September 10, 1884: Dr. William H. Magie Arrives in Duluth

On this day in 1884, Dr. William H. Magie first arrived in Duluth. Dr. Magie was born in Madison, New Jersey, on September 30, 1854. The family relocated to Illinois, and William was educated in the Chicago public schools before going on to Abingdon College before moving with his family to Kansas to help his father, a politician, operate a ranch. In 1882 he left the cattle business to study at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in St. Louis. After arriving in the Zenith City, he set up a general practice. His focus eventually led to surgery. He was a surgeon for St. Mary’s Hospital for twenty-two years; at St. Mary’s, Dr. Magie performed the first gastroenteroscopy in the state of Minnesota in 1895 and worked tirelessly during Duluth’s typhoid epidemics. He later took over operation of the Morgan Park Hospital operated by the Minnesota Steel Company. In 1922 historian Walter Van Brunt wrote that Doctor Magie “worked for the improvement of schools and good government in Duluth and improved hospital standards.” Dr. Magie died in Duluth on November 11, 1932. The house he built at the northeast corner of Fourteenth Avenue East and Superior Street still stands. His name is carved into the stairs leading to the house.

A caricature of Dr. William H. Magie ca. 1910. (Image: Duluth Public Library)