AN EXORBITANT PRICE FOR PULLING A TOOTH
By S. C. Turnbo
Mrs. Mary Ann Fritts a pioneer lady in relating incidents of the olden time in Madison County, Ark. tells of a doctor who lived at Huntsville that made exceedingly big charges for his services. "On one occasion" said she, "when I was 12 years old or in 1850 I was attacked with a severe pain in one of my teeth which caused me to suffer a great deal. Domestic remedies gave only temporary relief. The tooth affected was what we called them stomach teeth and finally there come a swelling on my chin that was of a callous nature and which was evidently caused by the aching tooth, and my people decided that the only cure for it was to have the tooth extracted. A Doctor Farris lived at Huntsville and John Wesley Hankins an uncle of my mother took me to this doctor and he pulled the offensive masticator out and charged me $4 for his work of only two or three minutes time. The opperation in drawing the tooth out was very painful and I thought he was going to jerk my head off instead of getting the tooth out. I paid the doctor in silver and I give you the account to show how a few doctors understand how to charge for their services whether they know anything about diseases and their cures or not.
Springfield-Greene County Library