More about the book


Journeyman: William Garner Sutherland, the Formative Years (1873-1900) chronicles the early life and times of William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954), the osteopathic physician who is acknowledged as the originator and developer of the osteopathic cranial concept. Journeyman tells Dr. Sutherland’s backstory, beginning with his parents’ upbringing on neighbouring farms in Wisconsin and ending when, at age twenty-seven, he accepted a Doctor of Osteopathy diploma from osteopathy’s founder, Andrew Taylor Still. On June 28, 1900, Sutherland graduated from the original osteopathic educational institution—the American School of Osteopathy (ASO), established by Dr. Still in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri.

Because Journeyman tells Dr. Sutherland’s story prior to his graduation, he is mostly referred to simply as “Will” in this book. Will left no autobiography or diaries and only a few personal notations. Instead, he wrote about his work. Therefore, Journeyman uses information about the people, places, and events from Will’s environment to create his biography. Vivid descriptions—including landscapes, a blizzard, and a tornado that Will experienced—together with photographs and maps of places where members of Will’s family lived, worked, studied, or died, position the reader alongside Will and the nineteenth-century characters with whom he interacted. These figures include family members, employers, mentors, and instructors at the ASO.

Will was the second of four children born to Dorinda and Robert Sutherland. The Sutherlands were an ordinary family leading a transient life in Midwestern America during the latter part of the 1800s. Readers will follow the misadventures of Will’s father, who was a dreamer, a seeker, and a well-intentioned and honourable man, despite his poor decisions and bad luck. Robert relocated Dorinda and the children—Stephen James, William Garner, Robert Guy, and Helen Ivy—multiple times throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakota Territory.

It was while living in the newly opened frontier town of Blunt, Dakota, that Will’s nearly destitute parents indentured the boy to George Schlosser, the editor of the town’s newspaper, the Blunt Advocate. Under Schlosser’s supervision, Will joined “the force” of the newspaper as an apprentice. Deprived of his teenage years by having to work and leave his family behind, Will entered a man’s world at the approximate age of twelve and began to realize its opportunities and to master its challenges.

With only a brief interlude, Will worked for several Midwestern newspapers for over a dozen years, holding various production positions, including compositor, printer, foreman, journeyman, and reporter. During that time, he developed a highly refined set of manual skills and the mechanical aptitude, power of concentration, and receptivity that would position him to realize the potential for inherent motion within human skull bones; the connection was revealed by a display in a cabinet at the ASO. That realization formed the basis of his revolutionary osteopathic cranial concept. It is noteworthy that, among the hundreds of people that walked by that display of skull bones at the ASO, only one person was inspired by them—William Garner Sutherland.


About creating this book


For those of you who might be wondering, I thought I would describe some of the personal effort and good luck that went into creating this book about the early life and times of William Garner Sutherland. Luck was a key ingredient in producing the book, but luck does not just fall from the sky. Luck cannot be purchased or manufactured. Instead, it usually arises when it is least expected and always, it seems, in conjunction with dogged diligence. Without the luck that came my way, and without my unyielding persistence, it would have been extremely difficult to produce this rendition of Sutherland’s early life, regardless of the great resources and time available to me. 

I believe that the process started in 2008 during the Summer Olympics, which were held in Beijing, China. At the time, I was considering writing a book about the history of osteopathy. I had already amassed and synthesized a great deal of information on Andrew Taylor Still and John Martin Littlejohn, both of whom made major contributions to the osteopathic profession. In addition to these men, I believed that William Garner Sutherland needed to be fully acknowledged as a major contributor to the profession. Sutherland had graduated from the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) in the same year as Littlejohn (1900), and both were exposed to the philosophy of A.T. Still at the school. Sutherland and Littlejohn were students of Still at the ASO, and Littlejohn was also one of the school’s instructors. As I began to research Sutherland, I discovered that there was very little information to be found about him, even though his career extended well beyond the active years of Still and Littlejohn.

The lack of information acted like a vacuum, drawing my attention in Sutherland’s direction. That attention soon became an intense interest, and then a decade-long passion. The years have erased many of the details of how I jumped from point to point and eventually connected most of the dots in my research. But I do recall starting with the only extant biography of Sutherland, With Thinking Fingers, which had been written by Mrs. Adah Sutherland, Will’s second wife. She left a number of tiny clues that allowed me to both dig on and dig in. With Thinking Fingers provided a starting point in my research, with the names (sometimes spelled incorrectly) of three of Will’s grandparents, both of his parents, his two brothers, and his sister. Adah also provided the names of some of the places in which the family lived, including Portage County, Wisconsin, and Troy, Minnesota. In addition, Adah mentioned some of the newspapers for which Sutherland worked, namely the Blunt Advocate, the Aberdeen Daily News, and the Mapleton Enterprise.

Although this is an authorized biography of Dr. Sutherland, it is not necessarily the definitive biography, nor will it be the only biography. There could be another one, perhaps told from the perspective of an American, a male, an osteopathic physician, or a much younger person than myself. The storyteller is as important as the story itself. The writer decides what to include and exclude and how to frame the information; no matter how hard they try to remain remote from the story, their essence is part of their work. The experiences of our lives influence how we decide to do things, how we interpret what we experience, and, most importantly, how we record those experiences. Once recorded, the record is permanent; we aren’t able to change our mind on the printed paper, even if one day we end up asking ourselves, “Why did I write it that way?” However, in this website, I am free to edit it or change this text, these pictures, at any time. The information here is not frozen as it is in the book.

Each day brings change to our experiences, exposures, thoughts, and ideas. This publication of Journeyman is now frozen and unchanged, even if its author may later develop a different perspective on a certain chapter, section, sentence, or even a word that was carefully chosen at the time of writing to convey an idea.

While I write this intro, I’m anticipating that the book will be released in just two more weeks, and all this blah-blah that you’re reading now may ultimately be of little interest. But a writer’s words and a reader’s interpretation of those words matter. Consider that every person that I write about in this book once had a full life, with a family, a job, aspirations, and adventures—and every one of them is now deceased, dead, passed away, gone forever. We can no longer ask them, “What was it like?” or “What were you thinking at the time?” or “How did it make you feel?” Nor this question, asked by Edward O. Johnstone, DO, back in 1947:


When Will later wrote about his response to the question posed above, he paraphrased Johnstone’s wording as, “Where did I find 'the bug' to think out this 'cranial stuff'?” He then proceeded to answer his own rhetorical question:

                                            gills of a fish reason                                                      

It is clear that words on a page are open to readers' interpretation. How, where, and when Will’s words were said—the context of the statements—are just as important as the words themselves. After reading the above paragraph, you might ask yourself a ream of questions about why Sutherland used that phraseology “'the bug′ in my system.” No one can tell you the answer, not even me. Rather than worry about what Sutherland meant by that phrase, you should concern yourself with how you feel when you read it. What kind of visceral reaction do you have? Can you describe your reaction in words? You should realize that by trying to describe your reaction, you lose the essence of the very sensation that you are feeling.

Could it be that Will also was not able to describe how he felt, and what he felt? I have considered that possibility in my writing of this biography. By choosing such words as “could be” instead of “is,” I am suggesting, but not forcing, my opinion on you. If you are open to suggestion, then you may take up my idea. But I encourage you to form your own ideas while reading, keeping in mind that your opinion is but one of a hundred possibilities, and not necessarily the truth. So, I repeat, could it be that when attempting to describe how he felt or what he was feeling, Will diminished or flattened his actual sensation and his intended meaning of the described experience? We cannot know for sure.

In Journeyman, I tried as much as I possibly could to leave myself out of the book and to allow you to feel the story for yourself—to sense what a passage meant to you, rather than to impose my interpretation upon you. I attempted to provide the context, to show you where (with maps and pictures), to reveal how (with verbal descriptions), and to offer literary support (with direct quotations and corresponding references), so you could get into the story and take the journey with Sutherland. The book is the tour guide, I’m simply the ticket agent. Everyone on this Journeyman tour is free to pay attention to whichever sections hold the most interest.

