Orren Strong Sanders


Dr. Orren Strong Sanders (b. Epsom, 1820)

Orren 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 father's district.
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.
In 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 house-keeping."
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.
In 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 result.
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 faculties.
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, in London.
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 habits. "M.