William Henry Rouse M.D.

1828 - 1893

”Dr. William Henry Rouse, who spent his last days in Sioux Falls, where he passed away, August 25, 1893, was one of the pioneer physicians of Dakota territory. In fact, much of his life was spent on the frontier and his efforts contributed to the upbuilding of the various districts in which he lived. He was born on his father’s farm at Saline, Michigan, May 7, 1828, and there passed his boyhood as one of a family of twelve children, eleven of whom lived to adult years. Having decided upon medical practice as a life work, he was graduated from the State Medical College at An Arbor, Michigan, and began professional activity at an early age.

On the 5th of May, 1853, Dr. Rouse was united in marriage to Miss Emily Adaline Comstock, of Saline, Michigan, and soon afterward they removed to Minnesota, settling in the young city of Minneapolis. Dr. Rouse entered upon the active practice of his profession there and identified himself with the early history of the city and state. When the Civil war broke out he responded to the country’s call for volunteers and went to the front with the Eighth Minnesota Infantry Regiment, serving as assistant surgeon until the close of the war. When hostilities ceased he was stationed at Fort Ripley, Minnesota, as government physician and surgeon and at various times served the government as agency physician at Sisseton, South Dakota, and in the Indian territory with the Nez Perces agency.

When his military duty was over Dr. Rouse rejoined his family. Five children were born to him and his wife, as follows: Jennie E., who is the wife of A. F. Clark, of Saline, Michigan; Maude W., who is the widow of Frank L. Boyce and resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; William G., a resident of Three Forks, Montana; Eddie A., who died in infancy; and Ellen Alma, deceased.

About 1878 Dr. Rouse removed with his family to Lennox, Dakota territory, taking a homestead and a tree claim near the town. He there resided for some years, proved up his claim and developed the farm. Eventually, however, he sold the land and established his home in Sioux Falls, where he resided to the time of his death, which occurred August 25, 1893. His professional service and his participation in public work along other lines contributing to the upbuilding and development of the state made him a valued citizen and all who came in contact with him entertained for him high regard because of his sterling worth.”

George W. Kingsbury, History of Dakota Territory, Vol. 5 (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1915) p. 786.

Dr. William Henry Rouse died of pneumonia at the age of 65 years and was buried in August 1893, in Block 5 – Lot 3 of the cemetery along with his wife, Emily, who survived until 1914, dying at the age of 80 years. Also buried in the family lot are several of his children: William; Elsie; Eddie; and Ellen.