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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
July 28, 1960     The Billings County Pioneer
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July 28, 1960

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BILLINGS COUNTY PIONEER a I O Man with a microscope, Dr. Larson is equally handy with a gavel. Pictured here in his laboratory at the Bismarck Hospital, he appears to accomplish the impossible by meeting the' responsibilities of multiple careers in pathology, clinic administration and the affairs of the Am- erican Medical Association. In his acceptance speech to the House of Delegates of the AMA. Dr. Larson expressed appreciation for "the sympathy and understand- ing with which my wife and family, and my professional associates at home, have always been willing to c~ntribute my time and energies in behalf of organized medicine." He pledged himself to warrant the confidence of the AMA, "'an organization of which we are justifiably proud because it~ has done so much to promote the science and art of medicine and the bettermen of public health." Dr. Lm'son alluded to the high demands of the times and reminded his colleagues of Archibald Macleish's observation that "The secret of freedom in courage: Each man's courage to dream, to do his duty, to believe in himself and his country." ne I By George Wright The highest honor doctors can bestow on one of their colleagues has come to Dr. Leonard W. Larson of Bismarck. unanimously acclaimed president-elect by the American Medical Association's House of Dele- gates at its annual meeting, held this year in Miami Beach, Fla. Dr. Larson will assume the top office of American medicine in June 1961. He has served as chairman of the AMA's board of trustees for the past two years, and has held a multitude of other AMA posts. Microbes and people---doctors and their patients--share his con- cern. A vigorous 62, the soft-spoken Norwegian has attended all but one AMA session since 1926. and today sits with a score of professional com- mittees and organizations. His responsibilities have taken him all over the United States, World Travel Almost Routine States, and to many points in Europe. Accompanied frequently by his wife, Dr. ~.on estimates he spends about a ~hird of his time traveling t~hese days; he reckons distance between Bismarck and his various destinations in terms of a/r-hours. Besides serving as pathologist for Bismarck's two 200-bed hospitals, Dr. Larson with four other partners operates the 30-doctor, ll0-employee Quain ahd Ramstad Clinic, which serves an estimated population area of 250,000. Over half of it~ 400 patients a day travel more than 5(, miles to take advantage of the Clinic's services. It's a busy life: Before attending to his usual armload of mail on Doris) Mitc~hell of Bismarck and a recent day, Dr. Larson had examined blood smears at the hospitals Mrs. John (Dorothy Leonore) Col- ~and made three frozen s~ections for diagnosis of cancer. Clinic administra- j ]ctt of Lenoir, N. C. tive affairs occupied the rest of the morning, and his afternoon wasI Mrs. Larson is described by largely taken up with examining gross specimens from morning surgery I friends, who call her Dee, as about and writing up microscopic findings. By 6:10 p. m he had taken part in] as close to the ideal doctor's wife a late afternoon discussion of administrative affairs, conferred with Chi- ] as a woman ought to ,be. cago on some AMA board problems and made arrangements for a trip to Raleigh, N. C where he was due to participate in a medical associa- She has been active in the local medical auxiliary, Bismarck Hosp- tion meeting, ital Auxiliary, Presbyterian Ladies "A perennial student of medicine IOn returning to the United States, Aid and a local study club. At- and a very capable teacher among Roy. Phillips was made moderator tractive and gracious, she is obvious- h 1 "" is col eagues xs the way one as- t of the Congregational Church of ly wrapped up in her family and en- sociate describes Dr. Larson. "Arm- America, the position he holds to- joys gardening. &f no small ira- day. portance to her husband is her abil- ed always with facts rather than Boyhood Influences it~y and willingness to screen his arguments, he aadresses himself im. partla~ly to current problems in his field, and to those throughout the scope of organized medicine. Dr. Larson can always be depended on for concme analysis and candid opin- ion. We turn to him whenever we ned briefing on what the 'latest thinking' is." AnotY~er corleague states that Dr. Larson is "highly dedicated to his calling. He has always been in- terested in the profession's progress l towards improved standards of na- tional medical care. "His work as a truly outstanding pathologist has helped advance the practice of medicine, resulting in untold ,benefit to patients in our area throughout the years. Dr. Larson North: Dal~ota. Dr. Larson found~ this a great challenge. "I've alwaysI had feeling that I hei d to im-i State'"'n,gnway prove the standard of med~ical prac- I tiee in Noah .a ota because of, Emph yees Assn. those pioneer days as a pathologist,"! he explains. [Elects Off,cers The Larsons have two married' daughters, Mrs. George (Margery State Directors were elected at u has always stood for highest