Obit: Henke, Dr. William A. (1881 – 1940)

Contact: Lisa Haas

Surnames: Henke, Schneider, Driessen

----Source: La Crosse (WI) Tribune - May 8, 1940

Henke, Dr. William A. (26 FEB 1881 – 08 MAY 1940)

Dr. William A. Henke, Founder of Granview Hospital, Passes

Prominent Surgeon Is Found Dead In Room After Heart Attack
Came Here in 1911

Dr. William A. Henke, 59, 121 South 15th street, founder of Granview hospital, head of the clinic bearing his name and chairman of the La Crosse board of health, died suddenly early Wednesday after a heart attack.

He was found dead at 3 a.m. in his room at the hospital by one of the night duty staff. Dr. Henke Tuesday evening had entertained members of the La Crosse County Medical society at the hospital.

Papers were to have been signed Wednesday by Dr. Henke and the Order of Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for the merger of the Granview and St. Francis hospitals. The Sisters were to have taken over management of the Granview institution, while Dr. Henke was to have continued as head of the clinic. Included in the merger was to have been the construction of an addition to the Granview nurses home, plans for which already were in the process of formation. The Sisters were to have taken over the home as part of the negotiations. Planned Alaskan Trip

Dr. Henke, in announcing the negotiations last week, stated that the merger would make it possible for the continuation of the hospital following his death. He also had planned to leave next month on a trip to Alaska.

He was born Feb. 26, 1881, in Wabasha county, neat Lake City, Minn., being one of eight children in the family of August and Anna Zorn Henke. After receiving his elementary education in Lake City schools, he attended schools at Thorp and Eau Claire.

He received his doctor of medicine degree at the Illinois Medical college in 1906, and began his practice at Tomah, where he remained until 1908. He went abroad that year to continue his study of medicine, doing post graduate work in surgery at Vienna, Austria. Returning to Tomah, he established a private hospital, which he continued until 1911 when he established an office in La Crosse.
After several months here, he entered the medical school of the University of Illinois, obtaining another degree in medicine in 1913. He then attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and University of Berne, Switzerland.

Founded Granview Hospital

Returning to La Crosse in 1914, he founded the Granview hospital, which was incorporated June 27, 1914. The building was placed under construction in July, being completed the following March.

Incorporated first as a private institution, the hospital was reincorporated Dec. 27, 1917, as a charitable institution.

There were three additions built to the hospital, the first in 1917, a second in 1921 and the third in 1926. The nurses home was built in 1921, an addition being constructed in 1926. The hospital and home are valued at $635,000.

Dr. Henke in 1918 founded the Henke clinic, and 15 years ago opened an office in Chicago. Since that time he had spent week-ends in the Chicago office, being at the Granview hospital the remainder of the time.

Headed State Hospital Group

He had served as president of the Wisconsin Hospital association, and was one of its trustees for a number of years. He also was a member of the county and state medical societies, as well as a fellow of the American Medical association. He wrote one book, "The Rough Road to Civilization."

Dr. Henke was appointed a member of the board of health 20 years ago, serving continuously since that time. For the past ten years he had been chairman.
He was united in marriage in 1912 to Miss Beulah Smith of Platteville. They have no children.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Henke is survived by his mother, Mrs. Anna Henke of Stanly, Wis.; three sisters, Mrs. George Schneider, Mrs. Henry Driessen and Miss Marta, all of Stanley; and three brothers, Louis and Emil of Thorp and Peter of Stanley. His father and one brother, Joseph, preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be held Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at the Blaschke Funeral Home and at 9 a.m. at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Msgr. Peter Pape officiating. Interment will be made in the Catholic cemetery. Rosary will be said at the funeral home Friday at 8:30.



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