The first article below, and the additional one I found later got my curiosity up. Who was this Dr. Rae Felt? “Interesting name,” I thought. And notice in the second article that the X-ray technology he demonstrated in April was apparently used to advantage, just a few months later, in his treatment of the woman who stabbed herself with a needle. So I did some further research, which reaped almost instant rewards.
Saw Their Own Bones
Dr. Rae Felt gave an electrical seance with his new electrical apparatus brought with him from San Francisco. In the fluid generated by it, those present were afforded the novelty of bathing without undressing or getting wet. While by means of the fluoroscope and the wonderful X-ray, they were enabled to see the bones of their own and neighbor’s anatomies, and for the time being became so shrewd and penetrating that they could see through any man. -The Ferndale Enterprise (California), April 1, 1898
After reading this article, I tried doing some research on Dr. Rae Felt, and I discovered another article about him.
An X-Ray Operation
Mrs. D. C. Reas of Port Kenyon, who, while cleaning windows ran a needle into her hand a couple of weeks ago, submitted to an X-Ray operation in Eureka Friday morning at Dr. Rae Felt’s office. When the needle entered the hand it broke off, leaving about a half inch of the needle in the hand, & it seemed impossible to locate it. Dr. Felt’s X-Ray, however, exposed the position of the troublesome piece of steel, & its removal of course followed in a very few moments. -The Ferndale Enterprise, August 30, 1898
According to the US census and other government data, Rae Felt was born in California in 1869. He was the son of Theodore Dwight Felt and Catherine Miller. He passed away in 1917. I could not determine if he had any children.
The following biographical information appeared in 1918, in Native Sons of the Golden West Grand Officer’s Reports. Thanks to Martha A. Crosley Graham, who transcribed it for a website devoted to the history of Humboldt County California.
RAE FELT, M.D. — A representative member of the Felt family, and one of the most honored native sons of Humboldt county, Dr. Rae Felt is adding glory to the name of his father made famous in almost half a century of medical practice and business activity here. His position in the profession has always been among its most trusted members, and deservedly; and within recent years he has increased his reputation by his unselfish work in the interest of the Sequoia hospital at Eureka, of which he was the founder. He is now acting as president of the board and as chief surgeon of the institution, which is the most completely equipped establishment of the kind in California north of San Francisco. Dr. Felt’s father, the late Theodore Dwight Felt, M.D., has full mention elsewhere in this work.
Rae Felt was born May 19, 1869, at Hydesville, and his early life was spent there and at other locations in the county — Felt’s Springs, Rohnerville and Fortuna. His education was begun in the district schools, but he had the advantage of very superior home training, which he has found of inestimable value. During the time the family lived at Fortuna, he assisted his mother in the drug store, which she conducted for several years at that place, and thus his preparation for his life work began very early.
He finished his public school work at Eureka, graduating before he was eighteen years old, at which time he was granted a teacher’s certificate. He taught school for some time, and then devoted himself to the study of medicine, entering the medical department of the University of California, from which he was graduated, receiving his degree of M.D. in November 1890.
The next year he spent very profitably in the United States Marine Hospital at San Francisco, as surgical assistant, and was then appointed to the United States revenue marine service and assigned as surgeon to the steamer Richard Rush, which was ordered to the Behring Sea and coast of Alaska to protect the seal industry.
After a year in that position he returned to Eureka to commence practice, becoming associated with his father, who moved to Eureka in 1891, and they worked together until the father’s death, in 1898. His modern training and apparent fitness for the profession supplemented his father’s experience and resource, and they established a practice, which the younger man has continued very successfully, proving a worthy successor to his father.
In both general practice and surgery there is a wide demand for his services, his name having become well known in all parts of Humboldt County, where he has performed many successful operations and taken part in numerous consultations, his fellow physicians according his opinions the utmost respect. He has not only endeavored to make a success of his own work, but has labored zealously to uphold the most approved professional standards in the community. His own conscientious work, in his private practice and in his connection with the Sequoia Hospital and Sanitarium, shows his personal ideas on such matters. He was appointed the first chief surgeon on the Eel River and Eureka Railroad, which position he held until it was transferred to the hospital department of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, and since then has filled his present position of division surgeon.
Dr. Felt took a leading part in the organization of the Humboldt County Medical Society, has served as president of that body, and is also a member in high standing of the California State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, the Pacific Association of Railway Surgeons, and also a member of the American Association of Railway Surgeons.
Socially he has numerous connections, belonging to Humboldt Parlor No. 14, N.S.G.W.; Humboldt Lodge No. 79, F. & A.M. (master in 1904); Humboldt Chapter No. 52, R.A.M.; Eureka Commandery No. 35, K.T., for which he served as treasurer for several years, from May, 1902; Islam Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., of San Francisco; the Order of the Eastern Star; and Eureka Lodge No. 652, B.P.O.E., of which he was a charter member. He also holds membership in the Humboldt Club and in the Chamber of Commerce at Eureka; and he was one of the principal organizers of the Gentlemen’s Driving Club.
Though deeply interested in the success of the latter, he declined the presidency because of his numerous other responsibilities, feeling that he could not do justice to its duties. His interest therein is only natural, for he inherits his father’s love for fine horses, and was at one time especially devoted to the breeding and raising of standard horses on his stock ranch at Capetown on the Bear river. He has a number of fine horses, among which are Telltale Perlo and Edith Light. The former Comes from stock which his father raised, and her great-great-great-granddam Jude was the animal on which the elder Dr. Felt swam the Eel River on many occasions.
Besides the ranch just mentioned, Dr. Felt owns a dairy ranch of two hundred twenty-five acres at Freshwater, six miles from Eureka, which he supervises personally, hiring competent help for the actual labor. “The Maples,” as his ranch is called, was so named on account of the beautiful natural maple grove at his summer home. He has lately improved the ranch with large barns, which are the most modern and sanitary in the county, having metal stanchions, concrete floor and large windows for admitting plenty of sunlight.
Recently Dr. Felt brought from the east a carload of full-blooded registered Jersey cattle of the Island type, and now has a herd of about one hundred head, one of the finest registered herds of Island bred Jerseys in the state. The Maples is located about six miles north of Eureka on the Arcata road and is watered by the stream called Freshwater. In connection with the ranch large quantities of alfalfa are raised, as well as clover, rye, grass, carrots and beets, and grains.
Dr. Felt has been taking part in politics since he attained his majority, an ardent Republican like his father before him. He has been a delegate to political conventions since eligible, and in 1902 acted as chairman of the Republican county convention. His work in the party, as in everything else that attracts his interest, has been well directed, and has been appreciated by his coworkers and his fellow citizens generally, who trust him to look after their welfare as he would after his private concerns. There are few activities in the locality with which he has not been associated, in an influential capacity, and many of the best movements in the city owe their success to his cooperation.
On December 18, 1892, Dr. Felt was married to Miss Anna A. Smith, a native of Alameda County, Cal., and the daughter of a pioneer family.