Richey, Dr. Milton W. 1854-1931
Posted By: Linda Ziemann, volunteer (email)
Date: 11/1/2006 at 11:15:43
LeMars Daily Sentinel
Friday, April 10, 1931
DOCTOR HERE FIFTY YEARS
M.W. Richey Was Pioneer Physician Locating in LeMars in Eighties
Was Early Motorist
Prominent in Medical and Business Circles
Death claimed Dr. M. W. Richey, pioneer physician and well known resident of
LeMars for the past fifty years, at his home, 401 Central avenue, SW.,
Tuesday evening shortly after nine o'clock following a brief illness which
developed into pneumonia, proving fatal to a constitution weakened the past
four months by inroads of increasing years.
Dr. Richey was up and about his usual affairs until last Friday when he
suffered from cold and chill. His condition rapidly grew worse the
beginning of the week and hopes for his recovery were abandoned by his
family and friends Tuesday.
Dr. Richey was a resident of LeMars for half a century and his passing marks
the end of a career spent largely in efforts to help humanity. He was
distinguished in the ranks of men who have helped to build up the city of
LeMars. In addition to ministering to the sick in the course of his
profession Dr. Richey was a man of affairs. He possessed vision and had an
abiding faith in the future of LeMars which was a prairie outpost when as a
young surgeon he commenced practice here. As opportunity presented and
circumstances afforded the young doctor made judicious investments in land
and later years gave proof of his acumen and foresight.
WAS HARD WORKER
Coming here in 1881 when LeMars was the boom center of northwestern Iowa,
Dr. Richey at once found a ready demand for his services.
He attended sick calls far and wide and in early days drove ceaselessly over
Plymouth county and adjoining counties with his faithful team of horses and
constant relays of horses from livery stables. However fierce the storm or
bad the roads Dr. Richey, in his younger days never refused to venture out
and heed the call when either birth or death was imminent and made trips to
bedsides of patients in conditions which now appear to the present
generations as sagas or myths.
In addition to the work of his profession Dr. Richey took an active interest
in public and community affairs. He was interested in financial
institutions and banks at various times and was for twelve years a director
of the LeMars school board and ardent in advocacy of better educational
Dr. Richey was a member during his lifetime of state and district medical
societies and was recognized by members of the fraternity as a physician of
repute and high standards.
He was a Republican in politics and took an active interest in national,
state and local affairs.
Dr. Richey was a member of the LeMars lodge of Odd Fellows and a member of
the LeMars lodge of Elks.
DROVE FIRST AUTOMOBILE
Dr. Richey was the first man in LeMars to own and drive an automobile and
use that mode of conveyance in his business superseding the horse and buggy
His appearance driving an automobile in a street parade in Sioux City
thirty-one years ago was subject of comment throughout the country. He with
two or three other men in LeMars were leaders in the adoption of the
NATIVE OF IOWA
Milton W. Richey was a native son of Iowa. He was born at Delhi on the
DesMoines river October 19, 1854, and spent his boyhood there. After
completing work in high school, he graduated at Mitchellville and attended
medical school at Iowa University where he attained his degree and then
attended the university at Louisville, Kentucky, passing the requisite
examinations for medical degrees.
Dr. Richey on receiving his diploma started in practice at Clyde, Iowa, and
in 1881 came to LeMars where he hung out his shingle, practiced many years,
gained preferment and honor and the respect of all who knew him.
When a young man Dr. Richey was married to Miss Electa Reeves, of Colfax,
and brought her to LeMars as his bride. She died in 1900. Dr. Richey was
married in 1903 to Miss Odessa Harris, of Colfax, who with four children
mourn his death. The children are Floyd Richey, of this city; Miss Edna
Richey, teacher in the schools of Honolulu, Mrs. Robert Brodie, of LeMars;
and Miss Alice Richey, at home. He also leaves a sister, Mrs. I. F. Fisher,
of Rolfe, Iowa, and a half brother, Frank Richey, of this city.
FUNERAL HELD AT HOME
The funeral services were held at the home Thursday afternoon, A. E.
McGogney and Dr. J. J. Reeves of the First Presbyterian church officiating.
The pallbearers were Dr. J. L. Reeves, Dr. Chas. Reeves, Minneapolis; Will
Brodie, Geo. Koenig, Will Fisher, of Rolfe; Leslie Harker of Ireton.
Honorary pallbearers were J. G. Smaltz, G. J. Richards, S. W. Spotts, A. M.
Duus, F. M. Pelletier of Sioux City, and Malcom F. Brodie.
Plymouth Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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