© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dr. Philip Graham Reedy


Funeral services were conducted on this date in 1936, for Dr. Philip Graham Reedy. Born on December 23, 1882, Philip Reedy was often called the first white child born at Fort Totten. His father, Thomas Reedy, came to the Fort Totten area in 1868 and it was here that he married Agnes Wells, daughter of James Wells, one of the first teachers at the post. He was also the Agency farmer setting up programs for the Indians. The Wells family had a long history in Minnesota and what is now North Dakota. James Wells was a descendant of Duncan Graham for whom Graham’s Island in Devil’s Lake was named. In 1880, Thomas Reedy served as a blacksmith at the post.

Due to the lack of educational facilities on military posts, young Philip was tutor educated. This continued until his family moved to the Pine Ridge Agency and later Fort Yates in 1891, where schooling was offered. He attended college at St John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota and received his medical degree at the University of Minnesota in 1899. He would also attend the University of Illinois where he graduated in 1910. He served for a time at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, but the lure of the West called him back.

Philip began his medical practice in McLaughlin, South Dakota but later moved to Regan, North Dakota. He served as a first lieutenant in the medical reserve and was called to active duty in 1917. He was promoted to major in 1918 when he served as a surgeon to troop transports. During World War I, he served as port surgeon in Rotterdam, Holland and later traveled into Germany as assistant sanitary inspector.

Returning to North Dakota, he located at Casselton until 1935 when he moved to Lisbon. It was in Lisbon that he helped organize a new medical association, for which he became first staff physician. The Ransom County Medical Association was a unique concept at the time as the members of the association paid fixed, yearly dues for medical attention.

Dr. Philip Reedy died at the young age of 54 from accidental strangulation. His funeral was held at the North Dakota Soldiers Home, a fitting tribute to one who was born at a lonely outpost in Dakota Territory.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Lisbon Free Press December 24, 1936

Benson County Farmers Press December 25, 1936

North Dakota History and People by Clement Lounsberry Volume III 1917

Collection of the State Historical Society of North Dakota Volume III 1910