Iowa History Project


History of Medicine in Iowa
by D.S. Fairchild, M.D., F.A.C.S.
reprinted from The Journal of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1927
transcribed from the original book for the Iowa History Project by S. Ferrall


Josiah Haines
pg 105 & 135, mention
Of Keokuk, was a charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850. Dr. Haines was elected vice-president at the first meeting of the Medical Society of the City of Keokuk on October 3, 1850.
George W. Hall
pg 76, mention
George W. Hall, M.D., professor of physiology, pathology and general therapeutics at the College of Physicians of the University of Iowa in Keokuk,1868.
Jeremiah Hall
pg 20 & 25, mention
Located in Danville, 12 miles west of Burlington in 1837.
Dr. Hanawalt
pg 202, mention
Noted in the bio of A.G. Field to have been a physician in Des Moines, no date given, just that he "came later" (after the mid-1860's)
R.R. Hanley
pg 286, mention
Was for a time associated with Dr. Merrill Otis in the practice of medicine in Tabor (dates not given, refer to bio of Dr. Otis)
E.D. Hansom
pg 112, mention
Was an original member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850.
H.W. Hart
pg 157 & 158, mention
Graduate of Geneva Medical College in 1846. Was an original member of the Council Bluffs Medical Society and elected a censor at the first meeting on August 2, 1869.
Phillip Harvey
pg 105, mention
Of Burlington, was a charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850. Was elected President of the Society at the 18th annual meeting of the Society on February 5, 1868.
Edward Hamlin Hazen
pg 95, mention and 257-262, full text
He is listed as a member of the 1882 faculty of the Iowa College of Physicians and Surgeons of Des Moines; professor of Eye & Ear. (pg 95)

Among the men who contributed to the advancement of medicine in Iowa was Dr. Dr. Edward Hamlin Hazen, whose biography Dr. Lewis Schooler has traced carefully and which we publish in this connection. It will be seen that Dr. Hazen was no ordinary man, but rather one who had a high ideal of duty and service and who felt impelled to prepare himself with unusual care in his profession. In Dr. Hazen's day the careful and thorough fitting of himself for his specialty involved much labor, expense and sacrifice. Specialists in medicine outside of large cities were rare, and even in our large centers of population but poorly organized. As noted by Dr. Schooler, Dr. Hazen availed himself of all that could be secured in America and in 1872 studied in London and Paris. Quite different now, when those desiring special training in ophthalmology, otology and rhino-laryngology have only to choose one of the many centers of study.

Dr. Hazen's sense of patriotism and willingness to serve his country is shown by his enlistment in the first three years' regiments that went out from Michigan during the Civil War and was assigned to the Second Michigan Volunteers and was in the battle of Bull Run. At the end of one year, was honorably discharged and entered the Regular Army and served as hospital steward for three years in the General Hospital at Alexandria, under U.S. Surgeons Porter, Summers and Page, and was discharged on the 23rd of June, 1865.

In 1867 Dr. Hazen became a member of the Iowa State Medical Society. The writerfirst met him in at the Marshalltown session of the Society in 1873, when he read a paper on "Optical Defects and Their Correction," illustrated by diagrams. Paper discussed by Drs. Field, Hughes and Angear.

The friendship commenced at that time continued until Dr. Hazen moved to Oakland, California, in 1913 in search of a more agreeable climate. After moving to Oakland Dr. Hazen contributed two papers on his specialty to the Journal of the Iowa State Medical Society.

Through the courtesy of Mrs. Hazen we are able to present a photograph of the doctor, which represents him in his best days, and shows a man who never grew old mentally or physically. (pg 257-258)

Dr. Edward Hamlin Hazen
Dr. Edward Hamlin Hazen

Biography of Dr. Edward Hamlin Hazen
(Lewis Schooler, M.D., Des Moines)
click here to read the entire biography, located on a separate page due to its length

