Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Evergreen Cemetery's 'Doctor's Hill'

Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (C) Doris McCraw

Every city cemetery seems to have that place that holds in its space the stories of the early history as told through those who are buried there. Usually, these areas are in the older sections, like the one in Evergreen.

For the purpose of this post, I will focus on three doctors who are buried there. While there is a woman doctor on the hill, the doctors discussed here are all men and were practicing in the region prior to 1900. Additionally, these three were also a president of the Colorado Medical Society.

We begin with the gravesite at the top of the hill. The headstone sits in a slight depression at the edge of a precipice where the hill has the beginning of a gully. Whether true or not, Dr. Boswell P. Anderson has a life I feel was one of living on the edge.

Dr. Boswell P. Anderson
Image from Find a Grave

Anderson was born in 1847 in Virginia. He served in the Confederate Army as a member of Mosby’s Raiders. He carried a bullet in his lung as a result of his military service. A story in the book by the

Colorado Medical Society is his meeting with General Sherman when in Colorado. It seems he’d been captured as a spy when he had met with a Union soldier to trade food/tobacco. He told Sherman that he was trading for coffee for his mother. The story goes, that he and Sherman celebrated the meeting all those years later in the fashion of the day, lots of alcohol.

Dr. William M. Strickler
Image from Find A Grave

Moving down the hill, almost straight west from Anderson is the resting place of William B. Strickler and his wife. Virginia. Dr. Strickler was also born in Virginia in 1838. Stickler also served in the Confederate Army but unlike Anderson, he was an assistant surgeon in his unit. In addition to his medical work, Strickler was also involved in politics and sheep and cattle growing. Dr. Strickler was also known as someone who was reserved but an amazing surgeon.

Dr. Samuel E. Solly
Image from Find A Grave

Samuel Edwin Solly is down a slight incline and slightly to the north of Strickler. Dr. Solly was born in 1845 in London England. He was the first British-born doctor to head the Colorado Medical Society. He arrived in the Pikes Peak Region with his wife, who like Solly suffered from tuberculous. The properties that drew so many invalids to the region helped Solly recover but not his wife. Dr. Solly focused his message on the atmosphere of the area and its healing properties.

There is a wealth of stories and information about these doctors and the others who have ‘Doctor’s Hill’ as their final resting place.

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