Beers Historical Record
Volume I
Chapter 11
The Medical Profession in Armstrong County




The writing of the history of the profession of medicine of Armstrong county, embracing almost a century and a quarter space of time, long after those who were the makers of the early history have gone to the "great beyond" is an undertaking more difficult than it may seem, for, owing to the great dignity of the profession, their names seldom entered into the public press, nor did they transmit much to the pages of history. In fact, as a class, they are very reticent, careful, close mouthed, and avoid publicity. Their work calling them almost entirely among the sick and suffering, it naturally behooves them to be calm, reserved and sympathetic. It was a rare thing to see the name of an intelligent physician in the public press, for it was one of the rules of ethics that we should avoid newspaper publicity, hence very little history can be gathered from that source. The writer has gone to some of the older people of town and country to gather this history, and they of course knew of some of the early doctors of the county and could tell of the location and name, but could give no data of their lives. Smith's History of Armstrong County, published in 1883, was consulted, but it gave very little help; there were a few biographies, and a scattering mention of names and location, for which we are very grateful.

The records of the prothonotary's office were examined, but prior to that registration act of 1881, no records were kept and any person could engage in the practice of the healing art, so here again we were disappointed, for the physicians whose chapter in life's history had ended prior to the passing of that act had left no data on these records.


The doctor in the early history of Armstrong County was a very busy and a very useful person; buy his learning he was the better able to help mold public opinion, to shape public affairs, to advance civilization and to improve the methods of living, and by his skill in medicine and his knowledge of surgery, he could bring comfort to the discouraged and relief to the suffering. In the early days doctors were specially honored and respected, and it was considered very much of an honor to entertain the doctor when far from home, for some of the circuits were as much as a hundred miles, and of course he must remain somewhere for the night. The family sharing their hospitality with the doctor were honored, and there was great feasting; the neighbors were gathered in to hear the wonderful experiences of the family doctor. The fact that he was considered the family doctor was, indeed, worthy of note, something not often heard of in the present mercialism brought into the medical world or whatever it may be, yet that endearing title "the family doctor" has almost become obsolete. This may be looked on as a great mistake, for it requires some time for a doctor to study his patient and learn the idiosyncrasy peculiar to each person, for this is a fund of great worth, both to the doctor as well as the patient, and those who go the rounds of the doctors of their locality cannot secure the service they so much need, which they would get by placing themselves in the care of one whom they would be proud to call their "family physician."

It is a real pleasure to sit and listen to some of the good people tell of the long ago when they were mere children; of the things that impressed them most, namely the observance of the Lord's holy day, the family minister, and the greatest of all - the good old family doctor. For in the minds of the early people, the doctor was a wonder worker. How he could manipulate an arm or a leg that through some accident had been put out of use and restore it to its function; or if a bone had been broken, causing severe pain, with a little pulling, a little twisting and a little rubbing he would ease the pain, restore confidence and have the sufferer soon basking in the fair land of drams. How he made up his decoctions, his infusions and other mixtures and with a very wise and knowing look would give his instructions, just how much to give at certain times at the very tick of the minute. It was but natural that he was looked upon as a wonder worker and worthy of the confidence and respect of both old and young.

When we turn back over the pages of history of our county, for more than a century we find, as in all new countries, everything was in a chaotic condition, "without form and void," so to speak. Especially as it so in the medical world; any person, man or woman, who possessed any knowledge or ability to alleviate human suffering was welcome, served a good purpose and was a great benefactor to the people. Many a life was saved and many a cripple prevented by those people who knew what to do in times of great emergency. Even the men who took up the study of medicine did not have the advantages in those days to prepare themselves to any great extent, but nevertheless their work, in times when they were sorely needed, was welcomed and well received. Empiricism and superstition, witchcraft and ignorance, reigned supreme among the people, and who can say that these men of the early history in medicine did not do good work? Anyone who loves the tradition of his country cannot help but recognize that these men stood out as giants among men, who worked well and made it possible, by breaking the way for us, and have given us the inheritance of the grandest profession and the greatest calling that God ever gave man.


