Dr. Orren Strong Sanders (b.
Strong Sanders, M.D., Boston Mass., was born in Epsom, Merrimack County, N. H.,
September 24, 1820. He is the eldest son of Colonel Job and Pollie Sanders, being
the senior of four sons. The palms of his hands were hardened before he reached
his teens in handling the implements of an industrious farmer.
At the age
of thirteen years and a half he went to live with General Joseph Low, Concord,
N. H., for one year as a servant, receiving for his services two months' schooling
and fifty dollars, the whole of which sum, with the exception of five dollars,
he gave to his father.
The succeeding year he served seven months as a farm-hand
with Judge Whittemore, Pembroke, N. H., for nine dollars a month, rising early
and working late. During the following winter he attended the town school in his
In April, when fifteen years and a half old, he went to
Northwood, N. H., to learn the trade of a carpenter with the late Luther and William
Tasker, receiving fifty dollars and three months' schooling that year.
March, 1836, as soon as the district school closed in Epsom, he decided to change
his purpose in life, and, with his neighbor and friend, Henry F. Sanborn, went
on foot, with a bundle of clothes, a few books in hand and seventeen dollars in
his pocket, seventeen miles to Gilmanton, N. H., where he commenced in earnest
to obtain, in the middle of the spring term, an education. In the summer term
he again went to Gilmanton, boarding himself, with three other students, for ninety
cents each a week.
In the autumn of the same year, a younger brother desiring
to attend school, he changed his plan, and went to Pembroke, N. H., it being less
than half the distance to "Old Gilmanton," and there he continued his
studies for several successive terms, practicing the economical method of "playing
Shortly after he had attained his sixteenth birthday
he commenced his first school in Chichester, N. H., known as the Meeting-House,
or Reed District, for the sum of eight dollars a month and "boarded round."
This school had about thirty scholars enrolled, and the sixteen dollars appropriated
to the object of education for the winter months secured for them the benefit
of young Sanders' earnest efforts to stimulate them to increased mental activity,
to make up for brevity of opportunity.
The following winter this persevering
youth was reengaged to instruct in the same district, and at the termination of
this school term he commenced teaching the school in Bear Hill District, and at
the end of twelve weeks closed his efforts with a brilliant exhibition.
the following autumn he spent fourteen weeks in Northwood, teaching in the lower
part of the town; following this school, he served as teacher in the "Young
District," in Barrington, returning to Northwood the succeeding winter, and
gave another term of services in the same locality as before.
His last and
final experience as "school-master" was in the Cilley District, in his
native town, where he was favored with a large attendance and secured a successful
Six months after he had passed his nineteenth birthday he commenced
the study of medicines with Dr. Hanover Dickey, Epsom. In the autumn of 1841 he
attended his first course of medical lectures at Dartmouth College, after which
he pursued his medical studies in the anatomical laboratory with Dr. Haynes, Concord.
When he had completed his studies in anatomy, physiology and hygiene with Dr.
Haynes he entered the office of Drs. Chadburne and Buck, with four other students,
forming an interesting class, with daily recitations, taking up several branches
of the medical course.
In the spring of 1843 he went to Lowell, Mass., and
entered the office of Drs. Wheelock, Graves and Allen. In this new relation he
had not only the assistance of Dr. Allen as a private medical tutor, but saw much
practice with Dr. Graves. In the fall of 1843 he graduated at the very popular
medical college, Castleton, Vt.
On the 27th of November, 1843, he united in
matrimony with his present wife, Miss Drusilla, eldest daughter of S. M. Morse,
Esq., Effingham, N. H. In December following he commenced the practice of medicine
in Centre Effingham, where he remained till June, 1847. He then moved to Chichester,
where he entered upon a large and lucrative practice; but in the autumn of 1848
he became interested in the science of homeopathy, as best embodying the true
principles of healing. At this time he disposed of medicines and equipments, and
went to Boston, entering the office of Dr. Samuel Gregg, a distinguished homeopathic
physician; remaining with him, investigating, by study and observation, this new
method of the healing art, for eighteen months; and from that time to the present
Dr. Sanders has followed his profession in Boston, and has been, from the first,
conspicuous among the physicians of that city for his extensive and lucrative
practice and his successful treatment of disease.
