California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
HELGA S. PETERS, D. O. — The professional career of Dr. Helga S. Peters embraces a period of nearly twenty years, all of which have been passed at Riverside. It possesses some features of unique interest, inasmuch as it was instrumental in breaking through the barrier of professional bigotry, which had before her coming largely excluded women from practicing osteopathy in a professional way. Largely to his example, winning, by assiduous attention to her professional duties and by profound knowledge of the art and skill in its practice, a place among the reputable practitioners of her day and locality, no less than by her persistent efforts to open the doors of professional preferment to deserving and properly trained women, is due the rapid advance which the last quarter of a century has shown in granting to women the privileges accorded the other sex in ministering to the ills and accidents of humanity. To remove the barrier which shut out women from professional employments, in some of which, especially in some departments of the healing art, they have better adaptation than the other sex, has required a long and obstinate struggle. At this day, when colleges all over the land open their doors to co-education, not only in professions but in letters as well, and when women are found at the bed-side of the sick, without question of the propriety and fitness of the employment, it seems strange that so long a controversy was required to open the doors of opportunity to them. At Riverside it will appear that Doctor Peters has been a potent factor in bringing about a beneficial change.
Doctor Peters was born at Ringsaker, Hamar, Norway, a daughter of John S. and Olive Skyberg. Her father, a tenant farmer in Norway, immigrated to the United States in 1875 and took up his residence at Grand Meadow, Minnesota, where he established himself in the mercantile business. For a number of years he continued to conduct this establishment and to play an active part in the business affairs of his adopted community, but with advancing years he disposed of his interests and at present is living in comfortable retirement. His daughter, Helga S., enjoyed the advantages of attendance at the public schools of Grand Meadow, Minnesota, following which she enrolled as a student at the American College of Osteopathy, Kirksville, Missouri, an institution from which she was graduated with the class of 1903, receiving the degree of Doctor of Osteopathy. Almost immediately after her graduation she came to Riverside and opened an office, and since then her career has been one of constantly growing professional success. She is now possessed of a large and lucrative practice and has attained a recognized position in professional and club circles of the city. Doctor Peters is a member of the Riverside County Osteopathic Society, the California Osteopathic Society and the National Osteopathic Association. Her religious affiliation is with the Lutheran Church, to which she has been a generous contributor.
On March 30, 1911, occurred the marriage of Helga S. Skyberg to Dr. Martin O. Peters, of Riverside. To this union there has come one daughter, Loraine Carmen, who is attending the Riverside public schools.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011