Many and varied were the different methods of those then engaged in the healing art (not the regular doctors), a few of which we will mention; to stop the flow of blood, a bleeder, and the following words were repeated in silence: (naming the person) "and as I passed by thee I saw thee polluted in thy blood, and I said live." This was repeated three times, and at the same time the hand of the operator was making great gestures and maneuvers in the air. And the bleeding usually stopped, not however due to the pow-wowing, but to the efforts of nature to restore her broken laws, which is the usual tendency. In the early days it was believed that a child suffering from "fits" was under the influence of a witch and of course the witch doctor must come, and with the wisdom of Solomon he would go through his gyrations and taking a lock of the child's hair, roll it up, bore a hole in a tree, place the package in the hole, and plug it tight. Now if the fits were due to the workings of the witch the child would recover, if the child did not recover it was due to some sin of the parents and must continue until they were sufficiently punished to appease the wrath of the god of sickness.

"And the people believed." It was a true saying when Barnum said "the American people like to be humbugged," and many of those engaged in the healing art have often thought the same thing if they did not express it. And thus, it has ever been and thus it may always be. The people in general are becoming more educated and are not quite so easily hoodooed as they were years gone by. When we consider all these obstacles that our pioneer doctors had to encounter and in a great measure overcome, we are pleased to say "glory be to the men of our profession who could rise above all these difficulties and place the profession of medicine on the high plateau of dignity and efficiency." This standard should even be elevated by the profession of today, for we have much better facilities for working and investigation than they had.


The etiological period had its birth in the year 1880, and since that time we have learned the cause of many of the diseases, isolating the germ, searching for its antidote and destroyed it in toto, or immunizing the patient against its ravages. It is quite true that there are many innovations in our day such as The Christian Science, The Faith Cure, The Emanuel Movement, The Suggestive Therapeutic Method, The Osteopaths, The Masseurists and The Eclectics, all of which are a restricted part of the great healing art, and each branch has its followers, and has taken its place and has been of service to mankind. Sometimes, however, great promises have been made by an operator of a cult, by which of course the sufferer is boosted for a time, only to lapse into a worse condition. This yellow streak of deception runs through the gray matter of many engaged in the healing art, but it can be said with a great deal of satisfaction that the regular schools of medicine, as a rule, do not promise or guarantee a sure cure, hence no deception is practiced, but always straightforwardly they pledge to do the very best that science teaches them. A minister of the gospel while waiting in the writer's office whiled away the time by reading a book entitled "The Great American Fraud." On my return he remarked that he was not aware that he had been such a drinker, but he said: "For many years I have 'been using a certain patent medicine and I see by the analysis of this that it is largely alcohol and I have been deceived."

A nice little bit of history was gathered from a boy of about eighty summers. He is a layman, and his story was after this manner: "When I was a boy there were several doctors in the community where I was raised and each doctor seemed to have his favorite way of doing things. The one doctor would call most everything stomach trouble, another would see the same person and say it was kidney trouble, while a third doctor would see the same person and very positively, with a wise and knowing look, would say, 'My dear one, you are in the last stage of liver trouble.' Each doctor of course would have his turn at the patient who some times got well and some times died." He just remarked in passing that things had not changed very much, for recently he had occasion to call several doctors for, as he thought the same thing, but each of the three had a different opinion and treated him differently, and still he suffers from the complaint.

One of the long ago prescriptions, "Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake," seems to have been transmitted to many engaged in the healing art. In the modern medical world the fad has changed from diagnosing everything as stomach, kidney and liver trouble, to attributing derangements to appendicitis, adenoids, bad teeth, eye strain, laceration and flat feet, and the management of the case is conducted very much as did the Indian doctor, who they the child into fits and cured the fits. How true it is that wise and learned physicians now are, with so many advantages over the profession of a hundred years ago, yet it may be said without contradiction that they still run to fads. This in great measure has caused the laity to say, "Doctors will differ," and they often do not retain the respect that they should have.