With these thoughts in mind, consider now the following question: How was it possible that the roughly three hundred faculty and students at the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) at the time Will was there (1898-1900) all looked at the same display of skull bones that Will saw—yet only Will saw the possibility for motion present in those bones? This is the essence of this book. What were the factors that brought Will to this place (the display cabinet in the North Hall of the ASO in Kirksville, Missouri), at this time (the winter of 1899-1900), and with his unique level of receptivity (the culmination of his experiences) so that he saw what no others did, not even A.T. Still himself? Will perceived the possibility of inherent motion presenting itself in a set of human skull bones, and this idea shaped the rest of his life and career.

You are about to read some of the means by which information made it onto the pages of Journeyman. This book is meant not only to be a biography of William Garner Sutherland’s early life, but also a reference work for the future—for osteopaths and osteopathic physicians, for researchers, and for those who are interested in the history of physical medicine. There are lots of rabbit holes for you to poke your interested noses in. It is my hope that I’ve left enough bread crumbs for you to follow, to dig on into another section of his life, or even to write another biography from a differing perspective.

Everyone has a different perspective, that's what makes life so flavourful.

Still and femurlooking at a boneJane Digging on

    Jane looking at StillThis is the author, Jane Eliza Stark.


For those of you who don’t know osteopathic history, there’s a phrase that you should become familiar with before continuing. As I did above, I repeatedly, as does Sutherland, employ the phase dig on. Here is what this phrase meant to Sutherland:

                               Dig on

Dig on

 This is also the author.


Starting out

As previously mentioned, the process started in 2008, a time by which I had already amassed and synthesized a great deal of information on Andrew Taylor Still and John Martin Littlejohn, both of whom made major contributions to the osteopathic profession, and I was considering writing a book about the history of osteopathy. In addition to these men, I believed that William Garner Sutherland should be acknowledged as a major contributor to the profession. Sutherland had attended the ASO at the same time as Littlejohn, where both were exposed to the philosophy of A.T. Still. As I began to research Sutherland, I discovered that there was very little information about him, even though his career extended well beyond the years that Still and Littlejohn were active, and this lack of information drew my attention in Sutherland’s direction. That attention soon became an intense interest, and this interest grew into a decade-long passion. The years have erased many of the details, but I do recall diving into the research with the only existing biography of Sutherland, With Thinking Fingers, written by Will's second wife, Mrs. Adah Sutherland. I followed Adah's clues and began to dig on and dig in. With Thinking Fingers provided a starting point in my research, with the names (sometimes spelled incorrectly) of family members, as well as some names of places the family lived. Adah had also mentioned some of the titles of newspapers for which Sutherland worked.

Armed with this basic information, I subscribed to two online databases: and I later expanded my use of databases to include several nonsubscription websites, such as Find a Grave and There were also quite a few online databases that were specific to certain areas of interest, such as (for South Dakota newspapers), (for Minnesota newspapers), (for detailed schematic maps of local towns), and This last site is for land patent searches through the Bureau of Land Management, and it allowed me to pinpoint, within a square mile, where Will’s father had made land claims in the Dakota Territory in the 1880s.

Useful databases

As its name suggests, hosts the genealogical data from the census bureaus in Canada, the United States, and other countries. I could write a tome about how much information has in storage. Not only are census data available through, but so are family trees, city directories dating back to the 1800s, draft registration records, and other historical records. may contain family tree data that are not found on


Census records, in addition to containing such basic information as the individual’s name and age and those of their family members, may also (depending on the year of the census) include such details as birthplace, occupation, net worth, whether the home was rented or owned, and the home’s exact address. Misspellings of names and other data are quite common in census records, so care must be taken to search for information under alternative spellings, lest an important entry be missed.

newspapers was as important to producing this biography as were the genealogical sites. As of late 2020, this website had some 19,600 newspapers online, making it the largest online newspaper archive. The search features are somewhat limited, and certainly not all newspapers have been digitalized. Nevertheless, I found that the text of several key newspapers were available on the site, including the Austin Daily Herald, where Sutherland worked in the mid-to-late 1890s.


The website Find a Grave was helpful in obtaining additional genealogical information. However, one of the more surprisingly useful sites was the collection of maps that were created by the Sanborn Map Company for use by fire insurance companies, available at This site, which is hosted by the U.S. Library of Congress, contains extremely detailed overhead schematics of American towns and cities from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Once an address has been found, either through the census record or the city directory, the actual residence can be pinpointed on a Sanborn fire map.


Combining sources

Allow me to present an example of how this research worked: Will was a boarder at the Jewell House in Aberdeen, the Dakota Territory (in the era prior to it achieving statehood, becoming North and South Dakota in 1889). The address of the Jewell House could first be found in the Aberdeen city directory, and then the building could be found on the Sanborn fire map.


Sanborn Fire Maps 2


Bear in mind that when Sutherland was working at the Aberdeen Daily News, he was just a teenager living in a house full of other boarders, mostly blue-collar workers. In the map of Aberdeen, you can see the location of the office of the Daily News, as well as the office of the competing newspaper, the Sun, and even the store owned by L. Frank Baum, who would later become famous for his novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This example shows how a good map can help to understand an individual at a certain point in his or her life in historical context.

Sanborn Fire Maps 3



The search for Sutherland family members

It is important to note that the majority of census records from 1890 were destroyed, as is described in a footnote in the Journeyman book: [Blake K. “First in the Path of the Firemen”: The Fate of the 1890 Population Census, Part 1. 1996; Spring: 28(6).]. The full data of that census would have provided much-needed information, but it was not available. Thus, other avenues had to be pursued for the information.

One such avenue was the message board section of, where users of the site can post.

Bulletin Board

It was on those message boards, in 2010, that I began the search for any living relatives of William Garner Sutherland. I had to pore over page after page of messages from people with the surname of Sutherland. How long I looked through these entries, I don’t recall. But I kept digging on until I found an entry that caught my eye for one reason or another, based on what I knew about Sutherland’s family. I no longer remember the reason why a message posted by a man named Dennis Sutherland halted my search, but that message allowed me to make contact with Dennis, and from that point on, an avalanche of information came my way.

As it turned out, Dennis was the grand-nephew of William Garner Sutherland, and he had been working on the Sutherland family tree for his children. He had posted his tree on an page; with the aid of this tree and its links, I gained access to never-before-seen (in the osteopathic community) photos of Will as a young boy, an adolescent, and a young man, as well as photos of many of his family members.

Dennis in turn put me in touch with three of Will’s other grand-nephews—Roy Ulrich (who is now deceased), Glenn Ickler, and Max Schneider. Each of these men got back to me with more information and photos to share. I learned that Max’s mother, Alberta Schneider (the daughter of Will’s younger sister, Helen), was Will’s only living relative from that generation of Sutherlands. She had a copy of an extensive memoire that had been written by Will’s mother, Dorinda, and typed by Will’s second wife, Adah.

along the trail

Sutherland RG, Sutherland A. Edited version of Along the Trail with Mother. Originally composed by Adah Sutherland about the life of Dorinda Sutherland. Unpublished manuscript, given to Jane Eliza Stark by Alberta Caswell Schneider, niece of William Garner Sutherland. 1942.

Dorinda's storySmith DN, Sutherland AS, Sutherland WG. The Story of Dorinda Sutherland Nickerson Smith as assembled by Adah Sutherland and typed by Will Sutherland for Dorinda's 89th Birthday. Dorinda made some corrections to the original, and these have been included in this typing done by Alberta Caswell Schneider, 1939.


That was how another bonanza of information landed in my lap. Max himself provided pages of notebooks that included transcriptions of dates from the tombstones of Dorinda’s ancestors on both her mother’s side and her father’s side. With that information, I was able to track down the names of Will’s maternal grandparents and more distant ancestors.


