Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw
In the search for the life and times of early Women Doctors in Colorado, many brick walls pop up in research. It is frustrating, and at the same time, a call to get creative. Minnie C. Coulter is one such early doctor. There are glimpses of her across the pages of history, but glimpses only.
Some records hint that she may have been born in Germany, others fail to confirm that. What we do know is she died on August 25, 1902 in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery. There is no headstone on her plot site.
Prior to her arrival in Colorado Springs, city directories have her in Atchinson, Kansas from 1880 through 1885 with a George S. Coulter. This association appears to be husband and wife. The 1885 Atchinson city directory indicates she is from Wichita, Kansas and George from Buffalo, New York. This throws another curve as to where she was actually born.
In the 1894-95 Leadville, Colorado city directory Minnie appears by herself. George is not listed.
Some records say she did not graduate medical school, but was licensed based on her years of practice. Thus far that has not been documented, but the Leadville directory indicates she was practicing medicine, which is after 1881 when Colorado required doctors to be licensed.
In 1898, according to the city directory, Minnie is residing in Colorado Springs and still practicing medicine.
The mystery that is Minnie is an exercise in research and some leaps of faith. Time and effort, along with some outside the box thinking, may allow me to add her story. This will be added to the other amazing women who blazed the medical trail in the early days. There really are more women doctors prior to 1900 in Colorado than many people realize. My job, which I have chosen to accept, is to bring these stories to light, to make sure people like Minnie are not forgotten. I know I am enjoying the journey, mysteries and all. So I say to you happy writing and Happy Thanksgiving.
Until next time, here’s to history and the stories it tells.
HOME FOR HIS HEART
also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History