Is It Worth Saving?

Post copyright by Doris McCraw

edit hhj spc

For those who wonder, the program went well in Victor on March 19. Great audience and I was gifted with the pleasure of meeting the grand daughter of Dr. Kate Yont, who may have practiced in Victor, Colorado prior to 1900. She had someone drive her from a little over 175 miles away. The experience drives home how important it is to not give up on your passion.

VICTOR COLORADO

Victor Colorado

I admit there are times when I wonder if telling the story of these women is worth the time and effort to find them. For those who haven’t been down that road, sometimes you hit pay dirt and other times you just bang your head against brick walls. While the internet has been a blessing, there are still many resources that have not survived or are in small museums that do not have the resources to save or make them available for researchers. They have become so delicate that to even touch them would cause disintegration.

INTERIOR GOLD COIN

Stairs of the  Gold Coin Club

The current doctor I’m researching is Dr. Josephine Paddock. I know she was born in Illinois, graduated from Cutler Medical School in Nebraska and practiced in Victor, Colorado from 1896 to at least 1906. I know she went to California and lived there for many years, some with her son, then went to live with a daughter in Nebraska. She is buried with her husband, who died in 1895. His death and her schooling don’t match. More digging is in the future, but without access to personal papers or even news stories it can be difficult to ferret out the full story. These stories, at some point, become educated guesses based on the information available at the time.

GOLD COIN CLUB

Gold Coin Club, program was on the second floor.

I realize it is not feasible to save everything, but the researcher in me cringes when I think of all the information that may be lost due to lack of funds for small museums, careless handling of old resources and a loss of the love for the stories of our shared histories. So when I wonder if the effort I’ve put into finding these women is worth it, I just remember, there are those who will know at least some of the story should they want to look. That is what keeps me going, along with the gift of meeting the relatives of these special women.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL also make sure to check out her haiku and photographs at http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com.

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This entry was posted in Colorado History, History, research, museums, stories, unique, women in history, Women's HIstory, Women's History Month and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Is It Worth Saving?

  1. wyoauthor1 says:

    Doris, what a wonderful and inspiring post! My Saturday library visit was NOT well attended, and I left with my head hung low and questioning, “is it worth it? It seems no one really cares what I have to say.” The past few days I’ve been fairly well depressed and ready to throw in the towel on my writing and speaking business. Then, I remember the three students on Friday who came up to me showing me the dog books they are reading — not mine, but others I recommended when I visited their class in February and talked about the many wonderful dog books out there and encouraged the students to pick one up at their school library or the public library. So, perhaps it’s the students I need to reach more and not the adults: “teach the children well,” as the old song says. So, I’m going back this summer to the same library I went to on Saturday for their children’s summer reading program. I won’t give up entirely, I’ll just shift course and see how the sailing fares in the direction of young hearts and minds. Blessings to you for your endurance, my friend, and good luck with your latest research!

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    • Doris says:

      Thank you Gayle. I am so pleased that my words help to keep you going on the path you have chosen. Sometimes we do have to make course corrections, but we still end up heading in the direction of our dreams.
      Thank you also for the encouragement for my passion. Doris

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  2. Neva Bodin says:

    Another interesting post. And to meet one of the descendants! How gratifying that must have been. I’m curious about the pictures you included in your post however. They look intriguing also. And I sense a story there.

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    • Doris says:

      Neva, the photos are from the town of Victor and the Gold Coin Club where I did the presentation. And yes, there is a great story behind them.
      I was thrilled to meet Kate’s grand daughter, it made driving up on a cloudy, snowy day to 10,000, worth it. Thank you for you kind and encouraging words. Doris

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  3. Wranglers says:

    I worry over the little museums too. I say Thanks Doris for all your research. I enjoy it. Cher’ley

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  4. Your pursuit of facts of early women doctors is something I would think many people cannot continue doing, because of the difficulty actually finding the information they seek. It is so wonderful that people like you don’t give up and often find what they are looking for in the place they least expect it I, too, am worried about the small museums and funding. My aunt researched our family for years and ran into roadblocks everywhere. The amount of information she collected was amazing. My dad had his grandfather’s civil war tent and some other artifacts that his father passed down to him. Dad lent the items to a cousin whom he trusted and it was difficult getting them back. My brother now has them, but when they were returned, the bag holding the tent was gone forever. No amount of searching could locate it. The cousin had died and his wife knew nothing about it. So sad.

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    • Doris says:

      Linda, thank you. I guess the stubborn part of me just doesn’t want to admit I can’t do it. Plus, these women haunt me if I don’t keep at it. (Kinda scary, huh?)
      As time goes by, more and more gets lost because people don’t understand or care how important this part of our past is. If you lose you history, you lose your civilization. Doris

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  5. Nancy Jardine says:

    A very rewarding experience! And those stairs are impressive. I just can’t stop my Roman Scotland research topic either, so I do understand the compulsion to ferret our even more.

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    • Doris says:

      It does get you doesn’t it Nancy? The building was a marvel. In fact, the area I spoke in, the balcony, in 1901, was not windowed in and Theodore Roosevelt spoke to the people of Victor. Doris

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  6. I think if it’s important to you, then it’s certainly important to others. It may not seem like it at the time, but you never know when you’ll discover how it’s touched someone down the road. Even if just one person says they read what I wrote or told me how much they enjoyed my panel, I’m pleased. It helps to recall those days when you get no-shows for a signing or only 1 or 2 people at a library event. Thanks for the post, Doris.

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    • Doris says:

      You are welcome Sarah. You are right, sometimes you wonder if it’s worth it, then something wonderful happens and you know following your heart was the right thing to do. Doris

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  7. Mike Staton says:

    I love small museums one will sometimes find in a small town or village. And while the frustration can be high when doing research, the end result can be satisfying when you decide you have enough to put your results onto paper. Maybe someday your enter a small-town museum and you’ll see they have one of your books on Old West women doctors.

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    • Doris says:

      Mike, from your fingers to God’s ears as they say. One time I was on Find a Grave, and it said this woman doctor had a bio. I clicked and it was one I wrote. It blew me away.

      I do hope people will love these women half as much as I do. Thank you for your encouragement and support. Doris

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  8. S J Brown says:

    This is something you care about so it is worth all the effort. There are so many people out there like family members who really appreciate what you do. In addition you are educating all of us.

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    • Doris says:

      S J, I hope you all are enjoying at least part of the story of these women’s lives. You are 100% correct, I really do care. Thank you for helping to keep me going. Doris

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