Erie County, Pennsylvania

History of Erie County, Pennsylvania 1884

by Samuel P. Bates, 

Submitted by Gaylene Kerr Banister

Chapter XXIII - Physicians and Dentists


Dr. John C. Wallace, the first and for a number of years the only resident physician in the county, settled at Erie about 1802, after a service of some nine years as a Surgeon in the United States Army. He was Colonel of the Erie regiment of militia during the war with Great Britain, and assisted in caring for the wounded in the hospital at Erie, after Perry's victory. He continued in the practice of medicine nearly to the day of his death, which occurred on the 8th of December, 1827. Dr. W. A. Wallace succeeded to a large share of his practice.

Dr. Plara Thayer located in Erie about 1811, and was joined in a short time by his brother, Dr. Albert Thayer. They resided on Federal Hill and their practice extended over a good part of the county. The latter was the father and preceptor of the present Dr. Thayer, of South Erie.

Dr. Asa Coltrin settled in Erie about 1815, and continued in practice there until his death in November 1824. The next physician in Erie was Dr. Peter Christie, who was a Surgeon in the United States Navy. He had an extensive general practice when not engaged in his official duties.

The list of Erie physicians was increased by the arrival of Dr. William Johns in 1822, and by Drs. Taber and Elijah Beebe in 1825. All of these remained until their decease.

Dr. Peter Faulkner located in South Erie in 1825, and soon entered upon an extensive practice. After a time he changed to Crawford County, but returned to Erie in 1848. His sons, Drs. William and Robert Faulkner, are both in practice in the city.

Dr. Jacob Vosburg reached Erie the same year as Dr. Faulkner, and Dr. Sanford Dickinson, who had practiced in Wattsburg a short time, removed to Erie in 1840.

Outside of Erie, the earliest physician of whom we can learn was Dr. James Smedley, who located in North East at an early day. Dr. Ira Sherwin made his home in Harbor Creek in 1825, and Dr. W. T. Bradley in Westleyville about 1840. Dr. Rufus Hills practiced in Girard from an early date until 1830, when he changed to Erie. He was obliged to abandon the practice, and removed to Pittsburgh, where he died. Dr. M. C. Kellogg practiced in connection with Dr. Vosburg at Erie until 1831, when he changed to Girard. He died in Albion, to which place he had removed in 1855.

List of Registered Physicians
The law of Pennsylvania provides that every person engaged in the regular practice of medicine or surgery shall be a graduate of a legally chartered medical college or university, and have his diploma registered in the Prothonotary's office of the county where he resides. In case the diploma has been lost, a certified copy of the same may be presented, or, if not obtainable, the party may make affidavit to the fact, with the names of the professors whose lectures he attended. Exception is made in the case of physicians who have been in continuous practice within this commonwealth since 1871. These are allowed to continue in practice, but must appear before the Prothonotary and make affidavit to that effect. The punishment for failure to register, or for presenting a fraudulent diploma, or making a false statement, of practicing in violation of the act, is $100 for each offense, or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding one year, at the option of the court. Below is a list of the physicians who registered in the Prothonotary's office of this county between June, 1881, and September 17, 1883, with the years when they graduated:

