The History of Middlesex County 1635-1885
J. H. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York
[transcribed by Janece Streig]
GENERAL HISTORY OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY.
MEDICAL PROFESSION IN MIDDLESEX COUNTY.
BY RUFUS W. MATHEWSON, M. D.
The Middlesex County Medical Society was organized in 1792. That the professional standing of the men who organized it may be better understood, a brief review is here given of the previous medical history of the territory which, seven years before, had been incorporated into this county. It was here that the "Clerical Physicians" instituted the reform in teaching and practice which resulted in the elevation of the profession throughout the colony to a proper standard.
Jared ELIOT, the father of the regular practice in this State, was a son of the minister of Guilford, and grandson of the apostle, John ELIOT. He graduated at Yale College in 1705, while the institution was located at Saybrook, which at that time belonged to New London county, and spent his whole professional life in Clinton, then Killingworth. He was assisted and succeeded by his pupil and son-in-law, Dr. Benjamin GALE, who graduated at Yale in 1733, making that place for three-quarters of a century a great resort for medical instruction, equal in importance for that period to any of the cities for the present day. Drs. Jared POTTER and Elihu TUDOR were educated there. It was there that the first medical treatise was published in the colony, in 1750, by Dr. GALE; and later, "Cases and Observation," by the same; all of which were favorably noticed n Europe. Those were the only medical publications in this State before the present century.
Dr. ELIOT had eleven children. The first, a daughter, died young. The second, Hannah, married Dr. GALE, and had eight children, most of whom died young. The third, Samuel, graduated at Yale, 1735, studied medicine, and died on a voyage to Africa for his health in 1741. The fourth, Aaron, studied medicine, married a daughter of Rev. William WORTHINGTON, of Westbrook, and settled in his native place as a physician and merchant. He was a judge, a colonel, a deacon, and one of his Majesty's justices. He was engaged largely in the manufacture of steel. In a petition to the Colonial Assembly for pecuniary aid to carry on the work to better advantage, it was claimed that he supplied the colony and other governments with steel. The sum of £500 was voted, for three years, without interest; when due, an extension of two years was granted, on account of a large loss of steel by fire in Boston. He had three sons, who studied medicine, mostly with their uncle, Dr. Benjamin GALE. One of them married a daughter of Dr. John ELY. They all settled in the new clearings at the West. Dr. Jared ELIOT's fifth child, Samuel (Yale, 1740), studied medicine, and died at Saybrook in 1747, unmarried. He had six other sons, neither of whom studied medicine or divinity. Dr. ELIOT was pastor of the church in Clinton for forty years, hardly failing to preach a single Sabbath.
Dr. GALE built the first story of the stone tavern in Clinton, inside of which was another stone house, two stories high, constituting a house within a house, constructed in a way to withstand the general conflagration. The upper story of the inner house, it was supposed, was used for anatomical purposes, and for meditation and study of the Scriptures, on which he wrote largely. After the doctor's death, the inner house was removed, and another story added to the outer walls. He was buried in the cemetery north of his house, at right angles with other graves, his feet toward the south, so that when he arose he would face his former home. From his monument we read:
"In memory of Dr. Benjamin GALE, who, after a life of usefulness in his profession, and a laborious study of the Prophecies, fell asleep May 6th A. D. 1779, ęt. 75, fully expecting to rise again under the Messiah, and to reign with him on earth. 'I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and mine eyes shall behold him.'"
Dr. Phineas FISKE was a son of Dr. John FISKE, of Milford, one of the most noted physicians in the colony. He graduated at Yale College, in its third commencement, and two years in advance of Dr. ELIOT, yet, having spent six years as a tutor in that institution, he did not commence practice as soon. He was cotemporary with, and equal to, Dr. ELIOT, but the misfortune was, he did not live as long. He was settled as a minister at Haddam, then at Hartford county, where he died in 1738.
Dr. Moses BARTLETT, of Madison (Yale, 1730), studied both professions with Dr. FISKE, married the daughter of his preceptor, and settled in East Middletown, now Portland, where he died in 1766. A monument was erected to his memory near the quarries, by his parishioners, on which is inscribed: "He was a sound and faithful divine, a physician of soul and body."
Dr. BARTLETT had three sons-Moses (Yale, 1763), Phineas, and Elihu (Yale, 1764). The two former studied medicine with Dr. GALE. Moses succeeded to his father's practice in Portland, surviving him for forty years. He was a deacon in the church.
The foregoing includes those clerical physicians of this county to whom the profession is so much indebted for its advanced standing. All the sons of the clerical physicians who studied a profession took to medicine; not one to the ministry. At the time this society was organized, there were but two medical colleges on this side of the Atlantic; and those had not fairly become established institutions. Not one of these original members had enjoyed advantages of medical college instruction, but were confined to private teaching. Each physician constituted a faculty to teach, and an examining and licensing board.
Several of the members of this society made professional teaching a specialty. Doctors had to be prepared for the new frontier settlements. They were like the medicines-hand-made. Steam and machinery had not come into use. The candidate "served his time," as it was then called, which was divided between the books on the shelf, the skeleton in the closet, the pestle and pill-slap in the back room, roaming the forests and fields for roots and herbs, and following, stride of the colt he was breaking, the horse which was honored with the saddle-bags.
The practice of inoculation was at its height at the time this society was organized, and was a source of great income to many of the members. The keeping of pock-houses (as they were called) was profitable. The location of these can generally be traced by the graves of the patients in the fields adjoining. JENNER's great discovery was not made until after this society had been in existence several years.
Early in the present century, medical students desiring to obtain higher advantages resorted to Dartmouth College, where the celebrated Nathan SMITH, M. D., was then sole medical professor. The first graduates in medicine in this county were graduated there. After the removal of Professor SMITH to New Haven, and the opening of the medical institution there, a large majority took a single course of lectures, this being a great advance on former advantages, and received merely a license to practice; and if they proved deserving, a degree was conferred in after years. This practice was discontinued about 50 years ago, since which two full courses of lectures have been required for an examination.
Dr. John OSBORN was the only one of the forty-seven incorporators of the Connecticut Medical Society residing in this county, and it devolved on him by the charter to organize the county society. He was the first chairman of the county meeting, and the first treasurer of the State society. He was re-elected Fellow each year as long as he remained a member, also as one of the committee of examination for the county.
The OSBORN family furnishes a rare instance of superior talent being transmitted from generation to generation for nearly two centuries.
Dr. John OSBORN, the first of the name in Middletown, was born in Sandwich, Massachusetts. He graduated at Harvard in 1735, when he was offered a tutorship, which he declined, with a view, probably, of becoming, like his father, a Presbyterian minister. When in college he was distinguished for mathematical investigations, and Latin verses, which were much admired by the faculty. It was while in college he wrote the elegy on the death of a sister, which has been copied by Dr. FIELD in his Middletown centennial address. After leaving college he wrote the "Whaling Song," a copy of which may be found in BARBER'S Connecticut Historical Collections."
The son, whose views were in accordance with his father's, was induced to give up the ministry, and turn his attention to medicine. The misfortune of the OSBORNs seems to have been that they were a century in advance of the times in their religious belief and their sentiments of toleration.
It is to these differences with the sons of the pilgrims that the medical profession is indebted for five generations of able members, and the Episcopal Church for large accessions of true churchmen.
Dr. OSBORN, about 1739, removed to Middletown, where he soon felt the cold shoulder of the pastor of the only church in Middletown, Rev. William RUSSEL, who did not show favor to the new physician. He died of consumption in 1753, aged 40 years.
Dr. OSBORN shared the practice of Middletown with Dr. John ARNOLD, who, with his brother Joshua, of Middle Haddam, was a student of Dr. FISKE (the former died in 1754, having two wives and fifteen children), and, with Dr. Abijah MOORES, who died of small pox in 1759, having been the father of twelve children, was succeeded by Dr. John DICKINSON, who left the profession for public life. Dr. Eliot RAWSON, a descendant of the noted secretary of Massachusetts, removed from East Haddam to Middletown about the time Dr. OSBORN's health began to fail.
