Fred Quam, Fargo, then sent in a couple of medical receipts he’d inherited from his grandmother. One was from a doctor in Reed, a town in McLean County, N.D., to a man (his name is unreadable) in 1899 “for professional services rendered your deceased daughter Inga (three visits and medication), $6.”

The other was to Fred’s grandmother from St. John’s Hospital, Fargo, in 1912. It reads, “Two weeks board and attendance, $32.20; operation supplies, $7; surgical dressings, $1.50; medicine, $1.25; total, $41.95.”

Fred, by the way, was 104 when he sent this to “Neighbors.”

Fred Wosick, Fargo, sent a bill which was sent in 1917 to Mrs. Chester Butler, Lisbon, N.D., by the Lisbon Hospital for the birth of her boy. It is itemized: “Delivery fee, $2; room, board and care, two weeks, $60; dressing material, $2.60; drugs, medical supplies, etc., 40 cents; circumcision, $2. Total $67.”

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Fred LaVenuta, Fargo, (hey, we’ve got three Freds here!), writes that “In 1964, I was a resident at New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center in Manhattan. At the time, the emergency room fee was $7.50. When Medicare started on July 1st, 1965, the fee went to $15, which helps explain why medical costs have skyrocketed.

“When I joined Dakota Clinic in 1972, we had two office visit charges: $8 for a new patient and $6 for a follow-up visit, and at that time, the Dakota Hospital daily room charge was $92. We’ve come a long way (to quote an old cigarette ad).”

And then Ardis Rhoades, Coleraine, Minn., sent the the bill from the New Rockford, N.D., Hospital for the birth of her son Michael in 1952: “Room, 6 days at $6.50 a day, $33; operating room, $5; anesthetic, $1.50; delivery room, $10; dressings, $5; drugs, $5; lab, $2; nursery service, $9; North Dakota tax, 71 cents; total, $71.21.”

“Michael is now a retired air traffic controller,” Ardis writes. “I also had three other children, all born in Minnesota.

“I am now a 91-year-old great-grandmother to 15 kiddies,” she wrote last year.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email