Many centuries ago, Ecclesiasticus wrote in his Bible, "Honor a physician with the honor due unto him, for the uses which ye may have of him; for the Lord hath created him. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head; and in the sight of great men shall he be in admiration. The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them. And he hath given men skill that he might be honored in his marvelous works. With such does he heal men and taketh away their pains. My son, in thy sickness be not negligent; but pray unto the Lord, and he will make thee whole; then give place to the physician, for the Lord hath created him: let him not go from thee, for thou hast need of him. There is a time when in their hands there is good success. For they shall also pray unto the Lord, that he would prosper that which they give for ease and remedy to prolong life."

From another observer of the long ago the following was related: "When I was a young man I had fever and they sent for the family doctor who treated me for some time without much change, and through the persuasion of some of our neighbors another doctor, a new comer, was called and with great pride and pomposity came into my room, got the history of my case, looked at my tongue, felt my pulse, punched me in the ribs and pow-wowed around, then looked at the medicine and, holy horror, the look that he got on him, and rushing to the door, he hurled the medicine as far as he could, remarking as he did so, 'stuff like that is not fit for a beast' (this was my first intimation that I was a beast). 'I will prepare something for the young rascal that will get him out of bed in short order.' And of all things, I never had a task like that before nor since. One dose was enough for me. I pleased with my good mother to spare her poor boy and not repeat the dose, for if I were to die and be a little angel I did not want to go over there with such a bitter taste in my mouth. I also plead for my old family doctor, who came back and here I am today telling the story of a poor little boy in the hands of the early doctors. You doctors of the present are a little smoother than they were three score years ago. Then they berated each other with all the emphasis at their command, now you fellow just look wise and say nothing, but your looks and your actions make it look worse to me than if you would speak right out and say it."

O, wad some power the giftie gie us

To see oursel's as ithers see us,

It wad frae mony a blunder free us.


The history of medical practice in some elementary form is probably as old as man. The oldest records of medical matters from which we get something of its history are those of Egypt. Most of our knowledge of the Egyptian form is derived from the greeks, yet the recent discoveries and better methods of deciphering the inscriptions of the ancient papyri have yielded much original information. The Ebers papyrus dates about the sixteenth century, B.C., and much of the learning there recorded had been traditional for centuries. Certain facts of Egyptian medicine are well established. This art as most of the others was vested in the priests. There was, however, an extensive formulary combined with many ceremonial rites. Practice in that day was widely specialized each one having his special work, and with but little research there was not much progress from one age to another.

The Hebrews got their medical knowledge from Egypt and are remarkable for their conception of the value of public hygiene and careful sanitation, and from what we gather from history they are considered the originators of this form. In the early history of the Hebrew nation disease and pestilence were considered as a punishment for sin, and the Levites were the only practitioners. They also received some impression from the Assyrian and still later from Greek thought, and we find a class of temple physicians and surgeon specialists, and just preceding the Christian Era we learn of the city physicians who were held in high esteem. Jewish medical records show that these physicians, like the Egyptian, had but little knowledge of anatomy and physiology and their surgical operations were of the crudest imaginable.

The origin of Chinese medicine is lost in tradition and fable, and dates back to about 2600 B.C. They had extensive rules for noting the puse and a great array of remedies secured from the animal, the vegetable and the mineral kingdom. they knew but little of anatomy and physiology, and surgery was a far off science to them, but acupuncture, cupping, plasters, fomentations, diet, and fresh air were chief devices in their management of disease.

It is interesting to notice that Greece furnishes us with some significant remnants of medicine. Chiron is reputed to have introduced into Greece the healing art, and had been the preceptor of the great Aesculapius. They erected their temples in the beautiful groves well supplied with good springs and pure air. Here the healing art was practiced. The treatment was in itself peculiar, a remedy to produce emesis and a purgative was about all the drugs used, the rest of the treatment consisted of translating dreams, vicarious sacrifices, careful diet, pure air, bathing, temperate living, and massage, and as we follow on down the ages by the footprints in the sand s of time, we have the sacred period, the philosophical period, the rationalist period and the anatomical period.