Dr. Heminway
pg 136, mention
Of Keokuk. He was present at the first meeting of Keokuk physicians for the purpose of organizing a medical society in Lee Co., Sept. 1850.
Greenburg R. Henry
pg 36, full text and pg 105,112 & 119, mention
Dr. Greenburg Ridgely Henry, son of Dr. John F. Henry, was born in Hopkinsville, Ky., September 28, 1828 and died in Burlington, Iowa, 1885. Dr. Henry was educated at Jacksonville, Ill.; graduated from the Louisville Medical College; located in Burlington in 1845. Five years later he married Miss Kate Chambers of Jacksonville, Ill. Dr. Henry, in addition to being a skillful physician was a man of business and of affairs in a broad and liberal way. He did much to promote various important enterprises in Burlington; the street railway, steam heating plant, rolling mills, etc. He was much interested in agriculture and imported the best blooded stock from his native state (Kentucky). Dr. Henry was one of the original members of the Iowa State Medical Society (1850) and was its first treasurer, which office he held three years. He was a member of the board of trustees of the insane hospital at Mt. Pleasant for several years. Dr. Henry was interested in public school affairs and for many years was a member of the school board. (pg 36)

Charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850. (pg 105 & 112)He was elected a censor at the 18th annual meeting of the State Medical Society in Des Moines, February 5, 1868. (pg 119)

J.F. Henry
pg 104, 105 & 174, mention
Of Burlington, was present at the first meeting of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850. He wrote an exhaustive paper on "Medical Topography and Diseases of Iowa" for the Medico-Chirurgical Journal issue June 1851. In those days the relation of climate to disease was regarded as very close, and climatic studies were much thought of. The Burlington Tri-Weekly Telegraph presents the following report of the meeting: "The convention is eminently respectable in appearance", and "There are many gray beards among them ..... Among these may be mentioned as particularly active upon the floor, ..... Dr. J.F. Henry of our own city....."
J.H. Hershey
pg 105, mention
Of Muscatine, was a charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850
Gershom Hyde Hill
pg 277-280, full text

Gershom Hyde Hill, M.D.
Gershom Hyde Hill, M.D.
Born May 8, 1846
Died November 23, 1925

Dr. Gershom Hyde Hill, A.M., M.D.
By D.S. Fairchild, M.D.

Dr. G.H. Hill was born at Garnavillo, Clayton county, Iowa, May 8, 1846, the son of James Jeremiah Hill, who came to Iowa in 1844 and settled in Garnavillo. James J. Hill was born in Phippsburg, Maine, in 1815; prepared for college at Bridgeton Academy and graduated from Bowdoin College in the class of 1838. He prepared for the ministry at Andover Theological Seminary in 1843. In the spring of 1844 he married Miss Sarah Elizabeth Hyde, the daughter of a deacon of the Old South Church, Bath, Me. Their wedding trip was a journey down the Ohio river to St. Louis, up the Mississippi river to Dubuque by steamboat, and across the country to the village of Garnavillo, where Dr. Hill was born in 1846. In 1849, the Rev. James J. Hill moved to Albany, Illinois, where Mrs. Hill died May 27, 1853. In September, 1854, Rev. James J. Hill married Sarah Wells Harriman of Great Falls, New Hampshire.

Rev. Hill began his ministerial duties at Garnavillo and continued preaching in several places until 1860, when he moved to Grinnell for its educational advantages. His two older sons, Gershom and James graduated in the class of 1871, receiving A.B. degrees. Rev. Hill continued active church duries until the time of his death, October 29, 1870.

The founder of the Hill branch was Peter Hill, who came from the west of England in 1653. Four generations later brings us to Judge Mark Langdon Hill, the grandfather of Dr. G.H. Hill, the subject of this history. On his mother's side Dr. Hill descended from Major Elijah Hyde, who commanded a regiment of Light Horse which did active service during the Revolutionary War.

We have thus briefly outlined a history of Dr. Hill's immediate ancestry in the belief that a vigorous, upright and independent line of inheritance has an immense influence in determining the character of a long line of descendants.

Dr. Hill's younger brother, Rev. James Langdon Hill, became a distinguished minister of the Congregational Church in Salem, Massachusetts. It was the privilege of the writer to visit the Rev. James L. Hill at his home in Salem in company with Dr. G.H. Hill. We were then deeply impressed with the thought just expressed, of the great influence wrought on the character of New England by the immigration of God-fearing men and women from Old England, who came to a new world to worship after their own conscience and to build new communities. They were a stalwart race.

