Friday, September 22, 2023

Doctor's Hill - Evergreen Cemetery

Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (C) Doris McCraw
Every city cemetery seems to have that place that holds in its space the stories of early history as told through those who are buried there. Usually, these areas are in the older sections, like the one in Evergreen.

For the purpose of this post, I will focus on three doctors who are buried there. While there is a woman doctor on the hill, the doctors discussed here are all men and were practicing in the region prior to 1900. Additionally, these three were also at one time the president of the Colorado Medical Society.

Beginning with the gravesite at the top of the hill lies the first of the three. The headstone sits in a slight depression at the edge of a precipice where the hill has the beginning of a gully. Whether true or not, Dr. Boswell P. Anderson's life feels like it was one of living on the edge.

Dr. Boswell P. Anderson
Photo from Find a Grave

Anderson was born in 1847 in Virginia. He served in the Confederate Army as a member of Mosby’s Raiders. He carried a bullet in his lung as a result of his military service. A story in the book by the Colorado Medical Society is his meeting with General Sherman when in Colorado. It seems he’d been captured as a spy when he met with a Union soldier to trade food/tobacco. He told Sherman that he was trading for coffee for his mother. The story goes, that he and Sherman celebrated the meeting all those years later in the fashion of the day, lots of alcohol. It was also mentioned that two historians called him the most picturesque and colorful character - and the most handsome. He served as president of the society from 1879-1880

Dr. William B. Strickler
Image from Find a Grave

Moving down the hill, almost straight west from Anderson is the resting place of William B. Strickler and his wife. Virginia. Dr. Strickler was also born in Virginia in 1838. Stickler also served in the Confederate Army but unlike Anderson, he was an assistant surgeon in his unit. In addition to his medical work, Strickler was also involved in politics and sheep and cattle growing. One young doctor was to have said, "If there was anything going on that Dr. Strickler wasn't mixed up in, it was not good. And he was a great surgeon." He served two one-year terms as the Mayor of Colorado Springs. He was president of the CMS from 1891-92.

Dr. Samuel E. Solly
Image from Find a Grave

Samuel Edwin Solly is down a slight incline and slightly to the north of Strickler. Dr. Solly was born in 1845 in London England. He was the first British-born doctor to head the Colorado Medical Society. He arrived in the Pikes Peak Region with his wife, who like Solly suffered from tuberculous. The properties that drew so many invalids to the region helped Solly recover but not his wife. Dr. Solly focused his message on the atmosphere of the area and its healing properties. In 1906 his doctors suggested he try a lower altitude due to a failing heart. He passed in Ashville, NC while 'visiting' there. Dr. Solly served as president from 187-88 and was treasurer of the society at the time of his death. 

There is a wealth of stories and information about these doctors and the others who have ‘Doctor’s Hill’ as their final resting place.


Until Next Time: Stay safe, Stay happy, and Stay healthy.