Tag Archives: Dr. Huff

Dr. Huff meets JP Morgan

Soon after the log cabin was built, JP Morgan Jr. and his family were in Jackson Hole on vacation, when Mrs. Morgan broke her leg on a backcountry pack trip. Dr. Huff, the first doctor in the community, went in on horseback, put her leg in a splint, and brought her to St. John’s Hospital to care for her. Meanwhile, JP Morgan had his private railroad car sent to Victor, ID. He requested that Dr. Huff accompany his wife on the train back to New York.

When Dr. Huff arrived in New York, he was taken to a beautiful brownstone mansion where he found a suite prepared for him, including his own monogrammed pajamas. JP Morgan asked Dr. Huff to move to New York and become their family physician, and offered any additional schooling that Huff wanted.

Dr.Huff declined, saying his place was in the valley of Jackson Hole.

St. John’s Medical Center has long benefited from the world class expertise of physicians who remain committed to our patients and community, despite being qualified to practice medicine anywhere they choose. Their legacy is a high level of quality care in Jackson Hole that is rare for a remote, rural town such as ours.

Home hospital leads to first Board selection

At one point my father moved all his equipment out of the hospital into our house. Father put up beds and mother covered the walls with colored cheese cloth and they used the house for a hospital.

Another doctor came in during that period but he left very soon.  They finally decided to pick a hospital board, an unbiased board, to help him run the hospital. That was in 1928.

– As told by Gretchen Huff Francis

Four minute Appendectomy

I remember he removed Leonard Timmermeyer’s appendix in the office in our house and then he carried that man upstairs to the bed.

I can’t come back here without someone coming up to me and want to show me the very small scar left from where father took out their appendix. He could, apparently, do an appendectomy in four minutes and left practically no scar.

– As told by Gretchen Huff Francis


4 room hospital serves valley

The hospital was a four room hospital and it faced west on Glenwood Street. It consisted of two bedrooms, a kitchen, and an operating room.

It served a great purpose for the valley. People began to flock in from adjoining communities — Dubois, Victor, Idaho. Driggs, Idaho didn’t have anything. Pinedale didn’t even have a doctor. Soon Dr. Huff was over his head in business.

– As told by Dr. Donald MacLeod


Reverend Royal Balcomb plans a hospital

In 1916 Reverend Royal Balcom, who was the Episcopal Minister at that time, was talking to two other men in one of the local bars. Reverend Balcom suggested, “Why don’t we build Dr. Huff a hospital?”

This was the first time it had been thought about. This was on a Friday and they took it to some of the frequenters of the bars and one man gave two or three lots, at the present location of the Episcopal Church. On Monday they started cutting logs up Cache Creek for the building of this hospital. That was a three day period from the onset to the start. Today it would take two or three years.
– As told by Dr. Donald MacLeod