Marker 563: Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb 7/26/1886 - 5/30/1956

© Photographed July 30, 2016 at Marker Dedication
Erected by 2016 Dr. Kate Museum
and Wisconsin Historical Society
Woorduff, Oneida County, Wisconsin
45.895661, -89.699481

Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb
7/26/1886 - 5/30/1956
On this site, Dr. Kate Pelham Newcomb, a well-respected and loved physician, provided medical care from her office and treatment room during the 1940s and 1950s. One of only two doctors for the vast northern Wisconsin area, she treated local residents and tourists, traveling over 300 square miles to make house calls through blizzards and subzero temperatures. Her modes of transportation included a canoe, her modified Model T car equipped with tracks and skis, on foot [sic] or by snowshoe. She delivered over 3,000 babies without ever losing a mother or baby.

By 1949 it became clear that the northern region desperately needed a hospital. Dr. Kate had to travel with her patients to hospitals in bigger communities or as far as Ironwood, MI. The Arbor Vitae-Woodruff Lions Club [sic] as well as churches, civil clubs, tourists and residents [sic] literally dug in and poured a foundation on land donated by a local couple. After funding sources dwindled in 1952, the Arbor Vitae-Woodruff High School Geometry [sic] teacher, Mr. Otto Burich, and his class came up with an idea that caught on nationwide. The goal was to collect a million pennies, and [sic] on Memorial Day 1953 [sic] The Million Penny Parade was held in Woodruff with 10,000 people in attendance to celebrate the collection of pennies from all 48 states and all continents. The Lakeland Memorial Hospital located in Woodruff opened debt free in March 1954. Community spirit, generosity, hard work, imagination [sic] and faith built a hospital for Dr. Kate.

Dr. Kate's remarkable life has been commemorated in books, [sic] articles in Reader's Digest, LOOK magazine, Woman's Day magazine, US News [magazine], and publications throughout the world. She was a guest on the television show hosted by Ralph Edwards [sic] "THIS IS YOUR LIFE" [sic] in March 1954. Her unique role as a female physician is taught to today's students throughout [sic] Wisconson social studies classes. This site commemorates Dr. Kate's contributions to the medical community in the Arbor Vitae-Woodruff area and in the state of Wisconsin, where her legacy lives on.
Oh, my goodness! Who proofread this for punctuation, grammar and syntax!!!??? I've never before seen a State Historical Society "official" marker with these kinds of errors!

The marker is located at the Dr. Kate Museum, 923 2nd Avenue, Woodruff, Wisconsin 54568.

Dr. Kate Museum

Dr. Kate Museum: Worlds [sic] Largest Penny
This link is filled with all kinds of penny facts. For example, 1,000,000 pennies placed side-by-side will cover an area of 3906.24 square feet!



Wikipedia: Kate Pehlam Newcomb

See also these nearby related markers:

Photographs presented in the order they were taken
at the July 30, 2016, Marker Dedication:



Dr. Kate is famous for traveling to the homes
of her patients by snowshoe.

The band played music from the 40s.

Dexter and my friend, Karen Mielke, waiting for the festivities to begin.

Members of V.F.W. Post 7898.

The signing of the National Anthem . . .


Jill Lemke, HYMC Chaplin, gave the invocation (and benediction).

Mike Timmons, Woodruff Town Chairman, gave the greetings.

Arbor Vitae Town Chairman Frank Bauers also provided greetings.


The introduction of Donna Behn Bassett,
1953 Penny Parade Queen (and first queen).
60th anniversary of the Million Penny Parade to be held Memorial Day weekend

Donna's royalty photograph and dress
are on display inside the Dr. Kate Museum.
© Dr. Kate Museum
Photographed May 2, 2015
with generous permission of Dr. Kate Museum.

More than 200 guests attended!

When Dan Cardinal was 10 years old, he produced a documentary
about the Dr. Kate Museum for a school assignment.
He spoke on his recollections of that project.

Remarks were given by Janet Seymour, field representative,
Wisconsin State Historical Society.

Inspiring, insightful comments by Bobby Knox in his
"Tribute to Nona Berray".

Mary Ann Burich Wetterling gave an emotional tribute to
her parents in "Memories of Mary & Otto Burich".

This marker, next to the State Historical Society "official" Marker,
honors Otto and Mary Burich.

Flag raising ceremony by members of V.F.W. Post 7898.


"Reflection" remarks by Gary Simmons,
Vice President of the Dr. Kate Museum.

Mike Newcomb spoke on "My Grandmother, Dr. Kate".

The unveiling of the marker by
Gary Simmons and Mike Newcomb:









The newly-unveiled marker!



Dexter and me . . .

Dexter and my friend, Karen Mielke.

The daughters of Mary and Otto Burich.

The new marker, still in straps,
as the freshly-poured cement needs a week more to set.

A replica of Dr. Kate's car, a 1954 Mercury Monterey 


Mike Newcomb, Dr. Kate's grandson, reading the new marker.


The museum complex (marker visible in the distance to the right).




 Signage leading to the Museum location.

 The marker is located in Woodruff, Wisconsin.

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