John OSBORN, the second of that name, was about thirteen years old at the time of his father's death. We do not learn that he possessed any extra advantages for a classical education. He early entered the office of the celebrated Norman MORRISON, in Hartford, to study medicine. John OSBORN and Alexander WOLCOTT, son of the governor, were considered the most distinguished of all his students. In 1758, before the former had attained his majority, he went with the army that attacked Ticonderoga, in the second French war, and in a subordinate capacity was in the medical department of the provincial troops.
The OBSORNs were hereditarily haters of France and lovers of England. If Dr. OSBORN ever worshiped the likeness of anything on earth beneath, it was the British crown. It was for this reason that his valuable services were not made available during the Revolutionary war. About 1763 he commenced practice in Middletown, where he followed the profession more than sixty years. He was man of extensive reading, and for some time possessed the best medical library in the State. His knowledge of material medica was extensive and accurate; he excelled in chemistry; he exerted himself to remove the prejudices against inoculation for the small-pox, and to improve the treatment of that distressing disease. About twelve hundred persons were inoculate din Middletown during the winters of 1777 and '78. He was a very thorough teacher of medicine, and the character of such physicians as Moses F. COGGSWELL, his sons, Prof. John C. and Dr. Samuel, as also Dr. Thomas MINOR, taught solely by him, attest the thoroughness of his training. "As a practitioner he was eminent. He appreciated the worth of well-bred and faithful physicians, but held quackery in the utmost abhorrence. He had great sensibility, quick apprehension, and strong passions; he spoke his mind fearlessly, when and where he pleased, and it was not safe for any to attack him in words, for none better understood the retort keen." He inherited none of the courtesy or poetry of his father. These ornamental qualities seemed to have passed around him, to re-appear in full force in his four sons. His success, which depended on his great ability and strict integrity, was a compliment to the people of his day. His presence was a terror to the young, and the aged now speak of their feelings at his approach with a shrug of the shoulders. He was emphatically a man of few words, and meddlesome talk and inquiries brought out from him sharp answers.
He built and last occupied the frame house on Main street, opposite the Episcopal church. He died in 1825, aged nearly 85 years, and a plain brown stone in the Mortimer Cemetery marks the last resting place of one who was so long a prominent citizen, and a physician who spent his whole life in Middletown.
Dr. John OSBORN had two sons who entered the profession.
Dr. William Breton HALL was the son of Brenton HALL, Esq., a respectable farmer of Meriden, and grandson of Rev. Samuel HALL, of Cheshire. Both places were societies of Wallingford at that time. Dr. HALL was born in 1764, and graduated at Yale College in 1786, and probably studied medicine in New Haven-perhaps while pursuing his college course. He commenced practice in Middletown in 1790. He married, in 1796, Mehitable, the sixth daughter of Major-General Samuel Holden PARSONS, of Revolutionary fame. Dr. HALL made surgery a specialty, and had the most of that branch of practice. In August, 1796, he gained notoriety by his heroic professional conduct in attending the cases of yellow fever at Knowles Landing, or Middle Haddam. Dr. TULLY, in his letter to Dr. HOSAC, and in his work on fevers, gave the following account of that occurrence: "The brig Polly arrived from Cape St. Nicolas Mole; on her homeward passage, one of her crew by the name of TUPPER, die don board, of the yellow fever; the clothes which he wore while sick were thrown overboard, though a sail, on which he lay when he died, was retained.
"On the arrival of the brig at this landing, HURD and RANNEY were employed to assist in clearing her out. They were known to handle the sail on which TUPPER died. At the same time Sarah EXTON and Elizabeth COOK were employed in washing some of the sailors clothes. A few days after, these persons were attacked with yellow fever. In about five days HURD died, and within twelve hours RANNEY and Sarah EXTON. The alarm in the village was already so great that Sarah EXTON was left alone in the night, and was found dead in the morning, with her infant child at her breast. The whole village was panic struck. After the three first deaths, Dr. BRADFORD, an old physician resident of the place, and Drs. HOLLISTER and THATCHER, two young men, departed precipitately, and did not return until all traces of the disease had disappeared. About two hundred of their employers followed their example. Only five persons had firmness and humanity sufficient to remain to take care of the sick and bury the dead. The physicians who attended the latter cases were Dr. Wm. Brenton HALL, of Middletown, and Dr. John RICHMOND of a neighboring parish. From this single vessel there originated eleven cases of yellow fever in the town of Chatham, nine of which proved fatal."
Dr. HALL was an active member of the medical society, was treasurer of the State Society from 1799 to the year of his death; was elected Fellow from 1797 to 1809; was five years on the examining committee. He was largely engaged in teaching medicine. Dr. OSBORN used to say he turned off doctors as fast as a rake-maker could rakes.
In 1792, the town of Wallingford voted permission to Dr. HALL to open a house of inoculation for small-pox on his father's farm, in the northeast part of Meriden, near the Middletown line, Dr. HALL becoming bound to pay forty shillings or more for each case of small-pox in the town, spreading from the persons inoculated.
Dr. HALL was noted for hospitality; his house was a great center for the profession in the neighboring towns. His side-board was especially free. On his last attempt to visit a patient he fell from his horse before leaving his yard; he was taken to his bed, which he was not after able to leave, and died in 1809, aged 45.
Dr. HALL built and occupied the house next south of the Mutual Assurance building, on the west side of Main street.
Dr. Ebenezer TRACY was born in Norwich town in 1762, and was cousin to the late Dr. TRACY of the same place. He studied medicine with Dr. Philip TURNER, who was surgeon-general of the northern States during the Revolutionary war. Dr. TRACY settled in Middletown in 1785, where he practiced more than 60 years, or as long as Dr. OSBORN. Through his whole life he visited his patients on horseback, as did the TRACYs and TURNERs of his native place. He was a gentleman of great smoothness of manners, and his practice was in accordance with his character-mile and expectant. He was elected Fellow in 1794 and '98, after which he seems to have ceased his connection with the society. He was one of the examining committee as long as he remained a member. He built and occupied the house next east of the North Church, and he died in 1856.
William TULLY, the only child of William and Eunice TULLY, was born at Saybrook Point, Conn., February 18th 1785, and was descended from John TULLY, who came from England in 1747. Young TULLY early manifested a taste for books. In September 1802, after what he himself termed "an exceedingly defective preparation," he entered the Freshman class at Yale, where he was graduated four years later. Throughout his life he deplored his ignorance of arithmetic and mathematics, branches which were totally neglected in his preliminary education.
For three or four years after graduation Mr. TULLY spent his time in teaching and in studying medicine, taking, during that time, two courses of lectures under the celebrated Nathan SMITH, M. D., at Dartmouth College. In March 1810 he entered the office of Dr. IVES, of New Haven, where he gave much attention to botany, a science in which he afterward became an authority. In the following October he was licensed by the Connecticut Medical Society to practice medicine and surgery, and in 1819 Yale College conferred upon him the honorary degree of M. D.
After practicing successfully in Enfield, Milford, and Middletown Upper Houses, Dr. TULLY finally removed in September 1818, to Middletown, where he became the intimate friend of the late Thomas MINER, M. D. The two published in 1823 a joint volume entitled "Essays on Fevers and other Medical Subjects." The book, written throughout with great ability, contained new and startling opinions, and dealt unceremoniously with the cherished prejudices and practices of the profession. It maintained that the fevers of the day had decidedly typhoid tendencies; that anti-phlogistic and reducing measurers were contra-indicated, and that a free use of stimulants was required. The work was extensively read, and opinions as to its merits were widely divided. It opened a controversy which lasted several years, and as this was not always conducted in the most tolerant spirit, it engendered against the authors a prejudice which neither survived.
