Chapter 11. - The Medical Profession.


    Doctor Hartshorn has the honor of having been the first disciple of Esculapius to locate within the confines of Richland county during the pristine days of her history. He came into the county as early as 1848 from Illinois, and settled at what was then called Gage's (later Law's) Ferry, on the Wisconsin river. He remained until 1850 or 1851 when he left for parts unknown. Dr. Henry McNelly was the second physician to locate within the limits of the county. He was born at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1821, and in 1830 removed with his parents to Clinton county, Ind. In 1843-4 he studied medicine and for several years practiced his chosen profession in the Hoosier State. On July 4, 1849, he started for Wisconsin, and in August of the same year located in Orion, Richland county. There he remained many years, administering to the ills of his fellow men, then moved to the village of Richland Center in 1861, and after remaining there a short time moved to the southern part of the county again. He afterwards went to Dakota. Other early physicians at Richland City were C. B. Pierson and L. H. Nichols.

    Dr. Charles B. Pierson located at Richland City in 1851, and remained there until 1865. He was assistant surgeon of the Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Regiment of infantry during the Civil War. He afterwards took up his residence at Spring Green, Sauk county. He is spoken of as a gentleman of culture and a physician of much prominence.

    The first physician in the village of Lone Rock was Dr. J. N. Castle, who came in 1856. He remained there a number of years and then removed to Chicago, where he died. The second physician was Dr. R. L. Telfair. The latter was born at Cairo, Green county, New York, in 1832, and began the study of medicine with his father, at the age of sixteen years. He was graduated from the Albany Medical College, December 27, 1853. After practicing his profession at Lone Rock for a number of years he removed to California. Other physicians who have practiced at Lone Rock in the past are: Doctors McKinnon, Dodge, Stoddard, Pinkerton, Charles E. Houghman and others.

    Dr. D. L. Downs located at Orion in February, 1850, and that place remained his home until December, 1858, when he removed to Richland Center. He is given mention on another page of this work.

    Dr. Jacob Brimer came to this county during the year 1850 locating at the head of Ash Creek, near the big spring, where he remained a few months, when he removed to the town of Richland and located on the farm which is the present site of the asylum and almshouse. He continued to reside there eight or ten years, clearing a farm and building a good two-story dwelling. He then exchanged the place with Jacob Krouskop, for a farm in the town of Orion, upon which was a saw-mill and a carding-mill. He continued to practice medicine until within a year or two of his death. For about ten years, beginning with 1873, he owned a drug-store in Richland Center, which was managed by his son, John Brimer.

    Another representative of the profession was Dr. Truax, who was formerly located at the village of Orion.

    Dr. R. M. Miller was the first physician in the town of Richwood. He visited the county in 1849, and with his brother, L.N. Miller, as partner, established in 1851 a general store at Port Andrew. The following year he settled at that place and gave his attention to the practice of medicine, which in those days was very hard on a physician, as the country was but sparsely settled, and as there were no roads the making of long trips was very tedious. In 1859 he started a drug store at Boscobel, run the same one year, and then spent a year in Canada. Returning home he assisted Captain Rowley to recruit a company of men for the United States service, and went with them to Racine, expecting to enlist himself, but one day while driving under a leaning tree on a side-hill, his wagon slipped and so crushed his body between the wagon and tree as to fracture every rib, and he was unable to leave the house for a year. When he was again able to walk he found that he was two and a half inches less in height than before he was injured. He again resumed practice, but in 1872 he found himself well advanced in years and in poor health, and retired from active practice. He was born in Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1811, assisted his father until nineteen years of age, and then went to New Orleans. Three years later he went to Galena. Ill., where he continued the study of medicine which he had commenced in the Crescent City. He afterward opened a store at Shellsburg, where he was the first merchant of the place, and he was also the first merchant at Mifflin, Iowa county.

    The first physician to locate at Excelsior was Dr. O. Ross, who was born in Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1834. In 1837 the family moved into the state of Ohio, and there, at the age of fifteen the future pioneer physician commenced the study of medicine. During the winter of 1851_2 he attended school at Hiram, with James A. Garfield as a school-mate. In 1856 he graduated at the Ohio State Medical School at Cincinnati, and in 1857 commenced practice in Hancock county of that state, but on account of poor health he afterward located on a farm, and for two years dealt in live stock. In 1860 he resumed practice in Van Wert county, from whence, in 1864, he came to Excelsior, where he spent the remainder of his life, with the exception of one year which he spent in the state of Missouri. Dr. Ross had a large practice, in which he treated a large number of cases of smallpox.. and it is said that he never lost a patient by that much-dreaded disease.

