Dr. Noble, like Dr. Nash, had two callings. After engaging in the practice of medicine for about twelve years in the city of his adoption, he abandoned it for the jeweler's trade, which he had learned before medicine drew him on. Dr. Noble and Dr. Nash lived out their years in Port Huron and both died at advanced ages in 1870.
The next prominent medical pioneer to locate in St. Clair County came via the military post, Fort Gratiot. Dr. Alfred E. Fechet, a young Frenchman, twenty-four year of age, settled in Port Huron after varied and interesting experiences. He had studied medicine and surgery at the medical school at Tours, and at the University of France, from which university he received his degree. Later, and at the then famous University of Heidelberg, he took a post graduate course. Returning to France he was appointed a junior medical officer in the French Army of Occupation in Algiers. His service there was short, as he became involved in a military conspiracy to restore the Bonapartes. The plot was betrayed, most of his companions were tried and sentenced, but although stationed in the interior of Algiers remote from the coast, he was enabled, through timely warning, to escape and finally reach New York with very little means.
A few weeks’ trial practicing his profession in a strange land, the language of which he spoke but haltingly, brought the young French doctor to desperate straits. Fortunately at this time the government was seeking young doctors for service in the Seminole War in Florida, and Dr. Fechet luckily secured an appointment corresponding somewhat to the contract army doctors of recent years.
Service in Florida was short, as the command he was at attached to, a battery of the United States artillery, was ordered to Fort Gratiot. Dr. Fechet engaged in the practice of medicine in 1841 in the village of Port Huron nearby, which had begun to exhibit a healthy growth, and he was the first practitioner in the county to make surgery his especial domain.
Surgery was handicapped in many ways in those days. Ether and chloroform anesthesia were unknown, and asepsis and antiseptic were still back in the dark.
Dr. Fechet believed that doctors were called as much as ministers to a high vocation—that of relieving suffering humanity. He, with the high minded in the profession, believed that when a doctor was called to the bedside of the sick, no thought of the fee should ever enter his mind till after life had been saved, or suffering alleviated. Dr. Fechet died in 1869.
In 1836, Dr. Henry B. Turner, an eccentric rather crusty Englishman from Norfolk, came to St. Clair and remained there until death in 1850. Although a man of good education and well informed in his profession, he did not care to practice much and lived a rather retired life. His daughter, Clementina, married H. M. Monson, who was a prominent resident of St. Clair in the early days.
The first physician who settled in Memphis was Dr. Jeremiah Sabin,