Dr. SLAYBACK practiced in Hamilton for several years, about 1818, after which he removed to Cincinnati. He was a very respectable physician.
Dr. John WEILY was here as early as 1819, probably. He died in 1823, on Third Street, much respected. Dr. Henry BAKER and Dr. Samuel WOODS were here as partners in 1823, dissolving partnership in 1824. Dr. BAKER continued the practice, preaching also, a part of the time, in the Methodist Church.
Dr. John DUNLEVY came to Hamilton from Lebanon about the year 1822 or 1823. He was a very thoroughly educated physician, perhaps the first of that kind in the county, and occupied a high place in the profession. In 1834 he returned to Lebanon. An Advertisement of his in the Volunteer, in 1823, reads as follows:
Has recently opened a general assortment of fresh medicines in the house joining Mr. FALCONER’s tavern, in Rossville, which he will retail at Cincinnati prices.
He will continue to attend to the different branches of his profession on either side of the river. He may be found at his shop, or at his lodgings at Col. HALL’s, when not engaged in professional services.
Dr. L. W. SMITH was in Hamilton as a practitioner in the year 1824. He was a genial gentleman, but did not remain beyond that year. Dr. Jeremiah WOOLSEY immigrayed from New Jersey about 1823, and was a censor of the District Medical Society in 1824. He resided on the west side of the river.
Dr. Alexander RAMSEY and Dr. GUNN were here at the same time, in 1819 or 1820. The latter was a superior man, and a graduate of the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons. His abilities and attainments were, however, drowned in the ocean of intemperance, as were those of Dr. Alexander PROUDFIT.
Dr. Loammi RIGDON was born in Pennsylvania, September 30, 1791, and graduated in medicine at the Transylvania Medical College, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1823. He practiced for eleven years in Wilmington, Ohio, and came to Lebanon in 1824. In March, 1826, he came to Hamilton, and entered into partnership with Dr. John C. DUNLEVY. Early in 1834, Dr. DUNLEVY removed to Lebanon, and in October of that year Dr. RIGDON took into partnership, for a term of three years, Dr. Cyrus FALCONER. October 9, 1815, he was married to Rebecca DUNLEVY, the oldest daughter of Judge Francis DUNLEVY. He died on the 10th of May, 1865. In all of the active years of his professional life he had a large medical practice. He was for many years a respected member of the Baptist Church, and died full of honors as of years.
The State was, in the early part of the century, divided by law into medical districts, and in 1824 this county and Preble formed the second. They met at Oxford on the 25th of May, and appointed the following officers: Daniel MILLIKIN, president; George R. BROWN, vice-president; James R. HUGHES, treasurer; Peter VAN DERVEER, secretary; John C. DUNLEVY, Peter VAN DERVEER, Jesse PARAMOUR, James R. HUGHES, Jeremiah WOLSEY, censors. Members: John WOODS, Eliphalet STEPHENS, James M. CORY, Jas. H. BUELL, Otho EVANS, Samuel WOODS, Wm. BUNNEL, Dan EGBERT, Robert B. MILLIKIN, E. C. MYERS, John RICHEY, Alexander PROUDFIT, David BAKER, and Daniel D. HALL.
A code of bylaws was adopted, which required that the society should meet twice a year at Hamilton, when the board of censors would attend to the examination of candidates for license to practice physic and surgery. The censors were likewise authorized to hold meetings for the examination of candidates during the recess of the society.
By one of the by-laws, members of the society were forbidden, after the next semi-annual meeting, to consult with, or meet on professional business, any person who was not a member of this or some other regularly organized medical society.
An address or dissertation on some medical or scientific subject was required to be delivered at each regular meeting of the society, by some member appointed at the preceding meeting, and Dr. John C. DUNLEVY, M. D., was appointed to deliver the address at the next semi-annual meeting, on the last Tuesday in November.
Persons hereafter admitted as members were required to pay two dollars into the hands of the treasurer, on their admission, and the annual assessment of each member was made fifty cents.
By a by-law of the society, every member who was called to a patient who had, during his present illness, been attended by another, was to ascertain whether the other physician understood that the patient was no longer under his care, and, unless he was dismissed, or had voluntarily relinquished the patient, the second physician was to take charge of the patient or give his advice without a regular consultation, except in case of emergency.
At the same time and place the board of censors met, and examined and furnished with certificates, agreeably to law, Henry BAKER and Daniel D. HALL, who were licensed to practice physic and surgery as soon as the society should obtain a suitable seal.
By resolution of the society, a general statement of its proceedings at this meeting, signed by the secretary, was ordered to be published in one or more of the newspapers at Hamilton and Eaton.
Dr. Joab HUNT, of New Jersey, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, arrived here in 1831, and for two years was a partner of Dr. R. B. MILLIKIN, of Rossville. He then removed to Mississippi. Dr. Richmond BROWNELL, who had studied medicine with Dr. R. B. MILLIKIN, partly at the same time as Dr. Cyrus FALCONER, had briefly practiced as partner of the preceptor, and removed to Paducah, Kentucky, just before the advent of Dr. HUNT.