Notebook page

Unfortunately, information about the Sutherland side of the family was notably scarce. For the Sutherland family genealogy, I got lucky through other means. An internet search focusing on Portage County, Wisconsin, where the family once lived, brought me a cache of genealogical data on Will’s paternal grandfather, James Sutherland. Posted online was an extensive family history, a well-documented account of the “Sutherland-Stephenson” family. The Sutherland line led back to Will’s great-great-grandfather, Robert Sutherland (Sr.), while the Stephenson line told the story of the family members on Will’s paternal grandmother’s side. Only a portion of this information could be included in the book, but for anyone interested, more details can be found in Malcolm Rosholt’s piece at

While reviewing Rosholt’s work, I was drawn to one of the references that he used repeatedly. Sutherland-Stephenson Family History in New England, .... Kenneys and Kimballs in Nova Scotia who Supported the Patriots was written in 2002 by Carol and Benjamin Fuller, and Donna Fostviet and Carolyn Harris. This was yet another unpublished, privately held manuscript that was kindly shared with me. The connection to Will was circuitous: One of Will’s paternal aunts was Phebe Sutherland. Phebe married one Robert Fuller. Benjamin Fuller, one of the authors of Sutherland-Stephenson Family History in New England, was a descendant of Robert and Phebe Fuller. Carol, Benjamin’s wife, then entrusted their collection to Diane Resch, Phebe’s great-granddaughter. But even with all this family information, I was not satisfied; there had to be more. How did some of the family members end up in Nova Scotia? The surname gave it away—from Scotland.



It was time to bring in a heavy hitter.How did I find one? I opened a Scottish genealogy website and threw an imaginary dart at a page of consultants. Until this time, I had never met nor heard of Bruce Durie, whose name I happened upon. As luck would have it, he happens to be one of Scotland's top genealogists, as well as among the best in the world. My dart hit Bruce’s name, and rest is history.


  Bruce Drurie (

When even Bruce hit a dead-end using online Sutherland family resources, he emailed me that “there’s only thing left to do.” What was that? “Come to Scotland and search the records at the local Parish offices and Black Watch Museum.”

As I was on my way to Europe the following week, a trip to Scotland seemed like a doable detour. I agreed. And besides, Scotland is far easier to get to than Kirksville! Even before I had purchased a plane ticket, Bruce had contacted another genealogist, Graham McDonnell, who had experience researching people with the surname of Sutherland. Next, out of the blue, Graham sent me an hour-by-hour itinerary of an already scheduled thirty-six-hour trip up to the northern Scottish coastal towns of Golspie and Wick to do more digging.

Having only “met” Bruce a few days earlier over the internet, I stepped off the plane in Glasgow wearing the pre-arranged orange clogs that would allow Bruce to identify me. I still remember the look on his face when he laid eyes on those shoes. When asked recently if he recalled those shoes, he said, "I'm still recovering!"


croc closeup



Snooping around in Scotland

 We then drove together to Perth.


The first stop was the AK Bell Library and Archives (picture on the left, below) to look up some family history, and then we went to the Black Watch Museum (right), where Bruce introduced me to the archivist. Bruce insisted that I be given the archivist’s full attention and consideration. After that, I was put on a train and sent to Inverness to meet Graham. Graham and I drove up the east coast of Scotland. He was also a photographer, and I recall that he was wearing a multipocketed photographer’s vest that day. That detail becomes important in a moment.


Black Watch














Our first stop was to visit the Sutherland (Dunrobin) castle, where the descendants of the Sutherland peers have been living since the early 1300s. It was in the countryside, about a mile and half from the small town of Golspie. I had already done my Sutherland family homework. I knew the area and the history of the castle.

I had done my homework

I was also familiar with the lineage of the Sutherland family members who had dwelled there for twenty-seven generations. I was able to do that research quite easily because, believe it or not, just twenty minutes from my home is the University of Guelph, which has a huge Scottish history department. The university’s collection contains one of the hundred printed copies of the three-volume Sutherland Book. Being an alumnus, I was permitted to look through the tomes, provided that I could pick them up. Although it would have added a unique flavour to his biography, William Garner Sutherland did not descend from the lineage described in The Sutherland Book.

                     Jane in Uof G                                          Sutherland book


What was I really trying to find in Scotland? Partly, I wanted to understand how it was possible that a soldier boarded a navy ship an unmarried man, yet was discharged from service several years later with a wife and childern—as Robert Sutherland Sr. had done sometime between 1776 and 1783. I was also trying to find the name of Will’s great-great-great-grandfather Sutherland. Looking through the old records, there were three possibilities. Graham and I together determined that George Sutherland sired Robert Sutherland (Sr.), who was the father of Robert Sutherland (Jr.), who was the father of James Sutherland. James, despite what the U.S. census record says and what Adah claims in With Thinking Fingers, was not born in Scotland. James was the father of yet another Robert, and this Robert was the father of Will. Will did not father a son, and his only daughter did not have children. The chain extending from George to Will, through six generations of male Sutherlands, had been broken. But the name carries on through Will’s brother Robert Guy. He fathered Marvin, who fathered Dennis, whose son is named Steven Gail Sutherland.

Graham and I  arrived at the castle grounds a couple of hours before closing. The parking area, to the rear of the castle, was brightly lit by low sunlight. Decorating the outer walls of the castle were shields and the words “Sans Peur,” which is French for “without fear” or “fearless.”  That rang a bell in my head, but which bell? It wasn’t until I took another look at Adah’s book that I realized the connection. "Sans Peur" was the Sutherland clan motto, and also the title of chapter 10 of With Thinking Fingers. Will and Adah retained a connection to his Scottish roots with that motto.

Sans peur


We toured the castle grounds. 

Dunrobin Grounds


Then we toured the castle.



When the tour concluded, we intended to drive to the next scheduled stop (I no longer recall what that was). But we soon learned that we weren’t going anywhere, because the car keys were missing. Graham searched through all the pockets of his photographer’s vest a dozen times. As it was getting dark, we decided to split up—Graham would retrace our trail across the grounds, and I would go back through the castle. But the door we had just left was locked! There was no entry. So I walked around outside banging on all the doors. And, as you can tell from the photograph, it’s not a small castle.

Someone finally opened one of doors. I explained the situtation and was let back inside, but this time the tour was not guided, and I had to go in the reverse direction. It was almost dark inside; there were no lights. I made my way backwards through all the rooms, hunting for keys. But the keys could not be found!

Graham’s search was also unsuccessful. So there we were, with no daylight, no keys, and no map. Not wanting to sound like either his mother or his wife, I suggested that while I held on to everything, he might check his pockets again. He did—and there were the keys, hiding in the last of all the vest’s compartents. By this time, we were out of sync with his carefully planned schedule. So, in defeat, we drove to a nearby inn and enjoyed a meal of haggis while finally introducing ourselves to each other. Besides sharing an interest in people with the surname of Sutherland, we discovered that we also shared being Canadian.

The next morning, we continued up the coast to the small port town of Wick, the home of Will’s great-great-grandfather, Robert Sr. It was time to search for Robert Sr.’s father. We pored over marriage, birth, and baptism records at the Wick Heritage Centre until we were certain that we found him. Then it was off to the cemeteries in Latheron Parish, in particular Braemore, to see if we could find where George Sutherland was buried. Beautiful weather favoured our endeavours, but we had no luck in our grave search. 

   East coast          Wick Heritage Centre


We each had metropolitan upbringings, so when it appeared that we were being followed by a herd of cows, we had some immediate concerns for our safety.In fact, we were both a bit scared. Each time we looked behind us, this menacing herd was closer. While we were looking at the cows, they didn’t move, but when we when turned our backs, they approached again. And what was that big black thing behind all the brown-and-white lady cows? A bull?

cows 1

With nowhere to go, and with the cows gaining on us, Graham took charge. He sent me scambling over a nearby stone fence. Although the fence, seen in the picture below, seems short, what you can’t see well is the eighteen inches of barbed wire on top of the stones. This is the type of fence that you don’t want to be climbing while wearing a pair of shorts and ten-dollar orange plastic clogs.


While I was making my way to safety, Graham turned and faced the herd, raised his hand, and repeated the phrase, “Stop cows. Stop!” And much to our surprise, they stopped! Being taller than me and wearing sensible footware, Graham quickly made it over the fence, and we were off to another cemetery.

cows 2"Stop, cows. Stop!"