The latter began at the time of the establishing of the Alexandrian library, which became the center for medical study and research in 320 B.C., when Ptolemy was a great leader in the medical world and gathered about him the wise men for the purpose of dissecting the human body, and in this manner they made many notable discoveries about the structures of the brain, the heart, the lungs, the eye and the intestinal canal. Each period of investigation brought new discoveries. Galen, in his more extended study of anatomy, described every bone in the body, learned the functions of the muscles and recognized and described the sensory and motor nerves. He wished the world to accept his theories and to popularize the further study of anatomy, but he was not successful and at his death the end of the anatomical period came and was not revived again for several centuries.

For a time medical practice again passed into ecclesiastical control, and medical study was not taken up again until the universities of Spain and Italy added medicine to their curriculi, and this soon spread to the rising schools of Vienna, Paris and elsewhere. Gilbert and Linacre having studied in these schools, finally founded the College of Physicians of London. But it was not until the sixteenth century that Vesalius succeeded in reviving the study of human anatomy, and in this and the following centuries we find rapid advances in the anatomical and physiological studies which brought about a revolution in the medical science. The one who in his study found something new and gave a full description of it, had the honor of having the part named for him, and for this reason we have to this day some rather queer nomenclature, as Eustachian tube, Fallopian tube, fissure of Sylvius, circle of Willis, etc. These researches led to other channels and the microscope was brought to completion, and new remedies were added to the materia medica. The seventeenth century is marked by some new methods in obstetrics, medical jurisprudence and bedside clinics. Chemistry was recognized as a systematic science and the work of investigation and research went happily on.


In the beginning of the eighteenth century Hahnemann protested against the large dose of drugs and the excessive depletion by bloodletting, introduced his ideas of Homeopathy, and from that time on we have had the two distinct schools of medicine. Some times the rivalry between the two schools was very great, but it is pleasant to say in this age of the world that the lamb and the lion lie down pleasantly and peacefully together. The climax of the eighteenth century was the discovery of vaccination by Jenner. He was persecuted and abused by many in the medical profession but had the pleasure of seeing the world adopt his ideas and today it has proved a great blessing to the human family, and it is strange, to say the least, that with all the good results and practically the annihilation of smallpox, so many people, supposed to be intelligent, use every argument and every influence to legislate against it.


The nineteenth century was, without doubt, the great epoch-making century in the history of medicine. Instruments of various kinds to aid in better diagnosis were investigated, further research into the hidden mysteries of the human body blazed the way for better results, the investigations and studies of virchow in this cellular pathology, and the results of Pasteur in his study of putrefaction and fermentation, opened up the way for Lister in his further study of the germ theory of disease, and give to the science of surgery the antiseptic treatment of wounds. And following in the study we have Laveran with his malarial bugs, Koch with his string of tubercular bacillus, antitoxins; the X-ray and a host of other theories and methods which have added much to the healing art and the relief of the human family.

All through the years the research goes on, and the twentieth century, with all our learning, still offers much for study and investigation of disease. And happy will be the human family when some researcher discovers an antitoxin or remedy for cancer, the dread of mankind. Yea, they will leap for joy when an antitoxin, serum or antidotes for tuberculosis, the great white plague has been found and proved. The millennium will dawn when we shall have found an antidote, or a serum, or a vaccine for each of the acute diseases and many of the chronic ones, and there will be such an evaluation in the field of medicine that ere the sun shall have kissed the western slope of the twentieth century, man will be happy and content, immunized from the attack of all bugs and living to a good old age, will simply and painlessly pass away.


The early history of the medical fraternity of Armstrong county, whatever it may have been, was not handed on to us either by legend or written history. Previous to 1863 very little of the records of the profession can be found, except short notes from Smith's history, and rules of ethics. When Armstrong county was founded in 1800, Dr. Simeon Hovey was the only practicing physician and surgeon within its bounds. Dr. Hovey was a scholarly gentleman, a native of Connecticut, a good physician and a skillful surgeon for his day, and for several years he was the only medical adviser for the northern portions of Armstrong and Butler counties and the greater portion of Clarion and Venango counties. He located in the northern part of the county in 1797, and Hovey township bears his name.