Dr. Jacob HITTELL, born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in 1797, moved to Butler County in 1839, and after spending three years in Trenton and Rossville, bought a home directly in front of the courthouse on High Street, devoting himself to the practice of his profession. He was of German descent, his father having come from Europe in the early part of the eighteenth century. When he was a boy the common speech in Lehigh was German, and he knew no English when he started out, at fourteen to earn his living. At sixteen he was a clerk in a grocery store, saving every cent not necessary for food, clothing, lodging, and education. He had every thing to learn, and he had already determined that he would be a physician. After eight years of unaided effort, he obtained his diploma, with the signatures of RUSH, PHYSIK, WISTRA, and the other great professors of the leading medical college in the United States at that time. He then had eight more years of struggle before he had a comfortable position, pecuniarily. His settlement in Hamilton proved fortunate for him. He was industrious, economical, and sharp-witted. He bought lots, which rapidly rose in value. There were many Germans and Pennsylvania Germans in the county, who gave him most of their medical practice, and his income from that source arose in some years, it is said, to $5,000 – a large amount forty years ago. Nearly every Fall he took a journey through Northern Ohio and Indiana, to buy wild land, which was then rising rapidly in value. These purchases turned out well in almost every instance; and as early as 1840 Dr. HITTELL was considered one of the richest men of Butler County. He was a very close man in money matters; but in at least one respect no man in Hamilton was more generous – that was, in educating his children, of whom he had five. One of these graduated at a young ladies’ seminary in Philadelphia, one in Holyoke, one in Oxford, and one in Yale; the other would not graduate anywhere because he disliked books. About 1865, when nearly seventy years of age, Dr. HITTELL abandoned his practice and moved back to his old home in Pennsylvania, where he died in 1878. He laid off an addition to Hamilton in the southern part of the town, near the eastern bank of the river. He was a good surgeon, and a jovial associate among those whose company he enjoyed.
John S. HITTELL, his eldest son, was seven years old when his father arrived in Hamilton. After graduating at Oxford, he read law for some time with the late John WOODS, William BECKETT being in the office with him. Dyspepsia interrupted his studies, and he never completed them. He went to California in 1849, and, after trying his hand at various occupations, including mining, became one of the editorial writers of the Alta California newspaper, a position which he held, though not continuously, for more than twenty-four years. He was known as a hard worker and careful student, as was soon recognized as an authority in matters relating to the industries and resources of the State. In 1862 he published a book called "The Resources of California," and the seventh edition of it appeared in 1879. "A History of San Francisco," from his pen, was issued in 1878. Her has written several other books, numbering at least half a dozen, and has contributed much to cyclopedias and magazines. His range of knowledge is wide, including familiarity with the literature and tongues of Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. He is a bachelor.
Theodore H. HITTELL, his brother, born in 1830, studied law in Cincinnati, and moved to San Francisco in 1855, where he was for a time a journalist, and is now an attorney. He has been engaged in some very heavy law-suits, including the Lick will case and the San Pablo partition suit, in which, rumor says, his fees have amounted to little fortunes. He has been a member of the State Senate, and has compiled several law-books, which are standard authorities; and perhaps no name appears more frequently than his in the in the reports of the State Supreme Court. He is married and has three children.
The youngest living child of Jacob HITTELL, Mary, is wife of John W. KILLINGER, who has represented the Lebanon District, Pennsylvania, for four terms in Congress. Her sister lives in single blessed.
Dr. William KELLEY, who had studied with R. B. MILLIKIN, practiced several years, probably from 1834 to 1836, and then removed to Mississippi.
On Monday, January 2, 1837, a large portion of the physicians of Butler County met at Blair’s Hotel, at the request of Dr. FALCONER and one or two other physicians, and organized a county medical association. They adopted the American code of ethics, and greed upon a fee-bill, the first ever thought of here. Previous to this the ordinary price for a visit was twenty-five cents, and mileage in country practice twenty-five cents a mile; obstetrical fee from two to three dollars; night practice at the same prices. By this new agreement prices were raised to a dollar for a visit. We give one of the reolutions:
"Resolved (unanimously), That the grade of professional fees this day adopted shall be the standard by which our fees in the future shall be regulated, and that our honor as gentlemen and physicians is hereby pledged that we will adhere to it in all cases, except when charity or some motive equally honorable may induce us to depart from it: Provided, That where, from ungentlemanly neighboring physicians or other extreme cases, a physician is certain that his practice will be seriously and permanently injured by the adherence of this code, then he shall be held absolved from the obligation hereby imposed."
It will be seen that this is a most lame and impotent conclusion. It was impossible at that time to maintain barriers so strong.
This period, from 1830 to 1850, is to be distinguished as one of medical ferment. Our fathers practiced their art by the best lights then attainable; but it was impossible for them to gain as thorough a knowledge of of the human frame and its diseases and remedies as is now practicable. A reaction sprung up in the earlier part of this period against the excessive use of purgatives, blood-letting and calomel, and soon attained a foothold among the people. It soon crystallized into a theory that "heat is life, and cold is death," and that whatever tends to weaken the system or reduce temperature is positively hurtful. This was known as the Thompsonian or botanic school, and in derision its professors were called by their opponents "steam doctors." They carried about with them, at all times, apparatus to conduct steam from a fire to the patient. Rooms were closed, and the sick thoroughly heated. The appostle of this theory in this neighborhood was then the Rev. Wilson THOMPSON, pastor of the Baptist Church, who practiced as a botanic or steam physician. He was really an eloquent man, and he thundered from his pulpit, week after week, denunciations of the "calomel murderers," and even calling them by name. The adherents of the new views rapidly increased in numbers, but an unlucky epidemic destroyed their faith. The cholera was raging one year, after they had acquired this foothold, and in Columbus, where it was particularly bad, the deaths were very numerous. The followers of Dr. Samuel THOMPSON were very unsuccessful. Those that they treated died as fast, if not faster, than those who were treated by the allopaths; and they never recovered from the blow.
