Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte was the youngest daughter of Omaha Chief “Iron Eye” (Joseph LaFlesche). Picotte lived in this two story home from its construction in late 1907 until her death in 1916. In addition to her work as a physician, she was a political advocate for Omaha rights during this period. Picotte was heavily involved in debates surrounding the end of the federal trust period for Omaha allotments in 1909, the proposed consolidation of the Omaha and Winnebago Reservations and the inheritance rights of women and children. She also provided assistance to Omaha individuals by preparing various documents and correspondence, advising on domestic issues, placing phone calls and serving as an interpreter. Her home served as a gathering place for political meetings and cultural events that were attended by both Native Americans and Euro-Americans from the surrounding area.
Picotte’s national significance in medicine, woman’s history and social history is recognized by the Dr. Susan LaFlesche Picotte Memorial Hospital NHL.
The Dr. Susan Picotte Memorial Hospital is located in Walthill. The one-and-one half story, frame building was constructed in 1912-13 to serve as a facility for the practice of Dr. Picotte. Susan Picotte was the first Native American woman doctor to practice modern medicine in the United States. In addition to a distinguished medical career, she was an active supporter of the temperance movement, and represented the Omaha tribe at the local and national level, working to improve their quality of life. She was also involved in community affairs on a continual basis. As the only modern medical facility established in the area, primarily for the Omaha Indians, the hospital stands today as a reminder of Picotte’s important role in the lives of Native Americans in Nebraska and the nation.