(As published in The Cremationist of North America, Winter, 2013)
Dr. Hugo Erichsen was born in Detroit, Michigan, on June 22, 1860, the son of Claus Detlef and Elise (Ruslaub) Erichsen. Educated at the German-American Seminary in Detroit and the Realschule in Kiel, Germany, Erichsen graduated from Detroit Medical College on March 6, 1882. He was also a graduate of the Medical Department at the University of Vermont and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. On June 1, 1886, he married Emma Amelia Eggeman in Detroit.
Dr. Erichsen practiced medicine in Detroit and was the city physician from 1888 to 1890. Prior to that, he was professor of diseases of the brain and nervous system in Quincy, Illinois, from 1883 to 1885. In the literary realm, he was assistant editor for Detroit Clinic in 1883, and subsequently associate editor for Western Medical Reporter. He contributed to medical journals and standard popular magazines and authored a number of books, including Medical Rhymes (1884), The Cremation of the Dead (1887), and Methods of Authors (1894).