Dr William F Wittwer

#6808, b. 21 November 1871, d. 1 June 1965
     Dr William F Wittwer was born on 21 November 1871 Indiana.1 He married Fanny Belinda Nowlin, daughter of Samuel Sherod Nowlin and Lucy Catherine Graves, circa 1900 Los Lunas, New Mexico. Dr William F Wittwer married Anna Nowlin, daughter of Samuel Sherod Nowlin and Lucy Catherine Graves, 1908 Los Lunas, New Mexico. Dr William F Wittwer married Ruth Crutchfield 1936. Dr William F Wittwer died 1 June 1965 , in Los Lunas, New Mexico at age 93.1
     He and Fanny Belinda Nowlin had no children.

Albuquerque Journal, 21 November 1961

Doctor, 90, Will be Honored Today
For Long Service in Los Lunas Area

By Tim Weeks of the Journal Staff
LOS LUNAS – Dr. William F. Wittwer, for 62 years the only private general practitioner here, is celebrating his 90th birthday today.
“They’re planning a little something here, but I don’t know anything about it,” the lively, white-haired doctor said Monday of his approaching birthday.
Besides festivities to be provided by relatives and friends, the little something, Dr. Wittwer will find, includes appointment as colonel aide-de-camp on the staf of Gov. Edwin L. Mechem and honorary appointment to the staff of Attorney General Earl Hartley. One of the telegrams Dr. Wittwer will receive today is from Mechem.
“We’re going to celebrate a little, but nothing to boast about,” Wittwer, who calls himself a hearty eater, said Monday.
The statement characterizes the man.
The elimination of smallpox and pellagra from the Los Lunas countryside, the delivery of most of the area’s babies for a half a century and the great battle with the elements to keep people well before there were roads and hospitals are all, to Dr. Wittwer, “nothing to boast about.”
Speaking of his civic projects such as pushing for organization of a state health department and an improved school system, Wittwer once said he “never did anything that a person living in the community wouldn’t have done.”
Oldtimers around Los Lunas disagree. He is a paragon of a doctor and community leader, they say. One said probably more than half of Dr. Wittwer’s medical work over the years never netted him a cent.
Born in Salem, Neb., the second of 14 children, Wittwer did not follow his father who dealt in livestock, but went to Indiana to study pharmacy and later medicine. After becoming a medical doctor in 1897 he practiced briefly in Ohio and then came here.
He said he began his practice in Los Lunas because “I was up a tree.” But, he said, “after awhile I just couldn’t have gotten away, even if I’d wanted to.”
Through the years he built a close association with Dr. William D. Radcliffe of Belen. Together they would conduct community health programs and handle complex cases. When Dr. Radcliffe died, Wittwer continued the association with his son, William Jr., also a doctor.
Soon after he came here he married Fanny Belle Nowlin of Missouri, who had come here for her health. She died in 1904. He married her sister, Anna, in 1908, and his only child, a daughter, Fanny Belle, was born in 1910. The young girl named for her aunt is now Mrs. John Allen of Albuquerque.
The doctor’s second wife died in 1921. He remained alone until 1936, when he married the former Ruth Crutchfield of Texas, whom he met while she was visiting in Belen.
A year before he arrived in the territory an epidemic of smallpox killed 100 persons in nearby Tome. Soon after he arrive, he and Dr. Radcliffe carried out a campaign to immunize the populace against smallpox and other diseases.
“We saved most of them from then on,” he said.
He found pellagra, a disease which affects the skin and the gastro-intestinal passages, widespread in the region.
“What was funny about it was that we didn’t know what it was. I don’t think we even heard the name pellagra when I went through school in the ‘90’s.”
He and Dr. Radcliffe soon found out what pellagra, a disease common to warm climates, is. They found that it was caused by the limited diet here then – tortillas, peppers and beans. They educated residents to eat more dairy products, and soon pellagra was not a problem.
Dr. Witter owned the first automobile in Los Lunas – a Buick 10 which he said “never saw Albuquerque.” The car was not much use for awhile, he said, because no improved roads were built through Los Lunas until 1920.
He remembers primitive conditions – before there were hospitals even in Albuquerque. He had to perform two amputations the first year he was here.
On one, he said, “little kitchen lanterns with tin reflectors” provided the only light as he operated in an adobe home.
“One of the men holding the lamps fainted, but we continued the operation,” he said.
He enjoyed ten or fifteen minutes Monday recalling his old memories, but then he excused himself.
“I have some patients waiting for me in the office,” he said, and walked briskly out of the room.”.

Family of William and Fanny

Family of William and Anna

Family of William and Ruth

Charts
Berger, Jonathan #3263, b ca 1700 Switzerland or Germany, d PA (#1)
Berger, Jonathan #3263, b ca 1700 Switzerland or Germany, d PA (#2)
Berger, Jonathan #3263, b ca 1700 Switzerland or Germany, d PA (#3)
Berger, Jonathan #3263, b ca 1700 Switzerland or Germany, d PA (#4)
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691, Virginia (#1)
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691, Virginia (#2)
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland (#1)
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland (#2)
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland (#3)
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland (#4)
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland (#5)
Nowlan, John # 867, b bef 1580, Ireland, d Ireland (#6)
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690, Lancaster County, Virginia (#1)
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690, Lancaster County, Virginia (#2)
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746 (#1)
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746 (#2)
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746 (#3)
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746 (#4)
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746 (#5)
Wade, Edward # 838, in Virginia bef 1746 (#6)
Berger, Jonathan #3263 (#1)
Berger, Jonathan #3263 (#2)
Berger, Jonathan #3263 (#3)
Berger, Jonathan #3263 (#4)
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691 (#1)
Graves, Francis #708 b say 1630 d Aug 1691 (#2)
Nowlan, John # 867 (#1)
Nowlan, John # 867 (#2)
Nowlan, John # 867 (#3)
Nowlan, John # 867 (#4)
Nowlan, John # 867 (#5)
Nowlan, John # 867 (#6)
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690 (#1)
Pinckard, John # 1404 b ca 1642 d 1690 (#2)
Wade, Edward # 838 (#1)
Wade, Edward # 838 (#2)
Wade, Edward # 838 (#3)
Wade, Edward # 838 (#4)
Wade, Edward # 838 (#5)
Wade, Edward # 838 (#6)
Last Edited=26 Jul 2015

Citations

  1. [S395] Ancestry.com, online Ancestry.com, U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
    William F Wittwer.