The medical trunk of one of Newman’s early-day doctors is on display in the downtown Newman building which housed his sanitarium and hospital more than a century ago.
Local historian Barbara Powell said the trunk belonging to Dr. Calvin Levi Gregory was found several months ago by a descendant in Los Gatos. The bottom of the trunk bears the name of Dr. C.L. Gregory.
Gregory attended the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery in Ohio, graduating in June 1874. He practiced in the Midwest until the Gregory family moved to California in 1884. Gregory joined a group of doctors treating patients throughout the Siskiyou Territory. Gregory remained in Yreka, and in 1896 he purchased the first x-ray machine in Siskiyou County. Gregory was Yreka’s city health officer, county physician and appointed by the governor to the state Board of Health in 1900.
He left the Yreka practice in April 1904 to practice in San Francisco, where he remained until the 1906 earthquake, after which time he lived with his son, Dr. Frank Gregory, in Pittsburg.
In 1907, Gregory purchased the Newman practice of Drs. Martin and Sarah Hatton McAuley, who operated the West Side Sanitarium in the building which now houses the offices of Stephens & Borrelli.
The sanitarium and hospital had been built at the intersection of O (now Main) and Fresno streets by Dr. James Thomas Dowle after his arrival in Newman in 1893. Dowle passed away in 1904, and after his death the McAulays leased the sanitarium for two years before deciding to close the facility.
In 1908, Gregory announced in the West Side Index that the West Side Sanitarium was open. “We are prepared to receive emergency cases, perform operations and give the necessary treatment. For terms, rates and information, call or address the resident physician,” Gregory stated.
He operated the sanitarium until retiring in 1920 - with the exception of a period of time in 1920 when the building was moved from its initial location at the northeast corner of O and Main streets to its current address at 1350 Main Street to make room for construction of the Bank of Newman.
The facility remained a medical building until 1935 when Drs. Rosco and Thompson built the West Side Hospital.
The physician’s great-granddaughter gifted the trunk to Powell, and arrangements were made to have the trunk on display indefinitely at the real estate office.
Editor’s Note: Historical information provided by Barbara Powell.