Kate Pelham Newcomb

Doctor of the Northwoods


How do you make history?

As a woman in the early 1900s, Kate Pelham Newcomb’s path to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor was far from smooth, but she didn’t let that keep her from working to make it happen. Once she did, new challenges crossed her path. As a physician in the northwoods of Wisconsin, reaching her patients sometimes meant trekking through the snow, or canoeing across water to get there. Kate forged ahead to help thousands of patients, eventually helping to build a hospital to better care for her community.

Meet Kate Pelham Newcomb

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Questions to Consider

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 1 superimposed above it

What happened in Kate’s life that made her want to become a doctor? Are there experiences you’ve had that have made you think about what you might want to do for a career?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 2 superimposed above it

When Kate first told her father that she wanted to become a doctor, he didn’t let her pursue her dream. Why? Can you think of a time when you really wanted to do something and someone told you that you couldn’t do it? How did you feel and what did you do about it?

Illustration of the geographical shape of the State of Wisconsin with the number 3 superimposed above it

What qualities did Kate demonstrate as a doctor, and in her work to build a new hospital? Are these qualities that are important to you? Do you see them in people around you?

Read On

Illustrated portrait of Kate Pelham Newcomb

Kate Pelham Newcomb: Doctor of the Northwoods

Get the full story with this biography book. Audio files are available on each page if you’d like to listen along!


Project Credits

Dan Kaplan
Becky Marburger
Kurt Griesemer

Associate Producer
Joe Young

The Brave Union

The Brave Union

Animation Voice Over
Dawson McKay

Audiobook Narration
Aika Zabala

Audiobook Editing
Kerman Eckes

Catie Pfeifer
Vicki Way Kipp

Educator Support Materials
Mia Forslund

John Vieth
Erika Kachama-Nkoy
Tim Schneider

Charles Barrows

Translation Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison Cultural Linguistic Services

Executive Producer
Peggy Garties

Story Advisors

Brenda Autz
Park Elementary School
Middleton, WI

Charlene Dupler
Lakeview Elementary School
Wind Lake, WI

Kristen McDaniel
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI

David J. O’Connor
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Madison, WI

Amanda Price
Marshall Elementary School
Marshall, WI

Tanya Schmidt
Oshkosh Area School District
Oshkosh, WI

Corey Thompson
Cardinal Stritch University

Stephanie Unertl
Lake Mills Area School District
Lake Mills, WI