Newaygo County

In the early days of the community of Hesperia there was no doctor nearer than the town of Newaygo, but the settlers learned much from the use of herbs and barks and other products of natures to heal their sick bodies. The doctor at Newaygo, who was occasionally called by the settlers, was Dr. Tatman.

Dr. Leland S. Weaver, the son of Daniel Weaver the founder of both Fremont and Hesperia, was the first regular physician of the village. He had previously practiced medicine at Fremont after graduating from the University of Michigan at the age of twenty-one. Dr. Weaver, who was also a pharmacist, had a drug store and office located in Daniel Weaver big store. He soon developed a large practice and was generally known in all the lumber camps of the county as an able surgeon.

With his growing practice Dr. Weaver found a need for a new office. In 1875 he built and moved into a large new drug store on south Division St. in Hesperia. Dr. Weaver served (like most of the other early doctors0 a large territory and he was reported to have said that on some of his night trips while returning from Morgan (now White Cloud), the boldness of the wolves scurried him home to Hesperia just a little more rapidly than he would otherwise grit his horse. On one occasion Dr. Weaver's horse got his foot caught in an obstruction of some kind. He freed it just in time to save his horse from the large pack of wolves that was stalking closer and closer, waiting for the best opportunity to attack.

Dr. Henry C. Hawley followed soon after Dr. Weaver, practicing his profession in the early times of the frontier settlements in the White River area. Traveling was arduous and at times he was obliged to creep through the woods at some points because a horse could not press through the forest trails. At other times the White River served as a water highway as the shortest way for Dr. Hawley to get to an injured lumberjack or an ailing settler. He covered Greenwood and Newfield townships in Oceana County and the north-west part of Newaygo County.

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