Charles Aichner, University of Basil, Switzerland, 1857.
P. Barkey, University of Medicine and Surgery, Philadelphia, Penn., 1871.
J. Q. H. Bassett, practiced a number of years. Diploma destroyed in Chicago fire.
Charles Brandes, practice since 1845.
Mr. E. S. Burnham, practice for twenty years.
Linnie Burnham, Electropathic Institute of Binghampton, N. Y., 1879.
E. P. Banning, Sr., College of Medicine at Evansville, Inc.
Jeannette Caldwell, Homoeopathic College, New York City, 1876.
J. S. Carter, practice since 1840.
J. T. Clark, National Medical College, Washington, D. C., 1870.
W. K. Cleveland, University of the City of New York, 1860; New York Ophthalmic Hospital, 1860; Bellevue Hospital, 1862, and Homoeopathic Medical Board of Canada, 1869.
Edward Cranch, University of Georgetown, D. C., 1873.
J. C. M. Drake, Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago, 1880.
Michael C. Dunnigan, Bellevue Medical College, New York City, 1875.
Martin Ernst, attended lectures upon surgery by Prof. Buntz, at Delbruge, Germany; diploma lost.
W. C. Evans, Western Reserve College, Cleveland, Ohio, 1854.
Robert Faulkner, Homoeopathic Medical College, New York City, 1867.
William Faulkner, Geneva Medical College, Geneva, N. Y., 1842.
Eugene B. Fletcher, Cleveland Medical College, 1879.
John F. Flint, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1881.
A. A. Freeman, University of Buffalo, 1876.
Charles A. French, Western Reserve College, Cleveland, 1876.
Henry F. Garey, Washington University, Baltimore, 1876.
George A. Garries, Western Reserve Medical College, Cleveland, 1881.
E. D. Gates, University Victoria College, Medical Department, 1859.
E. W. Germer, Medical College of Vienna, also certificate from Freiburg University.
Thomas H. Gray, University of Michigan, 1871.
Amos S. Gregory, Union College of Medicine and Surgery, Philadelphia, Penn., 1872.
Peter Hall, practice since 1844.
John M. Lewis, Bellevue Medical College, New York City, 1880.
A. S. Lovett, Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan.
Susanna Meyer, practice for fifteen years.
William Nick, practice since 1859.
H. C. Nick, practice since 1867.
A. Z. Randall, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1864.
David P. Robbins, University of Michigan.
Nelson Seymour, practice for thirty-five years.
James E. Silliman, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1874.
Byron A. Smith, practice since 1866.
Mrs. Jane A. Smith, practice since 1865.
H. A. Spencer, Western Reserve College, Cleveland, Ohio, 1851.
J. L. Stewart, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Penn., 1848.
Chester W. Stranahan, Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, 1867.
D. H. Strickland, University of Pennsylvania, 1863.
Jones J. Seward, Medical College of Ohio at Cincinnati, 1883.
Alvin Thayer, practice since 1845.
Robert D. Tipple, Homoeopathic College of Cleveland, 1878.
G. S. Tubbs, practice since 1870.
George Ulrich, German Medical College, Germany, 1860.
Richard H. Walker, Medical Department of Wooster University of Cleveland, Ohio, 1879.
Mrs. A. B. Woods, Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1876.
Arthur A. Woods, Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, 1876.
Mary A. B. Woods, Western Homoeopathic College, Cleveland, Ohio, 1864.
Anna Presley, Electropathic Institute of Binghamton, N. Y., Aug. 7, 1882.

Almon S. Bonsteel, Bellevue Hospital College, New York City, 1872.
S. R. Breed, continuous practice since 1856.
Reuben Brinker, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1851.
Charles Adams Bush, practice since 1871.
John B. Chace, American Medical College, Cincinnati, Ohio.
D. E. DeRoss, Eclectic College of Cincinnati, 1875.
G. A. Elston, Medical Department of University of New York, 1880.
H. G. Fay, Medical Society of Steuben Co., N. Y., certificate dated 1875.
Daniel D. Franklin, Eclectic Institute of Cincinnati, 1850.
Flora Hayward Stanford, Boston University.
Emma L. Jordan, Eclectic Medical College, Philadelphia, 1879.
C. B. Kibler, University of Buffalo, 1870.
H. O. Mackres, University of Buffalo, 1867.
B. H. Phelps, Cleveland Medical College, 1871.
Manhattan Pickett, Medical College of Buffalo, 1869.
Joseph R. Phillips, Homoeopathic Hospital College at Cleveland.
D. C. Storer, practiced medicine and surgery since 1862.
Henry S. Tanner, Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, 1859.
J. E. Weeks, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

P. P. Fisher, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, 1881.
D. R. Waggoner, Medical College of Ohio, 1872.
John W. Jarvis, Middleboro, University at Ann Arbor, Mich., 1869.

D. T. Bennett, Eclectic Medical Association of Pennsylvania, at Franklin, 1876.
Samuel F. Chapin, Yale Medical College, 1859.
G. Thickstun, Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, 1864.
William C. Tracy, Harvard Medical College, Boston, Mass., March 7, 1866.

M. D. Satterlee, University of New York City, 1879.
M. A. Millard, University of Buffalo, 1873.

A. G. Ely, Geneva Medical College, Geneva, N. Y., 1840.
T. J. Kellogg, practice since 1836.
A. R. Smith, Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, 1853.
I. N. Taylor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1866.
Helen M. Weeks, Homoeopathic College, Cleveland, Ohio.

Union City
O. L. Abbey, University of Buffalo, 1863.
Stephen R. Davis, practice since 1872.
Mrs. S. R. Davis, practice since 1872.
Curtis N. Goucher, Medical Department of the Western Reserve College of Hudson, Ohio, 1870.
James F. Read, practice since 1838.
L. D. Rockwell, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1874.
Alfred C. Sherwood, University of Pennsylvania, 1873.
Ernest B. Smith, Cleveland Homoeopathic Hospital College, 1882.

North East
John K. Griffin, University of Buffalo, 1865.
L. G. Hall, Medical University of Buffalo, 1850.
A. B. Heard, Detroit Medical College, 1872.
D. D. Loop, University of Buffalo, 1865.
Burton H. Putnam, University of Buffalo.
A. J. Sears, University of Wooster, Cleveland, 1878.
George B. Stillman, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, 1880.
Mullin A. Wilson, New York Homoeopathic Medical College, New York City.

P. D. Flower, Philadelphia University of Medicine and Surgery, 1869.
O. Logan, practice for twenty-five years, Medical University of Buffalo, 1882.
James S. Skeels, Western Reserve Medical College, at Hudson, Ohio, 1848.

