While Susan was beloved and found much success in her practice in Fraser, in her youth she didn’t dream of becoming a physician. She wanted to be a telegraph operator. It was her father who encouraged his daughter to attend medical school, which she did at the University of Michigan. After graduating in 1897 she moved back home to Cripple Creek, Colorado, where she began working as a physician.
In Cripple Creek, her reputation as a physician grew and she settled into a relationship and got engaged. But then in 1900 her fiancé left her and her brother passed away. Distraught, Susan left the town and moved to Denver.
Life in Denver was challenging as she struggled to establish herself. With many physicians in the city and patients reluctant to see a woman, she soon moved again, this time to Greeley, Colorado, where for the next six years she worked as a nurse. Then after a bout with tuberculosis, she moved to Fraser in 1907, a mountain town with a climate that people believed helped with recovery. There Susan settled and was a physician to the community for almost fifty years until she retired in 1956.
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“A snapshot biography of Dr. Susan Anderson” sources:
“Susan Anderson, MD” – Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame / “Susan “Doc Susy” Anderson – Frontier Physician” – Legends of America / Portrait taken circa 1900 – Wikimedia Commons.