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Dr. H.D. Britan is the answer for Week 347 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

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Monday: Lived to be 89 years old

Tuesday: Taught in the Philippines for three years

Wednesday: Came to Orofino in about 1908

Thursday: Born in Bethlehem, IN before the turn of the century

Friday: He practiced dentistry in Illinois and Orofino.

Dr. Herbert D. Britan was born Sept. 16, 1878 in Bethlehem, IN and moved with his parents to Hanover, IN in 1892. He graduated from Hanover College in 1901 and taught for a year at Alexandria College in Alexandria, KY before going to the Philippines to teach. He was among the first teachers sent to develop the islands' school system, according to his obituary (Lewiston Morning Tribune June 28, 1968).

Dr. Herbert D. Britan (right) and his wife are shown outside the dental office in Stites. (Photo courtesy of Clearwater Historical Museum)

After returning to the U.S., he attended the College of Dental Surgery in Chicago, IL and graduated in 1907. In 1908, he married Minerva E. Brothy, who at the time was superintendent of Francis Willard Hospital in Chicago. He practiced dentistry in Danville, IL for a year before coming to Orofino. When he came to Orofino, he practiced in both Orofino and Stites. Later he cut back his practice and focused on Orofino. He retired in 1960.

Minerva died in Orofino in 1944. In 1948, he married Nettie Bennel. She died in 1963 and the time of his death he had no known survivors.

Britan is best known for his generosity in donating the building and land that started the current facilities for the Clearwater Memorial Public Library on the corner of Michigan and B St. in Orofino.

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Lewiston 208-503-7107
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