He was born Georg Franz Straub on March 14, 1879 to Georg and Margaretha Straub in Edenkoben, Germany. He was a pre-med graduate from University of Wurzburg and in 1903, earned a Medical Degree, summa cum laude, from University of Heidelberg.
In 1903, he immigrated from Germany to London to America. (Apparently, at a family party that year, he struck a drunk relative (an officer in the German army;) the penalty was either to face a court-martial or leave the country.) He left. (Magaoay)
He met and later married Adele Germains on November 20, 1907 in Manhattan, New York. That year, they moved to Honolulu and he started his medical practice. (He ‘Americanized’ the spelling of his name to George Francis Straub.)
He was a consulting physician of the Honolulu Institute for Physiotherapy, that offered “All kinds of Electric Light Baths (blue, red, white and violet), Steam Baths; Turkish, Russian, Pine Needle, Nauheim. Carbonic Acid and Oxygen, or Medical Baths; Massage, X-Rays and High Frequency, etc.”
He was also a surgeon; “Yesterday afternoon there was a Caesarian operation performed in Queen’s Hospital on Mrs. Hopii Kolo by Dr George F Straub with the assistance of Doctor Hobdy.”
“The operation was in every respect a great success, mother and baby doing well. This is the second time that Doctor Straub has performed this operation successfully in these Islands and these are the only.” (Pacific Commercial Advertiser, September 14, 1910)
Then a fire destroyed “the old McGrew residence on the corner of Beretania and Richards … Dr Straub, who was consulting physician of the Honolulu Institute of Physiotherapy, which was located in the building, sustained a loss of about $4,000, and all his Instruments were destroyed.”
“… it was a very old house and burnt like a box of matches once it had caught alight. … Dr Straub resides in another cottage at the rear of the burnt building,… Dr. Straub has not decided upon what to do as regards his Institute, but he will make up his mind within a day or two, when he finds out exactly where he stands.” (Evening Bulletin, October 20, 1910)
He built a 15-room, 2-story wood-frame building at 410 South Beretania Street (at Miller Street across from Washington Place – he had his office on the first floor and his home on the second.) By 1916 his practice had grown to the point that he recruited an assistant, Dr. Guy C Milnor.
Straub began to envision a clinic providing specialized care in five major fields of medicine: Obstetrics and Gynecology; Surgery; Internal Medicine; Ear Nose & Throat; and Clinical Pathology. He and Milnor joined with Dr Arthur Jackson, a specialist in internal medicine in 1920 and the group operated for a short time as Straub, Milnor, and Jackson. (AfterCollege)
After the turn of the century, residents of Honolulu found it fashionable to have a ‘country place’ and beach houses began to spring up on Mōkapu. Straub preferred the coastal breezes and bird-shooting spots of Ft Hase and Nu‘upia Pond. (Steele)
It was first a one-room cottage; “If you could call a shipping crate a room.… Whenever I could get hold of another crate, it meant another room. It was simple construction. Just nail them together, cut a door, and there it was, an additional room bigger.” (Straub)
It could well be called the first “ranch-style” home on the island. Straub later gave the building to the military and moved to Waikiki. (His Mōkapu retreat served as an officer’s club for the growing military presence on the peninsula.) (Steele)
Straub divorced Adele in 1917 (“alleging extreme cruelty and desertion.”) (Star Bulletin, December 3, 1917) He went back to the mainland for a while.
Many of his Hawai‘i patients signed a petition asking him to return to the island, offering him passage via the Panama Canal. The cold weather of New England helped him decide on a Honolulu practice. (Windward Marine, October 25, 1962) He married Gertrude Scott and returned to the Islands.
In 1920, Straub’s medical partnership with Milnor and Jackson expanded; after leaving the Army, Dr Howard Clarke joined as a specialist in Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat, and Dr Eric A Fennel joined the group as pathologist.
On January 1, 1921, the five founding doctors formally organized themselves as a legal partnership. At Dr. Straub’s insistence the group he founded did not bear his name, and it was to be known simply as “The Clinic”. (AfterCollege)
The Clinic expanded and moved to the Strode Building on Young Street. In 1952, after years of success and growth, The Clinic was renamed ‘Straub Clinic’ in honor of Dr Straub, its principal founder. (HonoluluTown)
January 6, 1970, ground was broken for a 159-bed hospital and adjacent parking structure. Later that year, the Straub Clinic Partnership became a corporation and renamed Straub Clinic, Inc. February 4, 1973, it became Straub Clinic & Hospital, and Straub Hospital opened its doors. Straub opened its first satellite clinic on the Leeward side of O‘ahu in 1977.
Later, anchored by its four hospitals with the merger of Straub, Wilcox, Pali Momi and Kapiʻolani Hospitals (as well as its numerous satellite facilities,) Hawai‘i Pacific Health became one of the largest health care delivery systems in Hawai‘i.
Straub played cello with the Honolulu Symphony; after he retired from his medical practice (1933,) he turned his passion to hand-crafting violins. (Nakaso) Straub died May 21, 1966 in Honolulu.
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Edmund H Oshiro says
Thank you for sharing Peter