Dr. Loammi RIGDON, after the death of Dr. Daniel MILLIKIN, was the senior physician in Hamilton, in active practice. He was born in Pennsylvania September 30, 1791, and graduated in medicine at Transylvania Medical College, at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1823. He practiced for eleven months in Wilmington, Ohio, removed to Lebanon in 1824, and in March, 1826, came to Hamilton, and enterred into partnership with Dr. John C. DUNLEVY. Early in 1834, Dr, DUNLEVY removed to Lebanon, and in October of that year Dr. RIGDON took into partnership Dr. Cyrus FALCONER for a term of three years. On the 9th of October, 1815, he was married to Rebecca DUNLEVY, the oldest daughter of Judge Francis DUNLEVY. Dr. RIGDON was for a long time president of the County Medical Society, and died on the 10th of July, 1865. In all the active years of his professional life he had a large medical practice. He was for many years a member of the Baptist Church, and died full of honors and of years.
Butler County has contributed a large number of settlers to California. Among those who studied medicine here before going thither was Alexander B. NIXON, M. D., of Sacramento, who was born March 1, 1820, in this county, his family being of English, Irish, and Welsh descent. He was educated in common schools and the Miami University. He was a student of Dr. C. FALCONER, of Hamilton, and graduated from the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, in 1846, and began the practice of his profession in Hamilton, and continued there until the Spring of 1849, when he emigrated to California, and finally settled in Sacramento, the capitol of the State, where he has since been continuously engaged in the general practice of his calling. He has filled the office of the president of the State Medical Society, and also the office of secretary; has been the president of the State Medical Society, and also the office of secretary; has been president of the Sacramento County Society, acting as its secretary for a period of three years in succession; and is now president of the City Board of Health. He also holds the office of commissioner of lunacy, a position which he has occupied during the last twenty-four years, and is author of a pamphlet on the subject of insanity, and of late years has written a number of papers upon medical subjects for the medical journals. He is now and has been for the last twelve years, surgeon-in-chief of the Central Pacific Railroad Hospital. In 1856 he took an active part in the organization of the Republican party, and in 1861 was elected State senator on that ticket. During the late civil war he held the office of surgeon of the Board of Enrollment for the Middle District of California. He was married in Hamilton, in 1845, to Margaret BIGHAM, oldest daughter of the late George BIGHAM. About two years ago his wife died leaving him with a family of one daughter and three sons. He is very much attached to his adopted State, but says the next best place is Butler County, Ohio.
Dr. Lloyd FAIRMAN was a physician in Trenton about 1828, remaining there some seven or eight years. He married Mary TODD, of Newport.
Dr. Isaac N. GARD, a son of the Rev. Stephen GARD, the earliest resident preacher in the county, was born in Trenton in 1811, attended the Miami University in Oxford, and graduated at the Ohio Medical University in March, 1831, beginning medical practice in Jacksonburg the same year, where he continued until 1834. He then went to Greenville, Darke County, where he has remained ever since, with some brief interruptions, now having been a practitioner over fifty years. In 1841 and 1842 he represented the counties of Darke, Mercer, Shelby and Miami in the lower house of the Legislature. In 1858 and 1859 he represented the counties of Darke, Miami, and Shelby in the State Senate. He served one year as president of the Greenville and Miami Railroad during its construction, and sixteen years as trustee of the Southern Lunaric Asylum at Dayton.
Dr. Luther JEWETT was a native of New England and came to Trenton in 1834, when he was about twenty-seven years of age. On his first arrival he went into partnership with Dr. LITTELL; but after a while he engaged in business on his own account. Trenton and its neighborhood was then almost wholly German, as the Mennonites and other persons from the father-land were on all sides of it, and the Americans were, therefore, driven more closely together than they were elsewhere. Dr. JEWETT formed the life of this society. He was eminently successful as a physician; but he also displayed great ability in the management of his pecuniary affairs, a point in which the medical profession are often remiss. Where other physicians lost from one-third to one-half of their accounts, he only lost a trifling percentage. He had a genius for dunning, and did not, remarkable as it may seem, drive away his patients by it. He remained in that town until about 1840, when he removed to Lafayette, Indiana, a place then on the outskirts of civilization. Dr. JEWETT succeeded in that cityas well as he had in Trenton, and soon had money to his credit. His fame was coexistent with that part of the State. After becoming thoroughly settled, he went back to Vermont, married a wife, and brought her on. But the variation of the climate and the way of living soon developed a hidden disease, and she died after only six weeks of married life. Dr. JEWETT remained in town till his death, which was about 1865 or 1870, leaving a large property, valued at over $100,000, behind him. He was a man of very peculiar ideas. Among others which might be specified, he was an Abolitionist, He denied the right of one man to hold another in bondage, under any circumstances, and he enforced his view with earnestness and ability. It needed some nerve to be an Abolitionist in 1836 or 1840, much more than it did 20 years after. He was an excellent story-teller, and did not grieve when he himself was made the point of some witty story. He was the brother of Dr. JEWETT, of Dayton, the president of the board of directors of the insane asylum of that place. In personal appearance he was tall and striking.
About the year 1808, Dr. LITTLE, a very aged gentleman, and his son, who was also a physician, came from Connecticut to the neighborhood of Venice. The elder LITTLE enjoyed a very enviable reputation as surgeon in the East; but, owing to the infirmities of age, did only an office practice after coming to Ohio. The son, though considered a good physician, did not possess the skill and learning of the father. The elder LITTLE died soon after locating in Ohio, and the son married a Miss COAN, whose brother still survives her, near Venice. After a few years he moved to near Miamitown, where he purchased a farm, and combined the practice of his profession with agriculture. The LITTLE’s prepared a salve which, it is said, possessed wonderful healing properties.
Dr. Benjamin T. CLARKE, whose numerous progeny survive him, came to the neighborhood of Venice, from New York, in 1814. In 1816 the doctor laid out the western division of the village of Venice, calling it, at that time, Venus. He is described as a tall, spare-built man, well-informed on general topics. The doctor continued to practice until his death, which occurred in 1826.
