Fremont County, Iowa

"Sarah Cozand, Early Settler"
by Evelyn Birkby

View from the Attic ~ A Weekly Series
Fremont County Historical Society
Week of 22 June 2009

Many of the early settlers, of our part of Iowa, were fascinating people. I wish I could have met them in person, but I am happy to be able to read about them and know that they were part of the strength and growth of Fremont County.

Sarah C. Cozand is one of those people. She was born in Thorntown, Boone County, Indiana, on October 4th, 1835. She was married to Charles R. Taylor December 25, 1854 and had two children, one a boy, who died at the age of 18 months, and a daughter who became Mrs. L Mincer, Mother of Ed Mincer, and grandmother of Marty and Dave Mincer.

Sarah and her family came to Fremont County in 1865, and lived on the farm, but it was her desire always to study medicine. She secured, and read medical books, under the direction of physicians until she could go to college to study to become a physician.

Sarah studied in Indianapolis, for two years, and then went to the Women’s College in Chicago, after which she graduated from Keokuk Medical College in 1881. She continued her medial studies at the Rush Medial College in Chicago. I can only imagine, what it was like for a woman to attend a college predominately made up of men students, away from her family and home. She surely was a courageous, determined, intelligent woman.

Sarah returned to Hamburg where she built, and operated, the Taylor Sanitarium west of Hamburg under that shelter of the bluffs. It became widely known over the county. Sanitariums were very important in those days when hospitals were few and nursing homes were nonexistent. The rationale for sanatoria was that before antibiotic treatments existed, a regime of rest and good nutrition offered the best chance that the sufferer's immune system would be strengthened.

Sarah had her own medical building, just south of the Hamburg United Methodist church. Her office was in the large front room of the house. It was lined with medical books on one side and contained the first X-ray machine in southwest Iowa. This machine was driven by a water wheel. That motor was given to the Fremont County Historical Society, for its doctors’ display in the museum.

Sadly, Dr. Taylor was diagnosed with cancer, in 1904, and two years later died at the age of 71 on January 1st of 1906.

Fortunately, we have stories, items from her practice. and pictures of her in the museum. Items for all the doctors who have practiced, in the county, are treasured by the society and we welcome new material whenever it appears for our use.

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Page updated on November 1, 2020 by Karyn Techau