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As It Was: A Scholarly Doctor Comes to Etna, Calif. in 1881

A graduate of the Atlanta Medical College, Charles Wilber Nutting, became an eminent doctor in Etna, Calif., in the 1880s.  Nutting had not only graduated from medical school in two years, but also remained another two years to teach anatomy, dissection and other surgical procedures.

He was invited to come to Etna by Dr. C.M. Hill who had returned to his hometown in Georgia with his sick wife.  The 26-year-old Nutting established his practice first in the Etna Hotel and then the Parker building in 1881.

Three weeks after arriving, Dr. Nutting was called to a maternity emergency on the Davidson Ranch where he stayed a week on the difficult case. 

Nutting was a horseman noted for riding without chaps and always on the gallop.  After a few years, he purchased a team and buggy and built a barn behind his home. Nutting never refused a case, whether it meant riding through storms or deep snow or into the rugged Salmon and Trinity regions.

Nutting also became known as an excellent surgeon and for constantly studying to keep current with medical knowledge and practices.

Source: Jones, J Roy. Saddle Bags in Siskiyou. Happy Camp, CA, Naturgraph Publishers, 1953, pp. 302-306.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.