Contemporary with Dr. CLARKE was Dr. John WOOD, a large, well-proportioned man. He was a large, well-proportioned man. He, with his relatives, the BUTTERFIELD’s, emigrated from New York in 1816. The doctor was very popular, and for a number of years did most of the practice. In 1828 he, with his family, removed to Illinois, where we lose his history. The doctor was a firm believer in the efficacy of large doses of calomel and the lancet. It is said that he abstracted blood with a lavish hand, and made it a practice to bleed his acute cases daily.
Dr. BLACKLEACH, a native of Warren County, succeeded Dr. WOOD in 1828. He practiced his profession in Venice many years. In 1839 he was succeeded by Dr. PRATHER. During his residence several itinerants paid Venice short visits; but their names and histories cannot be obtained. The doctor was tall, spare-built, stoop-shouldered, and had very sunken eyes. He was very quiet, but was remarkable for a vein of dry humor. He held almost undisputed sway for many years, removing to Lebanon, Ohio, in 1839, where he continued to live until his death. His daughter still survives him there.
Dr. PRATHER succeeded Dr. BLACKLEACH in 1839. A short time before leaving his home in Virginia he married a Miss BIRCKHEAD. The doctor’s sojourn was characterized by turbulence – doctors’ wars without number; sometimes maintaining his practice against three competitors. He retired from the contest in 1853, selling his practice to Dr. R. P. LAMB. The doctor removed to the Wabash country of Indiana. He was a medium-sized man, very sociable and well-informed, and a successful practitioner. During his practice quinine, it is said, was first introduced into practice in Venice.
Contemporary with Dr. PRATHER was Dr. BIRCKHEAD, who read medicine with his brother-in-law, Prather, and graduated with honors in the same class with Professor John DAVIS of Cincinnati. The competition between Davis and BIRCKHEAD for the honors of the class was very close. After graduating he practiced in competition with his preceptor for about one year, when, losing his wife (formerly Miss Euphemia DICK, of the village), re removed west to Missouri, whence he returned a few years later, broken in health. He never succeeded in establishing a large practice, though he remained a number of years.
In 1841, Dr. BAMFORD, a successful physician and a good citizen, but a man of feeble health, located for a short time.
Drs. COGLEY and HAINES, of whom very favorable mention is made, were both located in Venice for a short time. The latter, Dr. HAINES, is now at Seven-Mile.
Dr. SCOTT located in Venice in 1847, and married Miss Margaret DICK, who, with her son, still survives him in Venice. In 1851 Dr. Scott removed to Paddy’s Run, where he soon established a good practice. A few years later he retired, and removed to his farm near Venice. He was arranging to enter the service as a surgeon in the late war, when he died of typhoid fever.
Dr. R. P. LAMB married Mary HEDGES, in Illinois, in 1853. They visited her parents living in Butler and Hamilton counties during their wedding-trip. The doctor became infatuated with the charms and beauties of the Miami Valley, and decided to locate in Venice. An offer to sell property and practice, made him by Dr. PRATHER, was promptly accepted. His social and sympathetic nature soon gave him popularity and patronage. He remained in Venice until his death, which occurred in 1867, in the forty-seventh year of his age.
Dr. WATERHOUSE located in Venice in 1854, and established a fair practice. In about two years after coming to Venice, he turned his attention to the study of theology, and sometime later entered the Cincinnati Conference as a Methodist minister. He at present resides in Delaware, Ohio.
Dr. STEVENS, brother of the present editor of the Obstetric Gazette, Cincinnati, and son of the pioneer Dr. STEVENS of Warren County, came to Venice from Lebanon in 1858, and remained until the late war began, when he entered the service as a surgeon. Later we hear of him at Princeton, and at present he is at Westchester, at which place his professional attainments insure him success.
Dr. PHELPS, a gentleman of considerable culture, who was educated in his native section of country, the South, and who practiced his profession in Louisiana for some years, came to Venice in 1864. But a love for drink blasted a career which would undoubtedly otherwise have been brilliant. He died rather suddenly, it is supposed, from an internal injury received a short time prior to his death, which occurred in 1866, at the age of thirty-nine years.
Dr. MORRIS came to Venice, fresh from the scenes of surgical practice in the army, and soon acquired a large practice. The doctor had been itching for surgical cases, which led him to the performance of hazardous and unnecessary operations, in some instances. He performed the operation of lithotomy successfully several times. In general practice he met with ordinary success. He had a large practice and prospered well in a financial way. He sold his practice to Dr. Joseph IUTZI in 1871. His leaving Venice was the beginning of a succession of misfortunes, which followed one close on the heels of another. We hear of him last as a vender of Morris’s Elixir of Wild Cherry.
Contemporary with Dr. MORRIS was Dr. MOOR, who made but a brief sojourn, removing to Groesbeck, Hamilton County, a dozen years ago. Although not very successful in competing with his bombastic opponent, his name and character are remembered to-day (sic) in Venice with high respect.
Dr. Joseph IUTZI, a native of this county, and successor of Dr. MORRIS, practiced in Venice from 1871 to 1878. Dr. IUTZI possessed very fair professional attainments, and met with good success in his practice. He moved to Richmond, Indiana, and soon established a good practice, and is fast advancing to the front rank among physicians of that city.
Contemporary with Dr. IUTZI was Dr. S. R. HAMER, who also located in 1871. The doctor had an extensive experience in the army, and practiced several years in the neighboring village of Paddy’s Run. The doctor was a very companionable person, and his jovial manner and social disposition soon won him a large circle of friends and a lucrative practice, which he enjoyed until the close of his career as a physician.
In the Spring of 1880 he engaged in the business of dealing in and selling real estate on commission, in Denver Colorado, where he has prospered very well.
The physicians at present – Dr. C. C. HOOVER and Dr. M. O. BUTTERFIELD – are both young men, and both graduates of Ohio Medical College.