In 1824 Dr. TULLY was appointed professor of Theory and Practice in the Vermont Academy of Medicine, Castleton, where he afterward discharged the additional duties of lecturer on Materia Medica and Therapeutics, a position which he held until 1838. In 1839 he succeeded Eli IVES, M. D. as Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in Yale College, and the following year he removed to New Haven, the different periods of the year at which the terms were held enabling him to continue his lectures at Castleton. In 1833 he refused a professorship in the Medical College of South Carolina.
Dr. TULLY's last course of lecturers was delivered in New Haven in the winter of 1840-1. Ten years later he removed to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he died February 28th 1859. Only three of his ten children survived him.
Among Dr. TULLY's valuable contributions to medical literature may be mentioned his "Medical Prize Essay" on Sanguinaria Canadensis, published in the American Medical Recorder for 1828, and "Results of Experiments and Observations on Narcotine and Sulphate of Morphine," published in SILLIMAN's Journal, January 1832. These, like all his other works, are characterized by thorough and elaborate scholarship and original observation. But his greatest work, published during his residence in Springfield, is to be found in two large volumes entitled "Materia Medica, or Pharmacology and Therapeutics." It is a monument to the industry, learning, and ability of the writer, and contains sufficient material to furnish capital for a score of ordinary authors. He also assisted Dr. WEBSTER and Professor GOODRICH in the scientific department of their dictionary, furnishing the definitions of the terms of anatomy, physiology, medicine, botany, and some other branches of natural history. All of Dr. TULLY's knowledge was singularly minute and accurate. He was doubtless the most learned and thoroughly scientific physician in New England.
Thomas MINER was born in Westfield, Connecticut, October 15th 1777. His father was a Congregational minister, and personally superintended the elementary education of his children. In September 1792, young MINER entered Yale College, where he was graduated in 1796. He spent the next six years, when not interrupted by illness, in teaching and the study of law, and it was not until he was twenty-five that he commenced the study of medicine, which he did with the late Dr. OSBORN, of Middletown. In 1807 he began to practice under a license from the Medical Society, and, after spending short periods in several places, he finally settled in Middletown, where he spent the remainder of his life.
Dr. MINER's constitution had always been delicate, and in 1819, he contracted a disease of the heart from which he never recovered. His professional career may be said to have ended at this time, though he was frequently called upon for consultation, and he contributed quite largely to medical literature. He was an accomplished linguist, and made many translations from the French and German for the medical journals. In 1823 he published, in connection with William TULLY, M. D., a work, entitled "Essays on Fevers and Other Medical Subjects," which created a great sensation among the profession. Two years later he published an account of Typhus Syncopalis, which was several times republished, wholly or as an abridgment, in other medical publications.
In 1819 Dr. MINER received the honorary degree of M. D., from Yale College. He was afterward a member of the committee for devising ways and means, and forming the plan for the Retreat for the Insane, and, in 1834, was elected president of the Medical society of Connecticut. He was remarkable for ripe scholarship and active intellect. He died in 1841, at the age of 64 years.
Dr. Henry WOODWARD, son of Samuel WOODWARD, M. D., was born in Torringford, Connecticut, in 1795. He studied medicine with his father and brother, S. B. WOODWARD, then of Wethersfield, with whom he practiced several years, when he removed to Middletown by invitation of Dr. TULLY, who was about to leave the city. He soon gained an extensive practice, and for years "his business was equal to that of any other physician in the State, both for respectability and extent." He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Connecticut Medical society at an earlier age than any other gentleman in the State. He was twice chosen to represent the town of Middletown in the Legislature of the State. His moral character as above reproach. He was a man of active benevolence, gave much in charity, and took hold of the great moral enterprises of the day with true zeal. He was a regular member of the Episcopal church, of which he was for some time vestryman and warden.
In the midst of his activity and usefulness he was cut down by a disease of the chest, which, in a few months, terminated his life by rapid consumption. He died din 1832, aged 37 years.
Charles WOODWARD, M. D., belonged to a family of physicians. He was the youngest son of Dr. Samuel WOODWARD, of Torringford, Connecticut, where he was born in August 1798. He studied medicine, first with his father, and afterward with his brother, Samuel B. WOODWARD. At the age of 24 he commenced practice at Windsor, in this State, but in 1832, on the death of his brother, Dr. Henry WOODWARD, of Middletown, he removed to that city, where he passed the remainder of his life.
As a practitioner he was held in high esteem by his brethren in the profession, and was greatly beloved by patients. The goodness and benevolence which were prominent traits in his character found expression in the following extract from an address which he delivered before the State Medical Society (of which he was president), in 1868:
"There is a sentiment prevailing among the members of our profession, that as a profession we are not duly appreciated, and for our services we are not properly remunerated. This may be true to a certain extent, but who has the affections of the community about him to a greater extend than the 'beloved physician?' When stricken down by sickness, who has more earnest prayers for his recovery? No one should enter the profession under the expectation of having a long-roll, or a large file of certificates of bonds and stocks; if he does he is doomed to disappointment. We should be governed by higher motives and nobler purposes. We should feel that we have entered a field where there is an opportunity of practically carrying out the precepts and following the example of the 'Great Physician;' and inasmuch as we have lodged the stranger, given food and drink to the famishing, and visited the sick for the work's sake, we have followed his example and served him."
Dr. WOODWARD's sons, Charles R. and Henry, are druggists in Middletown.
In 1841, Dr. WOODWARD represented the eighteenth district in the State Senate. In 1848, and in 1857, he represented Middletown in the Legislature. He was the first to move n the matter of securing the location of the insane hospital at Middletown. He died in 1870.
Isaac CONKLING, a native of East Hampton, L. I., and a student of Dr. Ebenezer SAGE, of Sag Harbor, L. I., attended lectures in Columbia College, New York city, practiced three or four years in Portland, about as many in Oneida county, N. Y., and nine years in Middletown. He died in Portland, February 24th 1824, aged 44.
Edward S. CONE was a son of Rev. Salmon CONE, of Colchester, a graduate of Middlebury College, 1815, a student of Dr. William TULLY, and attended lectures in New Haven. He had a good practice. He died February 13th 1831, aged nearly 36 years.
Thomas MINER, 2d, a native of Stonington, attended lectures at Pittsfield, practiced some years at West Stockbridge, then in Middletown, and removed to Hartford, where he died.
William Bryan CASEY was born in Middletown, in 1815, and graduated from Columbia College, N. Y., in 1834. He received the degree of M. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1837. He was physician to the New York Dispensary from 1837 to 1839, and practiced in Middletown from 1839 till 1860. He was an army surgeon during the war of the Rebellion, and lectured on Obstetrics at Yale College in 1863 and 1864. He died in Middletown in 1870. He was one of the original trustees of the General Hospital for the Insane. He was mayor of Middletown in 1851.
Elisha B. NYE was born in Sandwich, Mass., in 1812, and removed to Middletown in 1819. He was the first freshman that entered Wesleyan University, from which institution he graduated in 1835. He studied medicine with Dr. Thomas MINER, and received the degree of M. D. from Yale College in 1837. He practiced in East Haddam till 1851. He then removed to Middletown, where he is still in practice. He has been president of the County Medical Society, and in 1883, he was chosen president of the Connecticut State Medical Society.
Joseph BARRETT, born in England in 1796, was professor of Botany, Chemistry, and Mineralogy in Partridge Military Academy, and removed to Middletown with that institution in 1824. He graduated, M. D., Yale, 1834, practiced in Middletown till March 1881, where he died. He paid much attention to the language of the American Indian, and various branches of natural science. It was to him that the celebrated Dr. Thomas MINER confided the story of his life, which was published in "Williams Medical Biography."
George W. BURKE, a native of New Haven, graduated at Wesleyan University in 1839. He studied medicine with Dr. A. BRIGHAM, of Hartford, and in New Haven, where graduated, M. D., from Yale in 1843. He practiced in Palmer, Mass., and came to Middletown in 1853 where he is still in practice.
Rufus BAKER, a native of Maine, graduated, M. D., at Columbia College, D. C., in 1844. He practiced at Deep River till 1860, when he removed to Middletown.
