NEW ULM - The New Ulm Medical Center Legends Award this year will honor an entire family who were medical caregivers in the community of New Ulm.
Dr. L.A. Fritsche was not only issued the very first license to practice medicine in the state, but he left behind a significant legacy in the field of medicine when four of his sons Albert, William, Carl and Theodore followed him into medicine.
Dr. L. A. Fritsche was issued the very first license to practice medicine in the state of Minnesota in 1887. He began seeing patients Aug. 1, 1887 at the age of 25 after graduating from the University of Michigan in June. He was also one of the early surgeons on the frontier, having studied under a famous surgeon in Germany while on leave from his local practice. He practiced medicine in New Ulm for 44 years until his death at the age of 69.
Albert Fritsche (Photo from Brown County Historical Society Museum)
Dr. Fritsche was an active member of the community, serving as mayor for 10 years, helping to organize the farmer-labor political party in New Ulm, and was a candidate for governor of Minnesota as well as Congress and the United States Senate.
Dr. Albert Fritsche attended pre-medical school at the University of Wisconsin, and graduated from Loyola Medical School, Chicago, in 1918. After serving an internship in the Norwegian-American Hospital in Chicago and Asbury Hospital in Minneapolis, he located in New Ulm and became associated with his father in January 1919. In 1927 he took post-graduate work at the Allegemeine Krankenhause in Vienna, Austria, after which he took post-graduate work at the Mayo Clinic and at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. William Fritsche unfortunately did not have long to practice with his father and brothers as he died at the age of 27 in 1923 of tuberculosis. He earned his degree from Marquette University at Milwaukee in 1919. After working four months at the Lying-In Obstetrical Hospital in New York City he arrived in November 1919 where he became a partner in the Fritsche Clinic.
Dr. Carl J. Fritsche also studied in Wisconsin and Minnesota before completing his degree at Northwestern University in Chicago in 1929. He completed his internship at McCormick Institute of Infectious Diseases in Chicago. He entered practice with his father and brother in 1931. He practiced for 52 years in New Ulm.
Dr. Ted Fritsche, the youngest brother, earned his degree from the University of Minnesota in 1931. After an internship at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco and then a residency at the Illinois Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary at Chicago, he completed additional training at Ancker Hospital, St. Paul. He started practice in New Ulm in 1933. He practiced for 51 years.
Following his father's footsteps, he served two terms as mayor of New Ulm, from 1952 to 1958. He was also a community activist, as a member of the New Ulm Turnverein, Lion's Club, Junior Pioneers, Friends of Flandrau, Hermann Monument Centennial Commission and Sister Cities Commission.
The Fritsches will be recognized at an official ceremony Dec. 15 as part of the NUMC's Annual Board of Director's meeting.
(Note: Most photos of the Fritsche family are from the Brown County Historical Society Museum; the photo of Ted Fritsche is from the New Ulm Medical Center)