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Dr. Frederick Andros


Posted By: Sharyl Ferrall (email)
Date: 12/10/2003 at 00:19:35

Dr. Frederick Andros was a native of Massachusetts, a graduate from the literary
department of Brown University, 1822 and from the medical department in 1826. He came to Dubuque in 1833, probably the first physician to locate in Iowa. At that time Iowa was a part of Michigan territory, and included Wisconsin, Iowa, a part of Minnesota and the Dakotas. In 1836, when Dr. Andros had enjoyed practically the entire practice of medicine in Iowa for 3 years, the population [of Iowa] was 10,531. In 1837 he removed to Clayton county and engaged in farming. In 1845 he resumed practice having received the appointment of surgeon at Fort Atkinson and the Winnebago agency where he remained until the Indians were removed to Long Prairie, Minnesota in 1848. Dr. Andros went with the Indians and remained with them until 1854 when he returned to Garnavillo, Clayton county and resumed practice.

On June 22, 1859, the counties of Fayette, Allamakee, Clayton, Howard and Winneshiek joined in forming a society known as the North Iowa Medical Society; the meeting was held at McGregor. Dr. Frederick Andros was elected president and Dr. H.C. Martin, secretary.

In 1861 he removed to McGregor.

Dr. Henry H. Clark of McGregor in an address before the Iowa State Medical Society relates some personally reminiscences of this interesting man who had the courage to be the first to offer his professional services to the settlers of Iowa even before it became the Iowa territory. Dr. Clark came to McGregor in 1870 as a young graduate from the Chicago Medical College (Northwestern University) and soon became a close personal friend of Dr. Andros. We cannot do better than to present Dr. Clark's tribute to Dr. Andros in his own words:

"A few days after my arrival, I called on the Doctor, then nearly seventy years old, and presented my credentials. He gave me the glad hand and we became firm friends. Some months before, he had met with an accident which had seriously impaired the strength and usefullness of his right hand, my association with him was therefore fortunate, for, while he was the surgeon and received the credit if any were due and emoluments, if any such were forthcoming, I did the work and gained the experience."

"Our association continued in this manner for about ten years, when the Doctor decided Iowa was getting too civilized and tame, and went West to grow up with the country. He was then eighty years old. After practicing in Dakota for ten years, he changed his residence to Minneapolis, where he died at the age of ninety-one years."

"Dr. Andros was far superior in intelligence and ability to the average physician of his day, but he was a typical frontiersman and something of a character. I remember a country drive I took a short time after I came to McGregor. He drove a good horse but he interfered so badly that either his right or his left hind leg seemed to be in the air all the time. As we were jolting over a rough road back in the Mississippi hills, the Doctor suddenly stopped his horse and remarked, 'There's the damndest nicest spring over there you ever saw'. We got out and walked over to where a fine stream of water gushed from the rocks and formed a pool about three feet in diameter and eighteen inches deep. The Doctor took off his high silk hat which he always wore and in which he carried his letters, red bandanna, cigars, stethoscope and always either a clean or dirty collar, pulled off his coat, rolled his sleeve to his elbow and thrust his hand to the bottom of the spring. After lifting aside a few stones he pulled out a flask of whiskey. He uncorked it, took a generous drink and then returned the bottle to the bottom of the spring for future use."

source: "History of Medicine in Iowa", D.S. Fairchild, M.D., F.A.C.S., reprinted from
The Journal of the Iowa State Medical Society

-submitters notes:
This book has no date, I believe it was written between 1925 and 1930, but many of the 'Journal' articles in the book date much earlier than that)

See also, the biography of Dr. Henry H. Clark.

-submitted & transcribed by Sharyl Ferrall

History of Medicine in Iowa

Clayton Biographies maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen


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