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Senn, George, M.D.
Manuscript Archive of the family of Dr. George Senn, M.D., of De Pere and Green Bay, Wisconsin, nephew of the famed Dr. Nicholas Senn, includes Correspondence while serving in the Medical Corps in WWI, his Medical and Scientific School Notebooks, Family Photographs, Paper and Manuscript Ephemera, dated 1870s - 1940s

Large Manuscript Archive consisting of 1,074 letters, approximately 3,293 pages; School, Medical, and Scientific Notebooks, 3,287 manuscript pages; 260 photographs; 1,364 pieces of paper ephemera, both paper and manuscript, all dated from the 1870s to the 1940s.

Dr. George Senn, M.D.

Dr. George Senn was born February 14, 1876, at Green Bay, Wisconsin. He was the son of Henry C. Senn and Sophia Findeisen. His father came to Green Bay from Ashford, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, about 1870. The family was of Swiss origin, his ancestor having immigrated to America around 1847-1852, settling in Ashford.  Henry Senn was a school teacher in Green Bay for some time, but retired to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Mrs. Senn died in 1890. While born in Green Bay, George Senn would later move to De Pere, Wisconsin, where he made his home. Senn's uncle was the famous surgeon and author, Dr. Nicholas Senn1 (1844-1908).

Dr. Senn received his early education in the public schools of Oshkosh and later attended the Oshkosh State Normal School, from which he received a life certificate as a teacher. He spent the year 1895-96 teaching school in Green Bay, after which time he attended the University of Wisconsin, graduating with the degree of B.S. in 1901. In 1903 Dr. Senn received the degree of M.S. from the University of Chicago for post-graduate work. The archive includes school notebooks for the years of his education at the above institutions.

While in graduate school Senn was appointed to a fellowship in physiology under Professor Jacques Loeb2 (1859-1924), the noted physiologist and biologist, where he spent two years in exhaustive research work under Loeb's supervision. Senn had been working under Loeb for several months at the time of the fellowship and was recommended by Loeb himself for it. The fellowship provided Senn with $300 per year, but more than that, it gave him the opportunity to work closely with the most advanced studies being done in certain branches of original research. Prof. Loeb in his time became one of the most famous scientists in America, widely covered in newspapers and magazines. He was nominated a number of times for the Nobel Prize, but never won. His main area of interest was animal tropisms and their relation to the instincts of animals; heteromorphosis, the replacement of an injured or removed organ by a different organ; toxic and antitoxic effects of ions; artificial parthenogenesis; and hybridization of the eggs of sea-urchins by the sperm of starfish (A complete biography and details of Loeb's scientific work can be found in the American National Biography, Volume 13, pages 814-816; Oxford University Press, 1999). Dr. George Senn named one of his sons Jacques Loeb Senn, to honor his professor. This collection includes several letters of Prof. Loeb, as well as notebooks kept by Dr. Senn for the Physiology lectures and laboratory work he performed under Prof. Jacques Loeb, while at University of Chicago.

In 1903, George Senn entered Rush Medical College, from which institution he received his M.D. degree in December of 1904, at which time he began his practice as a surgeon. After graduating medical school he was made house surgeon of St. Joseph's Hospital at St. Joseph, Missouri, and acted in that capacity from January 12, 1905 to December 31 of the same year. He began the general practice in St. Joseph and remained in that city for four years. On January 1, 1910, he went to De Pere, Wisconsin, and opened his practice in that city, where he stayed for most of the rest of his life.

During his residence in St. Joseph he was a lieutenant and assistant surgeon for three years and later captain and assistant surgeon in the Fourth Regiment of the Missouri National Guard. On coming to De Pere in 1910 he continued to specialize in surgery and gained a reputation during the years of his residence in this city as a successful surgeon. He became a member of the Brown County Medical Society and was also prominent in the Wisconsin State and American Medical Societies.

