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Hubert Work is Born

Today in Masonic History Hubert Work is born in 1860.

Hubert Work was an American doctor and administrator.

Work was born on July 3rd, 1860 in Marion Center, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Michigan from 1882 to 1883. He went on to the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree in 1885.

After graduation Work relocated to Greeley Colorado where he established a practice, before moving on to Pueblo, Colorado. It was there, in 1896, he opened the Woodcroft Hospital where he remained it's director until 1917.

Work was active in the Republican Party in Colorado. Although well known for his medical skill locally, it was through the Republican National Committee he gained national attention as a political activist. In 1912 he served as the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. In 1914 he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in a special election. It was the first election held in Colorado under the Seventeenth Amendment which allowed United States Senators to be elected by popular vote instead of by the State Legislature.

During World War I, Work served as part of the United States Army Medical Corp. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel while in the service.

From 1921 to 1922, Work served as the President of the American Medical Association. During the same time he was the United States Assistant Postmaster General. From 1922 to 1923 he served as the United States Postmaster General.

In 1923 Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall resigned due to the Teapot Dome Scandal. The scandal involved an area called Teapot Dome when Fall gave exclusive drilling rights to two of his close friends. When Fall resigned, Work was appointed by President Warren G. Harding as the United States Secretary of the Interior serving until 1928 under the administrations of Presidents Harding and Calvin Coolidge. He was the first physician to serve in a cabinet position. During his time as Secretary of the Interior American Citizenship was officially granted to the Native Americans in the United States. He also worked to change the reputation of the department of the Interior. He wanted to move beyond the controversy between the East and the West over proper disposal of western resources by declaring an end to the era of exploitation of the public domain and heralding a new age of conservation. His actions improved the reputation of the department and increased awareness of serious threats to the environment.

Work passed away on December 14th, 1942.

Work was a member of Pueblo Lodge No. 17, Pueblo, Colorado.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.