Unsucessful in our quest for the grave, we headed back to Inverness. We ate at a restaurant and parted ways at the Inverness train station. I ended up at an Edinburgh airport hotel and caught a flight out early the next morning. More than ten years have since passed. I have not seen or heard from Graham since. Hello, Graham, if you are out there.

Now back in Canada, my quest for geneological background material was not yet satisfied. What about the Lincoln family? Martha Jane, Will’s materal grandmother, was a Lincoln. Was this Lincoln family, as Will’s mother claimed, related to President Abraham Lincoln? Getting to the bottom of this story meant heading to Boston (much closer than Scotland), to the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) (left picture, below).



The NEHGS also held many of the Canadian records of the family, so I was able to look through microfilm (right) of last wills and testaments of men with the name Robert Sutherland (Will’s great- and great-great-grandfathers). However, these documents were quite difficult to read and provided few answers. It was in Boston that I discovered yet another unfortunate truth about myself. Whale-watching is not for me!

          New England           microfilm



After returning from Boston, I wrote material for this book on and off again for a while. But I had used up all the material that I had on hand, and I felt like I had hit a dead end. Like Robert Sutherland often did, it was time for me to check out a new place. My next destination was Texas. Although Kirksville is the home of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine, that museum’s collection of Sutherland material is quite limited. By contrast, the Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, in Fort Worth, houses the Sutherland Collection. The material in this collection goes back many years. Will had saved his own published material, even prior to his meeting Adah. She then began to save his written material, as did Howard and Rebecca Lippincott and Chester and Anne Wales, all of whom were osteopathic physicians and friends of Will and Adah. Anne continued to collect and store Sutherland memorabilia until John Harakal, another osteopathic physician, agreed to accept the collection in the early 1980s. At the time, Dr. Harakal was affiliated with the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. In an undated document describing Dr. Wales’ assembling of the collection and Dr. Harakal’s role in preserving the material, Wales wrote:

note from WalesThis screen shot is from one of the papers in the collection in Texas.


So, I give a very special thanks to Anne Wales, DO, who not only maintained the collections of Will, Ada, Rebecca, and Howard, but also assembled and kept her own collection of letters written to her by Will and Adah. By turning her collection over to the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Wales was attempting to ensure that all of Will’s memorabilia and writings (published or not) would be “accessible for reference in the future.”

This collection is mostly visible in the photo below, on the trolley and in the binders on the table. It seems like a deceptively small amount of material at first glance. But if you open one of the many banker boxes, you’ll notice that the paper inside is rice paper, meaning it is extremely thin. Each box is actually packed with information.

      Texas 1          Texas 2


Texas 3

My hosts at the library were Craig Elam and Kathy Broyles. (Forgive me for no longer recalling their titles.) Neither is with the library anymore, but both were extremely helpful at the time. Upon our arrival (my husband accompanied me on this trip), we were told how we had just missed three straight days of eighty-degree (Fahrenheit) weather. Unluckily for us, bad weather was on its way. Not to worry, I thought; I had a week to go through the collection, to choose what I wanted, and to have it photocopied by Kathy. However, not only was there too much material to go through, but there was an ice storm in the forecast. In anticipation of the bad weather, the university closed the day before the storm hit. It was closed during the storm, and, if I recall correctly, it remained closed the day after the storm. Five days suddenly became two. Luckily, Kathy continued to send requested material to me for probably another five years, before she left the library.

Much of the material from this collection will be important for the companion volume to Journeyman. I will probably write more about the collection from Texas at a later time. However, of greatest value for this book were a few newspaper clippings that Will had saved, dating back to the late 1890s. With these clippings, I now had some leads to where he was working then. This material kept me busy for some time. But it did eventually run out, so I took a two-year pause. During that time (2012 to 2014), I completed a master’s degree in pharmaceutical research administration (which enabled me to learn more about research). 

Shortly after I graduated, Kathy began sending me more material, so I dug in again. Then in the spring of 2016, I became terribly ill and nearly died. A surgeon and special cocktail of drugs saved my life. Being an osteopath (osteopathic manual practitioner, as we call ourselves in Canada), I fought hard to regain my health, and in a couple months, I was back to normal and craving chocolate again. That meant that it was time for another research trip—this time to southern Minnesota. This was Sutherland’s home as a young boy, as a new graduate, and as a married man. There were two important counties to visit there—Nicollet County, for the companion volume, and Blue Earth County, which provided information for both Journeyman and the companion volume.


Mapleton, Minnesota

My luck overflowed in the small town of Mapleton, about eighteen miles south of Mankato, which, in turn, is about seventy miles south of Minneapolis. A couple of my colleagues live in Minnesota, so I didn’t need to rent a car upon my arrival at the Minneapolis airport. They were kind enough to chauffeur me. For when I was on my own, Mankato has a unique transportation system, which seems like a hybrid between a taxi service and a bus service. It was fabulous, and I quickly and economically got everywhere that I needed to be. I visited the Nicollet Historical Society in St. Peter (collecting information and photographs mostly for the companion volume). There, I had arranged to present a lecture about Sutherland to see if I could spark some interest. Several people attended, one of whom had actually known Will and Adah. Another attendee was familiar with their house. 


Afterward, my colleague and I drove to all the retirement and long-term-care homes in the St. Peter area, where we put up posters (example below) on the bulletin boards. Nothing came of this exercise, but I’m glad that I tried.




I also paid a visit to the Blue Earth County Historical Society, in Mankato, because Mapleton is in Blue Earth County. While I picked up a lot of great information for the companion volume at both the Nicollet and Blue Earth history facilities, the information was not especially relevant for this book’s story of Sutherland’s early life. But I was directed to the Maple River Heritage Museum, in Mapleton. A visit there was not on my original itinerary, but I decided to go. Luckily I got a ride. I’ll tell you about the St. Peter and Mankato findings in the companion volume, but the visit to Mapleton was special.



Mapleton is a small town, and it is hard to even find a copy shop. But the people that I met there were extremely helpful. Without a pre-arranged appointment, I dropped by the Maple River Heritage Center. Like most township and county historical societies, this one, serving the township of Maple River (including Mapleton), is manned by volunteers. It was open only on Wednesdays and Saturdays for three hours each morning. But once again, I was in luck, because it was a Wednesday morning, and Coleen Lindemann, its president, happened to be there. I described to Coleen why I was there and what I was looking for. She went straight to work bringing out material. While she was in the back room, I spotted an orange photo album. (By now, you probably realize that orange was one of my preferred colours at that time.)

 Maple River

I opened the album. There, but not labelled, was a picture that I recognized as Will’s mother, Dorinda. When I remarked on the picture of Dorinda to Coleen, she asked, “Who?” I repeated, “Will’s mother, Dorinda.” As it turned out, Coleen had purchased this old photo album some years ago and did not know the unidentified people in the album. Now here I was, a stranger from Canada, putting a name to a face in a photograph that was more than a hundred and twenty years old. Another photograph that Coleen had at the center was of William Garner Sutherland himself—the profile image that appears on the front cover of Journeyman.

Pictures at Maple RiverDorinda on the left, Will in the middle and on the right.

We were having a blast when all of a sudden Coleen asked, “Have you see the fiftieth-anniversary edition of the Mapleton Enterprise”? “The what?” I asked. “The newspaper, the Enterprise?” she repeated. Of course I had not. I barely knew what she was referring to. Off she went into the back again, this time reappearing with an old newspaper, an original copy from 1938. What was so interesting about this paper? The title of the intriguing article was “Enterprise Was ‘Just an Infant’ When W.G. Sutherland Arrived back in 1891.” Who was it written by? William Garner Sutherland! This article was fascinating and important because it showed that: a) Will had not saved a copy for himself [I didn't see it in the Texas collection]; b) he, for almost the only time, wrote about himself; and c) he wrote about his days and roles in the newspaper industry, naming names, places, and newspapers. Are you starting to feel the luck?

 EnterpriseSutherland WG. “Enterprise Was 'Just an Infant' when W.G. Sutherland Arrived back in 1891.” Mapleton Enterprise. June 2, 1938.