The habits of industry and
frugality, formed in youth and student-life, not only gave to Dr. Sanders a vigorous
constitution, but laid a broad foundation for that power of endurance so essential
to enable him to bear that long, continuous professional strain which has secured
him unparalleled success and a high professional reputation.
While he is a
"medical winner" in every sense of the term, with aspirations ever for
the right, he has enjoyed the confidence of his numerous friends, not only in
the city government and Masonic fraternities, but also of the members of the church
to which he has so long been attached.
His generosity has been equal to his
success, and he has contributed with no stinted had to public institutions, and
freely given aid to the deserving poor. He is ever ready to give his support to
any worthy object; and if his large-hearted charities, for the most part secretly
performed, find no place in newspaper reports, they are written in letters of
light by the recording angel in the Book of Life.
His munificence is establishing
the "Home for Little Wanderers" is but one of the many grand and noble
acts of his life.
For several terms Dr. Sanders was a member of the Boston
School Board, and, despite the exigent demands made upon his time by his extensive
practice, he was unfailing in his attendance, and his utterances were always valued
for their suggestiveness and practicability. In fact, industrial education has
long been with the doctor a favorite study, and he has written some excellent
essays on the subject.
He is not, in any sense of the term, a politician,
and yet he has always endeavored, from a consideration of the duties of citizenship,
to make himself familiar with the ever-varying phases of political life, to thoroughly
comprehend the tendency of each political movement and to give his intelligent
support to the public welfare. His judgment has frequently been appealed to, his
influence solicited and nominations to office have been tendered him by appreciative
friends; but hitherto his professional tastes and duties have led him to decline
to have his name appear in the list of political aspirants.
Within the pale
of his profession, however, honors have been thrust upon him, and on the medical
platform he has been a frequent and eloquent speaker.
In 1872 he delivered,
before the Massachusetts Homeopathic Medical Society, a masterly oration on "Progress
without Change of Law." In 1875, before the same body, his address on "Dynamization"
was pronounced to be an able production; and in 1878, when elected president of
the society, his oration on "Homeopathy, the Aggressive Science of Medicine,"
was received by the audience as a new revelation of the triumphant progress of
similia similibus curantur. He has frequently lectured before the Ladies' Boston
Physiological Society, and his lucid expositions of hygienic law were always listened
to with marked appreciation; and the records of other medical societies will bear
witness to his readiness to contribute his quota of original thought to the medical
knowledge of the day. His article on cholera, which appeared in the Boston Globe
July 5, 1885, is exhaustive of the subject and has attracted much attention.
As a speaker, he is forcible and earnest, and his appearance on a platform is
such as to at once win the sympathies of an audience. As a writer, his styled
is vigorous and terse; and his clear-cut sentences make it peculiarly attractive.
If his studies had been so directed, he might have excelled as an orator or obtained
a conspicuous place in the ranks of literature.
We give an engraving of his
present commodious residence, at 511 Columbus Avenue, Boston, which was finished
in 1872. This house, which is his own property, and which was erected at a cost
of some hundred thousand dollars, was designed throughout by himself, and seems
to indicate that, if he had not been a doctor, he might have become eminent as
an architect. The sanitary appliances are perfect, the decorations in excellent
taste, the arrangements for comfort and convenience the best possible, and from
basement to attic it bears testimony to the high development of the doctor's constructive
The lion, life-size, which is placed in couchant attitude on the
corner of the house, and is a conspicuous ornament to the avenue, was carved from
a block of granite selected by the doctor himself, and, as a work of art, may
compare favorably with the famous lions of Landseer, which adorn Trafalgar Square,
To my own knowledge, the benevolent deeds done by this physician
during his residence in the city of his adoption are sufficiently numerous to
fill a volume, but in such an outline sketch as this it would be impossible to
enumerate them, and I can only say, in closing, that what Dr. Sanders has done
for God and humanity is but an example of what other young men may accomplish,
if they will only model their lives after his perseverance, self-denial and unblemished