This post written and copyrighted by Doris McCraw
I thought I might write about Black Hawk and Keokuk this time, but I was given the gift of an unexpected journey into another persons life. While talking to a friend from the museum in Victor, Colorado the name of Kate Yont came up. It seems the museum had been given some of her items but they had no record of her in the area. To me that was like being given the keys to the kingdom. Off I went on the journey to find this women and what connection she had to Victor. The following is what I found on my journey of exploration.
In 1873 Katherine Eliza Geiger was born in Jackson, Michigan in to John and Mary (Ver Planck) Geiger. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and graduated in 1896. She moved to Denver, Colorado in 1897. That same year she received her Colorado license #2514 to practice medicine. She was twenty-five at the time. 1897 also saw her marriage to Jesse Grant Yont, a 1895 graduate of the University of Michigan.
Jesse Yont, according to some records graduated with a law degree, but he also played football while in college and with two ‘professional’ teams in Denver. www.http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1894fbt.htm
Around 1900 he is living in Victor, and his family probably came with him. While there is no record of Kate practicing medicine in the area, there is a probability she did.
The next time we hear of Kate is when Jesse fell about 60 feet in the Strong mine in the Cripple Creek/Victor area on June 6, 1903. The newspapers state he was scalped from the fall, but did not crack his skull. There was some question about whether he would survive, but he did. This was also the first record I found of Kate in the area.
The family returned to Denver and Kate resumed her practice. The couple divorced around 1920. There were two children from the union and it seems both remained with Kate.
While in Denver Kate was the assistant gynecologist at St. Anthony’s Hospital. http://www.stanthonyhosp.org/body.cfm?id=29, She also was involved with the Flower Mission, a nucleus of the Visiting Nurses Association, worked as the resident physician at the Florence Crittenton Home and was well-known to the Italian community for helping in their naturalization process.
She died December 7, 1943 in Denver. Colorado.
I had not thought of including Kate in the doctors in the Pikes Peak region, but it seems fate had other ideas. Like I said, an unexpected journey. Thank you for tagging along with me.
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