But there was more to come. Coleen had the original photo that accompanied this fiftieth-anniversary edition article. You all saw it when you picked up Journeyman or opened its website. It’s on the book’s cover. Will is the blond man with no hat, standing with the other members of the Mapleton Enterprise force outside the office, circa the mid-1890s.


Enterprise buildingThe Force of the Mapleton Enterprise, circa 1890s: “Slim” (H.C.) Hotaling, holding a newspaper at the doorway; W.G. Sutherland to Hotaling’s right on the other side of the entryway. [Source: Sutherland WG. “Enterprise Was 'Just an Infant' when W.G. Sutherland Arrived back in 1891.” Mapleton Enterprise. June 2, 1938. Courtesy of the Maple River Heritage Museum ]


Next, Coleen escorted me to the office of the Maple River Messenger (formerly the Mapleton Enterprise and the Blue Earth County Enterprise). Once inside, I was introduced to the paper’s editor, Koni Preston. Koni permitted me to turn the pages of the very newspapers that Will composed back in the 1890s. None of the papers had been digitized, so this wasn’t a newspaper collection that I could examine from behind my computer screen in Moffat, Ontario, using search words like Sutherland, Robert, and William. The newspapers were bound into large books, according to year, and stacked in the back office. Two unanticipated days were spent in that office combing through fourteen years—over seven hundred editions—of the paper.


StacksThe Enterprise Newspaper Collection, dating back to the 1890s.

My eye was trained to spot the name Sutherland. That was the easy part. The more challenging aspect was to find interesting material about the time and place—such as the look of the town, the nature of the sidewalks, and the price of butter—so that I could situate Will in the context of Mapleton, Minnesota, in the late 1890s. Then, each page of interest had to be photographed and the date of issue recorded. I failed to record the page numbers, but with each edition being only four pages in length, their omission was not a fatal flaw (in my opinion).

Sample 1  Sample 2   Sample 3


Perhaps the one discovery I made in Mapleton that I’m most proud of was that of finding Dorinda’s grave marker. I knew that Robert and Dorinda Sutherland were buried in Union Cemetery in Mapleton. So when Coleen asked if I would like to go see the cemetery, I said, “Sure.” She called the rector, who met us at the Union Cemetery (circled in green in a previous map of Mapleton). The rector had a map of the graves and took us directly to Robert’s burial place. Beside him was one of his sons, Robert Guy, and Robert Guy’s wife, Florence Sprague. But where was Dorinda?

“Who’s Dorinda?” the rector asked. “Dorinda, Dorinda Sutherland, Robert’s wife,” I answered. “She’s not buried here,” he replied. Oh, indeed she was buried there, and I was going to find her! Digging on never took on a more vivid meaning than at that moment. With Coleen and the rector standing over me, and in the November drizzle (the Guns N’ Roses song “November Rain” comes to mind), I combed through the thick grass and weeds.

 grave markers

And there she was, as expected, right beside Robert.

My mission in Minnesota was more than accomplished for now. (I planned on going back in April of 2020, but COVID-19 stopped that before it got started.) It was time to return to Canada and start organizing all the collected data. The biographical information was easy to categorize and write about, but the newspaper jargon was exceedingly difficult to understand. Had Will used conventional terminology, it could have been looked up in a printer’s dictionary or elsewhere. But he didn’t; he used slang. The most difficult term was “held cases.” What in the world did that mean? Yes, there were cases used in the compositing and typesetting fields, but they were very heavy—being full of lead sorts (the letters). You would not and could not hold those cases (at least, not for very long, not even as an entry-level devil). Cases that were being used were designed to rest against the compositor’s cabinet, and the rest were stored in the space below the work surface.

compositor's desk


Oakville, Ontario

Howard Iron Works

Another research adventure was necessary. Where to this time? I drove to Howard Iron Works Printing Museum in Oakville, Ontario, about thirty minutes away from my home. I contacted the museum and spoke to Liana, Nick Howard’s wife. “The Howards are custodians of Howard Graphic Equipment Ltd." Liana arranged for my husband (as he has the mechanical mind in the family) and me to come for a private tour with Nick. We did so in December 2019. Oh my, more good luck!


 Nick and Liana Howard

I won’t take the time and space here to describe this museum, though it is truly outstanding. Along with the personal attention, I was tutored in the three kinds of newspaper presses used during the late 1890s (you can read about this in Journeyman); I viewed the compositor’s work station and equipment; and I witnessed the steps in the process of compositing to printing—all in one morning. It was too much to take; my mind overflowed with brand new information. But I gained an inkling into what it was that a youthful Will had done for sixty hours a week for a dozen years.

It was back to the books to try and describe the sequence of the processes involved and to obtain some public-domain pictures to accompany the descriptions. This was quite difficult. Whenever technical help was needed, it was time to call on Belinda Heleno. Belinda, a colleague and friend, agreed to accompany me to the Howard Iron Works and take some photos. Good idea, bad timing. It was April 2020, and we were in the midst of a pandemic-related lockdown of “nonessential” services, including museums.


When restrictions were lifted slightly, Liana allowed us into the museum, donning face masks. It was the first time in two months that I had stepped outside of my own home. Belinda went to work snapping pictures under my direction. Her photos could now replace thousands of words in my book.

At this stage, half the book was almost complete—including the genealogical section, the family history section, and the newspaper section. But there was still context missing as well as other holes to fill. Some of that information was available online. For much more of it, I had to rely on the digging of volunteers at the numerous county and township historical societies (in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota). Keep in mind that the entire world was now in a pandemic, and nothing was open. At the larger centres, state museums and libraries, a few of the upper-management personnel began coming in to check on the heating and humidity levels in the buildings. I was lucky enough that a few of these people answered the phone, and with much persistence and heaps of Canadian politeness, I was able to persuade some of them to look up information for me. Not everything that I wanted could be obtained, and so I had to learn to be satisfied with what I did have.



There is one major research trip that I have yet to describe. That was a trip to Kirksville (a trip that almost didn’t happen). It was scheduled for February 2020, just as the world was getting a whiff that something ominous was about to engulf us. But I decided to make the trek. Anyone who has attempted to travel to Kirksville from anywhere (even Chicago) will tell you that there’s no fast way of getting there. My trek there included eight consecutive flight delays. Then, to add salt to the wound, all the tired and very cranky passengers were herded onto an airplane under the sign reading “Houston.”


Announcements showing the eight consecutive flight delays (Toronto to Chicago).



These next four indented paragraphs are an aside. You can skip them if you wish.

At this point, I must take you on an aside (not to Houston). I want to explain that the easiest way to have conveyed my encountered travel problems would have been to use the expression, or the word, Houston. It is my guess that about 75 percent of you would understand my intended meaning and maybe even snicker or groan. Upon reading the word "Houston," some of you may perhaps see Tom Hanks' face in your mind's eye (pictured below on the left). If you are bit older, "Houston" may take you back to "mission control" and the gentleman in the photograph on the right who was tasked with explaining the "problem" to television viewers. I'm purposely not revealing the name of the person on the right. Anyone born in the U.S., and even Canada, prior to the 1950s probably recognizes him and may even still be able to hear his voice in their head. My point is, people writing a hundred and fifty, a hundred, or even fifty years ago, assumed that they would be writing for their contemporaries. There was no need for them to explain what they meant. The role of biographers and historians is to help today's reader make sense of the writings of people like Will and Adah. To do that effectively, you have to try to immerse yourself in their settings, in their timeframes. 

A similar phrase, dating back to 1939, "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," is a useful expression when visiting downtown Kirksville. Saying that phrase to someone familar with it can save hundreds of additional words, but saying it to someone who has never heard it before confuses the reader. 

There are people looking at this page right now who haven't read a word of the text but know (just by looking at the picture on the left) that I'm probably writing about a grave situation. They see and recognize the image or images, and that's all they need. If they end up reading this, they will realize that situation I've described was not serious, I was simply complaining about Air Canada and making a point about the importance of contextualization. But keep in mind that one day, even this writing will stop being contemporary and instead become historical. 










