Doctors of Norton County, Kansas

researched by Walta Russ


Dr. Edward F. Steichen, Lenora
1/29/1905 - 5/16/2000

"Doc" Steichen, a longtime country doctor from Lenora, died May 16, 2000, at Mt Carmel Nursing Home in Kearney, Nebraska at the age of 95.

Parish Wake services will be held Friday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Enfield Funeral Home in Norton.  Mass of the Christian Burial will be held Saturday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m. at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in New Almelo, with Father Kerry Ninemire officiating.  Burial will be held in the St. Joseph Cemetery in New Almelo. A memorial has been established to the Valley Hope Hug A Bear Fund.  Friends may call at the Enfield Funeral Home in Norton on Friday, May 19, from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.  Enfield Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Doc was born in Tipton, Kansas, on Kansas Day, January 29, 1905 , He was one of two in the first graduating class from Tipton High School in 1922.  He completed “pre-medical” studies at the University of Kansas in 1926 and studied medicine at Rush Medical School in Chicago. He completed his internship at Denver General Hospital and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in June, 1931. At the invitation and financial staking of his sister, Delorose and her husband, Joe Schandler, he took over the practice of Dr. Reckling at Lenora in July 1931. In 1929 he married Jerry Governeau, a registered nurse, and they had three children, Edward, Jeanine and John.

Doc and his wife, Jerry opened their house to serve as a hospital during the early years of his practice until the hospital was built in Norton.  Doc served Norton County and surrounding areas as a country doctor for over 40 years.  His office was located in Lenora.  He delivered some 3,500 babies, visited most homes in the area and became the beloved source of many "country doctor" stories.  He never sent a bill during his entire career.  During depression, drought, grasshopper invasions and dust storms he was paid with chickens, eggs, vegetables and even a pool table.  During this time he served as mayor of Lenora for 28 years. He took great pride in being one of the founders of the Valley Hope Association for alcohol and drug treatment.

In 1966 Doc was elected Democratic representative for the 114th district (later the 119th district), representing Norton, Phillips and Rooks counties.  He served in the legislature until 1974.  He felt that his work in establishing a family medicine center at Kansas University was his most important legislative achievement.  He was also the un-official house physician for the legislature, never being without the "black bag" that served as his medical office.

Doc was a strong promoter of the Kansas-Paraguay partnership program.  He was a world traveler, and was even pictured in the Brazil equivalent of Life Magazine dressed as an Indian for Mardi Gras. He was a man of many accomplishments with a great zest for life and a strong compassion for his fellow humans.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jerry, by his sisters Delorose, Loretta, Marie and Virginia, by his brother Art and his grandson Nicholas . He is survived by his 3 children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Norton Daily Telegram, 19 May 2000


©2005-2008 by Norton County Genealogical Society
This site was  established Feb. 2005  by Norton County Genealogical Society and is dedicated to free access to records, documents and photos of historical and genealogical value. Documents contained herein may be copied for personal, non-commercial use as long as this message remains on all copied material.   These records, documents and photos may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format,  including electronic (web pages or CD's) and print, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.

Last updated Thursday, September 04, 2008