In 1804, Dr. Elisha Wall was assessed in Brady's Bend township. From whence he came or whither he went no history can be gathered to tell the tale. Dr. George Hays was the first resident of Kittanning. He located there about 1810. Dr. Samuel S. Neale was a native of New Jersey, born in 1792, and received a good education in the Burlington schools. He studied medicine in the University of Pennsylvania, and located in Kittanning to practice his chosen profession about 1814. He celebrated America's independence day by his marriage to Margaret E. Brown, daughter of Robert Brown, on the fourth day of July, 1926. He died in 1857, leaving to survive him two daughters and three sons. His one son, Hon. J.B. Neale, served a term as president judge of Armstrong county courts. His grandson, Hon. J.H. Painter, was president judge of the county courts in 1913. Another grandson, Dr. A.P.N. Painter, was an honored and respected physician. As a physician Dr. Neale held the respect of his brethren on account of his skill as well as his observance of professional ethics, and he greatly endeared himself to his patients.


In the summer of 1825, Dr. Neale called Dr. Josiah Stevenson to his office to talk over plans for an organization of the medical fraternity, and as a result of this conference the following notice was sent out November 1, 1825, to all physicians in the county:

"Dear doctor - you are most earnestly requested to meet at the office of Dr. Samuel S. Neale, in Kittanning, Pa., November 16, 1825, for the purpose of organizing a medical society to regulate the practice of medicine, to formulate a standard of ethics and for other purposes."

There were at this time about fifteen physicians in the county, and the writer is sorry that he cannot find any further information of this matter. It may be well said in honor of these pioneers of medicine in that early day that on account of the unsettled condition of the country and the mode of travel it would be a difficult task to follow the trail on horseback for miles to attend such a meeting.

But these brave men met and succeeded in organizing The Armstrong County medical Society, formulated a constitution and a set of rules of ethics. As the Jews were called an over religious people on account of the many laws they had to observe, so it may be said of these men they were over zealous in adopting a constitution and rules of ethics to cover almost every conceivable thing that might happen, and in later years when the men of '76 were about to organize, a resolution was passed to modify these rules, as they were too voluminous. The original constitution could not be found but the following rules of ethics as they formulated them were found in the files of the Kittanning Gazette and Columbian:

At a regular meeting of the Armstrong county medical society held in Kittanning on Thursday evening, September 24, 1830, the following Code of Medical Ethics was adopted. "The degraded condition of the medical profession, not only of Pennsylvania, but of many other parts of the country, has long been a matter of deep regret to many of the most enlightened and honorable members, and although much of the time and talents of some of the most respectable brethren have been occupied in endeavoring to elevate its standard and dignify its character, it is much to be lamented that they have not been more successful in their laudable attempts."



1. It is the duty of every medical practitioner to treat his patients with steadiness, tenderness and humanity, and to make due allowance for that mental weakness which usually accompanies bodily disease. Secrecy and delicacy should be strictly observed in all cases in which they may seem to be peculiarly required.

2. The strictest observance of temperance cannot be too strongly inculcated in the minds of the practitioners of medicine and surgery - a clear and vigorous intellect and a steady hand being absolutely necessary to the successful practice of those branches of medical science.

3. Unfavorable prognostications should never be made in the presence of patients; yet should there seem to be immediate danger, it becomes the duty of the physician to apprise the patient's friends of that circumstance.

4. In every instance in which one physician has been called on to visit the patient of another, a consultation with the former medical attendant should be proposed. Consultations in difficult cases should always be recommended, and the physician called on for that purpose should always show the greatest degree of respect to the practitioner first employed and allow him the privilege of delivering all the directions agreed upon.

5. Special consultations are sometimes wished for, in such cases, the physician called on should carefully guard against paying another visit, unless he should be requested to continue his services by the patient or some of his friends.

