Picotte, Susan La Flesche

Picotte, Susan La Flesche

(1865–1915) physician, tribal leader; born on the Omaha reservation in Nebraska. Daughter of Omaha Chief Joseph La Flesche (Iron Eye), she was educated in New Jersey and then at the Hampton Institute (Va.), graduating in 1886 with high honor. She then studied at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1889, and returned to her tribe as a physician (1890–94) and all-around medical overseer. In 1894 she married Henry Picotte (half Sioux, half French) and they moved to Bancroft, Nebr., where she continued her medical practice while raising two children. With the founding of the town of Walthill in the Omaha reservation, she became so active in community and child affairs, as well as a medical doctor, that she was effectively the leader of the Omahas. The hospital she founded (1913) was named after her upon her death.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.