1863 – 1921
Who was Arthur Gillette?
Arthur J. Gillette grew up on a farm in what is now South St. Paul, son of Albert and Ellen Gillette and attended Hamline University in the early 1880s. In 1883, Arthur Gillette decided to become a doctor and studied at the Minnesota Hospital College and the St. Paul Medical College in downtown St. Paul. After his graduation he moved to New York and studied orthopaedic surgery under the renowned Dr. Lewis Albert Sayer and Dr. Newton Shaffer.
Dr. Gillette returned to Minnesota in 1888 where orthopaedic surgery became his specialty. By 1890, Dr. Gillette was Minnesota's first full-time orthopaedist and was an instructor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in what he called "this almost new science" of orthopaedic surgery.
On April 23, 1897, the legislature gave the University of Minnesota the authority to establish a "Minnesota Institute for Crippled and Indigent Children." A ward was set aside at City and County Hospital in St. Paul the state providing braces and surgical appliances at minimal cost. The regents named Dr. Gillette chief surgeon and Dr. Gillette's medical school colleagues agreed to donate their services.²
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