Daniel A. CLEVELAND, a native of Martha's Vineyard, graduated, M. D., at Bowdoin College in 1856.
Abram Marvin SHEW graduated from Jefferson College in 1864.
James OLMSTEAD was born in New Haven, Conn., in 1849. He graduated, M. D., at Yale in 1874. He practiced in New Haven and Middletown.
Wm. E. FISHER, was born in Philadelphia, Penn., in 1853. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1876. He has practiced in the Philadelphia and Connecticut hospitals for the insane.
James M. KENISTON, born at Newburyport, Mass., in 1848, graduated, M. D., at Harvard, 1871. He practiced in Cambridge, Mass., from 1872 to 1882. Since then he has been assistant physician in the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane.
Henry S. NOBLE was born at Hinesburg, Vt., and graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York city. Previous to engaging in general practice he was one year in the City Hospital at Hartford, Conn., He left general practice in 1879, and went to Hartford Retreat as assistant for one year, thence to the State Hospital at Middletown, thence to Michigan Asylum at Kalamazoo, where he remained two years, and returned to the State Hospital at Middletown in 1884.
Dr. Ellsworth BURR, one of the earliest of the Thompsonians or eclectic physicians, was born in Haddam in 1813. He studied with Dr. SPERRY, of Hartford, and settled in Middletown in 1837, where he practiced till his death in 1867.
He was for several years professor in a medical college in Worcester, Mass., where he graduated in 1849. He was the representative from Middletown for several years.
William C. BELL, homopathic physician, studied medicine one year under Horace BALLARD, M. D., of Chester, Mass., and then mostly under Professor CHILD, of Pittsfield, where he was graduated, M. D., in 1833. He afterward practiced in Austerlitz, N. Y., and in Great Barrington, Mass., until 1849, when he came to Middletown, where he has since practiced.
Aaron S. OSBORNE was born in Austerlitz, and graduated, M. D., at Long Island Hospital College in 1873. He has practiced in Middletown for the past ten years.
Frank L. BURR, son of Dr. Harris R. BURR, was born in Killingworth in 1847. He graduated from Eclectic College, Pennsylvania, and received a diploma from the Connecticut Eclectic Medical Society in 1871. He commenced practice the same year in Middletown.
P. V. BURNETT graduated from the University of New York in 1876.
Dr. Richard ELY was born in North Bristol, Guilford, now North Madison, in 1765, where his father of the same name was settled minister. He graduated at Yale in 1785, studied medicine with Dr. John NOYES of Lyme, who certified as follows:
"To all people to whom these lines shall come-Greeting. Whereas, Dr. Richard ELY, of Saybrook, hath been liberally educated, and been a student with me in the theory and practice of medicines and surgery, and, whereas, said ELY hath made great improvement in the art of physics and surgery, he is well qualified for a practitioner in said arts. I do, therefore, recommend him as a safe, judicious, and able physician, and well qualified for the practice.
"Lyme, June 9th, 1786.
Dr. ELY commenced practice in what is know Killingworth where he remained four years, when he removed to Wilbraham, Mass. He remained there about a year when he returued to Pautapaug, now Centerbrook, where his father was then settled. He remained there till 1805, when he removed to Chester. He received the honorary degree of M. D. from Yale College. He died in 1816 from a fever brought on by overwork and exposure. He had been treasurer of the State Medical Society three years, at the time of his death; he had been elected a Fellow 16 times in 24 years and was an active member of the society. He shared the confidence and respect of the profession and the public, in a large degree.
Dr. George Haskell ABERNETHY was born in Harwinton, Conn. He was the son of William C. ABERNETHY. His grandfather, William, was a physician.
He received the degree of M. D., from Yale College, in 1830. He was a student with Dr. B. H. CATLIN, then of Haddam. After graduation, he spent a year in Bellevue Hospital, and in 1831 commenced practice in Chester.
Dr. ABERNETHY was clerk of the Middlesex County Society, in 1841-2, and Fellow in 1835 and 1840. He was enthusiastic and successful in his profession, was tall and strikingly handsome, and very popular in the community. He died in the fall of 1844, at Augusta, Illinois.
Ambrose PRATT, a graduate of Yale in 1837, was born in Deep River. He graduated, M. D., from Columbia College, D. C., in 1843, and practiced at Chester till 1847, then at Milwaukee, Wis., till 1853. Then he opened at Chester a water cure infirmary with which he was very successful. In 1862 he volunteered as surgeon in the 22d Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, and remained with it till its muster out. Since then he has been in regular practice in Chester and vicinity.
Sylvester W. TURNER, Yale, 1842, born in Killingworth, graduated, M. D., Yale, 1846, and located in Chester, 1848.
Dr. Samuel REDFIELD, son of Dr. John REDFIELD, of Guilford, and Amanda RUSSELL, of North Guilford, was born in Guilford, September 12th 1762; served as a fifer during the Revolutionary war; after which he studied medicine with his father, and with Dr. Benjamin GALE, of Killingworth, and commenced practice as a physician in Guilford. After practicing about twelve years in Clinton, then Killingworth, he removed first to Fairfield, Herkimer county, New York, and afterward to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus county, New York, where he died in 1837, aged 75 years.
One of the first members admitted to the medical society was Austin OLCOTT, of Killingworth, now Clinton, in 1796, then about 20 years of age. He was born in South Manchester, which was the first place of his father, Dr. George OLCOTT. He was full of courage in the daytime, and as great a coward in the night; was very loth to respond to calls after retiring, always requiring a second or third rapping up before he made his appearance. He stood very high in his profession; his consultation practice in adjoining towns was very large; was quick as by an intuition to recognize disease, and very positive in his diagnosis. The second case of tying the external iliac artery, in this country, was performed on a patient of his, in 1820, by Nathan SMITH. The diagnosis and subsequent treatment were by Dr. OLCOTT. The limb was dematous at the time of the operation. The aneurism held eight ounces. The operation was perfectly successful, the patient living thirty-six years afterward, enjoying perfect health.
Dr. OLCOTT had a very large practice for nearly half a century, the most of the time having no one but himself to support; had no bad habits, and died in destitute circumstances from a failure to keep his accounts and collect his bills. He always rode on horseback to visit his patients. He died in 1843, aged 68 years.
Josiah BYLES removed from Griswold to Clinton in 1841, where he died n 1843.
Dr. Denison H. HUBBARD, son of Deacon Nathaniel HUBBARD, was born in Bolton, Conn., in 1805. He studied medicine with Dr. J. S. PETERS, of Hebron, governor of the State of Connecticut, and with Dr. William O. TALLCOTT, of Winsted. He graduated at Yale Medical College, in 1829. He began his practice in Glastonbury, Conn., removed from there to Bloomfield, where he practiced till 1844, when he removed to Clinton, where he practiced till his death, in 1874. Dr. HUBBARD was a good man, socially, professionally, and religiously. It was a part of his creed that beyond a reasonable providence for the uncertainties of the future, a Christian had no right to accumulate property; and his practice seems to have been in exact conformity to his creed. For while he was economical in the management of his affairs, and for more than forty years received a fair income from his business, he left comparatively little property. In 1872 he had an attack of hemiplegia from which he never fully recovered, although able to attend to a limited amount of business. In March, 1874, he had a renewed attack, which terminated in death, August 12th, of the same year.
David Austin FOX, born in Lebanon, graduated at New York University in 1852, soon after commenced practice in Clinton.
Dr. G. Harrison GRAY and G. O. JOHNSON, each practiced in Clinton a few years.
Silas E. PECK, homopathist, practiced a few years in Clinton.
Gideon NOBLE, a native of Coventry, probably, practiced in Cromwell from 1791 to 1802, when he removed to South Glastonbury. He had a good education, pleasing manners, and acquired a respectable practice in both places. He died in 1807.
Titus MORGAN was born in Westfield, Mass. He practiced in Cromwell from 1802 to 1811. He was a gentleman of refined poetic taste, and agreeable manners, a respectable physician.
Dr. BULKLEY practiced in Haddam from 1821 to 1830.
