Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Edward Oscar Vollum, MD, 1880-1928

Edward Vollum, MD

Whenever I have something important--a letter, a bill, an invitation--my workaholic husband needs to know about or act on, I'll leave it on his drawing board. It's a sure way to get his attention. A few weeks ago, I put a note about his grandfather there. Surprisingly, that is the first time my husband remembers learning he and his grandfather share the same birthday, February 13. What else could we learn about him? Searches in online databases and our family archives provided some answers about this successful, energetic man who died so young.

 Edward Oscar Vollum was born Feb. 13, 1880 on the family farm near Albert Lea, Freeborn County, Minnesota to Norwegian immigrants, Thore and Uni (Simonson) Vollum. He was the second of eight children and the oldest son. He attended high school at the sectarian Luther Academy in Albert Lea, graduating in June 1900. He earned his undergraduate degree at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and graduated in 1904. He immediately entered medical school at the University of Iowa and earned his M.D. in 1908. This was followed by a year of post-graduate study in Chicago with Dr. Joseph Bolivar DeLee, who advocated safer, cleaner obstetrical practices at his maternity clinic in Chicago. Following this training, Edward returned to Bode, Iowa to practice general medicine.

Edward and Ananda on their Wedding Day
Edward and Ananda (it is Ananda, not Amanda) Dyrdal were married on Oct. 27, 1909. Their three children were born in Bode, Iowa. By the time their youngest daughter, Vivian, was born in 1916, Edward's health was suffering. He was about 37 years old when he had a stroke that caused him to interrupt his medical career. After his recovery, the family moved back to Albert Lea in 1918 where he and Dr. L. J. Kaasa, established a successful medical partnership in the Albert Lea State Bank building.

With a busy practice and growing family, somehow Edward found time to remain active in the community. Not only was he a member of the Masonic Lodge, Lions Club, Elks, Sons of Norway, the American Medical Association, the First Lutheran Church, and other organizations, he also served Freeborn County as its public health officer. His friends, colleagues, and patients found him to be a kind, personable man who was interested in many things.
Edward's Masonic Sword
In late February 1928, he became ill with the flu and was bedridden for several days. Only one day after resuming his regular activities, he suffered a second, debilitating stroke. In and out of consciousness, he finally succumbed and died a few days later. Burial occurred at the Lakewood Cemetery in the family plot.

E. O. Vollum's Timeline
  • Born Feb. 13, 1880. Register for free at Ancestry to learn more about the Vollum and Dyrdal families.
  • 1907. Edward held office of treasurer for the Edda Literary Society at University of Iowa
  • 1910. Federal Census lists Edward and Ananda in Delano, Humboldt, Iowa
  • Nov. 4, 1911. Daughter, Thelma Atlanta, born in Iowa.
  • Oct. 27, 1915. Son, Edward Oscar, born in Iowa.
  • Dec. 14, 1916. Daughter, Vivian Dorothy, born in Iowa
  • Sept. 12, 1918. Registered for the WWI draft in Bode, Iowa.
  • 1920. Federal Census lists the family in Albert Lea, Freeborn Co., Minnesota
  • March 3, 1928. Died of paralytic stroke, age 48, and buried in Lakewood Cemetery, Albert Lea
  • By 1932, Ananda and children made a new home for themselves in Los Angeles, California.
Selected Sources
  • "California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968." Digital images. : 2012.
  • "Death Comes to Dr. E. O. Vollum." Undated clipping, March 1928, from unidentified newspaper. Dietze-Vollum Family Papers. Privately held.
  • Hafner, Arthur Wayne ed. "Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929." Database. : 2012.
  • "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images,, Edward Oscar Vollum, accessed Aug. 24, 2012.
  • "U.S. School Yearbooks." Digital images. : 2011.