T. W. Burton, Buffalo Medical College, 1862.
John W. Bowman, Cleveland Medical College, 1859.
Frank L. Clemens, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1881.

George Ellis, East Springfield, Hudson Medical College of Cleveland, Ohio, 1869.
Charles N. Moore, East Springfield, Hygia Therapeutic College, N. Y., 1864.
Lamarr V. Knapp, West Springfield, Buffalo Medical College, 1873.
Joseph R. Hewett, Springfield Township, practice since 1865.
John Ross, West Springfield, practice since 1860.
O. O. Blakeslee, West Springfield, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, 1882.
Ranson C. Sloan, East Springfield, Buffalo Medical College, 1869.

George M. Cole, Eclectic College of Cincinnati, 1881.
Willard Greenfield, practice for twenty-eight years.
Truman Hawkins, Medical Department of Western Reserve University, 1850.
S. B. Hotchkiss, Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, 1871.
Henry R. Terry, Jefferson Medical College Philadelphia, 1863.
Joseph C. Wilson, Starling Medical College, Columbus, Ohio, 1851.
Frank G. Greenfield, Miami Medical College, Cincinnati, Ohio, March 1882.

Mill Village

William P. Biles, Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, 1879.
John H. Kirk, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1875.
G. W. Wilson, practice since 1860.
John J. Sharp, University of the City of New York, March 3, 1883.

Other Localities
H. R. Hayes, Amity Township, practice since 1861.
J. L. Bennett, East Greene, practice for twenty one years.
John Wright, Franklin Township, Homoeopathic Hospital College, Cleveland, 1873.
Barker A. Skinner, Elgin, University of Wooster, 1878.
George Wright, Lockport, Homoeopathic Hospital College, Cleveland, 1871.
W. V. Blakeslee, Concord Township, practice since 1846.
M. B. Cook, Harbor Creek, Cleveland Medical College, 1877.
James G. Leffingwell, Miles Grove, Michigan University, Ann Arbor, 1873.
M. M. Moore, Wesleyville, practice since 1852.
Martin V. B. Johnson, Wellsburg, University of Medicine and Surgery, Philadelphia, 1878.
Charles G. Miller, Harbor Creek, practice "since before 1871."

Other Matters
The first Erie County Medical Society was organized in 1829, with the following officers: President, William Johns; Vice President, A. Thayer; Secretary, F. W. Miller; Treasurer, A. Beebe; Censors, J. Smedley, Jacob Vosburg, A. N. Molton.

The present Medical Society of Erie County was established in 1841, and has the same organization as the old society. Its regular meetings are held on the third Tuesdays of January, April, July and October.

The earliest dentist of whom we can learn was a traveling man who stopped in Erie for a short time in 1826. He made a set of false teeth for the wife of Rev. Dr. Whallon, who was the first woman in the county to enjoy that sort of a luxury. A dentist by the name of O. N. Sage practiced in Erie several years. The first permanent dentist was Dr. O. N. Elliott, who settled in Erie about 1840. The next was Dr. W. E. Magill. Both of these gentlemen are still in practice in the city.

The dentists of the county who have registered under the Act of the General Assembly, passed April 17, 1876, and amended May 17, 1883, are given in the following list:
F. H. Abell, practiced in Erie (except for eight months in 1878) for the past sixteen years.
Henry B. Blair, Corry, practiced twenty-six years.
F. H. Lawrence, Union City, practiced nine years.
W. E. Magill, Erie, practiced twenty years.
J. H. Devore, diploma of the Philadelphia Dental College.
Andrew McPherson, Erie, practiced eight years.
T. J. Elliott, Erie, practiced eight years.
L. Essick, Erie practiced twenty years.
George B. McDonald, diploma from the Philadelphia Dental College.
G. F. McDonald, Girard, practiced nine years.
O. L. Elliott, Erie, practiced thirty-six years.
Perry A. Gibson, diploma from the State University of Iowa.
V. D. Gibson, Edinboro, practiced twelve years.
J. H. Gifford, East Springfield, practiced ten years.
Lamer Battles, diploma from the University of Pennsylvania.
G. J. Mead, Erie, practiced fifteen years.
E. R. Allen, Girard, practiced nineteen years.
J. H. Nelson, North East, practiced fourteen years.
M. C. Burgess, Erie, practiced eleven years.
C. H. Harvey, Erie, practiced fifteen years.
S. R. Bryant, Waterford, practiced fifteen years.
Frank C. Callaghan, diploma from the Indiana Dental College.
T. D. Ingersoll, Erie, practiced ten years.
Edward E. Gifford, Corry, practiced nineteen years.

Bibliography: Samuel P. Bates, History of Erie County, Pennsylvania, (Warner, Beers & Co.: Chicago, 1884), Part II, Chapter XXIII, pp. 444-451.



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