Mrs. George Senn, the doctor's wife, was the first woman to give birth in Wisconsin using the "Twilight Sleep" method. The procedure was conducted by Dr. Senn on his wife and was quite successful. This took place in 1915 when the procedure, involving a mixture of morphine and scopolamine anesthesia, was still in its experimental stages, but Dr. Senn felt confident of its results having worked in this field while in Chicago.

Dr. George Senn entered the military on May 28, 1917, serving with the Army's 4th Regiment Medical Corps as a captain. His military service began at medical officer's training camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison for three months, followed by five months as a regimental surgeon. He later became acting brigade surgeon and brigade sanitary officer at Camp Grant, Rockford, Illinois. He attended a course of instruction surgery at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota for six weeks, then was appointed to the surgical staff for two months at base hospital at Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan. He was next on the surgical staff at the base hospital at Camp Devens, Massachusetts, followed by being sent to France, where he served in Vichy for five months. He became the chief and operator of surgical team No. 184 at the front for six weeks, before the armistice. Later he was sent to school at Toulouse University, France, for a course in advanced clinical experimental surgery for four months until June 30, 1919. There are many letters and ephemeral items in this collection detailing Dr. Senn's time in Europe.

In 1908, Dr. Senn married Gertrude Volmer of Council Bluffs, Iowa. The couple had at least four children: George Senn born 1909, Jacques Loeb Senn born in 1911, and two daughters Helen Senn and Gertrude Senn. This archive includes incoming correspondence for all four children, as well as some outgoing correspondence written mainly to their parents.

Dr. Senn was a firm believer in physical exercise. While a student at the University of Wisconsin, he played on the school's football team (1899-1900). Later, at the University of Chicago, he tied a world running record, becoming only the third person to run a 35 yard dash in four seconds. While in the military as Captain of the 4th Regiment Medical Corps, he was appointed to be the physical director of the local militia organization, playing on and organizing basketball teams.

Dr. George Senn was a nephew of the internationally renowned author, instructor, and surgeon, Dr. Nicholas Senn (1844-1908), the founder of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. Dr. Nicholas Senn is credited with pioneering work on the pancreas and the intestinal tract and he was among the first to use the then unpredictable x-rays in the treatment of leukemia. The genesis of today's high-tech sterile operating suites could, without too much exaggeration, be credited to Nicholas Senn. He conducted many experiments relating to infections resulting from surgery, which led to surgical improvements practiced by all surgeons. During his lifetime, Dr. Nicholas Senn published 25 books and countless papers and essays. This collection contains two of Senn's books. He served as the 49th president of the American Medical Association and was surgeon-general of Illinois. Nicholas Senn was on the faculty at Rush College as a professor of surgery, at the time George Senn attended medical school there. Both of Nicholas Senn's sons, Emanuel and William, became doctors. Several photographs in this collection, while not signed, appear to be of Dr. Nicholas Senn.

Dr. George Senn died October 1st, 1951. He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, at Allouez, Wisconsin. His wife Gertrude lived until October of 1970 and was buried with her husband.

       Description of Archive


Consists of 1,074 letters - approximately 3,293 pages, mainly handwritten, in a legible hand, the majority retain their original mailing envelopes and are dated between 1898 and 1933, as follows:

292 letters of incoming correspondence written to Dr. Georg Senn from various family, friends, and fellow doctors,  all dated from 1898 to 1933, with the large part being from the period (1917-1919), he spent in the military during World War I (82 letters, 171 pages), as well as correspondence from the year 1933 (84 letters). This correspondence includes 6 letters written to Dr. Senn from individuals in France (written in French), whom he met while in France during the war and studying at the University of Toulouse afterwards.  There is not much correspondence written to Dr. Senn before the year 1914, nor between the years 1920 to 1932. Most of the letters written to him are from the period of 1914-1919 and from the year 1933.

