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Wisconsin Historical Images

People Counting Pennies

People Counting Pennies
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Title: People Counting Pennies
Description: People counting pennies that came in the mail for the Dr Kate Million Penny fundraiser. Country doctor Kate Pelham Newcomb -- known as "the angel on snowshoes" for her willingness to go wherever she was needed during harsh northern winters -- spearheaded a movement in 1953 to build a much-needed hospital in Woodruff, encouraging local children to collect a million pennies. The effort captured everyone's imagination, and coins came in the mail from every state and many foreign nations. Her dream came true in 1954 when the Lakeland Memorial Hospital opened its doors. A giant penny was created to commemorate this event, and "The World's Largest Penny" still sits in the city park of this picturesque northern Wisconsin town. In 2003, the community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Million Penny Parade, with a parade featuring those who participated in the original parade and "Dr. Kate Babies" - those who had been delivered by Dr. Newcomb. The hospital is now the Howard Young Medical Center (which they proudly proclaim started with "just one penny"), and in 1988 the community created the Dr. Kate Newcomb Museum. The WHS Press has published a children's book on her life called Dr. Kate: Angel on Snowshoes; see

Image ID: 56206
March 22, 1954 
City, State: Woodruff, Wisconsin
Classified File
Genre: Photograph
Email 01/30/09 from Lynda Bie, Woodruff WI, providing the first line of the caption; "I was part of this wonderful event."
Subjects: Fund raising
Clothing and dress

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Please Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society.

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