Dr. Hill, as already stated, received his A.B. degree from Iowa College (Grinnell College) in 1871 and ten years later the A.M. degree. In 1874 he obtained his degree of Doctor of Medicine from Rush Medical College, Chicago. In 1878 he pursued a graduate course at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York and in 1890 at Harvard Medical School, Boston. On completion of his literary and medical courses, Dr. Hill began the practice of his profession at Moline, Illinois, until December 1, 1874 when he was elected assistant superintendent of the State Hospital for the Insane at Independence. After seven years service as assistant superintendent, on November 1, 1881, he was elected superintendent, which position he held until 1902, when he resigned and engaged in private practice in Des Moines, as alienist.

In 1905, associated with Dr. J.C. Doolittle, he opened a private hospital for the treatment of nervous and mental invalids. Dr. Hill was fortunate in securing a beautiful old homestead in the residential part of Des Moines, formerly owned by Mr. Callanan, comprising forty acres of woodland and park. In addition to the large and beautiful house erected by Mr. Callanan, suitable buildings have been erected for a large number of patients. The institution is now known as "The Retreat". For nearly twenty years this institution has been conducted with marked success. Dr. J.C. Doolittle has been succeeded by Dr. Russell Doolittle.

Dr. Hill has been active in medical society work. For many years he was the president of the Buchanan County Medical Society, he was also an early member of Austin Flint-Cedar Valley Medical Society and at one time its president. He is a member of the Polk County Medical Society, a member of the Iowa State Medical Society since 1877, a Fellow of the American Medical Association. In addition to the above named societies, he is a member of numerous special societies, the Des Moines Pathological Society, the American Academy of Medicine, American Medico-Psychological Association and the Congress of American Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Hill is also a member of the Methodist Hospital staff.

On January 9, 1879, Dr. Hill married Louisa Bliss Ford at Lynn, Massachusets. Their only child, Julia Ford Hill, was born at Independence in 1886. She graduated from Grinnell College in 1908 and from the Medical School of Drake University in 1913.

Dr. Hill for sixteen years was lecturer on mental diseases at the Iowa State University, and for ten years professor of mental diseases in the College of Medicine, Drak University.

Julia Ford Hill
pg 280, full text
Julia Ford Hill, only child of Dr. Gershom H. Hill & Louisa Bliss Ford, was born at Independence in 1886. She graduated from Grinnell College in 1908 and from the Medical School of Drake University in 1913. Since graduating in medicine, Dr. Julia Ford Hill has engaged in laboratory work and post-graduate work. She is now a member of the medical staff of "The Retreat", devoting herself to Occupational Therapy, where she directs the manual training or work done by patients in shop department.
Joseph Crawford Hinsey
pg 223, full text
Dr. J.C. Hinsey was born in Butler county, Ohio, June 9, 1829 and died in Ottumwa, April 10, 1892. Graduated from Rush Medical College in 1851 and from the University of Pennsylvania in 1854. Located in Ottumwa in 1856. In 1862 Governor Kirkwood appointed him surgeon to the enrollment board for the fourth congressional district and he served during the war. Dr. Hinsey became a member of the State Medical Society in 1859 and was president in 1887. He was one of the few surgeons in Iowa to perform an ovariotomy in pre-antiseptic and pre-aseptic days. The writer recalls the interest manifested in the days before 1880 at the presentation of these wonderful operations.
D.W. Hitchcock
pg 18 & 25, mention
Dr. D.W. Hitchcock of New York, located in Burlington in 1835
C.M. Hobby
pg 182 & 355, mention
Was on the editorial staff of the Iowa State Medical Reporter in 1884. Was the head of department of eye, ear, nose and throat at Iowa City (ca 1889/1890) when Dr. Charles M. Robertson became his assistant.
Magnus Holmes
pg 33, full text
In 1841, Dr. Magnus Holmes came to Marion from Crawford, Indiana. He was a man of high order of attainments and gave promise of a highly useful career which was soon cut short by death. He was the brother-in-law of Dr. Henry Ristine.
John J.F. Hopkins
pg 38, mention
Came to Mahaska county about 1845. He was a graduate of a reputable medical college. Dr. John J.F. Hopkins was later surgeon of the 33rd Iowa Infantry.
J. T. Hopkins
pg 155, mention
The first secretary of the Mahaska County Medical Society, 1856.
Edward Hornibrook
pg 292-307, full text
Recollections of Edward Hornibrook -- A Medical Chevalier
by W.E. Sanders, M.D., Des Moines

