By Cornelia de Bruin
Triplicate staff writer
Two physicians early to Del Norte County affected the growth of the area positively.
Drs. Gustave H. and Anna R. Douglas had a hand in the development of the Klamath Bridge, the growth of the county and the health of early families in the area.
Gustave Douglas moved to Del Norte County from Portland, Ore., in 1920 at the age of 57.
Gustave had intended to retire, but busied himself with civic affairs here. He was elected as state representative of Siskiyou and Del Norte counties two years later.
Immediately he began working to replace the old ferry across Klamath River with a bridge.
Although he died of a sudden heart attack in 1923 the day before the final approval of his bill by the Senate, a rider was attached to the bill, and approved, to name the structure "The Douglas Memorial Bridge."
After his death, Douglas' wife, Anna, taught school in Del Norte County. She also served as county superintendent for a year, until her health forced her to retire.
She was born in Horicon, Wis., on March 29, 1869, and graduated from Normal School at Winona, Minn., in 1899.
A few years later, she received her degree from Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill., to practice medicine.
After she graduated, she and Gustave, who she had married, went to the Jordan Valley in Oregon, built a drug store and practiced medicine.
At the time, some of their patients required the physicians to travel 20 miles to treat them.
The two doctors also set up a hospital in Grants Pass that accommodated area mine workers.
Anna outlived her husband by 28 years. Both are buried in Sacramento.