Polly BELL, Katy PARKER, and Betsy POTTINGER were the first midwives in Jacksonburg. Betsey POTTINGER came to Ohio in 1802 or 1803, from Nicholas County, Kentucky. Dr. ELLIS was the first physician. He left the place in 1820, and located in Indiana, and afterwards was elected auditor of the State.
Dr. Otho EVANS, now a resident of Franklin, Warren County, and who has been so since 1827, located at Jacksonburg , April 21, 1821, and remained there six years. At that time Middletown had two physicians, and Hamilton three of four, Trenton one, one at Oxford, one at Camden, one at Eaton, one at Germantown, and two at Franklin. During the six years that Dr. EVANS was here, the Miami and Erie Canal was commenced, and Ohio inaugurated the free school system. The roads were in a terrible condition. There was not a bridge over four feet wide in the township, nor a buggy in the State. About that time the Dearborn wagons, with wooden springs, were introduced. The following gentlemen were students of Dr. EVANS: Lewis EVANS, Johnson I. PHARES, John C. FALL, John P. HAGGOTT, and Pliny M. CRUME.
Dr. Lewis EVANS located in Middletown, and then removed to Wayne County, Indiana. He crossed the plains to California in 1849 or 1850, and died four or five years ago.
John I. PHARES located at Paris, Illinois, but removed to Fort Madison, Iowa, dying after a day or two of sickness on October 22, 1842.
Pliny M. CRUME was born in Wayne Township, about one mile east of Seven-Mile. He married and located at Astoria, Madison Township, whence he removed to Eaton, Ohio, where he died in 1869. Dr. CRUME was professor of obstetrics in the Cincinnati College of Medicine for several years.
John P. HAGGOTT, who was located at West Chester from 1828 to 1830, formed a partnership with his preceptor at Franklin, and was there twelve years. He then removed to Sidney, Ohio, and edited a newspaper until the war broke out in 1861. On the 3d of October of that year he was appointed surgeon of the Fifty-seventh Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. At Pittsburg Landing, immediately after the battle of Shiloh, he was attacked with camp diarrhea, and was removed to St. Louis, Missouri, where he died, April 30, 1862.
John C. FALL located at Lewisburg, Preble County, having a lucrative practice for twenty-five years. He became a convert to "small pill," making a failure of it, and dying, in 1876, at Xenia, Ohio, a broken-hearted man. From the day he embraced the new faith disaster followed him.
William MILLER came here in 1834 or 1835, and left, in 1855, for Minnesota. He was a paralytic for years, and died in 1876. Dr. Miller advocated the theory that the blood of a black cat would cure shingles.
Dr. Lurton DUNHAM was born here in 1837, but removed to Camden, where he accumulated wealth, and died about ten years ago from an overdose of chloroform.
Dr. SMILEY was here in 1845 or 1846, and bought a farm in section 20, Wayne Township, on "Wayne’s trace." He combined both professions, and afterwards removed to Piqua, where he is still engaged in the practice of his profession.
Dr. Nathan STUBBS was a student of Dr. MILLER and located in Minnesota, where he died in 1865.
Dr. AYRES located on Gregory’s Creek, where he died only a short time since. He was a member of the Methodist Society.
John S. GOWEN was in Jacksonburg a short time, but died in Hamilton a year or two ago.
Drs. HANCOCK and PINKERTON were also in Jacksonburg.
In 1848 Dr. LAWDER went to that village from German town, dying of cholera in 1849. In that year Jacksonburg and neighborhood was terribly scourged by cholera, there being nearly thirty deaths; thirteen deaths were in one house. Almost every case was fatal.
Dr. HUBBARD died at Seven-Mile of cholera. He was to have been married to Miss Mary, daughter of Colonel W. W. PHARES, the week following his death.
Dr. JONES died in 1849 of cholera.
John H. BAKER, and Messrs. GRANT and PRESSLEY, undergraduates, volunteered their services during the cholera scourge. Dr. BAKER located at Waterproof, Louisiana, before the rebellion. Dr. GRANT located south of Lebanon, on the farm of his wife, and later removed West. Dr. PRESSLEY, while here, was the guest of the Rev. John H. Thomas. Miss Lydia, his daughter, was a beautiful and accomplished young lady, and it was a case of love at first sight. Dr. PRESSLEY was an ardent lover, and the tender passion was reciprocated. Dr. PRESSLEY returned to Cincinnati, where he died of cholera in a few days.
Among the Patterson papers bills were found receipted as follows:
1831. Drs. DUNLEVY and RIGDON, 6 visits, 8 miles,… $9.00 John H. Thomas, shroud, ………………… $3.62 Henry Andrews, coffin (walnut) ……………… $8.00 Total amount of funeral expenses,…… $20.62
The coffin was hauled to the grave in a two-horse wagon, the funeral services being held a week or two afterwards. The first hearse was brought to Jacksonburg about 1845.
In 1850 Dr. John CORSON opened an office here, remaining until 1863, when he removed to Middletown.
April, 1862, W. A. McCULLY formed a partnership with Dr. CORSON, and remained until the August following, when he was appointed surgeon of one of the colored regiments, remaining until he was mustered out of service, at the close of the rebellion. He located at Trenton, but remained only a short time.
April 1, 1863, Dr. J. B. OWSLEY succeeded Dr. John CORSON.
The earliest physician of Middletown was Dr. Carlton WALDO. He came to that town shortly after the war of 1812, and remained there until the period of his death, which happened July, 31, 1831, then being fifty-one years of age. He was a native of New Hampshire. He was remarkable for calmness and serenity of mind, and died highly respected.
