Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte was born in 1865 to the last recognized chief of the Omaha tribe. Her father, Iron Eyes, encouraged his children to learn the ways of the majority white culture. Upon graduation from the Philadelphia Women's Medical College in 1889, Susan became the first female Native American medical doctor. She returned home, and from 1890 until 1894, served as the government physician on the Omaha reservation.
Upon her marriage to Henry Picotte, Susan resigned her position though she continued to care for patients. She kept a candle burning in the window at all times to guide the sick to her home. In 1905, following her husband's death, Dr. Picotte moved to Walthill and helped establish the hospital which bears her name. Dr. Picotte devoted her life to the service of her people, as doctor, leader, and advisor.
The original hospital in which Dr. Picotte practiced has been completely restored and houses The Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte Center, a National Historic Landmark in Walthill.
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