Dr. Frederic N. Ripley: The First Doctor of Shakopee (1856)

The first physician was Dr. Frederic N. Ripley. He died in 1856 when he froze to death.

Dr. Ripley had a site near the Crow River. Dr. Ripley and Mr. McClelland started about March 1, 1856 from Cedar City en route for Forest City, for the purpose of obtaining supplies. When they were about halfway there, they lost the road, and wandered until Dr. Frederic Ripley gave out.

McClelland persevered, and at last found a cabin unoccupied. McClelland spent 16 days in this cabin, and only a pound of cheese and a quart of rice to live upon. His hands and feet became badly frozen, and had to be cut off.

Dr. Ripley, at the time of his death, was county commissioner of the new county of Meeker. He intended to make Cedar City his home, and was one of the principal proprietors of that town. He was supposed to be married in a short time to a highly estimable young lady of Minneapolis. The melancholy news had a crushing effect upon the poor lady.

(In other words, she needed a doctor!)

Dr. Frederic was 28 years old, and a native of New York, where he was connected with some of the first families. His remains were not found, and it was probable that the wolves had devoured him.

McClelland had a very hard time keeping the wolves off of him while in the cabin. McClelland was discovered by Messrs. Chapman and Moore of Glencoe while on an exploring expedition.

(Physician, warm thyself!)

(Some information from Shakopee Independent, April 2, 1856.)

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