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Dr Eli Abraham Kusel
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Birth: Jun. 3, 1874
California, USA
Death: Mar. 19, 1947
Butte County
California, USA

E. A. KUSEL, M. D.

A popular professional man who has made his mark in Butte County, the son of an honored pioneer and, therefore, deeply appreciative of the roll of those who settled and developed the country. Dr. E. A. Kusel is interested in the collection and preservation of historical date. His father was Edward A. Kusel, a native of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany, where he was born in 1824, and came to the United States in 1849, arriving in New York City. From that seaport he made his way to Chicago, walking much of the entire journey, and finally pushed on to St. Louis, from which center he set out, in 1852, to cross the great plains. He joined an ox-team train, but rode mule back, and first stopped in Sacramento, where he was employed in a furniture store. Soon afterward he came on to Marysville, and there he was engaged in the manufacture of canvas hose for mining. In pursuance of that enterprise, he purchased and brought into the district the first sewing machine bought around Cape Horn, using the same for sewing canvas hose for the miners.

In 1856, Mr. Kusel came to Oroville, and with came the same sewing machine, so that he was able to continue here the manufacture of miners’ hose. This gave him a start and enabled him to set himself up in the general merchandise business, establishing on Montgomery Street the well-known store. He was also an expert photographer, and built a gallery in the rear of the merchandise store; and some of his work is still to be seen here in homes and offices—almost perfect photographs, after all these years.

E. A. Kusel, Sr., was a man of strong character and pronounced personality, and enjoyed the intimate friendship of leading and representative people. He was a good friend, for example, of General Bidwell and other old settlers well-known here in those early days. On account of his personal experiences and his rare way of talking about that which he recollected, he was an interesting man to meet and listen to. He was also something of a genius in his line, and original enough to wish to get down to the bottom of things and to use only the most modern methods. His services, therefore, in behalf of better school facilities were valuable to the communities with which he was associated, and as a school trustee he built the first brick school house in Oroville. He filled that office on the school board for about twenty years, and was so interested in the real progress of the schools of the district that he personally visited them almost daily.

In other ways Dr. Kusel’s father placed his culture and technical experience where they might serve at least as an incentive to others. He understood telegraphy well enough to telegraph, and installed the first telephones in Oroville and vicinity. Few or no public improvements were proposed that he was not ready to endorse. In business, he was eminently successful, for he believed in the necessity of first prospering himself before he could be of assistance to others, and his store is still running under the old firm name of E. A. Kusel and Son—his son, C. E. Kusel, now mayor or Oroville, being in charge. Edward A Kusel passed away in Oroville. During his entire life he was a student and constant reader and took pride in informing himself thoroughly on all subjects, so that in his lifetime he acquired a very large and well selected library of general information. He was a fluent speaker and an interesting conversationalist.

But the splendid foundations for worth and accomplishment in the Kusel family were laid before the advent of the physician who has contributed something definite to the advancement of medial science and practice in this country. The grandfather, Abraham Kusel, served in the German Army, in the legions under Blucher and Willington in the Napoleonic wars, and after he had been discharged from the army, in 1814, he remained for a while in Germany, and late in life came to Milwaukee, where some of his children resided. There at the age of eighty-one, in 1874, he closed his not uneventful live.

Dr. Kusel’s mother, who was Bertha Heibronner, was a native of Bavaria, who came to California by way of Panama in the early fifties, and died here in 1881. She was the mother of five children, among whom the subject of our sketch was the youngest.

Born in Oroville in 1874 and, therefore, a native son of one of the most interesting types, his father having elected to adopt America as his home, E. A Kusel attended the public schools, and then graduated from the Oakland high school. His father had always been interested in the study of medicine, and this gave the lad the incentive which led him to attend the Cooper Medical College, now the medical department of Stanford University, from which he graduated in 1895 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He then entered the City and County Hospital of San Francisco, and passed a year there as an interne, gathering the most valuable practical experience. He also spent two years at the Lane Hospital and in the Cooper clinics.

In 1898, Dr. Kusel returned to Oroville, as the resident physician at the Odd Fellows State Home, at Thermalito, and at the end of that year he opened a private office for practice at Oroville, and here, with the exception of the period which he has been absent from the country taking postgraduate work, he has been ever since. With typical American ambition and inherited scientific eagerness and thoroughness, Dr. Kusel, in 1911, went east to New York City and, after pursuing certain practical work there, graduated, again with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, from the New York Post-graduate Medical School. Not yet satisfied, Dr. Kusel crossed the ocean and continued his researches at the University of Vienna, finally graduating from that famous medical school with the highest medical degree it confers. He visited the principal hospitals in the Old World, and in 1912 he returned to the United States.

Taking up his work again at Oroville, Dr. Kusel made a specialty of surgery. He is serving as surgeon to the Western Pacific Railroad, the Northern Electric Railroad, the Great Western Power Company, the Swain Lumber Company, and the Natomas Consolidated Company of California. In the meantime he had begun to acquire that enviable local reputation which has made him in demand as a private practitioner. He owns the Kusel building, which was erected by his father and which he purchased from the estate. Here he has fitted up an elegant suite of offices, modern and well equipped. He is an active member of the State and County Medical Society, and was formerly president of the Butte County Medical Society.

A Republican inclined to do his own thinking, and an Independent since 1912, in both name as well as reality, Dr. Kusel is an active member of the Argonaut Parlor of the N. S. G. W., of which he has also been president.

Source: "History of Butte County, Cal.," by George C. Mansfield, Pages 1300-1302, Historic Record Co, Los Angeles, CA, 1918.
Family links: 
  Edward Abraham Kusel (1824 - 1907)
  Bertha Heilbronner Kusel (1837 - 1885)
  Carolus Edward Kusel (1857 - 1921)*
  Minnie Lea Kusel (1863 - 1942)*
  Emil Edward Kusel (1867 - 1941)*
  Eli Abraham Kusel (1874 - 1947)
*Calculated relationship
Eli A. Kusel, MD
June 3,1874-March 19, 1947
Native of Oroville
Oroville Jewish Cemetery
Butte County
California, USA
Plot: R-1 Sec B
Created by: Bob Goodman
Record added: Aug 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57305654
Dr Eli Abraham Kusel
Added by: idahonetto
Dr Eli Abraham Kusel
Added by: Bob Goodman
Dr Eli Abraham Kusel
Added by: Kusel Mary
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