Consider now that I'm writing for this audience, you; you are a contemporary audience. Will and Adah also wrote for contemporary audiences, but they wrote over sixty years ago. Readers then would automatically know what they meant by "best bib and tucker," the "eye and ear clinic in Minnesota," and the "potato patch in Troy." Do you realize how unfamilar their vernacular sounds today, especially if your first language isn't English? That's the problem historical researchers face. Even if the researcher doesn't end up writing about "a potato patch in Troy," they still have to figure out what it means (where it is) and whether it is important to the story or not. In this case, "a potato in Troy" is important, and you will find out why if or when you read Journeyman.


Back to Houston. So that the boarding of the passengers wouldn't delay the departure of this flight, we were asked to sit down immediately and not remove our coats. The Houston(?) flight got us to Chicago where we enjoyed(?) an unscheduled sleepover. Thinking that you can get to Kirksville in less than twenty-four hours is a fantasy.

The next day, I arrived in Columbia, Missouri (which was as close as I could get to Kirksville). Debbie and Harvey Summers were waiting for me. They are both employees of A.T. Still University and longtime friends. We drove the last leg of the trip from Columbia to Kirksville. The welcoming committee had enough advance notice of my flight delays that they were ready for me with my own sign when I arrived (wink, wink).


Kirksville sign


Debbie had worked at the osteopathic museum in Kirksville back when I started my research on A.T. Still almost twenty years ago. We have been in contact ever since. I stayed at their home for the week, with my own room, private bath, and access to all the streaming television programs that I don’t have access to in Canada. Debra prepared the meals, and Harvey drove me to the university—not A.T. Still University, but the town’s other university, Truman State. It was at Truman State that all three of the not-yet-digitized Kirksville newspapers were available on microfilm.


With the exception of a couple of short trips to A.T. Still University to visit Jason Haxton and Christine Gran—the director and curator, respectively, of the osteopathic museum there—my time was spent behind the microfilm reader at Truman. Unlike Mapleton, which had only one paper, four pages in length, in the 1890s, Kirksville had three lengthy newspapers at the time. It required considerable concentration and focus to scan them for important information. But what exactly did I deem important? Just about EVERYTHING! I snapped up screenshots of anything that I thought would be remotely related to Sutherland and his time at the ASO. As a bonus, while going through the microfilm, I was able to enjoy a giant peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich each day right at the film reading terminal. Because of allergies, I find there are very few public places back home in which eating peanut butter is possible anymore. With the first bite, I knew that I was "not in Kansas anymore."

peanut butter sandwich

After a couple of days in Kirksville, visiting my old haunts (you’d have to go there to know what I mean), I began to write the author preface right there in town. I’d been there long enough to start to feel connected, so I began to type on the laptop and it felt right. I really wanted to speak to you, the reader, to convey the feeling of being so close to the beginnings of the osteopathic profession, yet so far from being able to really access them. Every single person that I was researching had died years ago. I would too one day… time to change the subject.


In the Gibson D. Lewis Health Science Library at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, in Fort Worth, with Still, Littlejohn, and Sutherland. (Circa 2010.)


I had two primary interests at the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine—to make sure that I had all available material related to Sutherland, and to find the ASO’s North Hall. That was the place where Sutherland saw the disarticulated skull that changed his life forever. Although I had been to A.T. Still University at least six times before, I never understood the layout of the building. This time, I referred to a schematic that Christine had on file. I printed out some pictures of the building, and I corralled Jason Haxton for a guided tour. We walked around, through, and behind the building a couple of times, until I understood where I was. But still no North Hall; it was gone. It had been demolished, and no one knew how long ago. The schematic was based on two separate descriptions of the building that had appeared in the Journal of Osteopathy, one published in December 1896 and the other in February 1897. The schematic was drawn almost a century later, long after the North Hall had been demolished. But there had to be some kind of footprint or outline of the hall somewhere. I figured all I had to do was get on the roof of the lower level, and I would be virtually standing where the North Hall once was.

I needed two accomplices—one person who knew everyone who worked there, and one person with keys. I won’t identify these two people, but I will tell you that neither of them was Jason. In fact, this is probably the first time that Jason has heard about these antics. My accomplices and I arranged to meet the next day. I had the schematics, the second person held the pictures, and the third one had the keys. Off we went to find the North Hall. But first, a delightful side adventure: finding A.T. Still’s actual office. Although it is no longer in the same configuration that it once was, it's still there. We determined where his office was situated!

The room adjacent to the North Hall, once Memorial Hall, was no longer in use, other than being filled with storage material. All the windows leading to the roof were sealed. We couldn’t take the easy route to where the North Hall once stood. Instead, we had to go to the floor above, walk out onto its roof, then climb down a very scary ladder (made for building maintenance and firefighters, not for a a woman in her mid-sixties with no climbing experience, and inappropriate footware, yet again).

                              Climbing 1           Still catching jane

 More good luck—A.T. was there to break my fall off the roof of the ASO.


Anyway, I got out to almost the exact spot (plus or minus six feet) where we calculated that the skull bones that inspired Sutherland would have been on display.

rooftopStanding where the North Hall once was, at the approximate location of the disarticulated skull.

Past my head in the photo at the above right, you can see the grave markers in the Forest-Llewellyn Cemetery, the resting place of many famous osteopaths, the most important one being A.T. Still.

Grave sign marker

No trip to Kirksville is complete without a visit to the cemetery. I can recall the first time that I visited there, in April of either 2001 or 2002. The grass was still brown. Slithering right on top of Still’s burial place was a snake. Anyone who has read his autobiography knows how he felt about snakes. This time, I found a bone on his grave. A cow bone probably, but it was right on the surface, as though A.T. were throwing me a bone. I sat there with my back against the warm monument, as the afternoon sun had been heating it for a few hours. I had one last evening in Kirksville with Debbie and Harvey, then it was time to return to the Canadian snow.



I returned home in early March 2020, ready to sort and catalogue all the data from the Kirksville newspaper. There was a lot of material, but I had done this several times before, and it was just a matter of getting in the groove. But news of COVID-19 was making the headlines daily now. On March 12, near midnight, I heard that Disneyland and Disney World were closing due to concerns about the virus. At that moment, I realized that the world would never be the same. I just knew. A few days later, the Government of Ontario made a drastic announcement. Therapy clinics, along with tens of thousands of other small businesses as well as schools, were closing in an attempt to “flatten the curve.” Oddly, therapy for the body was not considered “essential” by the government, but you could still go out and get your car fixed or buy marijuana and alcohol. Yes, I was bitter about the seemingly arbitrary government-imposed restrictions related to the virus, though I was not intimidated by the virus itself. The upshot of all this was that I was without clinical or teaching work for three solid months, so I had the time to finish this book.


Illustrating the book


Is it just me, or is a book easier to read when there are lots of pictures? While I was very familiar with all the locations mentioned on the pages of Journeyman, having visited many of them, I realized that the reader may not be. I was compelled to once again provide visuals of the locations that I was describing. Equally important for the reader, I thought, was to be able to visualize what the characters I discuss looked like. So, I continued the hunt for pictures from the 1800s.

Finding appropriate images was aided by Google Image searches. However, finding the images was only the beginning of a long process. I then had to ensure that any selected image was not copyrighted. If it was, I had to obtain permission to use it. That meant finding the owner of the image. HathiTrust, an online digital library that allows lawful access to over seventeen million items, including books, manuscripts, and images, was very generous in granting their permission. Other institutions, which had many pictures that I wanted to use, required a modest fee for each image. It might seem easy to pay a small fee, but paying the funds in U.S. currency posed banking challenges.

If the image was in a state or county museum, public or private archives, or library, finding someone in the building during the pandemic was quite difficult. Luckily, some archivists and librarians were working from their homes, though not all had access to the collections. Patience was essential, but that is not my forté. I was a squeaky wheel, repeatedly contacting people and asking that my request be pushed to the front of the queue.