580 letters of incoming correspondence to Mrs. George Volmer Senn, dated 1909-1948, however most of the letters are from the period of 1909-1936. The bulk of the incoming letters to Mrs. George Senn are from family (siblings, parents, and her children) and include details and news of home and domestic life, as family members moved away and set up homes throughout America, or in the case of her children, went away to college. Additionally, there are letters from her husband, Dr. George Senn, who wrote (43 letters, 144 pages) while serving in the military during WWI, these letters are highly detailed descriptions of military life and service in the medical corps, both stateside as well as in France, and contain information and descriptions of his life and activities while he attended the University of Toulouse after the war.

40 letters of incoming correspondence to George Senn, Jr., son of Dr. George Senn, dated 1928-1932, written to him while he was living at home, or at college (Brokaw Hall, Lawrence College, Appleton, Wisconsin). The letters are written to him by various females, or friends.

39 letters of incoming correspondence to Helen and Gertrude Senn, daughters of Dr. George Senn, dated 1918-1939, however, most letters are from the late 1920s. There are 10 letters written to Helen, 25 to Gertrude, and 4 to both of them. They are mainly from family and friends and discuss family matters, catching up with the news, school, etc. There are letters that also concern Gertrude's schooling at the University of Wisconsin, and a correspondence dance class she was taking with a company from New York City.

86 letters of incoming correspondence to Henry C. Senn, father of Dr. George Senn, dated 1910-1937, with most letters being circa 1925-1935. The letters are basically from his children (Ethel, Florence, Frances, Louise, and Roland) from various locales in America (CA, IN, MN, WA and WI). Much on family matters, etc.

37 miscellaneous letters, dated 1905-1938, presumably from extended members or friends of the  Senn family.

Synopsis and sample quotations of correspondence of Dr. George Senn:

The pre-WWI letters shows the Wm. S. Merrell Chemical Co. writing letters to Dr. Senn about a new cancer drug, which Senn accepts and takes a sample to help with the trials of the new drug. There are also letters concerning an illness that Dr. Senn had, requiring him to go to Baltimore, Maryland, from Wisconsin, to be treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital. These letters are incoming letters of friends wishing him well, inquiring about his problems, or the procedures he had performed, or letters from the U.S. Casualty Insurance Company, who was Dr. Senn's insurance company, as well as letters from the Physician Health Association of America, a professional beneficial society made up of doctors to help doctors monetarily at times of illness. Other letters are from companies interested in selling medical equipment to Dr. Senn.

Other pre-WWI letters to Dr. Senn provide insight into the early years of the upper mid-west medical world, of setting up medical practices in small lumber towns, etc. The following letter from Dr. A. Schlapik, of Iron River, Michigan, shows the doctor writing Senn, concerning the possibility of opening up a practice with him:

"April 13, 1916

Dear Sir: I thought I would drop you a few lines with regard to the matter we discussed when you were up here several days ago. I think just as much of it as ever and I hope that you are favorably oppressed with the proposition. Yesterday the superintendent of one of the big lumber companies -which operates within 20 miles of here and employs about 250 men at the present time - has promised me all his medical and surgical work.  Besides this I contract the work of lumber companies that employ about 150 to 200 men at the present times. I thought I would mention this as I forgot to mention it when you were up here. If you think favorably of the proposition - I will come down and see you and some of your work and we will get started at once."

Dr. Senn appears to have had some interest and contacted others who knew the area, receiving a return letter from "Wade" of Niagara, Wisconsin, with the following details:

"April 25, 1916

I am writing to you regarding the matter you spoke to me about at Iron River. It has taken time to collect any facts on the case for I was hindered on my trip owing to the amount of snow and cold...You were O.K. on the matter of Hospitals, I think you mentioned the two, one at Stambe and one at Iron River. Dr. Slappock has a good practice there I am told and as late as two weeks ago did not have any plans made for his surgical cases.

The Field is excellent, and now the mines are opened up and seem as tho' they are to operate the year round. There is another Doctor practicing there whose name is Stevens and from what I could learn from his brother who is Company Doctor at Niagara he is doing well but is specially interested in an Auto patent which may bring him a fortune and if so he will quit his work there.

