Morea's First Doctor - His Beautiful House


The Dodson Coal Company established the first doctor's office in Morea.

Every pay period the company would withhold one dollar from each miners pay check. This would take care of all their expenses including medication which the doctor dispensed.

Doctor Rudder was the first doctor hired by the coal company. He was about fifty-five years old (estimate) when he arrived with his younger and beautiful wife ---a girl from the Pottsville area or so I was told. He was handsome and very dedicated. The patch residents felt blessed too, at long last have their own physician.

As I recall the doctor's office and house were attached as one large free standing building that was three stories tall and located at the end of town. The home and garden were beautiful. The Dodson Coal Company had planted young trees and shrubs along with a flower garden to please the doctor and his wife who, I'm sure were accustomed to more pleasant surroundings.

At the age of sixteen my older sister, Mary, was fortunate in obtaining a position as Dr. Rudder's housekeeper. As a bonus she was given her own room. Mary was elated. She had never known such luxury and they were kind and generous. In addition, she now had a regular paycheck and could buy store made clothes and girl's shoes which she had always longed for.

The house was beautifully furnished. I never saw a house like it. There were velvet and satin drapes on all of the windows. The furniture was carved and of fine polished wood. The couches and chairs were covered with rich fabrics. I couldn't believe that people lived in such splendor.

Whenever the Rudders were on a trip, Mary would send word for us to come and visit-- knowing how much we were awed by the surroundings. What was even more exciting was the indoor plumbing and conveniences. We always found some reason to use the bathroom whether we needed to or not.

The house had two sets of stairs leading to the upper floors, and many more rooms than our house. The first time I ever went upstairs by myself to use the bathroom. I got lost and started screaming.

All of the rooms were wall papered and there were pictures and paintings everywhere. I had never seen a museum, but I had heard of their existence and this is what I had pictured.

Our school wasn't far from there and we had a long recess. Sometimes Margaret and I would go there at recess and Mary would give us cookies or fruits.

Whenever I had a few extra minutes I would just sit by Mary's bed touching and stroking the satin and lace bedspread. I could only imagine how wonderful it would be to live there. This was my transient walk into another dimension-- cut all too short by the sound of the school bell.

Recess was over!