Dr. Andrew CAMPBELL was born in Franklin, Ohio, on the twenty-second day of June, 1807. His parents were pioneers of Revolutionary stock, mainly of scotch ancestry, and educated beyond the usual attainments of their day. His father died in 1846; but his mother, at the advanced age of ninety-six, is living on the farm to which she emigrated in the last century. Andrew’s youth was spent at Franklin, accessible to but limited advantages for mental culture. He made the best use of them, however, acquiring the higher branches of English study and a solid groundwork of classics upon which to build his future professional training. He was an eager student, and his well-thumbed "Virgil Delphini" and other textbooks are yet preserved and treasured by his descendants. His mind developed rapidly, and his desire for learning increased with his store of general knowledge; so that, in mature years, he was widely known for varied and extended information, especially upon sciences kindred to his profession.
At twenty-one he entered the office of Dr. Otho Evans, Sr., of Franklin, and attended the usual course of study at the Medical College of Ohio, from which institution he graduated in 1830. His intention in choosing this profession was to become a naval surgeon, and his early studies, as well as his subsequent practice, were such as to perfect him in surgery, to which he was exceedingly devoted. He abandoned his early design, however, at his mother’s request, and, in the Spring of 1831, opened an office at Middletown. There he soon entered upon a large practice, which he retained until his removal to Hamilton in the Fall of 1848.
During these years of active and laborious practice at Middletown, his reputation as a successful physician was wide-spread, and many students sought his office. Among those who profited from his teaching, and became a credit to their preceptor, were Dr. Samuel HYNDMAN, Sr., now deceased, Dr. W. W. CALDWELL, and Dr. John CORSON.
In March, 1835, he married Laura P. REYNOLDS, daughter of John P. REYNOLDS, Sr., an early merchant of Middletown, and by her had two children – Laura S., who died in 1865, and James E., now residing in Hamilton.
Dr. CAMPBELL’s move to Hamilton was prompted by the hope of a less toilsome practice, which his failing health demanded, but the unprecedented labor of the "cholera Summer" – 1849 – and the spread of small-pox in the following winter, drew too heavily upon him. An attack of whooping-cough, succeeded by a long period of laryngitis and bronchitis, marked the end of his career, and, on the fifth day of September, 1851, at the old homestead near Franklin, he breathed his last.
His character was that of a high-minded, generous man, affectionate in his family, and pre-eminently honorable in all the affairs of life. As a physician he was in high repute for thorough but speedy diagnosis, prompt and skillful surgery, and advanced methods of treatment. In appearance, he was prepossessing having a rather spare and very erect figure, a quick but dignified movement, clear blue eyes, thick, dark hair, and an expressive face, always smoothly shaven, and slightly bronzed by exposure.
The following extracts, taken from letters of two prominent friends of Dr. CAMPBELL , speak for themselves. One says: "He had a look and bearing that never failed to impress even the most superficial observer with the fact that he was a man of no ordinary cast. Courage, justice, and generosity were his prominent traits. So strongly did they mark him that he could not do a mean or selfish act." The other says: "I have had the good fortune to know some of the most eminent physicians of the day – have been present when they prescribed; but I have yet to meet one who so thoroughly examined all the symptoms, habits of life, temperament, etc., of his patients, or whom I deemed his superior in the profession. He was one of the best, most generous, and self-sacrificing men I ever knew."
One of the earlier physicians of Butler County was Dr. Peter VAN DERVEER, of Middletown. He was born in Somerset County, New Jersey, on the 12th of March, 1798. His father was Colonel Henry VAN DERVEER, a substantial farmer, who at one time held a colonel’s commission among the volunteers called upon to put down the whiskey rebellion in Pennsylvania. The family came from Holland about the year 1645, and during the Revolutionary war, were active partisans on the side of liberty.
The subject of this sketch received a collegiate education, and commenced the study of medicine and surgery in 1817. We find among his papers a certificate showing his attendance at the New York Hospital, and signed by David HOSACK, Wright POST, Valentine MOTT, and other physicians famous in the history of medicine in this country. His diploma was issued to him by the medical Society of the State of New Jersey, and is dated July 9, 1818, and signed by John VANCLEVE, president.
Shortly after graduating, he determined to make the West his home, and, with his horse, saddle, and pill-bags, started for Ohio. Early in the year 1819 he came to Middletown, and, after a short delay, passed on to the village of Salsbury, Indiana. Here, however, he remained only a few months, when he returned to Middletown, where he permanently located. The practice of his profession required that he spend a great time in saddle. Patients were scattered, the roads and bridle paths sometimes scarcely marked by a blazing. There were none of the luxurious modes, now so common, for traveling. The physician of that day, in this Western world, had to depend upon his horse to take him to the cabins where duty called. ; and it was only a strong, healthy body and heroid spirit that could endure the hardships incident to exposure to stress at all hours of the day and night. His practice was along both banks of the Great Miami, and required that he should frequently cross its waters. When the stream was swollen, it was sometimes a dangerous task, as then there were no bridges, and but a single ferry. The writer of this has heard Dr. VAN DERVEER describe his many escapes from a watery grave, when compelled to swim his horse through its rushing waters to reach patients whose condition required immediate relief. In the year 1822 he was married to Miss Mary Ann DICKEY, who lived only about two years after her marriage, leaving a son, Ferdinand. His second wife was Miss Mary Ann HUBBLE, whom he married in 1826, and with whom he lived until 1849, when she died, leaving several daughters. He had been in early live attendant upon the Dutch Reformed Church of New Jersey, but never united with any denomination until about the year 1837, when he joined the Presbyterian Church, and remained a consistent member until his death. For a long time he was an elder of the Church at Middletown.
Although belonging to the allopathic school of medicine, he always met the practitioners of other schools with courtesy, and treated all with consideration, especially in the later years of his life, when he never refused to consult with pjysicians of other creeds.