Regarding the Hospitals there, they are not up to date, but there is a fine opportunity for an up to date place under some skilled surgeon. These are the facts as I have been able to get them on the job...."

Further letters of Dr. Schlapik contain details of the hospital he is building at Iron River, as well as an incident at his office concerning a man he left in charge when he went to Chicago to bring up the equipment. There is also a letter of Dr. Schlapik which tells Dr. Senn that he has no room for a doctor (Dr. E. H. Sutter) that Senn wanted to place with Schlapik. Senn apparently never went into business with Schlapik. Another letter from a Dr. Sutter recounts his whereabouts and decision of settling in Milwaukee rather than Iron River. Dr. Sutter sends a picture of himself in 1916, next to his new "auto" and includes his business card and asks Dr. Senn in referring to a case of goiter in his neighborhood that he wasn't sure how to treat, "How much do you usually charge?"

The collection also contains 7 incoming letters to Dr. Senn from Dr. Lewellys F. Barker, the well-known Johns Hopkins physician, who was William Osler's successor as Professor of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Senn wrote to Barker about various matters while he was in the military, once asking for his help in getting a good placement, a couple of other times he appears to have told Barker of his wartime experiences, the correspondence herein contains Barker's responses.

The archive includes letters from a lawyer handling a medical case for a client, where Dr. Senn was to operate on the client for the lawyer, as well letters from former patients expressing their gratitude towards the doctor's skills in helping them with their ailments, or individuals seeking out the doctor's advice and treatments.

In the non-medical world, Dr. Senn in 1916 was recruited to coach football at the University of Wisconsin. A letter from "W. S. Macfadden, football manager," Macfadden asks Dr. Senn to coach football at the university, in a scheme that was intended to increase alumni involvement and help in promoting the football program. Senn was a noted college athlete.

Upon Dr. Senn entering the military in 1917, he had another physician take over his two offices in De Pere and Green Bay. During his military service, he continued to receive letters (82 letters, 171 pages), now addressed to him at the various camps and places where he was stationed.

One letter is from a man writing Dr. Senn expressing his disappointment that Senn was not there to deliver his wife's baby, as the replacement doctor did not know how to work with the "Twilight Sleep" treatment as well as Dr. Senn and she had suffered some birthing pains. Twilight Sleep was a mixture of morphine and scopolamine anesthesia and was first used successfully in Wisconsin by Dr. Senn on his own wife.

There are several other WWI letters addressed to Dr. Senn from other doctors who were also serving in the military. They ask Dr. Senn various questions about military life and rules, as Dr. Senn had previous experience, having served in the 4th Regiment of the Missouri National Guard some years before the start of WWI. They also write describing the various maneuvers that they and Dr. Senn are undertaking in trying to get prime placements in various medical divisions in the military, surgical, orthopedic, etc., so they can get the most experience out of their time in the service. The letters mention writing to the Mayo brothers, Doctors Will and Charles Mayo of Minnesota, who are attached to the Surgeon-General's office, seeking their help in obtaining the desired placement. Senn and the correspondent were friends with the Mayo brothers. Dr. Senn is also using his friendship with Prof. Jacques Loeb as well. One letter, from Loeb, details Loeb's efforts to intervene on Senn's behalf with help in placing him in a more desirable position. Loeb in another letter acknowledges receipt of the doctor's photo. Other letters from former patients inquire about him and how he is making out in the war, as well as letters from a collection agency working for Dr. Senn in trying to collect overdue payments from his patients. There is also correspondence from his Knights of Pythias Lodge.

Near the end of 1918 Senn ships out to France to serve in the war. Letters are then addressed to him at that location, where he is serving with the American Expeditionary Forces, stationed at Hospital #76, in Vichy, France. He receives several letters from back home, with news of events from home. He also receives a number of letters from others serving in the war, fellow doctors, friends and family, with details of their war experiences and locations in France.