Richard WARNER (Yale, 1817), son of Selden WARNER, of Hadlyme, studied medicine with Dr. Thomas MINER, of Middletown, and attended lectures at Yale college, where he graduated in 1821. He practiced several years in his native place and adjoining towns. He removed to Middletown, Upper Houses, in 1832, and died October, 1853, after a brief illness, about fifty-nine years of age. He succeeded his brother as clerk of County Medical Society, and was president of the Connecticut Medical Society at the time of his death. He had a large practice and was popular with his medical brethren. His power of observation was strong; he was fond of botany and mineralogy; his name is mentioned several times in SILLIMAN's Scientific Publications, as a discoverer of the localities of different minerals.
As a citizen he was first in every good work, a leading member of church and society, with strong convictions of right and wrong, standing firm for the right often to sacrifice of his own interest. He was popular with the masses.
With the anti-slavery and temperance movements he was early and warmly engaged. One of the first to banish liquors from his sideboard, and to stand firm for total abstinence.
He was born at least a quarter of a century too early for his own comfort. He gained nothing but ridicule and the title of a visionary fanatic for pushing innovations which have since become established successes. He was prime mover in setting the town of Cromwell off from Middletown. He selected the name of the new town. He held successively all the offices of the church society and town. In the improvements of the village he was earnestly engages, as many of the fine elms bear testimony. In the movement for an academy and a new church edifice, he was foremost and persistently successful.
William Meigs HAND was born in Madison, and was graduated, M. D., at Dartmouth College in 1812, and came immediately to Cromwell. In 1816 he moved to Worthington in Berlin. He was amiable and well-informed, interesting in conversation, and happy in writing sketches and essays; a successful practitioner and a man of good moral character. He published a pamphlet entitled "A Trip to Ohio," and a manual of medicine and surgery for the family. He died in 1822, aged 32.
Ira HUTCHINSON, son of John and Mollie HUTCHINSON, was born in Gilead Society, in Hebron. He studied medicine with Dr. Silas FULLER, then of Columbia, subsequently of Hartford, and graduated at Yale Medical College in 1825. After the death of Dr. WARNER he locate din Haddam, where he made successful practice till 1853, when he removed to Cromwell, where he died. Here, as in his former field, he soon secured a full practice. He was in every sense a gentleman.
J. Francis CALEF graduated at Yale in 1880. He succeeded Dr. HUTCHINSON in Cromwell.
Winthrop B. HALLOCK, proprietor of Cromwell Hall, was born in Utica, N. Y. He graduated from Long Island College Hospital, and was several years first assistant in the Insane Hospital at Middletown.
Dr. Jesse COLE was a physician in Durham at the time this society was organized; he was not a member, as Durham belonged to New Haven county, till some years afterward. He was born at Kensington, 1739; was a son of Mathew COLE and Ruth HUBBARD; settled in Durham in 1765, and did a large and successful business till 1793. He died in 1811, leaving eight children.
Dr. Cole, it is said, had two pills that he relied on, one of which he called the black dog, and the other the white dog. If the black dog failed, he would send the white dog into the stomach of the patient.
On the south side of Mount Pisgah, in Durham, he cultivated rare plants and herbs. The place still bears the name of Dr. COLE's garden. He was engaged at one time in the manufacture of potash, on what is not called Potash Brook and Potash Hill.
Dr. THAYER located in Durham before Dr. COLE left.
Lyman NORTON, son of Stephen and Abigail, was born in 1763. He studied medicine with Dr. Jared POTTER of Wallingford, commenced practice before 1797, and died in 1814, aged 51 years. He was a man of agreeable manners, and generally beloved.
William Seward PIERSON, son of a descendant of the first president of Yale College, was born in Killingworth, graduated from Yale College in 1808, and studied with Dr. Nathan SMITH, at Dartmouth college, where he took his medical degree in 1813. He came to Durham on a formal invitation of the inhabitants as was the custom in those days, upon the death of Dr. NORTON. He remained four years, and then, upon the invitation of the people of Windsor, removed there. He died in 1860.
Jared Potter KIRTLAND, born in 1793, was a grandson of late Dr. Jared POTTER. In 1810 he studied medicine with Dr. John ANDREWS, and afterward was a private pupil of Dr. Eli IVES and Dr. Nathan SMITH, of New Haven. In 1812 he entered the first class in the medical department of Yale College, and in 1814 studied in the University of Pennsylvania.
John T. CATLIN was born in New Malborough, Mass. He was the son of Rev. Dr. CATLIN, who was the teacher of Dr. David SMITH. He attended a course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at New York city in 1816 and 1817; was licensed to practice by New York State Medical Society; practiced several years in Salisbury, and moved to Durham when Dr. KIRTLAND left. He died of fever, July 28th 1825.
Henry HOLMES, son of Uriah HOLMES, of Litchfield, took his medical degree at Yale College, in 1825. He came to Durham about the same time with HARRISON; boarded with Rev. Dr. SMITH; spent the winter of 1830-31 at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York; returned to Durham, where he resided until 1833, when he went to Hartford, where he died in 1870. He held various offices in Hartford, was town physician, chairman of board of Health Committee, city coroner, &c. He died a bachelor. He was polite almost to a fault. Dr. RUSSELL, his biographer, says, "How often in after years he referred to this old town (Durham) and the happy time he spent there, many of us can remembers. It was with the greatest pleasure that he referred to this or that event as having occurred when he was in Durham,--that when in Durham such or such a case had been treated by him, the minute details of which were still fresh in his memory."
David HARRISON was born in North Branford; graduated, M. D., at Yale College in 1826; soon afterward cam to Durham at the death of Dr. CATLIN; removed to Middletown in 1831; practiced in Cuba; returned to Middletown, and died a bachelor in December 1856, at Fair Haven, of heart disease.
William Hayden ROCKWELL graduated at Yale College in 1824; studied medicine with Dr. Thomas HUBBARD, of Pomfret, who was afterward Professor at Yale, and with Dr. Eli TODD, of Hartford; took his medical degree at Yale College in 1831; came to Durham soon afterward, and remained in that town until the following year. He is now superintendent of the Insane Retreat, at Brattleboro, Vermont.
Erasmus D. NORTH was a son of Dr. Elisha NORTH, of New London. He was graduated at Chapel Hill College, North Carolina; took his medical degree in New Haven in 1833, and in the same year removed to Durham. He practiced four years in Durham, and left to be an instructor in elocution in Yale College. He died in 1855.
Seth L. CHILDS was born in Barnston, C. E. He studied medicine at Fort Covington, New York, and graduated at Woodstock, Vt. He came to Durham in 1838, was a member of the State Senate in 1845, built the house opposite the academy, which he sold to Dr. FOWLER in 1845, and in the spring of 1846 removed to East Hartford, where he now resides.
Benjamin L. FOWLER was born in Northford, studied medicine with Dr. STANTON, of Amenia, New York, and N. B. IVES of New Haven; graduated at Yale Medical School in 1845, and the same year came to Durham. He left Durham, in 1856, for Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and there died, in September 1858, of pneumonia.
Rufus W. MATHEWSON was born in Coventry, R. I.; studied medicine in Norwich with W. HOOKER, now professor of Practice of Medicine in Yale College, S. JOHNSON, and N. B. IVES of New Haven; attended lectures at Yale College in 1834-35; received his medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, in 1835, then the only medical school in the city; remained in Norwich till 1846, then attended another course of lectures in New York; removed to Gale's Ferry, in Ledyard, where he remained till he came to Durham, in 1856, and purchased the house of Dr. FOWLER. He is still a practitioner in Durham.
Chauncey ANDREWS was born in Southington, Conn.; studied medicine with James PERCIVAL, of Kensington, father of the celebrated James Gales PERCIVAL, and practiced in Haddam, Hamden, and Durham. He died of caner, in 1863.
Erasmus Darwin ANDREWS, son of the above, was born at Killingworth, Conn., in 1806. He graduated from Willoughby College, Ohio, practiced in Ohio and Durham. He died at the latter place in 1874, aged 65 years.
