About this book

I AM ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that if my father knew that I was writing a book about his life he would insist that I “Give it up.”  Almost from the start he preferred the solitary life without any notoriety. The seven years he spent on his fathers ranch in Panguitch, Utah, proved that. Then again on his mission, the German authorities were suspicious of the Mormons so Welby spent many hours and literally days in police headquarters.

His story deserves to be told! It was John Ruskin who said “The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” My father is an example of that principle. From humble beginnings in Provo, Utah he rose to become a successful medical doctor and the acting State Health Commissioner for the State of Utah. Later in his career he was an administrator with the United States Public Health Service. In addition to his career he was a devoted father and husband.

Besides other interests in his life he was an extremely passionate homing pigeon competitor and was highly regarded by his pigeon associates throughout the Napa Valley area. He and his wife Alice were active members of the Cosmo Club in Salt Lake City and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

This history is also a tribute to the Bigelow family beginning with John Biglo who set sail in the early 17th century from England to America. Settling in Watertown, Massachusetts, he and his progeny were destined to make a significant contribution in the new world.

In the pages that follow, you will read more of the life and times of this great man, my father Welby W. Bigelow, Sr. He lived a great life, was a devoted husband, father and community member. He was a doctor and the son of a doctor. Later in his career he was both a state and a federal health administrator. His great-grandfather was an associate of the Prophet Joseph Smith; his grandfather came across the plains with the Mormon pioneers. Welby came from pioneer stock and his ancestry can be traced back to the 13th century.

But his story has gone largely untold, and so I have combed through family records, journals and public sources to bring his life into focus. If you are a Bigelow, then his blood is in your blood and his heritage is your heritage. I hope that just knowing a little about this man and his history will help you understand more about yourself, who you are, and where you came from.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my father and on back to our progenitor John Biglo for their exemplary lives and for their great accomplishments to society. You are in for an enjoyable journey through time as you sit back relax and enjoy The Country Doctor. Have fun!

Grant W. Bigelow

Vancouver, Washington

December 2007

The Country Doctor
Dr. Welby W. Bigelow Sr.
1902 - 1991

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Click  here for a gallery of downloadable pictures from the book, including many that were not used:

Photo gallery