After the war ends, Dr. Senn remains in France to study experimental surgery at the University of Toulouse. He receives some letters congratulating him on his opportunity to study in France. There is some discussion of the work he will be doing, and there is information on the doctors who are writing him and their new role in France after the war ended. Senn receives one letter from Capt. H.H. Thompson, a fellow doctor, still serving in France, and who apparently wanted to also study with him:

April 2, 1919,

Dear George,

Returned yesterday from an 8 day leave to the battle front. It is fine to know the school is really proving to be good stuff. The one near Dijon I am told is a joke. My application [to attend Toulouse University] has never been answered and I am not fortunate in a C.O. here with brains enough or interest to make another effort worth while. He has been in the A.E.F. from the very beginning and is still a Captain. My short association with the bird is enough to convince me why he has never been promoted.

The trip to the front is the [best] thing I ever did in my life. There were 4 of us and we covered every inch of the American front from St. Mehiel to Verdun to Dun-Sur-Meuse. Slept in German dug outs on Mt. Faucon and ate rations left by the dough boys....

I found Andree' in Paris and had a wonderful time with her. Went to her apt. in the afternoon but put up at the Termines Hotel at night. It was a regular home coming and the kid swears she is in love to me. Took both she & Lula to dinner. Andree is working every day - posing in a film at Cinncennes - Lula I guess is pulling tricks....

It is said here we will be evacuated by the 10th. That may mean the beginning of going home. Anyway this place is done and the 80th Div is all gone - we have about 100 patients to get rid of...."

Several letters are written in French, presumably from the contacts he has met while serving and studying in France. They are written to Dr. Senn while he was still living in France, and for the first year after he left France.

When Dr. Senn arrives back in Wisconsin (1920), the incoming correspondence slows down, retaining only 32 letters for the period of 1920 to 1932. The correspondence picks up again in 1933. There are 84 letters written to him in 1933. A number of them deal with various projects he was working on, including: obtaining a patent for a baseball he invented; working with a pharmaceutical laboratory on various products; plus correspondence from his family (his children are now becoming adults and going away to college), and letters from friends and associates. There are also several letters written in French, from colleagues who he appears to have worked with in France, or studied with at the University of Toulouse.

Dr. Senn's correspondence consists of 43 letters (144 pages) written to his wife Gertrude Volmer Senn, while he was away serving in the military. These letters are filled with detailed information on Dr. Senn's activities, appointments, promotions, and military life in the medical corps. The early letters in this collection date from when he was stationed at Camp Grant, Illinois (8 letters). They show him juggling his work for the military and still taking care of his home's expenses from afar (paying the bills). His wife has been left to collect any monies owed to him by patients. The early letters also show the business of military life at Camp Grant and in particular for the doctor, as he gets used to writing regular reports, the wording to be used, the military format of the reports, etc. He also has to vaccinate the soldiers as they arrive at camp and examine them before they leave, and take care of various in-patient soldiers at the base hospital. He is the acting brigade surgeon for his medical group, which consists of a couple of dentists and doctors, several military police, etc.

Senn is next sent to Rochester, Minnesota, to take a course at the Mayo Clinic. Four letters are written from Rochester and they mention life at that location and his activities, as well as the pronounced Pro- German sympathies prevalent in Rochester:

"April 9, 1918,

There is nothing new here. We are busy every day according to our schedule and also trying to study things as we go along. Don't worry about the debts just now as my ck must be here soon. Hope nothing will disturb my 6 weeks here. Later than that I don't care so much as to what I am put at, as they can't take away what I learn here....So many crazy Pro-Germans here, no telling what they might do. They are mad at soldiers here and work for them grudgingly it seems. Others are the opposite. Even at the hospital it seems the elevator man takes his time etc, so the fellows notice it."

While at the Mayo Clinic, Senn rubs elbows with some rather well-known doctors:

"This afternoon spent with Dr. Rosenow. You remember he is the famous bacteriologist who used to be at Rush medical with Dr. Hektoen. He gave me a pamphlet of some of his articles and wrote with compliments on the outside and his name."

