Colorado College Tutt Library

Century Chest transcription 62


Charles Fox Gardiner, M.D.
224 Pike's Peak Avenue
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Office Hours 9:30 to 10:30 A.M.
2:30 to 4:30 P.M.
Telephone 127

Saturday, Aug 3rd 1901

To my Professional Brothers of the year 2001


I have been requested to write you a letter and to if possible give you some idea of a doctor's life at this place in the present time, as it has been thought the small and insignificant details of our daily life would possibly prove more interesting to you than actual medical history which no doubt you can easily obtain from the mass of data at your disposal.

We live then much as we have during the last fifty years; that is we have to see the sick and play our social part in the community. The life though of the physicians at this place does differ from that of the physician elsewhere because first he has a better climate to be out and drive around in, and second because the people he treats have as a rule one disease more than any other, pulmonary tuberculosis, and from this fact we have many of us become specialists in treating this disease of the lungs. Our patients come from all over the world to be cured in the dry air and sunshine, this is a cure in a large percent of cases of consumption during the first stages of the disease, and in fact today we rely in all countries on plenty of food and fresh air as a cure, we unfortunately have no other agent of anything like [its equal]. I have enclosed a chart showing number of days a pulmonary invalid can be outdoors, and also a diet list I give my patients, which is taken from my book "Care of the Consumptive, 1900."

My day is spent chiefly as follows. After a breakfast at 8:30 I read and write and see patients at my office which is in my house until 10:30 a.m. Our charges are for an office visit, $2.00, visit to house $3.00, an examination of chest first time $10.00, a second examination $5.00. I then drive about town seeing my patients, as the town is built largely with lawns about the houses and the environment decidedly rural and country like, and as many of the people I treat are cultivated and refined, the task I have in my daily work is neither arduous (?) nor disagreeable as a rule - although many of the cases I see are hopelessly ill with consumption and for that reason my sympathies are strongly drawn upon, but even then they are as a rule bright and full of hope.

The physicians drive a horse and buggy as a rule, a few use motor carriages, but electric are not practical here yet, and steam freezes up in cold weather, while gasoline make a noise and unpleasant smell. A few (one or two) occasionally ride horseback and I did regularly for a number of years when I first came here in 1887. But I drive a twowheeled top gig with [only the horse], and as the present town is not over 2 ½ miles in any one direction I seldom have far to go.

I drop in at the El Paso Club and see the men often for a half hour or so, and then back to lunch at one or half after at my house. There patients call until 4 o'clock, when I drive again to see people or often take my wife for a drive in the country as far as Broadmoor or the Cañons. The evenings are spent at home or dining with friends; generally I study from 10 to 12, and our El Paso County Medical Society meets once a month when papers are read and discussed. At least once a year I go to New York City, where I was born in 1857, the trip taking three days and nights and generally attend some medical conventions to talk and see the best men and so keep up with the times. This life in Colorado Springs from a medical man's standpoint is not burdened with the work and anxiety of a medical man's life in a large city like Philadelphia or New York (now called Manhattan), but it has a dash of country and fresh air, and a reason to enjoy God's beautiful scenery all about, which to my mind gives it a charm and advantage all its own.

I hope the future will bring a sanitary science that will render most diseases harmless. And when you smile at our work and no doubt wonder how we could have been so blind as not to see and know all you do, remember when you smile that we did our best as you are doing. And so gentlemen, God bless and keep you one and all, and "we who are about to die salute you," who are not yet born.

With best wishes and kind regards for you in the year 2001.

Sincerely yours,

Charles Fox Gardiner

In case any of my descendants are alive and interested in my life -

I am a direct descendant of Lyon Gardiner (9D) who came to America 1632, and who is buried in the town of East Hampton Long Island. I was born in New York City, graduated at Bellevue Hospital Medical College 1882. Served in Charity Hospital. I came west in 1883. Living at first 150 miles from a railroad for several years among cowboys and Indians, then came here. Have two children by my first wife who was Daisy E.P.M. Gardiner - Raynor [M__] and Dorothy. My second wife Fanny S. Anderson Gardiner! No children.

I have written a little, one book "Care of the Consumptive" being used in several hospitals in New York, Baltimore, Md.

My father is James M., my grandfather Charles Fox, my great grandfather Rev. John D.

C.F. Gardiner

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