NameJohn Christian Serkland
Birth23 Feb 1872, St. James, Minnesota
Death9 May 1948, Fergus Falls, Minnesota Age: 76
BurialHamar Cemetery, Rothsay, Minnesota
Birth1 Dec 1875, Rothsay, Minnesota
Death24 Dec 1912, Rothsay, Minnesota Age: 37
BurialHamar Cemetery, Rothsay, Minnesota
FatherAnders B. Pedersen (1838-1919)
MotherJoran Watnas (1843-1926)
Children Alice Helen (1906-1996)
 Alvin Percival (1906-1989)
 Chester James (1909-1996)
Birth11 May 1886
Death2 Feb 1973 Age: 86
BurialHamar Cemetery, Rothsay, Minnesota
FatherRev. Magne Langeland (1854-1921)
MotherSigrid Pederson (1861-1921)
Notes for John Christian Serkland
Dr. Serkland Served During Flu Epidemic
Beloved “Country Doctor” Went For Weeks Without Rest To Visit Patients

Rothsay -- Tuesday, May 11, 1948 -- Nearly half a century of service to the people of this vicinity by Dr. J. C. Serkland ended with his death early Sunday morning. He was 76 years old, had practiced medicine here for 48 years.

Funeral services will be held from the Hamar Lutheran church at two o’clock Thursday afternoon, May 13. Death came at St. Luke’s hospital in Fargo after an illness of one month.

The span of Dr. Serkland’s practice encompassed three full generations and in the case of a few of the pioneer families it extended over as many as five generations. He came to Rothsay on July 10, 1900. The hardships that went with a country practice in those early days were experienced in full with the stamina and will to endure as important as medical skill. His unflagging devotion to duty is well shown in the tremendous exertion which was called in the influenza epidemic of 1918 and 1919. For weeks at a time virtually his only rest came in the form of naps as he drove through the country from one home to another. How many hundreds of lives he saved in just that one winter can never be calculated.

John Christian Serkland was born in a pioneer home near St. James, Minnesota, February 23, 1872, to Peder and Helene Serkland. His decision to serve a useful life as a physician came early in his youth. He had to plan carefully for his education because means were limited. In 1890 he enrolled in the Mankato teacher’s college. Following graduation in 1894 he became the principal of the school at Franklin and taught for two years before enrolling in the University of Minnesota school of medicine. Between his junior and senior years in medical school he worked as an associate with Dr. L. A. Nippert in north Minneapolis. Upon completing the work at the university and passing the state board medical examinations in April of 1900, Dr. Serkland decided to locate here where he began and ended his life work.

In June of 1904 Dr. Serkland and Berthe Seline Pedersen of Rothsay were united in marriage. Three children were born to the union, Alice, Alvin and Chester. Berthe Seline Serkland passed away in December of 1912. In November of 1920 Dr. Serkland and Anna Langeland of Rothsay were married. She survives him as do five grandsons and one granddaughter who with the children mourn the death of a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

The respect and friendship of three generations was earned by Dr. Serkland’s complete honesty and sincerity. In even greater testimony to him was the full faith of thousands of patients to whom he ministered. During the last months when his strength no longer permitted maintenance of regular office hours, patients came regularly to the home for consultation, advice and treatment in so far as possible. Even the departure for the hospital at the time of his final illness was delayed in order that a patient who came just then could be cared for before leaving.

During his years in Rothsay Dr. Serkland served as mayor for two terms, as member of the village council, on the school board and as trustee of Hamar Lutheran church of which he was long a member. He was a charter member of the Park Region Medical Association and a member of the state medical association.

While of the old school of medicine, Dr. Serkland was still alert to all advances in medical science and adopted new techniques and treatments as their worth was proven. He was widely known for the particular success he had in the treatment of pneumonia in a period when that disease was high in fatalities.

The Rothsay community has lost one of its outstanding citizens with the death of Dr. Serkland.91
Notes for Berthe Selene (Spouse 1)
Mrs. J. C. Serkland
DIED--At her home in this village, Tuesday Dec. 24, 1912.  Mrs. J. C. Serkland age thirty seven years and twenty two days.  Her maiden name was Bertha Selene Pedersen, daughter of A. B. Pedersen and was born in St. Paul and moved with her parents to Rothsay in 1880 where the family has since made their home, her father being one of the first merchants of the village and who today is one o the best known and most highly esteemed residents of this county.  About two and a half years ago it was apparent that she was afflicted with tuberculosis of the lungs  and was taken to a sanitarium in St Paul for treatment where she remained for six months.  Her case was then pronounced practically hopeless and she was brought home resigned to patiently await the end.
 Her immediate relatives who survive to mourn her loss are; her husband, one daughter 8 years old, one son 6 years and one son three and a half years old; also a sister Mrs. C.W. Rand of Grantsburg, Wis., besides her aged mother and father; all of whom were present during her last moments.
 She was confined to her bed for the past year and all the care and love that skilled physicians and an anxious household could devise and apply for her comfort and assistance were brought into service, but the fiat of Him who rules our destinies decided the result.
 It is difficult to pay a fitting tribute to the memory of so noble a woman -- one whose every day life was embellished by the most charming and lovable attributes of her sex.
 The last services were held at the Hamar church, Rev. M. Langeland officiating , and was attended by one of the largest concourse of people ever assembled here to pay final respects to a departed resident.
 Appropriate songs were touchingly rendered by the Rothsay male choir and by the congregation, and the floral tributes were profuse and beautiful.
 The remains were laid to rest in the Hamar church cemetery.61
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