The traditional parade through the north end of Springfield kicked off the Illinois State Fair Thursday night. The grand marshal was a man famous for his five-dollar fee for an office call – Rushville physician Dr. Russell Dohner, 88. He says he had not actually been much of a fairgoer, preferring to stay close to home. And he says he started as a two-dollar doctor in 1955, but publicity over his fee led him to raise it – twice!
“It is all right, because I am not in the practice of medicine for money,” Dr. Dohner says, acknowledging he's been criticized for his low fee. “I am there to help medically as best I can.”
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Dr. Dohner led a procession of bands, politicians, antique vehicles, and advertisers to the fairgrounds, where the big event runs until Aug. 18.