    J. T. Coates was a native of Trumbull county, Ohio, born June 18, 1840. He first came to Richland county in 1857, and for some time had charge of the postoffice at Excelsior, also assisted his brother, W. H. Coates, about the mill. In 1861 he enlisted in the First Regiment of Minnesota volunteer infantry and served three months. He then re-enlisted and was mustered into service with the Second Regiment of Minnesota sharpshooters. He was wounded at the battle of Antietam, which disabled him so that he was discharged in February, 1863. He afterward served as first lieutenant of a company stationed in the northwest to ward off the Indians, but resigned his commission and returned to Excelsior. He soon went to Iowa and engaged in mercantile trade which employment he did not find congenial. From early boyhood he had a desire to study medicine and first entered the university at Iowa City, and afterward was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk. He commenced practice in 1871 at Excelsior, was afterward at Muscoda and Montfort, but in 1883 returned to Excelsior and practiced there for a number of years.

    In 1854 Doctor Carpenter settled in the town of Rockbridge. The same year Dr. LeRoy D. Gage came to Richland Center as the postmaster, but practiced the profession of medicine at the same time. He was the first physician in that village in point of time. He remained at the place until August, 1870, when he ended a useful and valuable life by committing suicide. Doctor Byers also made his appearance in the county during 1854, locating at the county seat, where he remained until 1858, when he, thinking to better his condition, moved to Baraboo. Doctor Wallace located at Richland Center during the fall of 1855, but stayed in the county only about six months. In 1856 Doctor Drewett came to Richland Center, but remained only until the following spring. Dr. Henry Priest came to Richland Center in 1857, and remained there until 1862, when he returned to Greencastle, Ind., from whence he had come. During the same year Dr. O. H. Wood located at the Center. He remained in the county some years; was a surgeon in the Twenty-third Regiment of Wisconsin infantry during the Civil War; removed to Missouri at its close, and was killed be a railroad accident near Brookfield, that state, March 1, 1881. Doctor McLane located at Richland Center in 1856 or 1857, but on account of poor health was compelled to give up practice, after about six months, and left the county. Dr. E.W. Beebe was a very prominent physician who made his appearance at the county seat during the year 1859. There he remained until 1864 when he went to Evansville, and in 1879 removed to Milwaukee, where he became one of the most eminent specialist physicians in the sate, treating all diseases of the eye and ear. Dr. W. W. Stewart came to the Center in 1863, stayed but one year and then returned to Loyd. He afterward located at Lake Shetock, Wis. Dr. A. W. Bickford made his debut in the county at Richland Center in 1864 and continued in constant practice there for more than twenty years. He was well known as a very public spirited citizen, was a member of the village board and held other offices, and late in life spent considerable time in California for the benefit of his health, which had suffered by a too close application to the most arduous of professions. Dr. Mclntosh became one of the physicians of Richland Center in 1863, and remained for some time. Dr. J. E. Marsh came to the Center in April, 1882, remained about six months and then left, going to Medford, Wis.

    Dr. George Miller was born in Anderson county, Ky., January 10, 1818, and was but eleven years old when his pioneer life began in Clinton county, Ind., where his parents had moved. There he assisted his father in clearing a farm and made his home until 1840. He had previously learned the cooper trade and continued to work at that in Clinton county until 1851. He then came to Richland county and settled in town 9, range 1 west, now known as the town of Eagle. There he continued to work at his trade in. connection with farming until 1862, when in July he enlisted in the Twenty-fifth Regiment of Wisconsin infantry, Company B and went to Minnesota, where the regiment remained until winter then going south. His health was not good and he was assigned to duty in the field hospital where he was general superintendent. He was discharged July 16, 1864, from Harvey hospital, Madison, and returned home. He was unable to do any manual labor for more than a year, but continued the study of medicine which he had taken up before the war. His experience in the hospital had been a great help to him, and soon after his discharge he commenced practice, becoming a very successful physician. He was of the eclectic school.

    Dr. E. P. Kermott formerly practiced medicine at the village of Loyd, in the town of Willow, and Dr. Hugh Morrow formerly practiced in the town of Marshall.

