Dr. Eduard Dorsch and the Dorsch Memorial Library
Eduard Dorsch was born January 10, 1822 in Bavaria. He attended the University of Munich, studying medicine, botany, and philosophy. He left Germany after the 1848 revolutions, travelling to the United States with his wife, mother, and sister.
In Detroit he learned of the need for a German physician in Monroe, Michigan, and so he settled here. He and his wife Sophia had only one son, who died at eight months. Sophia died in 1884, and he married Augusta Uhl in November, 1885. Dorsch died two years later on his birthdate, January 10.
Dr. Dorsch was well-respected for his abilities as a physician, and for his research during the Civil War of the effects of rifle bullets in the human body. He wrote many volumes of manuscripts, largely unpublished, including poetry, plays, and satirical works. He painted watercolors of various botanical species, and was responsible for planting rare pink Egyptian and the yellow American lotus in Monroe marshes. He received a Ginkgo tree seedling from the Chinese ambassador to the United States in the mid-1860s, and planted it in his front yard. He kept many animals and birds, including several parrots which he kept in the house's bay window. Politically, he campaigned for Lincoln, and there is evidence that his home was used as an Underground Railroad Station.
Dr. Dorsch willed his house, thought to be built in the 1850s, to the City of Monroe to be used as a public library. After his wife's death in 1914, the house was given to the City, and opened in 1916 as a library. The northwest corner room on the first floor was to be a public "resting" room for ladies, and still contains some of the Dorschs' furniture. Much of Dr. Dorsch's personal library is still housed in the building, with the exception of his medical library which was donated to the University of Michigan. Some of his original artwork has been framed and is on display in the library.
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