Dr. Newton Thomas Enloe was born in Barton, Lamar County, Missouri on February 23, 1872. In 1895, Dr. Enloe earned his M.D. degree from the Missouri Medical College in St. Louis, after which he took several postgraduate courses at the Chicago Postgraduate School and the New York Polyclinic.
Dr. Enloe worked for the Sierra Lumber Company for six years, including a relocation to California in 1901. He worked as chief surgeon for the lumber company, which sold out to the Diamond Match Company. In 1907, Enloe left for Chico, California and began his general practice clinic where he treated lumberjacks of the camp for a fee of $1.00 per month. The lumber company provided board for himself, his 2-year-old son, Newton, Jr., and his 16-year-old sister, Emma.
In the early 1900s, Chico was one of the leading logging areas of California. Logs were cut in the mountains and sent down a water flume to the mills in Chico. Dr. Enloe had a hospital in both locations.
Dr. Enloe would transport patients from the mountain down the flume in a lumber ambulance. Pictured above are Dr. Enloe, his son Newton in his lap, his sister Emma, and an unknown man sitting on the ambulance.
Dr. Enloe’s first hospital was a small five bedroom home, which he built with his own hands of scrap lumber at the mill. In 1913 he began to build a small thirty-eight bed hospital, which opened in September that same year and located on Flume Street. Dr. Enloe performed the first operation at his new Chico hospital using a nail from the local hardware store to pin a hip fracture. Dr. N.T. Enloe passed away in the hospital he built on December 21, 1954, at the age of 82.
Submitted to NEMSM April 2010 by Rick Narad & Mark Peck; Photos courtesy of Marty Marshall, Director of Emergency Services – Enloe Medical Center