The help and support provided by the ATSU Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville was fantastic. Many of the pictures from Kirksville and all of the photographs of the instructors at ASO were supplied via Christine Gran, the research coordinator of the International Center for Osteopathic History at the museum. She located and cropped each of the instructors’ cameos from the appropriate graduating class photo composites. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the spring of 2000, she was going into the office only on Friday afternoons, but while she was there, she ensured that my requests were filled each week.


Christine-gran                  Wm Sutherl....3890.07.02.jpg      

 Christine Gran, and William Garner Sutherland's graduation picture (not in the book).

When I began this project, I had downloaded some electronic images that I had stumbled across on the gallery pages of “public member” family-trees hosted by In addition, there were some electronic images that had previously been provided to me by Sutherland’s grand-nephews. All of this happened long before I was organized enough to label the images and their sources and store them in a file folder that I could easily find. I was now on my third computer, and I was not sure if all the data had been transferred over from the previous ones. So I had to retrace my steps and find the original owners, whom I pestered to find their original photographs and to provide me with either the originals or high-resolution copies. 

All the while that I was demanding high-resolution images from people who didn’t have scanners, and some who didn’t even have a cell phone, I was living out in the countryside without high-speed or even medium-speed internet service. Furthermore, I don’t seem to be able to unzip a Zip file. Thus, almost all of my exchanges of information had to be done, with the patience and grace of the senders, through WeTransfer. Not only were the pictures sent this way, but so was every chapter during the editing process, every proof of the book, and all final versions of maps.

In my quest to dig on for more photos of the family (especially of the kindly aunts and uncles who, through all sorts of trials and tribulations, supported Robert, Dorinda, and their four children), three subscribers helped out. Diane Resch shared photos from the “Fuller Family Collection,” Yvonne Evrard provided a photo from Dorinda’s side of the family, and Brenda Ward shared an image from the Lincoln family side.


Maps were the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process. Suitable maps of particular areas in appropriate time periods had to be located. Although there was an abundance of good maps available on internet searches, they were unsuitable for a number of reasons. They were under copyright, they were blurred (out of focus) to prevent people from copying them, or they contained far too much, or not enough, specific information. My vision for the book was to have tailor-made maps to suit each section of the book. I knew that there were going to be quite a few non-American readers of this book, and since the majority of the book was set in North America (mostly the United States), I wanted everyone to feel as though they knew where they were at any time in the story.

There was one map that posed the most difficulty and, in the end, I omitted it. However, I’ll show it here so you can see why it is not in the book. That map is of the frequently changing (during the 1800s) New Brunswick–Maine border. Oddly, quite a few of the early events in this book happened on either side of this border. It was such a confusing section of the story to sort out! Ancestors of Sutherland who were living in the area had sometimes reported themselves (in census data) as being born in what would ultimately be Canada, while other times they said they were born in the United States. How, I asked myself, was it possible to not know if you were born in Canada or the U.S.?

The answer lay in the complex history of the region, specifically a dispute known as the Aroostook War (though it wasn’t really a war). That dispute, between the province of New Brunswick and the state of Maine over rights to timber and waterways, resulted in the repositioning of the border several times. And the Smiths (Will’s grandparents) lived right in the disputed region. The complexity of this situation did not translate well into a readily understandable map, so one was not used in the book.

            War 1            War 2

 The map on the left appears in the book. The one on the right (which shows the disputed territory in shaded grey) does not appear in the book. 

Family trees

The family trees were a nightmare to produce. Finding the data was difficult, but the worst part was I didn't have the appropriate software to make the job easy. Nevertheless, I persevered. One of the most difficult tasks in writing the book was determining how the Smiths (on Will's mother's side) and the Sutherlands (on his father's side) met each other. That happened in the generation before his parents met—there was a pre-existing relationship (sisters of one family [Stephenson] marrying brothers [Lincoln] of another family, neither named Smith or Sutherland). I needed a picture to tell the thousand words. 



Why two volumes?

What I have not yet explained is why this biography ended up getting truncated at 1900. The simple answer is this: I had discovered too much material, and I wasn’t willing to let go of it in order to make a single book. This decision wasn’t made lightly, but it was made quickly, sometime around New Year’s Eve of 2019. I had taken two weeks off over the Christmas holidays, hoping to barrel through the remainder of the book. Although I wrote from morning to night, the story was not moving along. Instead, it was filling out, becoming more detailed, more descriptive, more meaty, and much more interesting (at least to me). It also had come to what seemed like a reasonable stopping point—the completion of William Garner Sutherland’s transition from “Will,” the son, the journeyman, and the osteopathic student, to “Dr. Sutherland,” the osteopathic physician.

Furthermore, the book had been almost twelve years in the making, I had written about only twenty-seven of his eighty-one years of life, and I was, consequently, only about one-third of the way through. I needed to stop. Remembering that I had nearly died just four years previous, I felt the urgent need to hand something to the profession now. So, in consultation with quite a few key people, I decided to stop at the 1900 mark. That decision, combined with the COVID-related economic disaster and other circumstances that are a bit murky, resulted in the original publisher eventually withdrawing his commitment to publish the book.

That certainly was a low point, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. I won’t go into details here of all the next steps that I went through, but there are three people that I do want to mention. Christopher Mueller, of the California-based company Books and Bones, offered me some great ideas. Christl Kiener, of KIENER Verlag, was interested in publishing the book, but we mutually agreed that it was not an ideal partnership. David Caron, co-publisher at ECW Press, guided me on my eventual decision to take the general contractor’s role in a self-publishing route.  



The connection to David was the lucky part of this book’s publishing story. I will get to David's role later on.



Although I am a good researcher, I can sometimes be a poor writer. (A.J. edited this last statement, but not the following one. He changed “terrible” to “poor” [how kind of him]. In fact, I'm a terrible speller and my sentences are often times convoluted, being too long, out of order, or they seem to drop off the edge of the page, unfinished.)

Therefore, if you find Journeyman to be an enjoyable read, that is because I had an excellent editorial team. Some of my editors were professional and some were not, some were paid and some volunteered, but all contributed in their own unique ways to the production of Journeyman. With work accelerated by the free time afforded to many of us because of the imposed lockdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bulk of the Journeyman manuscript was refined during the first and second waves of the pandemic. As I describe the editing process, keep in mind that it was impossible to have a single face-to-face meeting with any of these individuals. The overwhelming amount of correspondence with these editors was conducted via email or texting.

The first professional to review my work was A.J. Smuskiewicz, a freelance writer and editor based in the Chicago area. A.J. has been reviewing and polishing my writing since 2012. We met online when he was assigned by the publisher of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association to edit one of my submissions. I visited him in Chicago many years ago, hoping that he would co-author this book with me. He turned me down but still helped me immensely.

Since that time, he has edited at least a thousand pages of my writing. Like Radar O’Reilly from the 1970s television series M*A*S*H, A.J. can intuit my intended meaning when I can’t convey it clearly. He is able to make my writing readable so that the next person in line can offer me direction on composition and content. If you find this book to be readable, join me in thanking A.J.



The next person to review sections of my manuscripts was Michael Greer, a former student that attended a couple of my classes and is now an osteopath based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Michael and I shared a decade-long interest in Sutherland because he wrote his osteopathic thesis on the origins (not just the osteopathic origin) of the cranial concept. Michael, being a fine artist and having experience in documentary production, took on the tough task of insisting that I omit, or reconstruct, certain sections of the book—sections to which I had built deep attachments. He convinced me, in a kindly manner, that these sections either were irrelevant to the story or held the story back. Michael was all about “moving the story forward.” When I refused to follow his advice, his persistence, creativity, and encouragement were responsible for nudging my inertia. If you find this work to be interesting, join me in thanking Michael.




After Michael helped vitalize the story, the baton was passed to Doug Vaisey. Doug, who was recommended by Michael and whom I have yet to meet in person, puzzled me, because he always read the references before the text. Not only did he read the references, but he kicked them to the curb. After a career of more than forty years in academic library reference work, Doug was perfectly situated to critique my book. In his own words, he “continued his annoying tendency to proofread reports, minutes and press releases for errors, grammatical goofs and style.” Working on a purely volunteer basis, he not only assisted me, but he became the main go-to guy for a variety of issues. If you find this work to be scholarly, join me in thanking Doug.