medical ethics above all else. "It goes without saying that he recent meeting of the newly.or, ganized North Dakota State High- way Department Employees Asso- ciation. The directors are Robert J. Buchanan, president; Miss Lucille Dully, secretary; Mrs. Maxine Moore, treasurer; all of Bismarck, and George I. Anderson, Williston, vice president. Others elected were Lyle McCormick, Valley City; Cyril Krom, Devils Lake; Henry Schnase, Minot; Jonas M. Klee, Dickinson and Halliday; James W. McMenarny, Grand Forks and Francis Breiden- bach, Kenneth Feldner, Ralph Shan- non and Willard Yeater, all of Bis, marck. is also a highly capable administra- tor." Dr. Larson himself summarizes his ,]~olidays," Dr. Larson recalls. chief concerns as "tumor diagnoses "Christmas Eve, 1~15, we worked and diseases of the blood, within my until midnight. That did it." specialty. In policy-making roles I have tried to help solve the various problems of our profession in the uppermost interest of what is .best for our patients and the general pub. lie." Numerous Distinctions Holder of an Alumni Outstanding Achievement award, Dr. Larson was graduated magna cure laude from the University of Minnesota Medical school in 1922, having received his bachelor of science degree in 1920 and his college preparatory educa. tion at St. Olaf Academy, North- field, Minn.; and at the high school in his native Clarkfield, Minn. Following a brief period of gen- eral practice in Northwood. Is he returned to the University for post- graduate work in pathology, joining Quain and Ramstad Clinic in Bis- marck in March, 1924. He has been a Clinic partner since 1939. He has served as pathologist with the Bis- marck Hospital since 1924 and with St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck since 1935. For his contributions to the sci- ence of cancer control, Dr. Larson received a Gold Medal in 1953 from the American Cancer Society, hav- ing served on the Society's board of directors since 1945, including a term as national vice president. He received a Certificate of High- est Merit from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, after serv- ing as that organization's president, 1939-40, and as chairman of its exe- cutive committee from 1940 to 1950. Parents Norwegian Immigrants Dr. Larson was born to John and Ida Anderson Larson on May 22, 1898 in Clarkfield, Minn the young- est of four children. His parents, both natives of Norway, had come to the 700-population community in the early 1880's, shortly after they were married. Determined to be a businessman, John Larson and his ,business part- ner raised a store building, with liv- ing quarters for the two families located upstairs. In this building, which still stands, they conducted a "I suppose my interest in the fielci reading. "She reviews the lay liter. The directors will serve until of Medicine first began to sharpen ature for me and makes me read February, 1961, when the first re- through my boyhood association what I am supposed to," Dr. Lar- gular annual meeting will be held. with a wonderful old country doctor son says. Now that the children are in Clarkfield," Dr. Larson relates, grown, she accompanies him Ire- More than 400 employees pledg- ed to join the association. At a later "No doubt he was more wonderfulquently in his travels. "It's often date, the group may affiliate with as an unforgettable character than the only v~ay I get to see him," she similar groups in other states, un- as a doctor He was a great sports, says. der a nation-wide assembly of gov- man, a hunter and a lover of dogs. Little Ttme for Hobbies ernmental-employees, He used to take me hunting prairie The association announced that chickens, and I would also tag along Dr. Larson relaxes best in flu- their aims are: to render the most on his calls in the country, eat, conversation, a cigar in hand, effective service to th people of alwdys eager to discuss Medicine, the State of North Dakota; to en- "His prescriptions were wondrous books, people and ,polities. (He des- courage the maintenance of the concoctions of eight to ten ingredi, eribes himself as progressive con- highest standards of public employ- ents. He operated on himself one servative".) He has taken up such ee conduct and to promote the time for an abcess of the jaw -- hobbies as photography, hunting lanced it, then went to Minneapolis and horsemanship along the way, economic welfare of the employees " in general, as well as in specific for treatment, but finds little time for such pur-] respects. Leonard might make a good phar. suits at present. macis~, his father thought, so the "I had to make the decision, and l "-[~'- elder Larson purchased a drug store I chose medical organization work. NON-LAWYERS MAY PREPARE as an investment while the boy was rWYhen the children were younger SIMPLE LEGAL PAI~ERS in high school. "But I soon got my fill of working long hours during lwe all became quire horse-minded t The question of whether persons s~r vacations and Chrigtmas at one time we had four in ~, Inot admitted to the State Bar as stable. M3r wife had been riding I licensed attorneys may prepare cer- fancy Tennessee Walker, and so I tain legal documents and still not decided to move up to an aristo- be guilty of a misdemeanor has Discovering at t~e end of three years in Clarkfield High