This pamphlet is included in the archive, as well there are four other pamphlets (off-prints) by Dr. Edward C. Rosenow, who was the head of the bacteriology department at the Mayo Clinic for thirty years, as well as a number of other pamphlets in the collection written by doctors at the Mayo Clinic (see pamphlet/off-print section below).

After Rochester and the Mayo Clinic, Senn is sent to Camp Custer, Michigan, seven letters are written from this post. The letters are filled with descriptions of his medical work at Camp Custer (7000 new recruits need to be examined and vaccinated quickly, soon after another 12,000); he also  gets his wife to send him some medical instruments, as the ones he was using (presumably supplied by the military) were not good enough. These letters also contain information about hard times back home (both financially and discipline-wise with his young son and the father being away). Mrs. Senn is contemplating packing up and moving to South Dakota to stay with family while her husband serves in the war effort. Dr. Senn continues seeking help from colleagues like Prof. Loeb and his friends, to obtain a better placement in the military.

By August 1918, Dr. Senn finds himself being shipped to Camp Devens, Massachusetts, as he works his way east in preparation for going to France. He is only in Massachusetts a short time when he begins writing letters from France. Prof. Loeb is trying to get him into the Rockefeller Institute in New York, for a six week course on surgery. This plan would not be fulfilled as by the end of August he is heading to New York to board a ship for Europe.

In an attempt to get around the military censorship of his correspondence, Dr. Senn establishes a system and writes to his wife with the "key" to his "code". Since he cannot write to his wife telling her where he is, he uses the word "Arrived" to mean he is in England, "Arrived Safely" for France, etc. If he says "week" he means 5 miles from the front, weeks = 10 miles, the week =15 miles, 20 francs = 20 miles, etc.

His first letter from France is written from a spa and casino resort at Vichy, France, 300 miles from the front. Glad to be in a city base hospital and not in the country, Senn recounts to his wife his experience thus far in France and his prospects. In all, there are 18 letters written from France, with most being from Vichy, with several from Toulouse after he started studying there. While in Vichy, he was sent to an evacuation hospital, near Chalons, approximately 15 miles from the front, where his surgical skills were needed:

"My order came today the 13th (Oct 1918) as usual so you see I shall have good luck - We expect to go to Paris first tonight and then to Chalons from which we shall go to the Evac-Hospital. They usually are 15 to 20 miles or more from the front. Am glad of the chance as I can do some real operating then. Here I was placed in charge (alone) of a hospital of 140 beds, all full. Our patients came one week ago and I have been terribly busy taking care of them. Most of them slight wounds as little shrapnel wounds and bullet wounds. All could walk also have about a dozen with influenza. I must hustle to pack yet but I leave my trunk here and take my bed-roll & suit case."

In another letter, Dr. Senn provides further details on his work in France:

