Jump to Navigation

Arthur Emanual Hertzler

Photo of Dr. Arthur E. Hertzler sitting at his desk at the Hertzler Hospital Physician.  Born: July 22, 1870, Iowa.  Died: September 12, 1946.

Arthur Hertzler practiced medicine in Halstead and became known as the "horse and buggy doctor" and wrote a bestseller to document his personal experiences during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Born July 22, 1870, in Iowa, Arthur Hertzler moved to Kansas with his parents when he was still a child. The family settled in Moundridge where Hertzler developed an interest in medicine.

He graduated from Southwest Kansas College in Winfield and from there went to Northwestern University Medical School in Illinois. After earning his medical degree, Hertzler came back to Kansas to practice. He moved his home from Moundridge to Halstead to assist when the town was hit by a tornado.

In 1902 he established the Halstead Hospital. While maintaining his practice in Halstead, Hertzler taught pathology, histology, surgery, and gynecology at the University Medical College in Kansas City and later at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. His unconventional approach earned him affection and respect from his students, who claimed his lectures were much more enlightening than other professors. He firmly believed that a good teacher should know a student's progress in class and he refused to give examinations, preferring to take his classes to baseball games in place of final exams. In 1938 he wrote the Horse and Buggy Doctor, an autobiographical account that also documented the medical methods of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After more than 50 years of 18-hour days, Hertzler retired in February 1946. The Hertzler Research Foundation, Agnes Hertzler Memorial Clinic, Kansas Health Museum, and Halstead Hospital stand today as legacies of this outstanding Kansas country doctor. Hertzler died September 12, 1946.

Entry: Hertzler, Arthur Emanual

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2003

Date Modified: January 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.