At the time he settled in Ohio, there were but few graduates of the medical colleges to be found in the woods, and the fact that he carried a diploma, and had been attendant upon the hospital lectures in New York, gave him a high price in the estimation of the public.
In a newspaper notice of his death we find the following: "If he differed in sentiment concerning a point of pathology, diagnosis, or practice, he expressed himself with the modesty of a gentleman and the kindly feelings of a professional brother. In his intercourse with his patients his conduct was regulated by the nicest sense of honor; his moral character was cast in the finest and purest mold; his conduct in all phases of life was squared by the strictest sense of honesty and the nicest regard for the feelings of others."
The exposures and hardships attendant upon the earlier years of his practice told on his once vigorous constitution, and he became feeble, and suffered from ill-health in the latter part of his life. He died on the 17th of January, 1861, at his home in Middletown.
Dr. Joshua STEVENS practiced for a long time in Monroe. He was born in the state of Maine, March 21, 1794, and was graduated 1819, in the College of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1820 came to this State, and settled in the village on Monroe, where he remained until 1847, when he moved to Lebanon, Warren County. During his residence in Ohio, he was in active practice of his profession until about seven years before his death, which happened on the 2d of May, 1871, when he met with an accident that incapacitated him from professional duties, and after that time was an invalid. He had a partner for some time in Dr. BLACKLEACH, and left three sons – Edwin Bruce, Algernon Sidney, and Hudson BLACKLEACH. The two former became physicians.
Ex-representative and treasurer Dr. E. H. GASTON died at his home near Reily, in September 1877, of heart disease. He was sixty-five years of age, and was born in New Jersey, coming to Butler County in 1833. In 1859 he was elected treasurer of Butler County. In 1864 he was elected to the Legislature of Ohio, an office he fulfilled two years with honor. He was a Free Mason, and was buried according to the rites of that order. He left a wife and several children.
Among the settlers who established themselves in the vicinity of Darrtown early in the century was a Mr. COOPER, who migrated from South Carolina because he hated slavery, though otherwise he liked that State exceedingly, and always considered his residence in Ohio as a serious sacrifice to the cause of freedom. One of his sons, born in Butler County, named Elias, became an able surgeon, and moved to San Francisco, where he occupied a prominent place in the medical profession, finally dying there about 1867.
A daughter of the pioneer COOPER, married to a Mr. LANE, gave birth, about 1833, near Darrtown, to a son, who received the baptismal name Levi Cooper. Under the influence of his uncle Elias he studied medicine, and after completing his education in Europe, became a surgeon in the United States na vy. This position gave him much leisure, which was probably his predominant motive in obtaining the appointment, and he devoted himself most industriously to his books, making himself thoroughly familiar with the minutiae of anatomy, physiology, and surgery, besides reading the Greek and Latin classics, and making himself familiar with the literature of France, Germany and Spain, and accustoming himself to speak the tongues of these nations fluently. About 1860 he left the navy to become the partner of his uncle Elias, and when the health of the latter began to fail, Dr. L. C. LANE assumed his place as professor of surgery in what was then the only medical college on the Pacific coast, speedily developing rare excellence as a teacher. His lectures were fluent, conversational in tone, clear in idea, full of original ideas in illustrating his subjects, humorous, pointed, and sometimes eloquent. In his surgical practice he was not less successful than in his lectures. The more the profession and the community learned of him, the more they liked him; and his reputation grew rapidly, until now he is the first surgeon on the Pacific slope, and the country physicians, from Alaska to Sonora, send their most difficult cases to him. Scarcely a day passes without a number of serious operations. With a very extensive experience in public hospitals (he has been visiting surgeon in several), as well as in his private practice, he has an excellent opportunity to learn nearly every thing that can be learned by the constant use of the knife for many years. He, however, does not trust to his observation alone, but every day studies some book on surgery or anatomy – English, German, French, or Italian – so as to keep all details fresh in his mind and ready for instantaneous use. He is extremely cool in the midst of the greatest responsibility, and full of the most careful consideration of the physical and mental sufferings of his patients. His manner is genial, commanding the highest confidence of all who come into his charge. He has the name of being extremely kind to the indigent, not only attending them without pay, but often providing for their wants until they are able to work. He is a successful author and a man of much influence. He had a narrow escape with his life while attacked by pneumonia, in February, 1881, and it was said, by well-informed persons, that there was no man in San Francisco whose death would cause deeper or more wide-spread sorrow.
Dr. John McMECHAN died at Darrtown, Butler County, on Sunday, March 21, 1880, of consumption, aged sixty-nine years and eight months, having almost reached his "three-score years and ten." He was born in Ireland in the year 1810, and came to America with his parents when he was but six months old. Being a very delicate child, and sick when he sailed from the Emerald Isle, his parents expected to bury him at sea; and, in order to keep him as long as possible from being swallowed up by the "briny deep," they took the precaution of bringing a tiny coffin and shroud along with them, to be prepared for the trial. But he landed safely with his father, mother, brother, and sisters – Mrs. Margaret GILMORE, of the "Beech," and Mrs. Dr. Winton, of Wabash, Indiana. His father, David McMECHAN, settled in Seven-Mile, Butler County, in 1810, and lived there the rest of his life.
