Dr. Henry J. Jurgens, widely known physician and surgeon, died in St. Mary’s Hospital Wednesday morning at 4:30 o`clock of injuries he received at Twentieth and Oak Streets Sunday morning when the car he was driving crashed into a tree. Several of Dr. Jurgen’s grandchildren who were accompanying him from church were slightly hurt. Dr. Jurgens was born in Culemborg, Holland, in 1872, the son of a superintendent of a glass factory.
He came to America when he was 16 with the ambition to become a doctor. after working in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois for a short time, saving his money to achieve his ambition, he entered Hope College at Holland, Michigan, for a pre-medical course to supplement the excellent schooling he had received in his native land. In Holland (MI.), he directed an orchestra to help him through school. Upon completion of his pre-medical work, he enrolled in the old Keokuk (IA.) Medical College and was graduated in 1897. Some time later, he married a daughter of Dr. Charles Fegers of Keokuk, IA., who died a year or two later, leaving one daughter, Mrs. Lawrence Berberet of Edina (MO.). In 1900 Dr. Jurgens and Miss Clara Muenzer of Edina were married. In 1907 and 1908, he took a post-graduate course in medicine and surgery in the world-famed medical schools of the University of Utrecht, Holland. He spent a year there accompanied by Mrs. Jurgens (and his daughter Christine). Dr. Jurgens practiced in Edina until 1918, when he entered army service and was appointed a Captain in the medical corps and assigned to Kelly Field in Texas, where he was made Chief Surgeon.
After the war ended, he practiced his profession in San Antonio and Hillsboro, TX. and came to Quincy, IL. in 1922.
Dr. Jurgens was well known in medical circles in Quincy before he opened an office there. In the years he spent in Edina he attended many patients who were brought to the Quincy hospitals.
Dr. Jurgens was a past president of the Adams County Medical Society, a past president of the staff of St. May’s hospital, a member of the Quincy Physician’s Club, a member of the Illinois Medical Society, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a fellow of the American medical Association, and a member of the Mississippi Valley Medical Society. Dr. Jurgens was widely known for his skill in surgery, but he had a fame that perhaps was more than that – the reputation for giving freely and generously of his time and skill and money to alleviate the condition of countless patients who could only repay his kindness with gratitude. No one will ever know, his intimates say, the great number of patients he treated without charge. One of the leading Druggist of Quincy recalled that time after time, and on hundreds of occasions, Dr. Jurgens would call him up and after giving a prescription, tell him to charge the medicine to his own personal account. Outside of his profession, Dr. Jurgens was devoted to his family and to music. He had been a highly accomplished musician from his youth and was a flutist of rare ability. The flute was his favorite instrument and at times would teach this difficult instrument to a pupil of promise. He was also a director of choral and symphony orchestral music, giving time to this work because of his devotion of music.
It is told that when Madame Schumann Heinek came to Kelly Field to sing for the soldiers it was difficult to find an accompanist for her until Dr. Jurgens consented to act. He directed symphony orchestra in Texas and he was the director of the Knights of Columbus choral club, and the Little Symphony in Quincy orchestra at one time. However, in all this, his profession came first and music was a recreational activity. He was devoted to his grandchildren and spent many hours with them.
Dr. Jurgens was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He leaves his widow; two daughters, Mrs. Lawrence Berberet of Edina and Mrs. S.R. (Ray) Hoover of Quincy, and one brother in America, Dr. Louis Jurgens of Patterson, NJ.. His brothers Ernst and Johann and a sister, Mrs. Anna Pitaar, live in Holland. He also leaves 11 grandchildren , Masje, Joan, Henry J., Ray, Connie, Nona and David Hoover in Quincy, and Rosemary, Sudie, Lawrence and Patty Berberet of Edina.
An inquest was held in the Freiburg-Wiskirchen Funeral Home.
Source: Quincy Herald Whig, Jan. 10, 1941