School that he needed only two mare cred- its to graduate, 17~year-old Leon- ard entered St. Olaf Academy in 1915." Thus he earned ~is high school diploma during his freshman year at St. Olaf College N'ort,hfield Minn. To Leonard, the Academy meant he could study physics and higher J mathematics, not offered in Clark-] field. To his father, it meant that the boy would be living in the jkcad~err~y klorrnRory under avt, rlct supervision, while he and his wife spent their winter months in Flor- ida. I always suspected my folks thuugknt it a convenient way of get- ~ing rid of me "When I entered college, I plan- ned to take up Dentistry, but my room mate convinced me that I ought to go into Medicine with him, which I did." Music at SJ. Olaf Dr. Larson reflects on his St. Olaf years with a great sense of jos, since he worked closely with F. Mel:ius Chr~t~anson, the disting- uished late choir and band director. "I didn't have a good enough voice for his choir, but fortunately I played a fair baritone horn. Not long after I was elected vice libra- rian of the Band, the librarian drop- pod out of school and a new one had to be chosen." "Christy" swung the election by asking Band members in his mat- ter-of-faot Nordic way: "What's the matter wit Larrs-son?" "'~tris~ty helpec~ me appreciate classical music," Dr. Larson says. "He encouraged me to study pro- gram planning and suggested that I go to the Minneapolis Symphony Sunda~ Pop Concerts as often as possible. cra{ic five-gaited saddlebred. Un- fortunately, though, I didn't have time to ~b~eak the animal in proper- l~, and she proved so spirited t~at I had to lead her in the horse shoo/," Dr. Larson's proverbial trouble with automobiles amounts to a stand!,r~ joke among his associates, but it s a~ways been a deep mystery to him. "I've ~Tied about every make in existence," he admits, "and soon- er or la~dr they all seem to break down. 1V~otoring has never 'been one of my pleasures. "Hobbies?" he ponders, drawing on his cigar. "What do I do with arty leisure time? Travel to medical meetings, I guess." Looks to the Future been answered by Atty. Gem Leslie R. Burgum. The attorney general has ruled that individuals may prepare cer- tain deeds, contracts, mortgages, satisfactions and st2~fiar legal in- struments incident ~ to transactions which he is interested, provided no charge ~s made for such services. Burgum replied to a letter from Alfred C. Schultz, executive director of the State Bar Asm,e~vion, wi~o asked, "Can a layman with a real estate broker's license and a notary public commission perp~re deeds and similar instruments, 'or would such acts constitute unauthorized practice of law?" In answering, Burgum based his ol2inion on several previous cases Dr and a ruling from the State Supreme ~arson sees mucn meoicm pro- Court in a similar case ~ress ahead in the current decade. [] " "This will come about through the development of new and more effective drugs against bacterial in- fections, and, we hope, agains~ vir- uses which ar~e resistant at present. "We look towards a better under- stan{iing of the causes of degen- erative diseases and an icipate more effective methods of preventing and treating mental ~isease, eradi- cation of polio ~by immunization with a more effective vaccine and further development in heart and vascular surgery. -"lVIillions tin dollars a~d Fn .a~u- hours will be spent ~ solve the rid- dle of cancer. The prospects are bright that a break-through will come from knowledge of normal and cancer cell chemistry, the role '~hen I'd come back to St. Olof, that viruses play in fhe develop- dig up the band scores from our meat of cancer, the cancer-produc- library and prepare myself to give ing substances ~hat may be present Christy a note-by-note report on in tobacco, and the discovery of how our 'opposition' was doing." chemicals which will destroy can- Hangs up Shingle cer cells but not harm normal cells The University of Minnesota Med- teal School added an M. D. to Lar- son's name in December, 1922. "I had spent considerable time in bac- teriology and puthology in my labt two years and was now urged to go out and get some general practice daughter Barbara have returned from a vacation in the eastern part of the United States. At Alexandria, Va they were guests of the Clair L. Arnesons, where they attended the wedding of a niece. A family reunion of mem- bers of both families was held at Alexandria and among those at- tending were Mr. Arneson's mother and her husband. Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Jordan of Tampa, Fla Mrs. Ar- neson's brother and family, Mr. and Mrs. Win. H. Barber of Maracaibo, Venezuela; and Barbara's cousins Miss Reidun Ytreeide of Oslo, Nor- way and Jay C. Arneson of Sacra- mento, Calif. The Arnesens were guests of his brother on a deep sea fishing trip off Cape Hatteras, N. C. They visit- ed Jamestown and Williamsburg. I~ '~rhere is a good chance that the ceuse of one of the major mental illnesses will be discovered through intensive research in the chemistry of brain cells. Better tranquilizing drugs will be developed. Newer techniques m shock therapy will undoubtely improve the treatme.nt of certain mental diseases such as schizophrenia. ~rhe currer~ decade will also show a fantastic growth in volun- tary health insurance, including