TABLE OF CONTENTS
Dr. Ernst William Bertner was born at Colorado City, Texas, August 18, 1889. After graduating from the local high school and the New Mexico Military Institute at Roswell, New Mexico, he entered the Medical Branch of the University of Texas, Galveston, receiving his MD in 1911.
Following his graduation, he took intern and residency training at the Willard Parker Hospital, Saint Vincent's Hospital and the Manhattan Maternity Hospital, all in New York City. He came to Houston in July, 1913, where he engaged in practice until World War I, when he enlisted in the Medical Corps.
He was assigned to the British Army, and went overseas in July, 1917. In March, 1918, he was transferred to the American Expeditionary Force, and assigned to Headquarters Medical and Surgical Consultants at Newfchateau, France.
Dr. Bertner had a varied and exciting career in France and served actively on most of the front lines. He was wounded by shrapnel and confined to a hospital for a short period of time. He was soon returned to duty. At one time he was caught in one of the famous German pincers movements and was one of the few surviving Medical Officers.
He was discharged from the Army in June, 1919, at Camp Dix, New Jersey with the rank of Major. The following month he resumed his practice in Houston. In May 1921, he went to Baltimore, Maryland, for post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in surgery, gynecology, and urology. He resumed practice in Houston in May 1922, and has since that time limited his work to surgery and gynecology.
He was married at St. Louis, November 30, 1922, to Miss Julia Williams, daughter of the late W.E. Williams formerly General Manager of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad in Texas.
Dr. Bertner was always an active member of organized medicine, in the county, state and national organizations and served as seventy-second president of Texas State Medical Association. He served as President of the Harris County Medical Society, President of the Post Graduate Medical Assembly of South Texas, President of the Texas Surgical Society, and President of the Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He was State Counsellor and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was a member of the American Medical Association, American Urological Association, American Gynecological Association, Central Association of Gynecologists, and Interurban Gynecological Society.
Dr. Bertner was active in hospital organization, having formerly been Chief of Staff of Jefferson Davis Hospital in Houston, and very active in building the first unit of that institution. Later, he became identified with Hermann Hospital and did much towards the development of the institution, where he served as Chief of Staff. He was also on the Surgical Staff of Memorial Hospital and Southern Pacific Hospital in Houston.
He served as Vice-Chairman of the Houston Board of Health and Executive Committeeman of the Texas Social Hygiene Association. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Houston, a 32nd degree Mason, Knight Templar, Shriner and Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the Scottish Rite, and a member of the Houston Club, Ramada Club, and Houston Country Club.
Dr. Bertner was one of the founders of the Texas Medical Center and was its President since it was chartered November 1, 1945. He was named by the University of Texas as acting director of the M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research when that institution was conceived. He was responsible for the professional organization and the operation of the hospital for the first four years of its existence. He served as professor and chairman of the department of gynecology for the Baylor University College of Medicine since its establishment in Houston 1943 until his death.
During World War II he was in command of the Emergency Medical Service of the Office of Civilian Defense, and received a Presidential Citation for this service.
Dr. Bertner was a past Vice-President of the American Cancer Society and served on its Board for several years. He was chairman of the Executive Committee of the Texas Division and received the American Cancer Society award for distinguished service in cancer control in 1949. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Houston Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Citizen's Committee for Reorganization of the Executive Branch of the Government, an outgrowth of the Hoover Commission Report.
Taken from a Biography written May, 1950, Series II, Box 3, folder 6.
Dr. Bertner died July 28, 1950 in Houston following a two year battle with cancer. He was survived by his wife, Julia Williams Bertner, two sisters and a niece.
Taken from Texas Cancer Triangle, official newspaper of the American Cancer Society, Texas Division, September, 1950, Series I, Box 1, Folder 1.
Julia Williams Bertner Naylor (widow of Dr. Bertner) and William D. Seybold, MD donated the material in Series I, III, IV, and V in 1974 and 1975. This material contains information about Dr. Bertner's service in World War I, letters to Julia Williams, biographical information, scrapbooks and commemorative memorabilia, and letters of condolence to his widow.
The Papers of R. Lee Clark, MD (MS70) contained materials that dealt with Dr. Bertner's tenure at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. These papers were transferred in 2006 to the Bertner collection as Series II. Contents include materials which relate to Dr. Bertner's personal life, as well as speeches, interviews, and articles in connection with the establishment of the Texas Medical Center. Interviews about Dr. Bertner by Mrs. Naylor in the early 1970s are also included.
Additional information on Dr. Bertner can be found in the Papers of William D. Seybold, M.D. (MS4). Also see the Papers of R. Lee Clark, M.D. (MS70) Box 74, Folder 2; Box 104, Folders 7 and 11.
Several photographs were withdrawn from the collection and transferred to the Graphic Works Collection. See Bertner in Subjects Physicians and Seybold in Donors.
Mrs. Julia Williams Bertner Naylor and William D. Seybold, MD donated papers to the Archive in 1974 and 1975. The Collection was organized by Randy Sparks in 1983. In 2006, papers were added to this Collection from the R. Lee Clark, MD Collection (MS70). At that time Series II Correspondence, Professional was added and the other Series numbers were adjusted. Other than some rearrangement of plaques for storage purposes, the order of the Collection was maintained in its 1983 format. This Guide replaces all previous Guides.
Ernst W. Bertner, MD Papers, Manuscript Collection No. 2, John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library
The collection was reviewed for duplicate materials and to establish or re-establish the order. Duplicate reprints were discarded. Paperclips and most other binding material were removed. When necessary, materials were interleaved with archival bond or put into mylar envelopes. Some articles and reports on acidic paper were copied onto archival bond and then discarded. Legal documents folded and housed in letter-sized folders were unfolded and the letter-sized folders replaced with legal-sized folders.