At that early day there were no schools convenient where he could have his children educated , and as John was the one he had chosen, of his three sons, to educate for some of the learned professions, he sent him to Hamilton when he was quite young, to board with his aunt, Mrs. Margery McMECHAN, who was the sister of his mother. His aunt had a son named John, and two Johns in one family made it a little awkward; but as one of the Johns was very tall and the other rather short, they were familiarly called "Big John" and "Little John." Dr. McMECHAN was very nearly related to the late Mrs. C. K. SMITH, and to Mrs. Jesse CORWIN, of Hamilton, their fathers being brothers, and their mothers sisters. His father sent him from the Hamilton school to Oxford, to the Miami University, where he graduated in the second class. One of his class-mates was General Robert C. SCHENCK, and one of his room-mates was Caleb B. SMITH, once Secretary of the Interior. He then went back to Hamilton, studying medicine with Drs. DUNLEVY and RIGDON, and began the practice of his profession in 1835. He graduated at the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, in 1854, and married Miss Sarah BACON, the mother of Dr. J. C. McMECHAN, of Cincinnati, who was his only child. His mother died when he was but an infant. His father married for his second wife Mrs. Mary Leopold, who survives him. Dr. John McMECHAN was a kind and genial gentleman, always in good humor, and making sunshine wherever he went. He was an excellent physician, and had built a large practice all over Butler County, and, until the last few years of his life, when his health and energy had failed, was kept very busy. He was a physician for the poor as well as for the rich.
Oxford did not become settled as early as most of the other townships. It was a grant from the general government, and its first residents were squatters, who moved there before they could get legal title to their lands. They were of the very poorest class, and by no means intellectual or industrious. Neither were they exempt from the common vices, such as drunkenness, and horse and hog stealing. The opening of the Miami University began to have its effect, and gradually the first class of settlers began to migrate westward, and a somewhat better class to take their place. The early physicians of the township certainly had a hard time to keep body and soul together. Just who they were can not now be told. The first of whom we can gain any positive information was Dr. James R. HUGHS, whose father, the Rev. Mr. HUGHS, was pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and conducted the grammar-school that preceded the university. Dr. HUGHS died on the 8th of August, 1839, and a funeral sermon, which was afterwards published, was preached on the occasion by the Rev. Dr. BISHOP. He had been a resident there for more than twenty years, and was for a long time the sole physician of the place. He took a deep interest in the neighborhood, and in everything that could promote its interests. He was twice married, by the first union having three children. Residents of Oxford can still recollect him, with his old appearance, curved spine, and great hump back. He was the first preceptor of Dr. R. C. HUSTON.
The next in order, as remembered, was Dr. James M. Corey, who was married three times, and graduated three sons at the Miami University, and two at the Ohio Medical College. Both of these latter are prominent men in their profession ay San Jose, California. Dr. Corey was genial and rubicund in countenance and gentlemanly in deportment.
Then came, for a short time, Dr. Pliney CRUME, Dr. Joel FITHIAN, and Dr. Edward SHIEL, now the mayor of Portland, Oregon.
This brings the list up to the year 1840. From that time, and up to 1850, there was the accession of Dr. Thomas BOUDE, Dr. WATERS, Dr. Joseph WATERMAN, and Messrs. A. McALISTER, Benjamin F. COREY, A. MacDILL, James GARVER, Alexander PORTER, C. G. GOODRICH, J. H. MORRISON, and R. L. RHEA, the latter being now the professor in the Rush College at Chicago, Illinois.
From 1850 to 1860 there appeared Dr. R. C. HUSTON, Dr. Henry SAUNDERS, Dr. H. BODMAN, Dr. E. L. HILL, Dr. A. BARNETT, Dr. R. BROOKS, and Dr. John PARKS. IN the decade from 1860 to 1870 Messrs. Hugh GILCHRIST, Judah HINKLEY, Dan TRIMBLEY, John GARVER, George MUNNS, and PINKERTON and SMITH.
Outside of the village of Oxford there have, for a long time, been physicians settled at College Corner. About the year 1836 Dr. W. H. SCOBEY, now of Hamilton, was located there, although a rod or two outside the limits of Butler County. Dr. Brice PURCILL was once a Thompsonian, but, after a time, discarded that theory, and used Mercury freely, and was no novice in the use of the lancet. In 1841 Dr. HUSTON first went to the Corner, and in
1842 took in a partner R. D. HERRON, who, at the end of a year, removed to Millville, afterwards going to Montgomery County. After Dr. HERRON came Dr. J. B. KERR and Dr. CAMPBELL, and, in 1851, Dr. A. D. HAWLEY, to whom Dr. HUSTON sold his property, leaving him an unencumbered field. But he soon had company. Dr. PURCILL, who, a few years before, had removed to Terre Haute, Indiana, returned to College Corber. Then came, one after the other, two of the CHITWOODs, John and George. Soon followed Dr. Henry GARVER, and, lately, Dr. Z. Hastings.
Of the gentlemen whose names are recorded in the two places of Oxford and College Corner, the following are dead: James R. HUGHS, James M. COREY, A. McALISTER, Pliny M. CRUME, G. C. GOODRICH, Brice PURCILL, Hugh GILCHRIST, Judah HINKLEY, Dr. SMITH, H. BODMAN, D. TRIMBLEY, Joseph WATERMAN, Henry SANDERS, and Joseph KERR. Drs. WATERMAN and WATERS were both clergymen, in addition.
Among those of later date who practiced in Hamilton, we find the advertisements, in 1848, of Dr. Andrew CAMPBELL, of Middletown, whose office here was in the Campbell’s building, south-west corner, and residence Hamilton’s Hotel; Dr. J. M. WILLIAMSON, in Basin Street, in 1846, Francisco CIOLINA, "formerly private physician to Prince Louis Napoleon," in the residence of Mr. S. SNIVELY in Rossville, in 1847; S. BRADEN, in Rossville in 1846, over Mr. J. CURTIS’s store; Dr. McFARLAND, one door west of MILLIKIN and BEBB’s law office, in 1839; Dr. RIDDELL in Rossville, in 1838; Dr. H. SYMMES, over Dr. LATTA’s drug-store, in Rossville, in 1837; RIGDON and GOING, in 1852; and Dr. Eli VANCE, at the head of the basin, at his drug-store, in 1847