Dr. Edward Hornibrook
Dr. Edward Hornibrook

Dr. Hornibrook of whom Dr. W.E. Sanders speaks so reverently in the following appreciation of his life work in the practice of medicine, was born in the Provice of Ontario, Canada, in 1838. His parents were natives of Ireland.

Dr. Hornibrook received his preliminary education in the public schools of Canada and his medical education at Victoria University, from which he graduated in 1861. He began practice the same year. In 1879 he came to the United States and located in Cherokee, where he continued in the practice of medicine until increasing years and failing health compelled his retirement.

Dr. Hornibrook died at his home in Cherokee June 30, 1924, at the age of eighty-six years.

Transcription note: the biography of Dr. Hornibrook is very long, so it has been located on a separate page.
Click here to read the biography.

Asa Horr
pg 37-38, full-text
Dr. Asa Horr was one of the most distinguished and probably the most scholarly of early Iowa physicians. He located in Dubuque in 1847. Dr. Horr was born in Worthington, Ohio, September 2, 1817. He early showed a strong interest in science and perhaps contributed more to scientific literature than to medical literature. He was not without skill and courage in surgery. In 1875 he removed a large solid tumor of the left ovary together with a fibroid tumor of the uterus at the same operation. It is stated that there were many adlisions and that the tumors were removed with great difficulty. The patient made an uneventful recovery. Dr. Horr performed many difficult operations such as were regarded as legitimate in those days.

Dr. Horr was an active member of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, and was one of the leading observers for the Smithsonian Institute. His most valuable contributions were to Meteorology and to him and Professor Lapham of Milwaukee is due the present method of forecasting the weather employed by the United States Government. Dr. Horr died at his home in Dubuque, June 2, 1896, at the age of seventy-nine years.

Frank Crampton Hoyt
pg 284-285, full-text
Frank Crampton Hoyt was born in Denver, Colorado, November 17, 1859. He graduated in medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1881. Afterwards he pursued a course of study in pathology at the University of Kentucky and Louisville. He founded and edited the St. Joseph Medical Herald. He had a scholarly mind and talent for writing, as was shown by the numerous papers which he read before medical societies and his reports as superintendent of the hospitals at Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. In September, 1887, he was appointed 3rd asistant physician in charge of pathology at the state hospital at St. Joseph, Missouri. Here for a period of nearly six years he carried on the work of the pathological department systematically and efficiently, obtaining and carefully studying much valuable material. As a result of these studies he published subsequently papers on "Pachymeningitis Hemorrhagica" and "Tropho-Neuroses in the Insane", and "The Tropho-Neuroses of Paretic Dementia".

In 1893 he was appointed medical superintendant of the state hospital at Clarinda, and his administration of this institution was most successful. While in Clarinda he organized a band to furnish out-of-door music in summer and an orchestra for winter evening entertainment. He also inaugurated a military drill for patients under a competent drill-master. He also carried on mechanical industries for patients, such as manufacturing clothing, shoes, brushes, brooms, furniture of all kinds, to a greater extent than any other state hospital of equal size; in addition, farm and garden operations were largely engaged in.

In September, 1898 he resigned and removed to Chicago, but was almost immediately recalled to Iowa to assume charge of the hospital for the insane at Mount Pleasant, owing to the death of Dr. H.A. Gilman. His administration at Mount Pleasant was good. He introduced many improvements, such as forced ventilation, electric lighting, new and larger kitchens, an associate dining room and an ample water supply.

