Archive of ten Physician's Daily Memorandums and one Physician's Daily Visiting List and Record, belonging to Dr. Eugene H. Winkler of De Witt, Arkansas

De Witt, Arkansas: N.p., 1903-1922. Archive of ten "Physician's Memorandums" and one "Physician's Daily Visiting List and Record," belonging to Dr. Eugene H. Winkler of De Witt, Arkansas, spanning 1903-1922. Daily cursive entries in holograph ink and pencil to recto and versos throughout.

The ten memorandums represent years 1903-1906, 1909-1913, and 1917, and the visiting list and record represents 1922. Two of the memorandums note Winkler's name and location in holograph ink on the front pastedown. Winkler has been further identified in Dallas Tabor Herndon's "Centennial History of Arkansas, Volume 3" (1922), which contains a biographical sketch of Winkler, consistent with the diary entries found here.

Born in 1867 in Memphis, Tennessee, Winkler received his M.D. at the University of Tennessee, practicing medicine at Crockett's Bluff and Saint Charles, Arkansas, before spending two years as a surgeon at the Marine Hospital at Memphis. In 1900 Winkler settled in De Witt, and opened a private practice in the small town, located 75 miles southeast of Little Rock, which according to the 1900 census had a population of only 318. By 1922 the population would grow to about 1500, largely attributable to successful rice cultivation, leading the prairie lands around De Witt to become known as "the rice capital of the world." Winkler would later serve as the longtime President of the Arkansas County chapter of the state's Medical Society.

Spanning eleven years of daily entries, the typically terse but thorough journals present unique insights into the everyday life of a rural white doctor in a small southern town at the turn of the century. Winkler's entries nearly always begin with "Up early," or "Late getting up," mention of his chores, and observations about the weather, before detailing his office and house visits, events, and his return home and evening activities. Mentions of births, deaths, autopsies, house calls, prescriptions, and fees charged are all relatively common entries. Four of the diaries (1912, 1913, 1917, and 1922) include daily cash receipts recorded in the latter half of the journal, listing each patient and the amount charged adjacent to the date.

Winkler's entries also mention treating African American patients with a fair frequency, as mentioned in one of the two entries below, though not without revealing the entrenched racism of the turn of the century south: Winkler frequently adds the addendum of the racist epithet "coon" after the patient's name, particularly in the daily cash receipts. According to the 1910 census, African Americans made up approximately a third of the population of Arkansas county, the county in which De Witt sits.

Two fairly typical entries from 1905:

Wednesday, January 18: "Up early, Sky cldy and [?]. Did my chores. To see Capt. Musgrove. Took clothes to a negro to be washt. To town. At office all A.N. Home at noon. To see Capt Musgrove. To work about place. Called to see a negro Gen. Fowler who had been shot. Got team + driver from Young, [?]. Home at 8:45. rain began falling about 1 o'clock and has continued [?] since. Still raining now."

Thursday, April 20: "Up all after part of night with baby. Today had been a little better. We thank God for it and pray it is permanent and that she will continue to improve, and speedily recover. To town early + got some medicine. Home rest of day. Sky cldy all day. [?] Dr. Strurlin [?] came down this eve. To town late this eve. Baby not so well now. We pray God it is only temporary. Sam Underwood telephoned me he was ready to pay [?] bill. Told him to hand it to Block [?] + take receipt."

Ten memorandums in red cloth covered boards. Poor to Good, with boards well worn and separated at the spine, and frequent silverfish damage to text block, although the vast majority of entries remain clear and unobscured.

Daily Visiting List and Record in green cloth covered boards. Poor, with boards well worn and deteriorating at the spine, with silverfish damage to front pastedown, front endpaper, and title page. Text block clean and unaffected.


[Book #157083]