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Dr. Springs: 1939

Dr. Springs: 1939

January 1939. "Dr. Springs' office. Colp, Illinois." Medium format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Spring or Sprung?

Don't know if this is a place to buy auto springs, spring water, or to put some spring in your step. But by the looks of it, I certainly wouldn't bounce in for any medical (or dental) procedures.

Besides having a good sense of humor ...

it seems Dr. Springs was African American. Andrew W. Springs was born in 1869 and died in 1944. In addition to delivering babies and treating patients, he taught the community about hygiene, maintained his museum of Indian and other artifacts, even ran for statewide office twice in the Republican primary, in 1918 and 1924, losing by just one vote in 1918. In the height of the Great Depression, Dr. Springs invited First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to tour the No. 9 mine. She also attended a community choir performance in Colp and later sent the choir formal robes and a director to train and travel with them.

Dr. Andrew Springs

Respected physician Dr. Andrew Springs, half Comanche and half black, served Colp and the surrounding communities as a medical doctor. He founded the first African-American Boy Scout Troop in the nation. Dr. Springs was awarded the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association Medal of Honor in 1923 for resuscitating men left for dead in the 1914 Royalton Mine explosion. Despite residing in a "sundown town," Dr. Springs responded to mining accidents at all hours, treating black and white patients alike. A local hero, mentor, and friend to many, he is still honored and well remembered in Colp today.

All caught up?

The tetanus vaccine was developed in 1924. Hopefully the good doctor was up to date if he mounted that truck leaf spring with rusty nails.

First name Leaf

The good doctor has a sense of humor. Always a good sign.

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