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Dr. Orvis of Hereford Haven
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When Dr. Charles Orvis asked that milk cows be given the tuberculosis test, on the rounds that milk from a diseased animal was a hazard to the public welfare, health officials, some veterinaries and many medical doctors derided him, but he persisted In his efforts and was vindicated


Snow Ranch scene where Herefords were studied and developed under planned program and clinical eye of Dr. Orvis.

 At the sound of approaching hoofs the group hipped around in worn stock saddles to survey the three Americans. Chihuahua, of black beard and piercing eyes, started spouting in Spanish as they reined up. The speaker's gesturing was at the bull in the pen., The four young vaqueros lounged in saddles, smoking and listening to their boss. Each rider's shooter horned out a hip-sided holster.  

Captain Pitts argued back in Spanish. Dr. Orvis eyed the suffering Durham bull in the pen with clinical interest.  The bull's nose was bloody. Its mouth was taking on a purplish hue. Its closed eyes were oozing. Lying down, its swellings were apparent. It was feverish and perhaps beyond help. According to the symptoms, it was afflicted with Anthrax, a highly contagious disease. Anthrax on a remount range could prove, disastrous.  "Shoot it, Henry," Captain Pitts ordered.

When the wrangler started to pull the Spencer carbine from a saddle boot the bearded Mexican realized what was to happen. He snapped out a command, and his riders responded by drawing their pistols. Now there was an anticipatory glint in their eyes and their cigarrillos hung at a slant from lower lips. "You shoot bull, amigo," Chibaubau warned in English, "and I shoot you." His mirthless grin displayed white teeth in a framework of beard.

 Dr. Orvis had his hands cupped on the saddle horn. A pistol was pointed at his midriff and the finger on its trigger seemed taut for action.

Charles Bruce Orvis was one of John and Julia Orvis' six sons. Charles was born February 13th, 1858, on a farm at Oakfield, Wisconsin. As a boy he lived part time with a grandmother and attended school in Fond du Lac. On week ends and during summer vacations Charles returned to the family to help with the farm and crop work.

Charles became interested in livestock at an early age. While other children played and romped at games he acted as veterinary to pets, to trapped wildlife, and to corral animals. By the time he finished high school Charles Orvis knew he wanted to be something other than a dirt farmer or milk producer. He aspired to the professional field where he could use his innate abilities for the maximum good.

His gateway to a career was the Chicago Veterinary College. Its terms ran six months a year for three years and it cost $700, payable in advance. Even with excellent qualifications the cost of this kind of education was a challenging obstacle to a student back in the Eighties. Orvis worked, studied, skimped and saved.

After his father was convinced his son's longing for a college education was no passing fancy, he loaned Charles a wagon and a four-horse team to seek jobs that would pay bigger rewards.

Charles did hauling and road grading before he learned of opportunities in Dakota Territory. He loaded his wagon with a camp outfit and bags of horse feed and drove across Minnesota into northern Dakota. He plowed sod for settlers, did freighting, and helped with harvests. Come fall he would return to Wisconsin to bank his earnings. Finally the needed amount was raised and C.B.  Orvis enrolled for the three year course at the Chicago Veterinary College.

In his mid-twenties he was older than most students. He applied himself to study and research with such vigor that upon ending his first term he was hired to do veterinary work in Chicago.  After three years Orvis graduated second in With a diploma, and a $300 loan from his father, C.B. Orvis bought that cut-rate excursion ticket at $2.50 and headed West to launch his career. A career that looked very doubtful that day he faced the Mexicans at the water hole.

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Old Corner Saloon - 2002