Thomas MOSELY, son of Abner MOSELY, of Glastonbury, was born in 1731, graduated at Yale College in 1751, and settled in East Haddam. He was one of the first Fellows elected by the Middlesex County Society, and was re-elected every year till his death. He was the fourth president and vice-president of the State Society, and was the first elected to either office from this county. He received the honorary degree of M. D. from the Connecticut Medical Society in 1795. He died in 1811, aged eighty years, leaving his medical library to his friend, Dr. Richard ELY.
Augustus MATHER, brother of Elisha and Samuel MATHER, was a contemporary with Dr. MOSELY.
Dr. Jonah CONE was born in East Haddam, May 17th 1763 and died September 18th 1830, of typhus fever. He was educated in common school; then studied the languages with Rev. Elijah PARSONS, and studied medicine with Dr. Thomas MOSLEY. He practiced all his life in East Haddam.
Datus WILLIAMS, a descendant from Robert WILLIAMS, of Roxbury, Mass., was born in Norwich, in 1793. He studied medicine with Dr. OSGOOD, of Lebanon, and with Dr. COGSWELL, of Hartford. He attended lectures, and took a license to practice, from Yale College in 1823, and soon commenced practice in Millington. In 1835 he removed to the central part of the town, where he practiced till his death in 1867. His elder son, H. E. WILLIAMS, graduated at New York University in 1847, practiced in New York city till 1864, when he entered the service of his country as an assistant surgeon. His younger son was an officer in a New York city bank. He received the honorary degree of M. D. from Yale College. He practiced in substantially the same field for nearly half a century.
Winslow T. HUNTINGTON, of Bozrah, student of Earl KNIGHT, graduated at Pittsfield, and commenced practice in East Haddam in 1832. He left the State in 1835.
Asa L. SPAULDING, of Killingly, studied medicine with Dr. NORTH, of Hartford, and received his degree from Yale College in 1832. He succeeded Dr. HUNTINGTON, and removed to Enfield in 1839, where he died of typhoid fever in 1864. Dr. NYE, of Middletown, succeeded Dr. SPAULDING, and returned to Middletown in 1851.
Dr. Edmunds, a native of Griswold, studied medicine with his brother-in-law, B. M. GAY, and practiced in East Haddam for twenty years, where he died.
Nathaniel O. HARRIS, born at Salem, Conn., in 1823, graduated at New York University, 1854. He practiced in New London three years and in East Haddam twenty-seven years.
Albert Wells BELL, born in Killingworth in 1852, graduated from the New York University in 1873, and locate din Moodus in 1875.
Christopher HOLMES was born in Hadlyme in 1762, and died in 1812. He had a large practice, was one of the original members of the medical society, and stood well in the profession.
Asa Miller HOLT was a successor of Dr. HOLMES at Hadlyme, where he practiced for half a century. The degree of M. D. was conferred on him by Yale in 1833; he was a well-read physician, but too self-important to be agreeable to his professional brethren.
John RICHMOND was born in Brookfield, Mass., and studied medicine with Dr. Timothy HALL, of East Hartford. He commenced practice in East Hampton in 1792, and died in 1821 while attending a case of obstetrics, the patient dying at the same time. He educated a large number of physicians.
Richard Mayo SMITH, a native of Chaplin, a student of the above, was attending lectures at the time of Dr. RICHMOND's death; he succeeded his preceptor, and died the December following, aged 26 years. His successor was
Dr. Charles SMITH, son of Col. Chester SMITH, of North Stonington, who studied medicine with Dr. E. B. DOWNING, of Preston City, and commenced practice in East Hampton in 1823. He removed to Middle Haddam, where he died in 1848, aged 47 years.
Francis Griswold EDGERTON, third son of Simon and Lucy Griswold EDGERTON, was born in Norwich, Conn., 1797, and died in East Hampton, in the town of Chatham, Conn., in 1870, aged 73 years. He studied medicine with Philemon TRACY, of Norwich town, and William P. EATON, of Norwich city. He attended lectures in New Haven in 1824-25, and received a license to practice. He located in East Hampton; he married Miss Marietta DANIELS, who survives him. They had but one child, Francis D. EDGERTON, M. D., of Middletown.
Albert FIELD was born in Bloomville, N. Y., and graduated from Long Island college Hospital, in 1867. He practiced in Ashland, N. Y., then removed to East Hampton, Conn.
Lorin F. WOOD, born in Medway, Mass., graduated from the Homopathic College, in New York city, in 1879. Since then he has practiced in East Hampton, Conn.
William F. G. NOELTING was born in Mannheim, Germany, in 1819, and graduated at Werzburg (Bavaria), Germany, in 1843.
Dr. Robert USHER, a native of Millington, in East Haddam, and a student of Dr. HUNTINGTON, of Windham, located in practice in the southeast part of Chatham, on the east side of Salmon River, near the Lyman Viaduct. Upon the breaking out of the Revolution, he went as a volunteer to the vicinity of Boston, in 1776, was appointed surgeon for WADSWORTH's regiment, in the recruits then raised for Cambridge, and served some time in that capacity. Dr. Elias NORTON, son of Rev. John NORTON, who served his time with Dr. Thomas MOSELY, of East Haddam, was appointed mate of Dr. USHER. Dr. USHER returned from the war to his old home, where he died in 1820, aged 77.
Alanson H. HOUGH was born in Bozrah. He studied medicine with Earl KNIGHT, and afterward with S. JOHNSON, of Bozrah. He graduated, M. D., at Yale, in 1832. He has practiced ever since at Essex.
Frederic W. SHEPARD was born in Plainfield in 1812. He studied medicine with Dr. Samuel CARTER, of Saybrook, and graduated at Yale Medical School in 1834. He practiced one year at Gale's Ferry; then removed to Essex, where he practiced twenty-five years, and died of pneumonia in 1860. He was a very excellent man in every respect, perhaps a little too excitable for a physician.
Charles H. HUBBARD, son of Dr. D. H. HUBBARD, of Clinton, graduated, M. D., at Yale in 1860. He has since practiced in Essex.
Dr. Hezekiah BRAINERD, the oldest son of Hezekiah and Mary (FISKE) BRAINERD, was graduated at Yale College in 1763, and studied medicine in part, if not wholly, with Dr. Benjamin GALE, of Killingworth, now Clinton, and commenced practice in his native place, where he was the principal physician for many years, and where, particularly as an inoculator for the small pox, he was eminent, many resorting to him from Haddam and towns around for inoculation, as protection against that disease, so dreadful when taken in the natural way. In 1787 he built a pock house (as it was called), under the direction of the town, which voted him the exclusive right to the business of inoculation and treatment, for the term of four years, paying him "ten shillings a head" for each resident inoculated, and receiving from him "eighteen pence a head," for each non-resident. The thinness of the milk which constituted the bill of fare at the house is still proverbial. Upon the formation of Middlesex county, 1785, he was one of the number selected as judge of the Court of Common Please, and discharged the duties of that office until afflicted with paralysis in 1795, when he died, aged 63.
Dr. Smith CLARK was born at Maromas, Middletown, graduated at Yale in 1786, where he was a class-mate of Dr. HALL. He resided in Haddam for more than twenty years in the family of Dr. BRAINERD, whom he succeeded in practice. He died in 1813.
He was the first clerk of this society, and continued in office for ten years, and was one of the examining board for this county for about the same length of time. He was elected a Fellow for six years.
Dr. CLARK was a kind and faithful physician, beloved by the public, and respected by the profession.
Sylvester BUCKLEY, born in Rocky Hill, graduated at Yale in 1810, was graduated, M. D., at Dartmouth in 1812. He began practice in Haddam town in 1813, and some years afterward practiced in Chester and Higganum; in Cromwell from 1821 to 1830; and in Worthington from 1830 until within a recent period. He is now in practice in his native place. He was one of the first graduated who located in the county.
