Historian's Corner

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
Historian's Corner
August 19, 2014

Photo: Dr. Burch K. Reed

As we continue research for the “Doctor’s of Sandy Creek/Lacona” book I will share some of the research in this column and future columns.

Dr. Burch K. Reed began his dedicated service to the people of this and surrounding communities on April 1, 1938. His coming to Sandy Creek was especially welcomed, because he was, so to speak, a local boy, the son of the Frank D. and Mabel (Burch) Reed of nearby Richland. Dr. Reed was a graduate of Pulaski Academy and attended Syracuse University and its College of Medicine, having graduated with the honor of being the youngest medical graduate in the United States that year.

Before coming to Sandy Creek he served as a staff physician at the Johnson City Hospital for eight years. Dr. Reed was Health officer for the Town and villages of Sandy Creek and was the school physician, conducting clinics and examining the pupils. A newspaper ad: May 8, 1947: A free clinic for diphtheria inoculations for all persons in this community interested in obtaining protection against this disease will be conducted at Sandy Creek Central School at 9 am, May 22 and 29, by Dr. Burch K. Reed. It is emphasized that in order to obtain immunity two shots must be given; hence, all who wish to receive the inoculations must attend on both days. The clinics are for adults as well as for children and on May 29, smallpox vaccination will also be given, in addition to the second diphtheria shots. All interested in attending the clinics are asked to contact Dr. Reed as soon as possible in order that arrangements for the clinic can be completed.
Phyllis found another news item: January 12, 1950: A mild epidemic of diphtheria has broken out in the Town of Sandy Creek with a total of 10 cases having been definitely diagnosed by this afternoon, accordingly to Dr. Reed. The situation is not critical, he stated, and urged anyone with a sore throat to get in immediate touch with a physician. There has been one diphtheria carrier identified, he added. It is recommended by the health officer that any who have not had the immunization serum within the last two years attend the clinic for that purpose. The extent to which the state is concerned with the epidemic is evidenced by the fact that a million units of anti-toxin have been sent here, the local health official said.

Another news item: March 13, 1947: Card of Thanks: We wish to thank Dr. Burch K. Reed for making the trip to our home last Wednesday night and to express our appreciation to the many shovelers and all those who helped in making the trip possible. Mr. and Mrs. Bert Nemier and family.

Our files show an office call to Dr. Reed in 1970 cost $5. His office hours were 1 to 3 and 7 to 9pm with visits on Thursdays and Sundays by appointment only.

He married Doris Gorman, a fellow-student at Syracuse University. Their daughter, Marilyn married Gerald Richardson of Syracuse. Dr. Reed died January 14, 1977.

We are looking for a better photo of Dr. Reed as this photo from the newspaper is not the best!

Charlene Cole
Sandy Creek/Lacona Historian
1992 Harwood Drive
Sandy Creek, NY 13145
315-387-5456 x7
office hours: Friday 9am to 2pm