He married in 1883, Miss Mattie Price Garner, of Richmond, Missouri, who with three children, survived him. He died suddenly in Kansas City, May 21, 1901. (pg 284-285)

A.S. Hudson
pg 112 & 136, mention
Of Keokuk. He is not listed as a Charter member, but was present at the first meeting of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850. He was present at the first meeting of Keokuk physicians for the purpose of organizing a medical society in Lee Co., Sept. 1850.
John C. Hughes
pg 4,105,119 & 137, mention; pg 140-141, full text; pg 167& 168, mention; and pg 224-226, full text.

The author of the book gives credit to papers from the library of Dr. J.C. Hughes of Keokuk, for some of the information used in the book. (pg 4)

Dr. J.C. Hughes was a charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850 (pg 105)

In February, 1868, the contract was let to Dr. J.C. Hughes to publish the transactions of the meeting of the eighteenth annual session of the Iowa State Medical Society, for $108. (pg 119)

Dr. J.C. Hughes became a member of the Keokuk Medical Society on September 28, 1851. He was the first physician to propose the drafting of a fee bill to solve the ever-present problem of bill-collections. The fee-bill was adopted, the charge for ordinary bleeding from the arm fixed at one dollar; cupping, wet or dry, $2-$5; and the introduction of a seton, $2-$5. (pg 137)

J.C. Hughes, A.M., M.D., was at the outbreak of the Civil War, already the most noted surgeon in the state; his connection with the medical college dating from 1850. The great war governor, Kirkwood, early in 1861, appointed him surgeon general of the state, and he organized the army hospitals here, and had charge of them until they passed under the control of the general government. The opportunity was here afforded Dr. Hughes to add to his already vast experience as a surgeon, and he became widely known as a careful, rapid and successful operator, and one who always conserved first, the best interests of his patients. Following the war, he devoted his time to the college and his constantly increasing surgical practice until within a few months of his death, which occurred in 1881. Many of the practitioners of the Middle West today are ready to attest the skill in operation and the earnest, incisive method of teaching of Dr. Hughes. (pg 140-141)

The organizing of the medical college, suggested the necessity of a medical journal as an aid to the interests of the institution. It is interesting to know that the leading men in all three activities were the same individuals: Dr. John F. Sanford of the State Medical Society, and Drs. Sanford, J.C. Hughes and McGugin of the Medical College and the Medical Journal. The Journal was conducted by the Faculty of the Medical Department of the Iowa University, Dr. J.C. Hughes, editor-in-chief, was the first medical editor in Iowa, also serving as editor-in-chief of the Western Medico-Chirurgical Journal. It was the first medical journal ever issued west of the Mississippi, the first issue being published in Keokuk September 1, 1850. (pg 167 & 168)

Dr. J.C. Hughes
Dr. J.C. Hughes

Dr. John C. Hughes, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania April 1, 1921 [sic - should be 1821] and died in Keokuk August 10, 1881. Dr. Hughes represented the type of strong men who came to Iowa at a relatively early day.

It is a curious and interesting fact that Iowa grew into a state without a definite plan, and apparently made the best of things as they came along. It is unfortunate perhaps that Iowa developed without much regard to the experience of older states, but rather prided herself on her independence of precedent and often adopted methods tried out and abandoned by other states, frequently no doubt at a great expense of time and resources. Happily, here and there, strong men came forward with a vision to the future to direct the ignorant and selfish who gave little thought to the days to come.

It does not appear that Dr. Hughes was particularly active in political affairs, but devoted his energies to developing and co-ordinating the activities of his profession which he so ably represented, and to welfare service of the city in which he lived. During his lifetime Keokuk was the recognized medical center of Iowa.

In 1850 the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons was located in Keokuk after migrating from La Porte, Indiana, in 1846 where it was born, to Madison, Wisconsin, 1847; Rock Island, 1848; Davenport, 1849; to Keokuk its permanent home, 1850.

Dr. Hughes studied medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, with Dr. Joseph Perkins and graduated from the University of Maryland in 1845. He began practice in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. In 1850, he came to Keokuk and was elected demonstrator of anatomy in the medical school which was soon to become recognized as the medical department of the Iowa State University. In 1851 he was made professor of anatomy. In 1852 was elected dean of the faculty and in 1853 professor of surgery which position he held to the time of his death in 1881.