    Dr. Herman J. Wall was the first physician at Viola and was followed by Doctor DeLap, who is now a resident of Richland Center, and Dr. Joseph Goyer. The latter gentleman was a native of Bartholomew county, Indiana. In 1826 his parents removed to Putnam county of the same state, and in 1836 to Warren county, Illinois. One year later the family removed to Henry county, Illinois, remaining until 1847, when the residence was changed to Bureau county of the same state, where Joseph studied medicine two years, after which he attended medical lectures at the Indiana Medical College of Como, for a portion of a term. He then went to Rock Island, Illinois, where he began the practice of his profession. He remained there until 1853, then removed to Big Rock, Scott county, Iowa, where he bought a store and stocked it with drugs and general merchandise, and practiced his profession for two years. He then returned to Rock Island and remained there until 1859, when he went to California. He returned in 1860, and in 1862 enlisted in the Eighty-ninth Regiment, Illinois volunteer infantry. He was wounded at the battle of Stone River, Tennessee, in 1862, through the left shoulder and right hip, being taken prisoner and re-taken in the same battle. He was discharged in 1863 and returned home. In 1864 he went to Tomah, Monroe county, where he practiced his profession until 1876 and from thence to Viola, Richland county, where he resided for a number of years.

    Drs. Luke Dean and F. S. Stebin formerly represented the medical profession in the town of Sylvan, the former being located near Sylvan Corners and the latter on Mill creek.

    The first physicians to locate in the village of West Lima were Drs. J. Smith and J. H. Helm, and Drs. O. Houts, Field and Adam Shambaugh formerly practiced at Spring Valley.

    Dr. John H. Helm was born September 7, 1842, in Delaware county, Indiana, and lived there until 1857, when he removed to Warren county. He lived at the latter place for two years, following farming, and thence went to Attica, Fountain county, where he clerked in a grocery store in 1859. He moved back to his native county in the spring of 1860, and after farming till June, returned to Attica and stayed there until the spring of 1861, when he returned to his native county again. He began going to school in Granville, Indiana, remaining there till March, 1862, when he went to Muncie. Mr. Helm enlisted in the Eighty-fourth Regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry, was promoted to the rank of first sergeant, and was honorably discharged in 1865. He began to read medicine in September, 1865, pursuing his studies till the fall of 1866, when he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend a course of lectures on medicine. In the spring of 1867 he began the practice of his profession in the place of his birth, and followed the practice one year. He then farmed two years, and in the spring of 1870 resumed his practice, continuing until September, of that year, when he went to New York city to attend medical lectures at the University of New York, and was graduated from the Medical College on February 21, 1871. He then returned to Granville, Indiana and continued his practice another year, after which he removed to Eaton, in the same state and remained two years. He then removed to Muncie, and after about four years at that place and Anoke he came to the town of Bloom in Richland county, and there built up a remunerative practice.

    Dr. O. Houts was a native of Richland county, born November 11, 1852, in the town of Orion. He lived his entire life in the county, and was among the best in the medical profession. In 1869 he commenced reading medicine with Adam Shambaugh, commenced practice in the town of Forest the year following, and there remained until 1880, when he removed to Spring Valley, where he built up a lucrative practice, having the respect and confidence of the public generally.

    Adam Shambaugh, one of the early settlers of Richland county, was born February 12, 1817, in Cumberland county, Penn., where he resided five years, and then with his parents removed to Montgomery county, Ohio, where he resided until 1826. The family then moved to Fountain county, remaining only three years, and thence to Tippecanoe county, Ind., where he learned the joiner's trade and received his schooling. He studied arithmetic eleven days and grammar seven days, and that constituted his school education; yet by perseverance and industry, Mr. Shambaugh acquired a good fund of knowledge. In 1854 he moved to Boone county, Ind., where he engaged in merchandising two years and then removed to Richland county, Wis. He first settled in the town of Forest, and entered one hundred and twenty acres of land on section 2, which he sold in 1857 and removed to the town of Bloom, where he engaged in the various occupations of farmer, merchant, preacher and physician. He continued to practice medicine and also to preach, and in the latter profession converted two thousand five hundred persons to a belief in religion. He was a great benefactor to the people of Richland county in many ways.

    J. B. Hitchcock was formerly a practicing physician in the town of Henrietta, locating at Woodstock in 1880. . He was of the homeopathic school and received his diploma from the University of Iowa. He was born in Boone county, Ind., February 12, 1849, and continued to live there until 1853, when the family came to Richland county and settled in the town of Orion. There the future physician grew to manhood, receiving his early education in the district school, supplemented by two terms in the high school at Sextonville. When he was twenty-two years old he bought a tract of land in the town of Orion and engaged in farming, occupying his leisure time in study. In the winter of 1878-9, he went to Iowa and entered the medical department of the State University, at Iowa City. In the spring of 1879 he located at Woodstock and commenced practice, returning to Iowa in the fall to complete his course of study in the University. He received his diploma in March 1880, and then returned to Woodstock, where he continued to follow his chosen profession for a number of years.

