Kenneth Vincent Overend

(My Great Grandfather)

by

Abbie Lambert

 

6th Grade 1994, Hallock / Kennedy School,Kennedy, MN

 

"K. V. spent 4 of his 9 lives during the Flu epidemicof 1917"

This is a quote describing Dr. K. V. Overend. He was aman of strength and conviction, and dedicated his life to medicine and hislove of humanity. This is the story of my great grandfather.

Kenneth Vincent Overend was born in Orvillia, Ontario,Canada. It was a town just outside of Toronto. He was born on August 18,1885. He took pre-medical schooling at Kings University, and Medical Schoolat Queens University. After 5 years of schooling, he interned in BellvueHospital in New York City. Then he was ready to start his own practice.

K.V. moved to Drayton, North Dakota and set up practicethere around 1911. He married Grace Mae Fowler in January of 1914. Jean,their only daughter, was born there late in 1914. Then K.V. and familymoved to Kennedy, Minnesota. There, John (Pat), was born in 1917. Shortlyafter they all moved to Hallock, Grace's home town. Robert was born in1920 and then Thomas in 1923.

He practiced with A. W. Shaleen, a long-standing practitionerof Kittson County. He also spent 2 years in Vienna, Austria specializingin Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat.

Dr. K.V. then set up office above what is now the FarmerStore of Hallock. He worked on end for weeks during the flu epidemic of1917, driven place to place by Joe Skapple. There were also many 70 miletrips to the gold mines in Ontario to take care of injuries in the mines.

In the winter, when roads were blocked with snow drifts,he got to his patients by snowmobile, by driving a Model A Coop with widetires that drove right over the drifts, or by following the railroad tracks. Later, his sons drove him in a cutter, a 2 runner sled with a cab and astove. During epidemics, K.V. would sleep while his sons drove from farmto farm. My grandfather, Bob, at ten years old, would sleep while K.V.was with his patients. They were the ones who made the country house calls,and was the only "ambulance."

Because of his dedication to humanity, he went on housecalls without first asking about payments. He had to buy a farm becauseof all the animals given to him for payments. He would work all night deliveringa baby on the only beds in the house, while the family slept on the floor.This is an example of how he gave his very best to all of his patients,no matter what the cost to himself.

Dr. K.V. believed in discipline. Once, when his son, Pat,bit his sister, he looked Pat in the eye and bit him back. Pat never bitanyone again! When Bob was hit in his eye with a stone by his brother,he swore at his brother, and then ran home to his father. Dr. K.V. punishedhim for swearing at his brother before sympathizing with him for the cutabove his eye. Then again, when Bob took out his pocket knife, and causedPat to set on it, K.V. threw the knife over the horizon. I can still seethat knife flying through the air somewhere over Caribou. . . . .

At the age of 50, K.V. became sick with leukemia. At 53,he had to quit practicing because his hands were so raw; caused by his disease. When he had a nose bleed, his hanky was clear with but a faint brown outlineof his blood. This was because of the loss of red blood cells in his body. He went to a blood specialist and was told to get out of the cold weather.

At this time, Bob was schooling in Crookston. He drovehis family to Texas. Then they headed to Florida. They rented a houseand stayed there the whole winter. They also bought a big trailer. Whenspring came, the family went back to Hallock. They did the same the nextyear, but the 3rd winter, K.V. was too sick to make the trip. He died inhis home above the clinic in what is now Bakken Boots.

As you can see, he worked to help people until the veryend. I wish that I could have been there to know him. But, through mygrandfather, I now love him even though I could never touch him or hug himin person.

Bibliography

I got this information from my grandpa, Bob Overend, andfrom the Kittson County History Book
n from my grandpa, Bob Overend, andfrom the Kittson County History Book