"October 3, 1918,

The scheme of the Base Hospital is to have about 8 surgeons on the staff, Majors or Captains form 8 teams composed of one of the Captains and a Lieutenant and two hospital corps men forming a surgical team. These teams are sent out to an evacuation hospital to be one of the operating teams. Two teams were sent by B.H. 76. I am operator on one of them and we are here 200 miles from Vichy about 5 miles from the von Hindenburg line you have read about and where the Germans were about 10 days ago. Now they are 40 miles away and are retreating fast. By the time you get this our Ev. H. will have moved nearer but not nearer than 15 or 20 miles as it takes time for an E. Hosp to move although it is all in tents. There are 8 or 10 teams operating here now. I have been here 6 days but no operating for me yet because no more cases except a few came in. They are waiting to move and are going to when the orders come but must dispose of the cases here. There are 10 operating tables and a few weeks ago when the big drive started about 8 or 10 miles from here they were all busy. Cases are operated and in a few days or a week shipped back to B.H. where they are fixed up or finished up as necessary. There are 50 or more nurses in addition to the 250 enlisted men. All we do here (and I have been watching the dressings etc) is to cut out all injured muscles bones etc and pack it or drain it but no sewing shut is done at all but the cases are treated with Dakin's solution at the Base till the wound is clear and sewed shut. The many fracture cases are merely put in splints after the cleaning up of the wound and sent to Base. At the Base Hospital it will take months and months to clear up some of them Later on they will call us back to the Base Hospitals to use the experience we get here. Some teams have stayed only 3 or 4 weeks, others have been transferred around and others are sent to the other Ev. Hospitals. Ev. H. are never near enough to be in danger....On account of the small amount of work this week many of the surgeons went up to the front from 10 to 35 miles on one of the many trucks or ambulances going that way all the time. So a Lieutenant and I went up 35 kilometers to pick up some souvenirs we also stopped at the Von H. line about 8 or 10 miles north of us and we went up to about 12 miles of the line near Vouziers, went through Suippes, Sompey etc and saw the buildings that had been shot down. The Von H. line is about 1 ½ or 2 miles across and certainly was terribly shot up. All the dead of ten days ago there had been buried but 15 miles north of there we found 4 G[erman] dead in the woods. I found some G. Helmets and sent one home and one to Jos. Rothe. Don't know whether you will get it or not. It cost me 36¢ in postage...I have a German star-shell revolver, some shoulder straps, a bayonet in its scabbard, and some certificates and cards I picked up near a dead German in the woods."

By the end of October 1918, Dr. Senn is back in Vichy, 200 miles from the front. His remaining letters from his military time are sent from Vichy, and Toulouse where he went to study briefly after the war. He appears to have gone back to the front, but only for short periods coming back to Vichy's Base Hospital. He continues to write (7 letters) about what he is experiencing in the war including the armistice, and information about his work as the United States Military was winding down its presence. Senn involved as he was in the medical corps still had large numbers of wounded and injured men who still required treatment. He did manage to find time to make a trip to the French Riviera, which he describes. His letters from Toulouse also describes his work at the university there:

"April 16, 1919,

I am finally fixed up in my work and am now taking only experimental surgery with the Prof. of Physiology here and I go to the big French military hospital here of 7,000 beds every day, and my problem is to try to find a solution better than the Carrel Dakia Solution. This fails to clear up pus cases of long standing...etc. Will write more about it later next week. If I discover the least thing it would be great. With my training in salt solutions under Loeb I may do something."

He writes again of his experiments at Toulouse a couple of weeks later:

"May 4, 1919,

My experiments are getting on fine and I have just written Dr. Loeb that I am doing them but not telling him what I am using. The Rockefeller Institute needs only a hint of my method to begin them also. I am healing up old wounds in a week or so where the Dakia Solution failed after 5 months or so. So may get a reputation anyway. Prof. Soula asked me if I could stay a while after June 20th to continue the experiments...."

In Senn's last letter from France he informs his wife that he will be continue on for another month or so with his experiments, before heading home. One of the last letters from abroad has Senn writing from England, telling his wife he will be coming home.

      School, Medical, and Scientific Notebooks:

3,287 manuscript pages, dated 1890s-1920s. Includes school notebooks and composition books for Dr. George Senn from the time when he attended the Oshkosh Normal School, to his undergraduate years at the University of Wisconsin, to his graduate and medical school years at the University of Chicago.  Includes school notebooks for various courses he had taken during various levels of his education, including: Algebra, Art History, Bacteriology, Biology, Blood Course, Chemistry, Education, Elocution, Experimental Psychology, Geology, History, Latin, Literature, Natural Philosophy, Organic Chemistry, Pharmacology, Physics, Physiology, Physiological Chemistry, Religion, Rhetoric, Trigonometry, etc., with some of the notebooks including sketches and drawings, and also including various experiments conducted in the laboratories.

Also included, and perhaps the most important materials in this section  are the notebooks for the Physiology lectures and laboratory work under  Prof. Jacques Loeb, while at University of Chicago, plus various notes kept for the lectures of Dr. Potter, Dr. Morton, Dr. Paul, and others. Other notebooks kept during his medical practice, including several medical notebooks with notes about patients (names and addresses) and treatment, costs of treatments, and several retained copies of prescription pads are also in the collection.

