Source: Silverton Standard
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Great Surgeon Was Blunt”
City of publication: Silverton, Colorado
Date of publication: 21 March 1903
Volume number: 14
Issue number: 17
|“Great Surgeon Was Blunt.” Silverton Standard 21 Mar. 1903 v14n17: p. 10.|
|Herman Mynter; McKinley physicians; William McKinley (surgery); McKinley assassination (news coverage: criticism); assassinations (comparison).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Balthasar Gérard [variant first name below]; Matthew D. Mann; William McKinley; Herman Mynter; Philip II (Spain); William I.|
Great Surgeon Was Blunt
Stories Told of the Famous Physician Who Attended President
McKinley in the
Last Scenes of the Buffalo Tragedy.
Dr. Herman Mynter, the well-known Buffalo surgeon,
who died recently, was noted for his short replies and for the frankness with
which he treated patients.
“I think you are going to die,” he would say to a patient on whom he was about to operate. “However, we shall see.”
Hospital nurses in such cases had to be ready to whisper encouragingly to the patients, “Don’t mind Dr. Mynter; he always tells you the worst.”
One day the doctor’s telephone rang and over the wire came the voice of a woman who had picked out the wrong number.
“Hello, is this Miller, the baker?” she asked.
“No, madame,” replied the surgeon; “this is Mynter, the butcher.”
Dr. Mynter was the most interesting witness at the trial of Czolgosz for killing President McKinley. He called a spade a spade and his examination by the defence brought out the fact that he had never been too sanguine of the President’s chances. During the fateful week he never voiced his apprehension and was loyal in support of Dr. Mann and the other surgeons.
It was Dr. Mann who wielded the knife at the Exposition hospital and Dr. Mynter was beside him, giving hi[s] advice. Dr. Mynter might have been the operator, but he believed that Dr. Mann was a better abdominal surgeon than himself.
Dr. Mynter was courteous to most of the newspaper men about the Milburn house, where Mr. McKinley died, but one day he paused on his way to his carriage to pay his respects to the yellow fellows who were sending out absolute fakes.
“You will grant,” he said, with his Danish accent, “that it is impolite to ignore truth when it meets y[o]u face to face. Surprise your readers for one day by being truthful, accurate, and, above all, national.”
It was Dr. Mynter who recalled, after the President’s death, that only one ruler had ever survived a bullet wound. That one was William the Silent, who in 1580 was shot in the jugular vein at the instance of Philip II. A surgeon held a finger on the wound for three weeks. William recovered, but four years later was shot in the abdomen by Balthazar Gerard and died.