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. Her father encouraged his daughter to attend medical school instead, 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 she worked as a nurse for the next six years. 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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