coverage for the aged," Dr. Larson believes. hardware business. "My father was the linnet," Dr. Larson recalls. "He made all kinds of things by hand, which, today, one may purchase ready-made in any hardware store. "The business prospered, and my father sold it after his partner died. He then entered the milling busi- ness,which occupies him until he re. tired at the age of 50. "Father was a hard worker, a stern disciplinarian, a stickler on thoroughness and a staunch Re- publican," Dr. Larson relates. '~But above all, his legacy to me i~aeluded the oonvle~ma that a man has unlimited freedom to progress and prosper by utilizing to the fullest extent ~he abilities he has. I'm certain that this attitude was inspired by my father." His father also instilled in young Leonard an appreciation of music, since the elder Larson was director of the Norwegian Lutheran Church choir, also playing the piano. It fol- lowed, of course, t~hat Leonard sel- dom missed a q~'oir practice--a church s'~rvice, neverl Larson Senior set his children an example in community leadership, too, serving as secretary-treasurer of the Clarkfield school board for many years. He was instrumental in completing the church building, much of it by his own hands. Today, one of Dr. Larson's broth- ers is a retired Dupont chemist, re- siding in Wilmington, Del. Dr. Lar. Dr. and Mrs. I~rson are shown here enroute to the World Medical son's sister and her husband, the Atom. meeting in ~openhag~n, 19~, an event they combined with a Rev. and Mrs. Ray Phillips, served tour or Norway, Belgium (Brussels Fair), Dertmarck. England and as missionaries for40years, station- Scotland, where they a~tended the F.~linburgh Musio Festival. ted in Johannasburg, South Africa. experience. I hung a~p my shingle in Northwood, Ia in June, 1923. '~I gained a great respect for gun- oral practice during those seven months of my career, but because of my special training I decided that I wanted to go into laboratory medicine. I returned ~o the Univer- sity and three months later was of- fered a position as pathologist with Quain and Ramstad Clinic and Bis- marck Hospital." It was while in postgraduate work that Dr. Lerson met an attractive history major, Ordelia Miller, whom he married Oct. 23, 1923, in Fair- mont, Minn. Befor.e graduating from Med ca] school he had been laboratory as- sistant to Dr, Winfred P Larson, not- ed bacteriologist. "I had then gone over to the pathology d~partment, and it was Dr. E. T. Bell, head of that department, who recommend- ed me for the Bismarck appoint- ment. Bimmarek Looked B~eak "My w|fe and I both thought that western North Dakota and Bis- marck looked pretty dreary," Dr. Larson reflects, "but we soon learn- ed to love the wide open spaces and the friendly people of the prairie state." For several years after settling in North Dakota he was ~he only practicing, pathologist in the state excepting for a pathologist on the teaching staff of the University of In the minds of those who know him well, Dr. Larson's courteous and unass~nning manner comple- ments his natural reserve and d~gn- Medina, N. Y. they visited Mrs. Ar-~ neson's moth~ro Mrs. Margaret ~m~r-- bcr, and other members of her family there and in Buffalo. Enroute home the Arnesons stop- ped at Evanston, lll where they left Barbara who has enrolled in graduate schol at Northwestern Uni- versity. PIKE RECORDS SET AT THREE I~k]KES Northern pike records have been broken at three different North Da- kota lakes in the past few weeks, according to the state game and fish department. John Zaun, of Valley City, broke the existing state record for north- ern pike when he landed one that weighed 29 pounds Needless to say, this also broke the record for pike from Lake Ashtabula. The old record, set l:~st year, was 26 lbs. ity. His wide field of interests give Tony Meier, of Burt, established him common ground wherever he a new record for northern pike goes. As one aequair~tance puts it, caught from Heart Butte Reservoir "Dr. Larson has a way of making with a lunker weighing 22 lbs 12 everyone feel important." ounces. The old record was 20~ The American Medical Associa-] pounds. lion looks to such doctors, steeped~ Another new reservoir record was in the experiertce of modern .mud-I set at Garrison Reservoir last week ical practice and dedicated to the l landed a northern pike that weigh- welfare of those they serve, tol ed 20 lbs 10~/~ ounces. The old John A. Hanzal, o f Parshall, speak for the profession. The pro-lrecord, set last year, was 20 lbs fession, the organizafton and the1 9 ounces. rolling plains area he loves have] Northern pike fishing has beeu benefited richly from Dr, Leonard[ very good at most North Dakota W. Larson's tireless efforts, lakes this year. The department ex- -- poets records to continue to be Most tractor operators' manuals1 broken. [] suggest filling the gas tank at the] -- -- end of the day or whenever you There is only one way to find finish using the tractor. This keeps out whether or not your crops ar~ moisture from accumulating in the gettin~ enough of the nutrients the~ tank above the fuel level, need---a Soil test. i If your home is average, it con- Sioux barley is not suitable fo~ rains about 1~ electric motors of malting and brewing. It lacks seVo various kinds and sizes, eral quality factors,