The duties of his office as dean involved a wide range of activities. A medical college sixty or seventy years ago was in a measure a business institution. It had no endowment fund, and was generally owned by a small group of men who sought to provide a "drawing faculty" to attract students and provide money in various ways; student fees were mainly relied upon to pay expenses and provide a return on the money invested.

Dr. Hugnes was a man of much tact and was fortunate in establishing friendly relations with the profession of Iowa and neighboring states. The requirements for entrance and for graduation were not high and the success of the school was measured more by the number of students and the personnel of its faculty than by its efficiency in preparing young men for scienfitic medical practice.

Dr. Hughes was appointed surgeon general of the state by Governor Kirkwood at the outbreak of the Civil War; a position he held until its close. He was chairman of the Board of Medical Examiners and did much to aid the governor in organizing the medical service of the Iowa regiments. During this service, he was in charge of the Army Hospital at Keokuk.

Dr. Hughes was elected president of the Iowa States Medical Society in 1856 and agian in 1866, he and Dr. Thomas Sivester were the only men elected twice to that office. Dr. Hughes was made chairman of the section on surgery at the Richmond meeting of the American Medical Association and was a charter member of the American Surgical Association.

Dr. Hughes was a skillful surgeon and an able diagnostician. He was also a man of affairs and enjoyed an enviable reputation and influence throughout the state. He was a member of the Iowa branch of the Christian Sanitary Association and rendered valuable service as such to the soldiers at the front and in the hospitals during the Civil War.

He was editor of the first medical journal published in Iowa under the name of the Iowa Medical Chirurgical JOurnal, and later changed to the Iowa Medical Journal. Altogether, Dr. Hughes was easily the surgeon standing first in the history of Iowa. (pg 224-226)

A.Y. Hull
pg 145 & 146, mention and 147-148, full text
Of Lafayette, Camp twp. Polk Co. He was a Charter member of and the first president of the Polk Co. Medical Soc. (pg 145 & 146)

At the next meeting of the doctors [of the Polk Co. Medical Soc.], January 30, 1852, Dr. Hull, president of the society, read a paper on "The Wants of the Medical Profession." It is interesting to follow this pioneer physician and publicist through his brief presentment.

The preeminent want of the medical world Dr. Hull found to be a "corps of competent physicians, men for whom nature had done much, and who possessed a liberal preparatory and thorough medical education."

Another deficiency noted was "the lack of healthy discriminating tone in public sentiment, to the end that the ability of the competent physician may be fully appreciated." Too loose reign was given to "medicasters" who were virtually authorized by law "to go forth on their errand of death." Iowa was declared to be one of the states in which the practice was not regulated by law. In his view judicious laws would tend to relieve their crippled profession and save communities from incalculable mischief. Another want was harmony among the members of the profession. "Jars, schisms, strifes, animosities and bickerings" stood as "imperishable monuments of their shame and deep degradation."

"Physicians, of all men, should earnestly cultivate intimate and confidential relations with each other, and the only rivalry that they should countenance should be to see who could become best acquainted with the true science of medicine, and to strive to occupy the highest and most extended sphere of usefulness, in their respective circles." He saw lasting benefits shadowed forth in the new organization.

G. Anderson Hull
(A. Hull *)
pg 104 & 112, mention
Present at the first meeting of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850.
Justin M. Hull
pg 283 & 321, mention
A member of the first State Board of Health, 1880, from Lake Mills. The bio of P.W. Lewellen notes: "Dr. Justin M. Hull of Lake Mills, was the eclectic member." [of the State Board of Health]
Dr. Hutchinson
pg 120, mention
Of Winterset. Attended the 18th annual session of the Iowa State Medical Society in Des Moines and was elected as a delegate to the American Medical Association.
Woods Hutchinson
pg 183, full text
In 1900 Woods Hutchinson of Des Moines entered the field of Iowa medical journalism by editing and publishing an attractive journal bearing the title of Vis Medicatrix Nature. Notwithstanding the skill of a brilliant editor the journal survived only nine months.

*Transcribers note: throughout the book there were instances of a physician's name being given slightly differently from one mention to another; whenever I was positive they denoted the same man, I have included the alternate name or spelling, not knowing which is the 'correct' one.

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