[Ottuma, Iowa? nd] [1870s]. Photograph of the Caster & Morris House, 5 3/8 x 7 5/8 in., mounted on stiff card stock, 10 x 14 in. A decorative border around the photo is printed on the card stock. Chipping and wear, soiling and a few tears to the backing board. A faded image of a four story building with a large sign on its roof bearing the name of Dr. Paul Caster. The lower floor has a sign for groceries mounted on the front of the building. In the foreground are six well dressed people, four men (two with top hats) and two women (in long dresses). At the left is a man on crutches, standing in front of a wagon; at the right two more wagons, horse-drawn. A number of people crowd the front staircase of the building, more are on the balconies and in the windows. Item #65297
Paul Caster (1827-1881) built the "infirmary" pictured in this photograph in 1869 to house patients arriving to be cured by his method of magnetic healing and "laying on of hands." An article in the Ottumwa Democrat on Jan. 4, 1872 describes the brick building, with accommodations for housing 74 patients, and mentions that Dr. Caster treated over 3500 patients between Feb. 6 and Dec. 25, 1871.