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Cuming County Biography

Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte

information taken from Heritage of Bancroft: 1884 - 1984

One of Bancroft’s most famous early ladies was Dr. Susan LaFleche Picotte. She was one of four sisters born on the Omaha Indian Reservation to Joseph and Mary LaFlesche. After leaving the Omaha Indian Reservation School she continued her education in New Jersey, Virginia and then graduated from the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the first American Indian woman to become a Doctor of Medicine. In 1895 she married Henry Picotte, a half Sioux and half French Indian. Moving to Bancroft, they lived in town then later with her mother on the farm. Dr. Picotte always put a lighted lantern where it showed on the door step as a guide for anyone needing her services during the night.

Dr. Picotte also served as a missionary to the Omaha tribe at the old Presbyterian Mission near Macy as well as a tribal delegate to Washington, D.C.

Shortly after her husband’s death in 1905, Dr. Picotte moved to Walthill where she established a hospital as she continued ministering to the sick there. She also served as health chairman for the Nebraska Federated Women’s Clubs.

This very active lady died 18 September 1916 and lies at rest in the LaFlesche plot in the Bancroft City Cemetery.

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