6. When one physician is called on to visit the patient of another in his absence or during short indisposition, he should not manifest a wish to continue in attendance any longer than the physician first called on should be able to resume the charge of the case, unless a continuance of his services should be expressly wished for by the patient or his friends.

7. Physicians should not visit their patients too frequently, lest seeing them oftener than necessary might produce unsteadiness of treatment.

8. Theoretical discussions should not be too freely indulged in consultations, as they frequently give rise to much perplexity, without any improvement in practice.

9. The junior physician in attendance should always deliver his opinion first, the others according to seniority, and a majority should decide; but in the event of a tie, the physician first in attendance should give the casting vote in regard to the future treatment, and to him should be entrusted the future management of the case, unless the patient or his friends should object to his being continued.

10. Although the possession of a diploma honorably acquired, furnishes presumptive evidence of professional ability, and entitles its possessor to preeminence in the profession, yet, the want of it should not exclude practitioners of experience and sound judgment from the fellowship and respect of the regular graduate.

11. In consultations, punctuality in meeting at the same time should be strictly observed, but the physician who first arrives should wait for a reasonable time for the arrival of the others. A minute examination of the patient, however, should not take place until one or more of the medical attendants are present, except in case of emergency. All subsequent visits should, if practicable, be made by mutual agreement, and no medical discussion should take place in the presence of the patient.

12. Attendance on members of the profession or their families should always be gratuitous, but should not be officiously obtruded. Should the circumstances of the medical practitioner indisposed enable him to make a recompense for medical service rendered to himself or family, it is his duty to do so, especially if he resides at a distance.

13. When one medical practitioner is called on to visit a patient whose recovery has been despaired of by the physician first in attendance and the disease should terminate fatally under his management, he should avoid insinuating to the friends of the deceased, that if he had been called on a day or even a few hours sooner he could have effected a cure.

Such a course of conduct is highly reprehensible and empirical in the extreme. And in the event of the patient's recovery, such a person should not assume all the credit as the cure might have been partly effected by the medicines prescribed before he took charge of the case.

14. The use of nostrums and quack medicines should be discourages by the faculty, as degrading to the profession, injurious to health and often destructive of life. Should patients laboring under chronic complaints obstinately determine to have recourse to them, a reasonable degree of indulgence should be allowed to their credulity by the physician; but it is his sacred duty to warn them of the fallacy of their expectations and the danger of the experiment and the necessity of strict attention to the effects produced by them, in order that their bad effects, if any, should be timely obviated.

15. No physician should either by precept or example contribute to the circulation of a secret nostrum, whether it be his own invention and exclusive property, or that of another. For if it be of real value, its concealment is inconsistent with beneficence and professional liberality; and if mystery alone give it value and importance, such craft implies either disgraceful ignorance or fraudulent avarice.

16. In al cases where diversity of opinion and opposition of interest give rise to controversy or contention between two or more members of the profession, the decision should be referred to a sufficient number of physicians, as they are frequently the only persons in the community capable of properly estimating the merits of the dispute. But neither the subject litigated, nor the decision thereon, should be communicated to the public, as individual reputation might suffer, and the credit of the profession generally be injured.

17. A wealthy physician, or one retired from practice, should refuse to give gratuitous advice, unless the danger of the case (in the absence of the practicing physician) or the poverty of the patient should warrant him in so doing. In all cases where he may be preferred, he should recommend a consultation with some one engaged in active practice. This rule should be strictly observed, as a contrary course is gratuitously deprived active industry of its proper reward.

18. When a physician is called on suddenly to visit the patient of another in consequence of some unexpected or alarming change in the symptoms, he should adopt a temporary plan of treatment suited to present circumstances. He is not warranted in interfering afterwards unless requested to take charge of the case, when he should propose an immediate consultation with the physician previously employed.

19. Physicians should never neglect an opportunity for fortifying and promoting the good resolutions of patients suffering under bad effects of intemperate lives and vicious conduct; and, in order that their councils and remonstrances may have due weight, it will readily be seen, that they should have full claim to the blameless life and high moral character which we have stated to be necessary prerequisite to an honorable stand in the profession.

