Come Back to Our Valley

I remember a brown Christmas and it didn’t snow until February 20. Nonetheless it was still a wet summer.

In the early days of Mancos, doctors kept coming and going.

Dr. R. G. Werner came in 1899 and established his office two doors west of Hotel Ausburn (The Old Mancos Inn).

In 1900, Dr. Wrightsman became associated with Dr. Werner and they expanded Dr. Werner’s offices and called them the Mancos City Hospital. Dr. Wrightsman saw bigger fish and started off his fishing trip by giving lectures at the Davis Opera House, located on South main. The subject of his lectures was Electricity and X-rays. He spent $800 to procure some ‘splendid’ electrical machines and used them to illustrate his lectures. He later gave these lectures before the State Medical Association in Pueblo.

In 1903 Dr. Wrightsman erected the Wrightsman House and Hospital, now owned by Abe and Alice Ann. The three story building cost the doctor $12,000, a huge sum at the time. He had outgrown Dr. Werner and a Dr. Oschner from Durango was appointed chief surgeon. Dr. Oschner made visits weekly. Dr. Wrightsman also brought in Dr. A. W. Stillians as a consulting surgeon and Dr. M. M. Blair as a consulting physician.

The three story Wrightsman Hospital and Residence also had a basement and a wide veranda on the north side of the second floor. Dr. Wrightsman saw to it that it was tastefully and beautifully decorated inside and out.

Dr. Wrightsman made quite a name for himself in the county but still saw bigger fish to fry. He turned the hospital portion of his building into a residence, leaving the other doctors with no place to carry out their practice. He then moved his practice to Denver where he became well known.

Dr. Wrightsman’s daughter Lista turned the Wrightsman House into a hotel. She was also a great hostess and numerous parties and weddings took place there. Then in later years she hosted the Junior-Senior banquets for a good number of years. Dr. Wrightsman left his wife Fannie in the care of Lista. The famous Dr. Wrightsman died in Denver in 1935. His adorable wife Fannie was considered the valley historian and gave historical appearances here and there in town for many years. She passed away in June 1951 at the age of 93.

Lista hung on to the Wrightsman House until she too passed away. Her husband Joseph Monahan, who was little known in the community, passed away in 1938. Lista never acknowledged the death of her father and those who knew her said she had a bigger smile from then on. She passed away in December 1965 at the age of 81.