A LOOK BACK
Only a few residents in the area will remember Dr. William A. DeWitt, who worked at the Blossburg State Hospital. Dr. DeWitt had been surgeon in chief of the Blossburg State Hospital since the fall of 1911 and had made a wide reputation by his extraordinary skill as a surgeon. It was stated that this young man was one of the best surgeons around. He was beloved by all who knew him. Sadly at the young age of 32, family and friends from all over Tioga and surrounding counties felt Dr. DeWitt's death as a personal bereavement. He not only occupied a high position as a skilled surgeon, but his position in the community as a man and as a citizen was admired by all who knew him.
He was an active member of the Blossburg Lodge of Masons and Chapter of Tyagaghton Commander of the Consistory of Williamsport and of the Mystic Shrine of Wilkes-Barre.
The young Dr. DeWitt, died Sept. 24, 1918, around 10:00 AM from pneumonia, after becoming severely ill on Saturday, Sept. 21st. At that time the doctor had been treating a large number of patients who were sick and it is believed he kept putting others first when he finally ended up bedridden. By that time no hope was seen for his recovery.
In those days pneumonia killed residents around Tioga County in large numbers. Many of the deaths by pneumonia were coal miners, who already were suffering from what would be known later as Black Lung Disease.
Dr. William DeWitt's wife was also seriously ill with pneumonia when he died. Their children were believed to be staying with Dr. DeWitt's parents so they would not become sick themselves.
By the time of the good doctor's death he was still survived by his wife, his two children and his parents Mr. and Mrs. W. F. DeWitt, of Troy. Also surviving was his sister, Mrs. J. M. Beers of Elmira, NY. The funeral was held Friday, Sept. 27th at 12:30 PM at Blossburg and the remains were taken to Troy, Pa., for burial. The service was in charge of the Tyagaghton Commander, No. 28. Knights Templar, of Wellsboro.