This section of the archive also includes cash accounts for his medical practice and home finances, accounts of Henry C. Senn's estate, retained checking account stubs, chicken raising notes, and booklets for a correspondence bookkeeping course. There is also a notebook for Florence Senn, which contains some music scores, and papers (57 pp) from a correspondence course taken by Henry C. Senn, as well as papers of Gertrude Senn ( 59 pp), and unidentified school papers (81 pp). As well, a 13 page typed thesis by Capt. (Dr.) George Senn, when he was in the military, for the degree of Doctor of Science, at the University of Toulouse, France, titled "Healing of Old and Suppurating War Wounds by a new Method, including superficial lesions and fistulae, as demonstrated in twenty cases at Caousou Hospital Complimentaire no. 52, Toulouse, France." Dr. Senn's correspondence to his wife reflects on the experiments that he was conducting for this thesis.

       Books and Pamphlets:

10 books: In-Breeding What it is and What it Does (1927); Rabbit Keeping (c1920s); The Fruit-Growers Guide Book (1911); Fur Farming (1909); Index 1923 (Oshkosh High School); Key to Baker's Philosophy & Chemistry (1895); The Holy Bible (Oxford Bible); A Syllabus of Surgery (1893, by Dr. Nicholas Senn); Tahiti: The Island Paradise (1906, by Dr. Nicholas Senn). These last two titles were written by his uncle, Dr. Nicholas Senn.

60 various medical pamphlets and off-prints, plus one pamphlet, a prospectus for Plymouth Consolidated Gold Mines, LTD, the "Humbolt Mines," (1933). Most of the medical items are publications of the physicians at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota: Dr. J. H. Stokes, Dr. John M. Blackford, Dr. M.S. Henderson, Dr. Frank C. Mann, Dr. G. B. New, Dr. E.C. Rosenow (5), & others. Some of them are written by the founders of the Clinic: Charles H. Mayo (6), William J. Mayo (3), Donald C. Balfour (4), Dr. E. S. Judd (6), and then there is Dr. Senn's old mentor, Prof. Jacques Loeb (4), who while not connected to the Mayo Clinic, was famous in his own right.

      Paper Ephemera:

1,364 pieces of paper ephemera, both printed and manuscript ephemera, as well as several non-papers, as follows: Miscellaneous paper and non-paper ephemeral items, such as 22 mss pages of recipes, 59 pages mss miscellaneous notes. Included are school certificates, diplomas, school bulletins/newsletters/newspapers, commencements, report cards, membership cards, numerous newspaper clippings, as well as French papers/magazines, programs, insurance policies, and 24 drawings, 12 music scores, 4 maps (Oshkosh, Toulouse, Pennsylvania, Europe), plus general household/business/medical and hospital receipts (over 500 receipts), advertisements, newsletters, stock certificates (with modern research on the stocks value), score cards for the American Poultry Association fairs, 2 glass x-rays (dated 1916) of a fractured wrist of Mrs. B. A. Leonard, 4 fair prize ribbons, etc. There is also included in this section 104 greeting cards, a number of them with written notes; 46 invitations and announcements; 111 calling cards/postcards (with the postcards written), plus over 35 used envelopes, which likely can be matched up to correspondence in this collection, all dated circa 1890s-1940s.


260 family photographs as follows:

23 tintypes, 100 cdv's, 27 cabinet cards, 110 other photographs (mostly studio photos), all of various individuals, men, women, children, some identified, many are not, presumably of the Senn family, etc., not dated, circa 1870s-1920s.

1. Nicholas Senn (1844-1908) American National Biography, vol. 19, pp., 639-640; Dictionary of American Biography, vol. VIII, part two, pp., 584-585

2. Jacques Loeb (1859-1924) American National Biography, vol. 13 pp., 814-816; Dictionary of American Biography, volume VI, pp., 349-352