    The medical profession has been represented in the town of Ithaca by Drs. Asa McCollum and Ada Lamson, who were located at Sextonville, and Dr. Osman Cass, who was located on section 19.

    Asa McCollum was the first doctor at Sextonville. He was born in that part of the Northwest Territory, now the town of Windsor, Morgan county, Ohio. He made his home with his parents until eleven years old, when his father proposed to give him his time summers, and he could attend school winters to which he agreed. He remained in that section of the country until eighteen rears old, then joined an older brother in Illinois and engaged with him surveying and farming three years, when his brother built a tavern in Vandalia. Asa continued to live with his brother one year longer and then returned to Ohio and engaged with another brother in a cabinet manufactory. They carried on that business there three years, when Asa sold out and went to Massachusetts. He there located in Worcester county and commenced to work as carpenter and joiner, and later as contractor and builder. There his health failed, and going to Boston he entered an infirmary and was there during the cholera epidemic. As soon as he was able he was employed as an assistant, and there he commenced the study of medicine, not the theory under a physician, but practically amid actual conditions which gave him a very valuable experience. Soon after his return to Leicester, a child in the neighborhood was stricken with that dreadful disease, cholera, and he was called upon to prescribe. That was his first case and in it he was successful. He soon afterward erected a large building, opened an infirmary, and there continued the practice of medicine until 1848, when he came to Wisconsin and located at Fayette, in Lafayette county practicing medicine there until 1851, when he came to Richland county and purchased land adjoining the village plat of Sextonville, and immediately commenced the practice of his chosen profession. In 1858 he purchased a drug-store and followed that business the greater part of the remainder of his active life. As a physician, he belonged to the reformed botanical school.

    Osman Cass was born in the town of Stanstead, Province of Quebec, Canada, June 26. 1826. He was a son of a farmer and his younger days were spent in assisting his father and going to school. At the age of nineteen he went to Lowell, Mass., and engaged in a woolen mill, the Middlesex corporation. He remained there but a few months and then returned to Canada, purchasing land and improving a farm in the town of Clifton, where he resided until 1854. He started, in the spring of that year, for Richland county to visit his brothers who had preceded him here. In the fall he went to Pine river and worked with his brother James in a mill belonging to the latter, and in the spring of the year following moved with his brother to Ithaca. He soon afterward entered land on section 21, on which he lived one year, then sold out and purchased land in section 20, where he remained about a year. He then again sold out and bought the farm on section 19, where he spent the remainder of his life. Doctor Cass was always an extensive reader and careful student, and in selecting reading matter he chose those books which would give him the greatest amount of useful information, making a specialty of medical works. About 1870, his health failing, he employed a number of physicians, but they failed to relieve him, and he then decided to begin the practice of medicine, with himself for a patient. He was successful in recovering his health, and after that time continued to practice the profession, and was generally successful. As a citizen he enjoyed the confidence anti respect of all good citizens.

    Dr. J. M. Flautt, a native of Ohio, was the first physician to locate in the town of Akan. He came there in 1858 and located on section 15, where he remained until during the Civil War. Mention of other Richland county physicians is made in the biographical department of this work, and some are also given a place in chapters upon affairs with which they were prominently identified. In 1906 the following physicians are regularly engaged in the practice of their profession in the county: Richland Center-R. H. DeLap, H. J. Wall, M. W. Haskell, F. W. McKee, Sara T. Elliott, Gideon Benson, C. F. Daugherty, A. D. Campbell, George R. Mitchell, E. S. Garner; Lone Rock---George Jamieson, Grant Curless, Bertha E. Reynolds; Excelsior---John C. W right. E. E. Haggerty; Boaz, Albert A. Daugherty; Ithaca, Robert Reagles; Bloom City, P. G. Lasche; Gotham, Elmer Hoffman; Viola---A. J. Dake, J. C. Stormout, Frank Griswold; West Lima, A. B. Cole; Cazenovia, Joseph Pkadlic; Sylvan, George Park.

    An association of the physicians of the county has nominally been in existence for many years. It was fully organized, prospered and grew in membership and interest for several years, becoming auxiliary to the State Medical Society. Then the interest in the local society seemed to decline and the meetings were poorly attended until for long intervals there were no meetings held. Efforts to revive the organization met with poor success until recently: but now meetings are being held with good attendance, and the organization gives promise of being a permanent one, contributing to the promotion of social fellowship, scientific advancement and the high standing of the profession in Richland county.

Transcribed July 21, 2002
Jeannette Sauntry

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