Three editors were not enough for this book. At this stage, although the chapters were now readable, interesting, and scholarly, were they accurate? It was time to bring in the heavy hitter, Rev. Reuben P. Bell, DO, PhD. Reuben and I have been friends for a long time. We found each other on the internet about twenty years ago, when I was researching my thesis at the end of my osteopathic education. Being interested in my topic, not only did he offer advice, but he volunteered to edit all seven hundred pages of the thesis. As an American osteopathic physician, a freemason, and a scholar, Reuben was well-positioned to check each chapter for accuracy. Resisting the urge to turn my Canadian spelling into American, Reuben swept through the text, adding touches of refinement that brought more academic rigour to the manuscript. If you find this book to be historically accurate, join me in thanking Reuben.    




After these four stages of editing, it was time to send the manuscript to several of the remaining Sutherland family members, who were invited, but not required, to provide their feedback. Dennis Sutherland responded. Dennis resides in an area of Wisconsin near to where the Sutherland family once had a home. Having lived in this area and driven a truck throughout the region for many years, Dennis was able to correct a number of errors that I had made in directions and distances between different points of interest. If you find this book to be geographically correct, join me in thanking Dennis.



At this point in the process, I was confident that the full manuscript was in tip-top shape, and I was ready for it to be inspected by Jason Haxton, the director of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. Because the book was full of information about the American School of Osteopathy (ASO) in Kirksville, I was certain that Jason would have some qualms with certain sections. To my surprise, he did not criticize the lengthy sections about the ASO. However, upon receiving the manuscript, he emailed me to ask, “Do you just want me to send pictures of the pages with typos?” Shocked and horrified, I learned that Jason had found an error on the very first page! I now realized that additional editing was required.

Jason was on speed dial. Whenever he recieved one of my text messages on a weekend, his first question was always, "Jane, is this an osteopathic emergency?" If you you agree with me, that this project would not have been possible without Jason's help, please join me in thanking Jason.



Those of you who know Christian Fossum will confirm that his personality and knowledge-base are not easily encapsulated in a few words. Those of you who have needed to find Christian know that he’s not easy to track down; however, we can all agree that he’s worth waiting for. He has a wealth of historical, clinical, and scientific osteopathic knowledge at the tip of his tongue as well as at his fingertips. If you need a piece of information, he’ll send you an encyclopedia’s worth of material. If you need a photograph, he’ll send you an album and a camera. If you need a book that’s gone out of print, he has ten copies.

Christian is my go-to guy for the synthesis of tough osteopathic ideas. Whenever I’m in the midst of too much conflicting information, he has a way of making it seem so simple. If you enjoyed the foreword to this book, please join me in thanking Christian.




You might be asking yourself, where are the women in this production? Well, meet Alison Lewis. Alison is my only niece, and she was also in lockdown over the summer. She was finishing up her training in graphic design and accepted my request to take on the task of making the maps for this book. Of the forty-one maps, Alison created thirty-eight, and she added labels to two of the other three. Each map is uniquely suited to the corresponding area of interest in the story. I provided a rough idea of what I was looking for, and then Alison went to work, tirelessly and always cheerfully trying to follow my directions. We never met face-to-face during this process (not even a video chat). I would email her something rough, like the picture on the left, and she would turn it into a professional-quality image, as on the right. If you find that the maps in Journeyman enhance the story, please join me in thanking Alison.

 map 1 roughmap 1 good


Back to David

A final sweep of the manuscript occurred at the last stage of the book’s production. That was when I had to find a publisher. Although I did have a publishing offer and several other leads, I decided that I was too attached to every aspect of the book to let someone else take over its production at this point. By good fortune, my webmaster Arni Mikelsons ( put me touch with one of his relatives, a Canadian publisher who freely offered his advice on how to self-publish. I, thus, became my book’s general contractor. I needed a designer, a proofer, an indexer, a printer, and a distributer, in that order. I also needed an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and to get that I needed to start my own publishing company—Roe House Press.

Arni was related to David through marriage, and he asked David to offer me some advice. David, in a quick phone call, walked me through the basic steps of self-publishing, thereby allowing me to bypass any need for a self-publishing company. He then provided me with a list of freelancers that he had formerly worked with and that he highly recommended.



That set of connections led to me to Troy Cunningham ( Troy did the design and production work for the book. The design work included helping me determine the dimensions of the book, the page setup, the font styles, the placement of the images, and basically getting it all ready for the printer. He sourced the printer, the paper, the delivery options, and much more. In comparison to myself, he was a nighthawk, while I was an early riser, and he was rather laid-back, while I was a stress-bucket. Fortunately, Troy knew what osteopathy was, having worked with an author on a previous book on the subject, so we made a pretty good team.

I can’t tell you how many times I emailed Troy with last-minute changes—“this is the last one, I promise.” But he accommodated every one of them. Thank you, Troy, for your calm and assuring nature.

There are two other people left to mention.

I have permission to mention one of them by name: Rachel Ironstone.

David had suggested a final proofreader. Why, I asked David, would I need another editor after the numerous times that the book had already reviewed? He explained that there could be post-layout problems, using terms that I had never heard of, including all the issues that could be caused following Troy's work. As I now trusted David, I contacted and contracted Rachel to conduct the final proofing. Her first proof through chapter one astounded me. She sent back over seven hundred edits. Most of them were punctuation and formatting issues, but she also found a number of bloopers in the text that all of us had missed. On her second pass—just twenty-four hours before the final deadline—she sent back another three-hundred-plus edits. Again, mostly finicky stuff that would neither make-or-break the book’s intended meaning; but I do feel compelled to tell you that there is no such thing as a “yolk of oxen.”


The final person who had a hand in creating this book was the indexer. I won’t go into details about this process, but the indexer is responsible for putting together the set of key words, ideas, people, places, and special terminology that can be looked up in the back of the book, taking you to the corresponding page. Her time was rushed, and a couple of us needed to step in to complete the job for the deadline, but together we got it done.

Two Weeks?

Now, for the most ironic part. For the last dozen years, to anyone who asked me, “How much longer will it take to write your book?” I continually answered, “Two years.” I never seemed to get any closer than that. With the onset of the lockdowns prompted by the pandemic, my tune was finally changed from “two years” to “two months.” That has been my answer since March 2020. It is now, as of this writing, November 21, 2020. As of this moment, are there really only two weeks left until I hold the book in my hands? Might anything unexpected prolong that two weeks? Only one thing might—COVID-19. The printer is in Toronto, and Toronto is going into lockdown again on Monday, November 23, at 12:01 a.m. Will printing be considered an essential service, like the selling of alcohol and marijuana, in the province of Ontario? We’ll find out soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Secret Weapon


Meet Anna Kramer, friend, colleague, and my go-to person when I have something to say but can't find the appropriate words to express what I mean. In advance of promoting this book, Anna helped me craft this teaser.





Have you ever wondered what it was about William Garner Sutherland that allowed him to see something that no other person had, not even A.T. Still himself—the possibility for motion in a set of lifeless cranial bones?

Skull 2
Journeyman is the story of the environmental factors and events that led William Garner Sutherland to that fateful moment in his twenty-seventh year, sometime during the winter of 1899-1900, when he was drawn to a disarticulated human skull displayed in a glass case in the North Hall of the American School of Osteopathy (ASO), in the remote Midwestern town of Kirksville, Missouri. Of the hundreds of students and faculty who would have had an opportunity to peer into that case, only William Garner Sutherland was mentally positioned to imagine the possibilities inherent in that seemingly lifeless set of human skull bones. Join Will (as he is called in the book), and come to appreciate the interweaving threads of influence that created this man of unique receptivity, including dire childhood family circumstances; tremendous mechanical aptitude, concentration, and palpatory skills developed over many years in the newspaper industry; and the stimulating, yet controversial, environment of the ASO during its golden years.













Ah, an author's worst nightmare. A mistake in the text. 

page 116—Charles Hawthorne should be Charles C Hathorn. His name also appears incorrectly in the index.