C. H. Gellenthien, M.D., 1953 (Credit: Merrill Chase)
Born November 22, 1900 in Chicago, Illinois, Carl Herman Gellenthien (1900-1989) attended medical school at the University of Chicago, College of Medicine. His medical career was placed on hold in 1924 after a self-diagnosis of tuberculosis in a school laboratory. It was Gellenthien's contraction of the disease that introduced him to the state of New Mexico, where he recovered for thirteen months at Valmora Industrial Sanatorium. Although he had planned on being a medical missionary in India, Gellenthien decided to complete his medical education and return to New Mexico. In 1927, he went back to Valmora to practice general medicine and to marry Alice Brown, the daughter of Dr. William T. Brown, the sanatorium's founder and medical director.
For more than sixty years, Dr. Gellenthien was a physician at Valmora, where he became medical director of the sanatorium on the death of Dr. Brown. Along the way he became a nationally recognized tuberculosis specialist. During his distinguished career, Dr. Gellenthien served as Medical Director of Valmora, President of the New Mexico Medical Society, Vice-President of the American Medical Association as well as President of the American Academy of Tuberculosis Physicians. In 1986, Dorothy Simpson Beimer wrote a book entitled, Hovels, Haciendas, and House Calls, documenting Gellenthien's lifelong relationship with tuberculosis. Carl Gellenthien died in 1989 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
From the guide to the Carl H. Gellenthien Oral History, 1984, (New Mexico Health Historical Collection UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center.)