Goodland Republic, Friday, June 12, 1903
Died: June 8, 1903
Doerfer Succumbs After Five Years
With Cancer of the Face
Peter Doerfer. for many years a resident of Sherman county, and a veteran of the civil war. died at his home in Goodland, Monday. June 8, from the effects of a cancer, which afflicted him for five years. He was 54 years old. Funeral services were held at the Catholic church at two o'clock Tuesday afternoon and burial made in the Goodland cemetery.
The cancer made its first appearance upon the face of Mr. Doerter five years ago. After it was discovered that the small red spot which made its discomfiting appearance was cancer, Mr. Doerfer went to Kansas City where he received the treatment of a specialist. The sore was healed over in a short time, and when he returned home no anxiety was felt as to the returning of the trouble, but in less than a month the malignant growth began to return and spread rapidly around the point where it first broke out. From that day to the time of his death Mr. Doerter was a great sufferer, and nothing but a noble fortitude and unusual bodily vigor enabled him to make so long a fight for his life.
He returned to the same specialist who had first treated him, but was told that the cancer was beyond control. He then went to Denver in the hope of finding some specialist whose methods might avail, but all in vain. Wherever he went and he counseled the most eminent specialists in the west, the same discouraging opinions were always given. At last he returned home to face a fight against death. All the rest he got was from the temporary relief afforded by the influence of anaesthetics.
The cancer all the while continued to spread until the whole side of his face was eaten away. Mr. Doerfer died from exhaustion rather from the activity of the cancer upon any of the vital parts beneath the face.
Mr. Doerfer was born in Germany, but emigrated to this country early in life. He enlisted in the Third Wisconsin infantry, serving 18 months in the civil war. He was only 18 years old when he was mustered out in July, 1864.
It was in 1885 that Mr. Doerter and his family came to Sherman county. He was one of the pioneers of northwest Kansas, and took up a homestead in Smoky township and knew what it was to face the uncertain fortunes of a new country. The deceased leaves a wife, five sons and three daughters.
CONTRIBUTED BY LLOYD P. HOLBROOK, RESEARCHER OF G. A. R. POST , W. R. ROBERTSON POST #428