Grandfather Was a Doctor

Letter from Harry Rising to Annie Rising Linebaugh (his sister), in 1964

I guess you knew our grandfather was a Dr. Dad was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Grandfather liked to pioneer. He went farther west. He kept a good stable of horses for he did much riding. They were so far out that in the winter at times he could step out his back door and shoot an elk or deer that came down to feed at the hay stocks.He at one time rode 50 miles [to] cut off a man’s leg and got back home for breakfast. A good horse in those days could cover a lot of ground in a given time. Dad used to ride the horses to water at the creek one at a time. They had one that would drink, turn and start for home. But he wouldn’t stop for the gate he would jump it then stop.

Grandfather went on one of his calls one time but the water was up so he undertook to swim the stream but got dunked. The folks he went to see lived on the stream, pulled him out and dried him off.

The hired girl ironed his clothes. He had money in his pocket. The paper money she ironed and returned to him with his clothes. He was so pleased he gave the money to her.

Dad used to run away from home when he was small. He seemed to like to go to another town. When he was ready he would come home. Guess they knew where he was. A young preacher used to bring him home. Later in life he was known to the rest of us as Brother Darwin. At one time that he was at our home he and I shared a room – two beds. He would dress then kneal [sic] at his bed for a short time. I was supposed to be asleep.

Our Grandmother was sick with pneumonia and he worked with her so hard trying to keep her alive, got her on her feet and walked her back and forth. He must have loved her a great deal. I think when she died he was broken hearted and he didn’t live much longer, just a few hours.

I think they were both buried at the same time. Grandmother’s maiden name was Johnson. We never knew anything about her folks. They were supposed to be a wealthy family. Dad and Aunt Deal were handed from one family to another and Dad said he saw furniture in many homes that had been in his father’s home. We had an Uncle Eli and Will. I am the only male child in that branch of the family. The uncles had girls but no boys.

Grandfather was not a poor man so if it was hard for a patient to pay he just cancelled the debt. You remember Dad’s crippled hand. His father had bought him a new hatchet and he was skating home down the river carrying the hatchet when he fell and almost cut off his hand. He had to carry the crippled hand in his other hand. It was so bad his father [illegible] it and had a nurse watch him. The nurse, a male nurse, went to sleep and Dad took off the bandage because of the pain so the hand wasn’t quite normal after that. It seems that everyone that took a [???] into the property an attorney would call Dad in and get him to sign some papers and give him $25. He thought this attorney was a wonderful person and believed everything he said. Dad was about 17 to 20 years. He knew nothing of business so he could be easily fooled.

There is things that father told me. Some of it goes back over 70 years but I seemed to remember it and could picture much of it in my mind. I don’t suppose I have told it well nor is it put together well.

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