Francis Berger Trudeau. From an historical marker in front of 105 Main Street.
Born: January 2, 1887
Died: July 19, 1956
Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau was the fourth and last child of Dr. and Mrs. E. L. Trudeau, and the only one to live to survive them. He became a doctor, practiced in Saranac Lake and succeeded to many of his father's responsibilities. He practiced medicine in E. L. Trudeau's home and office at the corner of Church and Main Streets, where his son Francis B. Trudeau later joined him.
Trudeau was born in Saranac Lake, New York, on January 2, 1887. He graduated from Yale College in 1909, and then studied medicine at Johns Hopkins University, receiving his medical degree in 1913. He interned at Bellevue Hospital in New York before joining his father's medical practice in Saranac Lake, shortly before his father's death.
In 1914 he married Helen Garretson; they had two sons: Edward, who managed a radio station in Albany; and Francis Jr., a physician in Saranac Lake.
Not surprisingly, Francis Trudeau's medical interests centered on tuberculosis. He wrote a number of papers on the subject, and served as a director of the National Tuberculosis Association. For nearly forty years he was a trustee of the Trudeau Foundation, of which he became president. After a long term as president of the Trudeau Sanatorium medical board, he was elected president of the institution in 1944.
He served as a Captain in the Medical Corps of the U. S. Army during the First World War. In 1947, he received from King George of England His Majesty's Medal for Services in the Cause of Freedom, for caring for members of the British fighting forces in America. He was elected president of both the Saranac Lake and the Franklin County Medical Societies.
He was also a sportsman and conservationist, and was a member and one-time president of the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club.
He was a member of the Climatological Association for thirty-six years, and served as Recorder from 1930 to 1946.
In 1950, Trudeau had a heart attack. He recovered, but persistent angina made him less active. The need to close the Sanatorium in 1954 due to a dramatic decrease in the number of patients was hard on Trudeau, signaling as it did the end of an institution that he and his father had spent their lives serving.
On July 19, 1956, Francis Berger Trudeau was boating on Upper St. Regis Lake with his wife and daughter-in-law and a friend, when he died suddenly, without warning. He is buried in the St. John's in the Wilderness Episcopal Church cemetery that his father founded.
“The three phases of TB treatment,” from the Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau’s Preface to his patient Isabel Smith’s memoir, Wish I Might, February 12, 1955:
Having been under treatment for over a quarter of a century, she has had personal experience with the three phases of tuberculosis therapy which have been developed during this period.
In the beginning the only known treatment consisted of simple bed rest, good food and fresh air. Later, additional means were devised to give the lung extra rest by collapsing it artificially, either by filling the pleural space which surrounds the lung with air (artificial pneumothorax) or by putting the lung at rest permanently through various surgical methods.
One of the first of the surgical procedures, which is still frequently used today, consists of the removal of sections of several ribs (thoracoplasty), thus allowing the chest wall to fall in over this area, diminishing or preventing lung motion beneath it.
The most recent development in the treatment of tuberculosis has been the discovery of the new “wonder drugs” especially streptomycin and isoniazid, used in conjunction with paraminosalicylic acid, the synthetic drug familiarly known as PAS. These have been in use, with or without various types of chest surgery, for approximately ten years.