REMARKABLE PEOPLE WHO CARED FOR THE SICK IN BANCROFT AND DISTRICT
Dr. T.I. Beeman
Dr. T.I. Beeman arrived in Bancroft in 1888, and he soon earned the respect of the villagers. He always put his patients’ health before his own comfort and never refused to help, no matter what hour of day or night his assistance was required. He served the community for decades in exemplary fashion. When he got older and his health began to fail, he kept on practising with the same dedication.
One winter’s night in 1922 he was called in an urgent matter to see a patient in the Paudash area. Despite the raging blizzard he hitched up his cutter and drove off. Yet on route his horse got stuck in the deep snow. Dr. Beeman tried for several hours unsuccessfully to free his animal. He then decided to make his way to the nearest farm to get help. It was quite a distance away. He ended up crawling through the many snow drifts. He reached the farm eventually. However, the severe cold and physical exhaustion had taken their toll on the good doctor. He died of pneumonia a few days later. At his funeral an immense crowd from Bancroft and district deeply mourned the loss of this selfless, brave man, whom they had been privileged to know.
Mrs. Stewart Anderson
In the 1870’s and 80’s a Mrs. Stewart Anderson from Turriff was well known in the area for her kind and charitable service for the sick. She had no training as a nurse, but she steadily gained experience by helping the ill whenever she was needed. She became an expert at delivering babies and helping the young mothers. Around 1883 during an outbreak of diphtheria she tended many sick babies, without fear of infecting herself. She could not prevent that fifteen babies died within a short time, but she then assisted the distraught parents by conducting the funeral services and, finally, by burying the little bodies without delay, in order to prevent a further spreading of the disease. In those days pioneer women frequently helped one another, but Mrs. Anderson, unselfishly, went much beyond what was customary.