Sam Bacharach, Lumpkin County, GA, is the Winner!
Dr. John McKelway is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #647, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
Join in the discovery!
Tuesday: An unusual name
Wednesday: Blue eyes
Thursday: A family tradition
Friday: A cracked pitcher
Monday: Member of Orofino Chamber of Commerce
Tuesday: Born in Pennsylvania
Wednesday: Chose to live in the West
Thursday: Loved his work
Friday: Considered one of the best in the country
Saturday: Frowned on political interference
Monday: Studied in Europe
Tuesday: Employee apartments
Wednesday: Spent time recovering from tuberculosis
Thursday: Economical with public money
Friday: Cooking and heating done with wood
Saturday: Graduated with high honors
Monday: 1st Lieutenant in medical corps
Tuesday: Requested a budget that would allow more employees
Wednesday: Boy Scout Executive Committee
Thursday: The second one
Friday: Was connected with the government immigration service as an expert
Saturday: Made many improvements to benefit others
Monday: It was believed he died of a heart attack.
Tuesday: Advocated for increased financial support
Dr. John McKelway was the second superintendent of State Hospital North, following Dr. James Givens who established the institution He served from 1926 until his death in 1941. Being a doctor was a family tradition as he was preceded by five generation of physicians.
He was born in Philadelphia Dec. 23, 1875. He graduated from the Rittenhouse Academy, a preparatory school, and with high honors in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania before he was 21 years old. Later he spent 18 months touring and studying in Europe. He was then was placed in charge of Blockley Hospital in Philadelphia. Later, he spent 16 years in the New York state hospital system. He was chairman of the state board of alienists and connected with the government immigration service as an expert in mental diseases of non-resident and alien insane.
In 1914, he took a year's leave of absence and came west due to his wife's health. He loved it so much that he never returned east, except to terminate his affairs there. He served as a first lieutenant in the medical corps during World War I and was discharged with tuberculosis. He spent two years recovering.
McKelway came to SHN from Fort Steilacoom, WA, where he was a physician and an administrator in the Western State Hospital.
Because he loved his work and was one of the greatest psychiatrists of the country, McKelway made a great personal sacrifice to stay in the west. According to the history of SHN, he was an aristocrat by birth and a democrat by nature. Though he was a political appointee, he frowned on political interference with his work. The history says he built SHN into a model institution with a good reputation in the west.
Funding was a challenge and McKelway advocated for the money needed to best serve the patients that were in his charge. There is a story that some state officials came to Orofino and were hosted at McKelway's residence for dinner. His wife used family heirloom china and silverware. The governor and legislators left with the attitude that with the fine appointments at the McKelway home, the institution could not need much money. The next time the group came, McKelway had his wife use only what belonged to the state, including a big, heavy, white pitcher with a crack which was placed in front of the governor. Whether it influenced the decisions in Boise or not, the hospital got more money that year.
As the patient count grew, McKelway also advocated with the North Idaho Chamber of Commerce and told them that with the increasing numbers and the area they served, more buildings and other facilities were needed. Baldridge Court (staff apartments), as well as a slaughter house, farm house, Givens Hall with an auditorium, McKelway's house, a new laundry building, Dr. Wade's home and a horse barn were all constructed during his time as superintendent.
At that time SHN had extensive farming operations that the patients worked in. All the cooking and heating was done with wood up until at least 1934 and possibly into the 1940s.
After McKelway died, a staff physician, Dr. R.W. Wade took over for about a year and a half before he was called into service in World War II.
|Window on the Clearwater|
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733