20. Medical men should "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;" and visits should, as far as consistent with professional engagements, be made either before or after public worship, or during its intervals.

From the files of the same paper we copy a notice from the secretary which reads "The Armstrong County medical Society, agreeable to the requirements of its constitution, will hold its regular quarterly meeting in Kittanning at two o'clock p.m. on Tuesday the twentieth day of December, 1831. By order of the President, punctual attendance is required. G. A. Meeker, Secretary."

We are indeed sorry that a list of names of these worthy men cannot be found; but judging from the high tone of the rules of ethics by which they were governed we are ready to take off our hats and bow with the greatest respect to our early pioneers in medical practice, for the interest they manifested to better the condition and raise to a high standard the medical profession as well as the interest they had in mind to better the condition of the laity.

Year after year as the roster of physicians will show, other physicians came into the county, locating in the different villages; Kittanning, Freeport, Leechburg, Apollo and Parkers Landing seemed to be the favored locations, and it is quite easy to understand that on account of the conditions of the country, the kind of roads, the mode of travel and the sparsely settled country districts, all were conducive to direct the physician to the rapidly growing towns, but methinks from the frequent changes from one place to another by some of the most prominent early physicians that the different towns were not all "Lands flowing with milk and honey." In fact there is that desire on the part of some of our modern physicians to flit about from place to place but the majority of the men in practice today have been quite stable in their locations.

The first homeopathic physicians to locate in Armstrong county was Edward Manso, who came from Germany in 1812 and settled in North Buffalo township. No records can be found regarding his life there, and only the memories of old inhabitants can be drawn upon for what information we have about him.


In the early years of the county, before the roads were well laid out as they are now, the trail was about all there was; horseback, with the saddlebags, was the usual mode of travel. One of the early physicians had rather a funny experience. One night, as he was returning home all tired out by a long hard day and so sleepy that it was very hard to keep awake any longer, he decided to walk and lead his "Old Faithful." On in the still hours of the night he went and finally feeling that he had somewhat overcome sleep, he decided to again mount his faithful steed, only to find the saddle already occupied by an Indian. The doctor remonstrated, but the redface of the forest held to his seat. When every other argument failed the doctor finally thought of his profession, and said "I am a medicine man," and after satisfying the Indian of his identity he at once withdrew and the doctor was rather glad to proceed without his companion.

There was a diversity of choice among the men of the profession as to the color of their horses, some preferred a white horse and some a black horse, in fact there were favorites for each color, style and size. And where a doctor secured one to his fancy, that one was kept as long as he was able to do the work, and them retired on full feed and the best of care. Following the saddle horse, came the cart, and after a few years the buggy team. Doctors as a rule were very proud of a spirited, well mated span of horses, and Armstrong county physicians were second to none with their fine teams; but the horse is rapidly being replaced by the automobile. The next possibility for speeding the doctor around will be the flying machine.


The medical profession has always been noted for its progressiveness, always looking for something better, and in the spring of 1863, Dr. Washington Reynolds, believing that an organization of the medical men of the county would be beneficial to the fraternity, as well as to the common public, invited the physicians of the county to his office in Kittanning to form such an organization, the following being present: Dr. David Alter, Freeport; Dr. Robert S. Wallace, Bradys Bend; Dr. Tos. C. McCullough, Kittanning; Dr. William C. McCullough, Freeport; Dr. Thos. McGill, Freeport; Dr. J.R. Park, Whitesburg; Dr. C.S. Snowden, Freeport, and Dr. J.M. Taylor, Freeport.

The organization was completed, and the following offers were elected for the ensuing year: President, Dr. David Alter; vice president, Dr. Robt. S. Wallace; secretary, Dr. Thos. C. McCullough; treasurer, Dr. Washington Reynolds. Dr. Thos. C. McCullough was elected delegate to the State convention, which met in Philadelphia that year, and gave a glowing account of the meeting when he next met with his county society.