Andrew F. WARNER (Yale, 1812), son of Selden WARNER, of Hadlyme, studied medicine with Dr. Thomas MINER, of Middletown, and attended lectures at Yale college. He practiced medicine in Haddam, and died while clerk of the Medical society, in 1825. Dr. HUTCHINSON succeeded him, marrying his widow.
Dr. Benjamin Hopkins CATLIN was born in Harwington, in 1801. He attended lectures in Yale College in 1824-25, and received his license to practice from the Connecticut Medical Society. The same year he commenced practice in Haddam. He removed to Meriden where he died in 1880, in the seventy-ninth year of his age.
William H. TREMAINE, was born in South Lee, Mass. and graduated, Berkshire, in 1838. He commenced practice at Higganum in 1845, and moved to Hartford in 1856, where he died in April 1883.
Minor C. HAZEN was born at Agawam, Mass., in 1829. He graduated at the University of Michigan in 1855, practiced in Middletown, then removed to Haddam in 1860.
Leroy A. SMITH, was born in Haddam in 1843. He practiced in Hartford till 1880, and in Higganum ever since.
S. B. BAILEY, of Higganum, is a successful physician and a prominent citizen, but no information has been obtained of his professional history.
Dr. Amos SKEELS, a native of Woodbury, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war; and in the battle of White Plains was wounded in the right arm while pursuing the English in their retreat from Danbury; being in consequence unfitted for labor he turned his attention to the study of medicine. He commenced practice in Hampton, Conn., in 1783; removed to Middle Haddam, near the line of East Hampton, in 1787; and again to Somers in 1795, and afterward to Chicopee, Mass. He died in 1843, aged 93.
Dr. Joshua ARNOLD, a brother of Dr. John ARNOLD, of Middletown, studied with Rev. Phineas FISKE, in 1738. He died in 1753, aged 66 years.
Jeremiah BRADFORD settled in Middle Haddam in 1754 and practiced till 1814, when his age was 80 years. He was a man of good sense and an able practitioner, but much of a coward.
Albert B. WORTHINGTON, a native of Colchester, studied with Dr. John P. FULLER, then of Salem, Conn. He attended lectures in New York, and graduated at Yale in 1847. He came to Middle Haddam a little before the death of D. C. SMITH, and he is still practicing there.
Rufus TURNER was born at Mansfield, Connecticut, September 1st 1790. With a good preliminary education, he entered the office of Dr. Joseph PALMER, of Ashford, and in 1813-14 attended the first course of lectures given at Yale College.
Dr. TURNER was licensed by the State Medical Society in 1814, and settled in Killingworth, where he continued in the practice of his profession for thirty-seven years, until his death, after an illness of four days, in November, 1851. As a practitioner he was a careful and conservative, but in cases where promptness was demanded, bold and fearless, faithful in attendance, giving freely of his time and thought to the case in hand, warding off unfavorable complications, and always striving to have the last blow at death. In the protracted fevers of those days he was particularly skillful, and was very frequently called to neighboring towns, in consultation.
He received the honorary degree of M. D. from the Medical Society and the Corporation of Yale College in 1830, and was for several years Fellow and member of the Standing Committee to nominate professors in Yale College.
Dr. Benjamin HILL, it is said, studied medicine with Dr. GALE. He married Hannah NETTLETON, of Killingworth, and practiced at North Killingworth with acceptation. He removed to Western New York about 1823.
Augustine J. WEBSTER was born in Sandisfield, Massachusetts; studied medicine with Dr. William WELCH, of Norfolk, Connecticut; took his medical degree at Pittsfield, Massachusetts; located in Killingworth in 1861, and practiced till 1864, when he died of erysipelas.
G. C. REYNOLDS studied medicine with John C. FULLER, at Salem, and graduated at New York University in 1852; commenced practice in Killingworth in 1866; remained five years, and then removed to Guilford.
Drs. WEBSTER and REYNOLDS received a gratuity of about $300 a year, while they practiced in that town.
Dr. J. Hamilton LEE, only son of Selah LEE, of Madison, graduated, M. D., at Yale College in 1858; commenced practice at Greenville, Connecticut, where he had a good business until the war broke out. He was appointed assistant surgeon of the 21st Connecticut Volunteers, and was soon promoted to the position of brigade surgeon of the 3d Brigade. Upon the close of the war he spent a few months in Mississippi, then returned to Killingworth, where he died of apoplexy in 1881.
Harris R. BURR, M. D., was born in Haddam, Conn., in 1820. He was educated at Brainard Academy, was a graduate of Worcester Medical College, and commenced practice in New Haven in 1844. Thence he removed to Killingworth in 1847, where he remained in the practice of his profession until his death, in 1861. Dr. BURR held many important offices in the town, was its representative for several sessions of the Legislature, and for six years high sheriff of Middlesex county. He was characteristically liberal in his views, and manifested a surprising readiness to march with the progress of the hour. In his profession he was distinguished by close application and very marked ability. His dignified, gentlemanly bearing never left him. Dr. BURR died September 29th 1861.
Edward P. NICHOLS, M. D., was born in Newark, New Jersey, November 23d 1827. He graduated at Princeton College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York city, 1852. He commenced the practice of his profession in Newark, N. J., and was at once successful, so that he served as acting assistant surgeon, United State General Hospital, about a hear and a-half during the late war. He continued in practice until he moved to Killingworth, October 1881. Since then to the present time he has had a good practice.
Dr. A. WARD practiced in Middlefield several years. He died August 12th 1788, aged 32 years.
Jehiel HOADLEY, Yale, 1768, was born in Northford. He practiced in Middlefield all his life. He made a specialty of colic curing. Gov. HOADLEY, of Ohio, was a descendant of the family to which Dr. HOADLEY belonged.
Dr. Elisha ELY was born in Lyme, in 1748, and like the former ELYS, was a descendant of the original Richard ELY, who came from Plymouth, England, and settled in Lyme. He was half brother to Dr. John ELY, with whom he is supposed to have studied his profession. He practiced at Old Saybrook; was largely engaged in small-pox inoculation. His reception house was on the present FENWICK grounds.
Samuel CARTER, M. D., son of Benjamin and Phebe (BUEL) CARTER, was born in Killingworth, Conn., July 10th 1779. He studied medicine with Dr. Austin OLCOTT, of Clinton, and commenced practice in Saybrook, Conn., in September 1802. He received his honorary degree of M. D. from Yale College, September 21st 1822. After practicing in Saybrook for a third of a century, he removed to Vernon, N. Y., and died in 1853, aged 74, and was buried in Saybrook.
He was a first class teacher of medicine, and had many students.
Asa Howe KING, son of the Rev. Asa and Eunice HOWE KING, was born in New Haven in 1798. He graduated honorably at Yale College in 1821. He studied medicine with Dr. Andrew WARNER, of Haddam; graduated in medicine from Bowdoin College in 1824; commenced practice in Branford; removed to Essex in 1827, and from there to Old Saybrook in 1835, where he died, November 20th 1870.
John H. GRANNISS was born at Ridgefield, Connecticut, and graduated at Yale Medical School in 1868. He served as private in the 17th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers in 1862 and 1863, and as surgeon's steward, United States Navy, till the war ended. He locate din Old Saybrook in 1869.
Dr. Isaac SMITH was the son of Dea. Isaac SMITH, of East Hampton. He studied medicine with Dr. William B. HALL, of Middletown, and commenced practice in North Killingworth, now the town of Killingworth. Having spent a few years there, he removed to Portland in 1800, where he practiced until his death, a period of thirty-nine years.
Newell SMITH was born in Middle Haddam; studied medicine with Dr. John RICHMOND, of East Haddam, and practiced twenty-five years in Central New York. He afterward practiced ten years in Portland, where he died, aged 60 years.
