by Joi Brundege
Do you remember when Andes had its own doctor and dentist? I don’t remember “Old Doc Wakeman” as much as I remember my parents talking about him. He delivered my sisters Elaine (born 1938)and Kathy (born 1942 ) at home with the help of his assistant. The story goes that after examining my mother Miriam, he told her that she could have all of the babies in the world as she had a wide pelvis. Mom did have easy deliveries. I was born before Dad could get back to the house with Doc Wakeman. I guess Dad got the nurse first, as I was all delivered when Doc Wakeman arrived.
My Dad also told the story of taking Elaine to Doc Wakeman’s office. They had just come through the door when Doc said, “Has a sore throat, does she?” Dad said, “Yes, but how did you know?” Well, he had observed Elaine making a painful swallow. They sure practice medicine differently today!
During this same decade, Dr. Frisbee had a dental office on Main Street, and for a brief time Andes had two physicians. Following service in WWII, Dr. C.Ray. Huggins returned to Andes, his hometown and set up his practice. Initially he rented from John Roney, Sr. He then bought a house on Main Street from Mr. Turnbull. The house that was his home and office is now owned by Martha Campbell. Doc Huggins practiced in Andes in 1947 and 1948 and then moved his practice to Margaretville.
Andes also had two veterinarians for many years. Dr. Sutherland (Nori Jackson’s first husband) lived in Andes and was employed by New York State to test cows for TB and brucellosis for several surrounding towns. My dad, Doc All, opened his veterinarian practice in 1937. The towns that are now “Under Pepacton’s Waters” were about one third of Dad’s practice. We thought we would have to move. We three daughters were in high school and were terribly upset by such speculation. After visiting several potential new practice areas, Mom and Dad decided we would stay put, tighten our belts, and Dad would try to increase his small animal practice. Well, we stayed put, and Dad retired after practicing in Andes for over fifty years.~