The Quack's Daughter

  • Fri
    Jul 04
    12:00 pm -
    1:00 pm
  • Mon
    Jul 07
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am

A Small World Story - Greta Nettleton on Writers' Voices

The Quack's DaughterThis story begins in the 1800's, but let's pick it up on June 22, 2014, the last day of the 2014 Fair Fest, which was sponsored by KRUU.  That's the day that was partially rained out but the show went on in the Sondheim Theater, which is where I sat in the late afternoon for a while.  Between sets, Denise Gallagher spotted me and, with great enthusiasm, told me about this writer who was in Iowa City for a reading of her recently published book about her great grandmother, and drove down to Fairfield to do research on the subject of her next book, her great-great grandmother Mrs. Doctor Keck.

Denise used my cell phone to call the writer, Greta Nettleton, right then and there, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Mrs. Doctor Keck, was "the quack" in "The Quack's Daughter: A True Story About the Private Life of a Victorian College Girl."   She came to Fairfield as a young woman, married, bore children, and soon gained renown as a gifted healer; her medical knowledge probably based on her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.  Unfortunately, she ran afoul of the medical establishment of the time, and moved her family to Davenport, where she became a patent medicine millionairre and eventually sent her young daughter, Cora, east to Vassar College. 

Greta discovered her great grandmother Cora's diary and a trunkful of memorabilia from her college days, and from that came this wonderful book.

To bring this story full circle - Fairfield is celebrating its 175th birthday this weekend, Julya 4 - 5!  Greta will be back in town for Art Walk, with books to sign at the Fairfield Public Library's Art Walk booth. Anyone with an interest in Fairfield's history, or how the medical establishment got so established will enjoy speaking with Greta, or listening to this insightful interview.