Dr. George O. JARVIS, son of John JARVIS, of New Canaan, Connecticut, was born in 1795. Receiving such education as the schools of that earlier day offered, he became himself a teacher in his turn, and at a proper age began the study of medicine with Dr. Truman S. WHITMORE, of Winchester, Connecticut. He attended lectures at Yale College. In 1817, in accordance with the usual custom of that day, he received from the Connecticut Medical Society a license to practice, and commenced his professional labors in the town of Torrington, where he remained two years; then removed to Colebrook, and continued there up to 1840, when he changed his residence to Portland, then a part of the town of Chatham. He died of a combined attack of erysipelas and diptheria, February 3d 1875, after an illness of about one week, having been in active professional service fifty-eight years. He received the degree of M. D. from Yale College in 1846.
He was the father of Dr. George C. JARVIS, of Hartford. His attention to some cases of fracture about the year 1843 led to the invention of his apparatus known as "Jarvis's Adjuster," for the extension and treatment of fractures and dislocations. His invention met with the approval of many of the first surgeons of the country, and was introduced largely into public hospitals. In 1845 the doctor went to Europe with his invention, spending six months in introducing it to the notice of the profession in England and on the Continent, giving explanatory lectures in some of the first medical institutions by invitation. It was well received; and he was awarded, by the Society for the Promotion of Arts and Commerce, the largest gold medal, which, up to that time, had been given to an American citizen.
The presentation was made by Prince Albert, then the president of the society. Dr. JARVIS was entitled to be proud of this distinguished honor.
Henry Everlin COOK, a native of Portland, who studied with Dr. SPERRY, of New London; about 1835 commenced practice as a Thomsonian physician in Portland, where he remained about three years, and then removed to Moodus, in East Haddam, where he practiced as a cancer curer. His son, H. C. COOK, succeeded him in business.
C. A. SEARS, M. D. was born at Chatham, Connecticut, in 1840; graduated from Union Medical College in 1862; practiced in East Glastonbury three years, and then removed to Portland.
Cornelius E. HAMMOND was born in Ellington, Connecticut. He graduated from New York University in 1848, and practiced in Rockville, South Glastonbury, and Portland.
E. B. MORGAN was born in Haddam, Connecticut, 1853. He practiced in Lyme, then removed to Portland.
Edwin BIDWELL was born in South Manchester, Connecticut, in 1821; graduated from Yale Medical College in 1847. He practiced in Madison, Westbrook, Haddam, and Deep River, where he succeeded Dr. Rufus BAKER. Dr. BIDWELL has a son practicing at Goodspeeds, in East Haddam.
Dr. Elisha MATHER was son and student of Dr. Eleazer MATHER, of Lyme (Yale, 1738), and brother of Dr. Samuel, his father's successor business, and of Dr. AUGUSTUS, who practiced in East Haddam. He married Elizabeth SELDEN, of Lyme, and located at Pautapaug, now Centerbrook, where he spent his whole professional life, and died in 1836, aged 81. He had seven children; four were sons, and all studied medicine.
The fourth, Ezra S., studied with his uncle Samuel, and located at Essex. His seventh child, Ulysses W., graduated at Yale Medical Institution in 1823, with great promise. He succeeded to his father's practice, and died in 1832, with consumption, aged 30 years.
Dr. MATHER was engaged largely in teaching medicine, and his students for many years added life to the village in which he lived. It is said an unpleasantness always existed between the rich young men of the town and the medical students; the former gave the latter the cut at every opportunity. At one time, they got the students from the favorite seats in the church. The Sabbath following, the young nobility, dressed in their thin summer pants, marched in a body to the preferred seats, which they did not enjoy long before they felt an irritation in the rear; before prayer was concluded, there was a stampede for the door. Dr. MATHER was called, and found cow-itch had been dusted on the seats.
Dr. John ELY, one of the first Fellows elected by this society, was born in Lyme, 1737. He first commenced the practice of medicine in Westbrook, where he married the daughter of Rev. William WORTHINGTON, of that place. He soon attained eminence in his profession, was especially successful in treating small-pox, and was interested in introducing inoculation. He entered the army at the very beginning of the Revolutionary war, raising a company of militia, and later, raising, and, to a great extend, equipping the regiment of which he was colonel. He won distinction as a surgeon as well, and was sent to the Army of the North on account of an epidemic of small-pox then raging. He was tall and erect of form, of decided, character, and commanding presence.
His military career is succinctly told in the report of the Committee of Revolutionary Claims in the House of Representatives.
Jan. 23d 1833 After reciting his earlier services, the report proceeds as follows, viz.:
On the 9th of December, 1777, he was captured by the enemy, and became a prisoner of war, and was paroled at Flatbush, on Long Island, where were also prisoners several hundred American officers. Among these officers a distressing sickness prevailed, and Col. ELY, from the humanity that belonged to his character, from the day of his captivity to the day of his exchange, faithfully and exclusively devoted his time and attention to them as a physician. "In discharging this duty, he encountered great hardship and much expense, as the residences of the sick officers were scattered over a considerable space of country, many of them being as much as twenty miles apart. Col. ELY, when unable to bodily infirmity, or the state of the weather, to perform his long tours on foot, hired a horse at an extravagant price, and paid the cost out of his own private means; he was also frequently compelled to purchase medicine for the sick at his own cost." "Soon after he became a prisoner, his son, Captain, afterwards Dr. Worthington ELY, in conjunction with other friends, fitted out at their own expense a vessel, and manned her, for the purpose of surprising and capturing a British force, with which to effect the exchange of Col. ELY.
"The object of the expedition succeeded, so far as regarded the surprise and capture of the enemy, and the prisoners were delivered to the proper authorities, to be exchanged for Col. ELY. This, however, was not done, by reason of the earnest entreaties of the sick American officers, who considered their lives as greatly depending upon the continued attendance and skill of Col. ELY. He was induced to forego his right to an exchange, and consented to remain for the comfort and safety of his brother officers.
"It appeared from a certificate of Samuel HUNTINGTON, President of Congress, that still subsequent to the time when his exchange might have been effected through the valor of his son and friends, and when he became entitled to an exchange by the regular rule, that a deputation of exchanged officers, who had been his fellow-prisoners, were appointed to wait on Congress by the sick officers who remained in captivity, and to urge the continuance of Col. ELY as their physician and surgeon."
"At the head of this deputation was Col. MATTHEWS (since a member of Congress, and governor of Georgia), and Col. RAMSAY, of the Maryland line. Col ELY was, in consequence of this representation, not exchanged, although entitled to an exchange. He remained and acted as physician and surgeon till the 25th of December 1780, when he was released-a period of three years."
On his return, in 1781, with impaired health and constitution, he found his affairs in a ruinous condition, and a burden of debt accumulated. He courageously commenced work, and to some extend retrieved his misfortunes, but his health failing, and just compensation for his services being denied in the Senate, after he had every expectation of favorable action, having received recommendation from the war department and the passage of his claim through the House, he became discouraged at the injustice, made no further efforts, and died soon after, in 1800. Although compensation had been promised by letters from Washington himself, the influence of Oliver ELLSWORTH, then prominent in the Senate, who was opposed to the payment of all claims in the interest of the treasury, secured the rejection of this. Years later, his sons received a grant of five thousand dollars, many original papers having been lost.
Dr. ELY won the love, respect, and admiration of all with whom he became intimately associated, and was idolized by the soldiers. He excelled as a conversationalist, and in the practice of his profession was characterized by zeal and humanity. The amiable traits of his character, his generosity, and self-sacrificing devotion to his country and humanity-sadly enough-were the cause of shortening his life, and embittering his last days. He left two sons and three sons-in-law in the profession.
Dr. CONE, a student of Dr. Elisha MATHER, succeeded Dr. ELY, and practiced many years.
Horace BURR, a native of Haddam, graduated at Yale Medical Institution in 1842, and locate din Westbrook, where he practiced about thirty years and then removed to Wilmington, Delaware.
Gersham C. H. GILBERT, a native of Mansfield, A. B., Yale, 1841, M. D., Yale, 1844, practiced in Portland till 1866. He is now practicing in Westbrook.
Thomas B. BLOOMFIELD, a graduate of College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1876, late physician in the Insane Hospital, is now practicing in Westbrook.