Nebraska Historical Marker: Susan La Flesche Picotte Memorial Hospital (1)
U.S. 77, Walthill, Thurston County, Nebraska
View this marker's location 42.151587, -96.47753
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This hospital is named in honor of the first Native American woman physician. Dr. Picotte (1865-1915) was the daughter of Mary Gale and Iron Eye, also known as Joseph La Flesche, the last traditionally recognized chief of the Omaha tribe. She was educated at the Elizabeth Institute for Young Women (Virginia) and The Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, where she graduated first in her class in 1889.
She returned to the Omaha Reservation to serve both the Native American and white communities as a physician, civic leader, Native American rights activist, and outspoken advocate of public health and sanitation. A dedicated physician despite a painful disease that diminished her own health, Dr. Picotte was known for keeping a lighted lamp in the window of her home to welcome patients in the night.
In 1913 she fulfilled her goal of establishing a hospital to serve the community of Walthill and surrounding area. The hospital, which now houses the Susan La Flesche Picotte Center, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
Norma Kidd Green, “Four Sisters: Daughters of Joseph LaFlesche,” Nebraska History 45 (1964): 165-176
Valerie Sherer Mathes, “Susan La Flesche Picotte: Nebraska’s Indian Physician, 1865-1915,” Nebraska History 63 (1982): 502-530
See Nebraska Historical Marker Program for more information.