small-pox, scarlet fever, etc. He early grew to be an authority on the diagnosis of small pox, a disease in which he obtained a very large experience in a relatively short period. He was especially skillful in ferreting out and isolating sources of infection in diphtheria, scarlet fever and typhoid fever. One of his most notable pieces of work in epidemiology consisted in running down and successfully blocking a series of local epidemics of scarlet fever associated with virulent germs which had been disseminated in Minnesota and the surrounding states by a number of infected students sent home from a small college in the twin cities. The stopping of this epidemic, which was one of the most virulent known in the annals of the disease was due almost entirely to Dr. Beckman's vigorous personal work.

In the laboratory proper, his work consisted largely in the routine diagnosis of diphtheria, typhoid fever, rabies, etc. He was engaged along with Wesbrook, Wilson and McDaniel in researches.

It is probable that his taste for surgery developed in the large amount of experimental work on animals which he did in the State Board of Health laboratory during his association therewith.

In July, 1905, he was appointed city physician in Minneapolis, thus being placed in charge of the City hospital. In addition to his duties as superintendent he held a gynecological service, thus having an opportunity to obtain some experience in surgery. He held this position for a year and nine months, leaving it to accept work in the Mayo Clinic on April 1, 1907.

Dr. Beckman's first position in the Mayo Clinic was as first assistant to Dr. C. H. Mayo. He held this post for four years, during which time he profited well under the skillful instruction of that master of surgical technic. Early also he evinced keen clinical and surgical judgment, which stood him so well in hand when he became the head of Surgical Section Four, his position at the time of his death. Here his work excited the admiration of all who saw it. One noted Scotch visiting doctor said of it: "Dr. Beckman's operative work is as beautiful to watch as the playing of golf by a professional." His fine intuition guided him clearly along the difficult path of decision as to when to withhold as well as when to use his rare skill for the best interest of his patient. While his work covered the field of general surgery, his skill was most evidenced in fine dissections of the cervical region in the presence of tuberculosis and cancer, in the correction of deformities of the nose and mouth, in operations on the thorax and lungs, and in operations for relief of diseases of the brain spinal and nerve ganglia.

Dr. Beckman both spoke and wrote clear, correct and forceful English. During the nine and a half years he was in the Mayo Clinic, he became the author of twenty-eight scientific papers.

Dr. Beckman was a member of the Olmstead County Medical Society, the Southern Minnesota Medical association, the Minnesota State Medical society, the Minnesota Academy of Medicine, the Colorado State Medical society, the American Medical association, the Interurban Surgical association (of which he was president at the time of his death) and of the American Surgical association. He was head of Section Four of the Surgical Division of the Mayo Clinic and Associate Professor of Surgery, on the Mayo Foundation of the University of Minnesota. He was president of the Olmstead County Automobile club, a director of the Rochester Commercial club, and a Knight Templar.

He was married January 1, 1902 to Miss Jessie Sayre, of Odeboldt, Iowa. He was the father of two children, Catherine, aged 11, and Ruth, aged 7. Besides his wife and two children, his living relatives are his mother, Mrs. C. Beckman; his two brothers, Mr. H. S. and Dr. F. S. Beckman; and one sister, Mrs. A. C. Butler.

Dr. Beckman was taken sick October 31, 1916, with an infection of staphylococcus pyogenes aureus. The infection began on his nasal septum but was rapidly spread to the other structures of the head, and then became general, causing his death at 10:00 p.m., on November 7, 1916, after 8 days illness.

His desire to do the very best possible for the good of his patients, to keep fully abreast of the literature of his profession, to be the devoted companion of his wife and children, and to fulfill in the largest measure his duties as a citizen of the community in which he lived, combined to drive him at the speed constantly approaching the limit of his physical capacity. There is no doubt that when sickness came his resisting power was not high. His death was due not to infection alone, but to the strenuous work of a none too strong physique.

--The Grundy Democrat (Grundy Center, Iowa), 16 November 1916, pg 1, 4


Beckman Funeral Service

The remains of Dr. E. H. Beckman were brought to Grundy Center last Thursday evening, being brought up from Reinbeck by auto hearse. They were taken to the Mrs. C. Beckman home where a very brief service was held Friday morning at ten o'clock. Two funeral services were held in Rochester, a private one at the house and a public service at the church, so the service here was of the briefest nature.

Many old friends gathered at the house Friday morning and those who so desired were permitted to view the remains of Dr. Beckman. At ten o'clock Rev. L. P. Krome gave a prayer, immediately after which the remains were taken to the Beckman cemetery for their final resting place in the Beckman mausoleum.

The floral tribute sent by old Grundy friends of Dr. Beckman filled an entire room.

--The Grundy Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 16 November 1917, pg 1


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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