Doc Susie’s former neighbor to launch book detailing legendary Grand County physician
Susan Anderson was born in Indiana but made her way to Colorado when the lure of the Colorado Gold Rush called to her father in 1892. The family settled in Anaconda, near Cripple Creek. Her father did not strike it rich, and Susan left Cripple Creek to attend the University of Michigan School of Medicine in 1893.
In 1897, she returned to Cripple Creek but the resistance to female physicians, the death of her brother, and abandonment by her fiancé, caused Dr. Anderson to take jobs in Denver and Greeley.
In 1907, she began a medical practice in Fraser, Colorado, that continued until age and ill health forced her to close her practice in 1958. Known to all in Grand County as Doc Susie, she was the only physician in the area and treated both humans and their animals. Doc Susie was at bedsides and in her office through all kinds of weather and for all kinds of medical care. She also served as county coroner, and when the Moffat Tunnel was being built, Doc Susie treated injured workers. Her legacy remains strong in Fraser, where a street is named for her and a statue stands in the Walk Through History Park.
Author Owen Briggs has unique insights and knowledge of Doc Susie. His home as a child was next door to Doc’s office and home. Owen’s aunt was executor of Doc’s will and had the responsibility of clearing out Doc’s house after she passed away in Denver in 1960. “DOC SUSIE: My Neighbor” contains photographs of many of the items left to Owen’s aunt and passed on to him. The book is the author’s first published work, and a labor of love he worked to write and publish for several years. He resides in Colorado Springs with his wife, Dorie.
Launch events are planned for May 30 and 31 in Fraser when Owen will speak to the students of Fraser Valley Elementary School on Thursday, May 30, and present a program to the Grand County Historical Society at Cozens Ranch Museum at 6:30 pm, also on May 30.
The Fraser events conclude with a presentation at the Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. The Historical Society and YMCA talks are free and open to the public.
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