Second World War: Rural Physicians Too Rare

Missourian recalls that during the Second World War, many rural physicians were called into service.

| Good Old Days

There is always a doctor shortage in rural areas. After the Second World War started, we lost almost all our MD’s, with only one other rural physician that the Army did not call into service. 

I needed brace repairs. I was sent to a hospital in St. Louis, after the head doctor at the state hospital where I had been treated after polio went to Europe.

My sis had her baby at our house when she did not make it to the nearest hospital 30 miles away. Our small rural hospital had closed when its only doctor was called by the Army. She had no doctor until after the birth.

Jewell Cooper
Bolivar, Missouri

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 


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