The county society was not represented in the State meeting in 1864, but the annual dues were paid and the society was in good standing; the following men identified themselves with the society: Dr. Robt. G. Ralston, Cowansville; Dr. John H. Hughes and Dr. John C. McMunn, Freeport; Dr. W. McBride, Leechburg; Dr. G.W. Burkett, Freeport, and Dr. William McBryor, Apollo. The above officers were reelected in 1864-65.

Dr. Washington Reynolds represented the county society in the State meeting in June of that year at Altoona, and the following was his report: "The undersigned, having been elected a delegate so recently as the 23rd day of May, and since that time almost constantly engaged, has had no opportunity to collect material suitable for report for the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania; therefore, no report embracing the geology, geography, medical topography and medical statistics of Armstrong county will at this time be presented.

We can only promise, and we think with a great degree of confidence, that a full report on these subjects will be presented at the next regular annual meeting of the society."

The following year new officers were elected, and Dr. R.G. Ralston was elected delegate to the State meeting and gave a full report, thus fulfilling the promise made by Dr. Reynolds. This was the last report of the Armstrong County Medical Society until 1876. And thus another blank occurred in the life of the society and for several years each physician was a law unto himself. From some of the older physicians were learn that there was strife, jealousy and division. The first organization finally disbanded, the second conception developed into a fully matured county medical society; but for some parasite or microbe of discontent, from malnutrition and neglect its life blood slowly but surely ebbed away, and for a space of ten years Armstrong county was without a medical society. The population of the county was increasing, new industries were multiplying, and men of all pursuits of life began to feel the need of getting together to discuss the common problems, to exchange views and experiences, to gain inspiration and to organize.

Dr. Thos. H. Allison of Kittanning, and Drs. A.M. Hoover and David Alter of Freeport, held a conference and decided to send out a call to assemble the profession, and on the 28th day of March 1876, fifteen physicians responded to this call, and met in Freeport at the office of Dr. A.M. Hoover, where they effected a permanent organization with fifteen men as charter members. This organization has grown both in interest and in numbers, and in the year of 1911 every regular practicing physician in the county, except one, was a member in good standing.

The constitution adopted by these good men of '76 remained intact for many years, and reads as follows:

Art. I, The name and title of this society shall be The Armstrong County Medical Society.

Art. II, The objects of this society shall be the advancement of medical knowledge, the elevation of professional character and the promotion of medical science.

Art. III, Sec. I, any physician of Armstrong county, who is a regular graduate in medicine of a respectable medical school, may be admitted to member ship by a vote of the majority of the members presented at the time of his election, and none other than graduates with diplomas or under the laws of the State Medical Society shall be admitted to membership in this society. Sec. 2, any person who shall procure a patent for any remedy or surgical instrument, who shall sell or deal in or is in any way connected with the sale or proceeds of patient remedies or nostrums or who shall after the establishment of this society give a certificate in favor of a patent remedy or instrument shall be disqualified from becoming a member of this society. Sec. 3, each person after his election shall sign the constitution and pay to the treasurer the sum of two dollars, before he can exercise the privilege of a member.

Art. IV, Sec. 1, the officer of this society shall be a President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, three Censors and aboard of three examiners. Sec. 2, the election of officers shall be by ballot at the last meeting of each year.

Art. V, Sec. I, the president shall perform all the duties usually pertaining to said office and shall exercise the casting vote in case of a tie. He shall not be eligible to two terms in succession. Sec. 2, in the absence of the president, the vice-president. He shall not be eligible to two terms in succession. Sec. 3, the recording secretary shall keep a correct minute in a book, kept for that purpose, of all the proceedings of the society. Sec. 4, the corresponding secretary shall conduct all correspondence of this society and shall perform all other duties pertaining the this office. Sec. 5, the treasurer shall receive all monies belonging to the society and disburse the same as directed by the society, preserving vouchers therefor, and shall annually present a financial statement which shall be referred to a committee of auditors at the annual meeting. Sec. 6, it shall be the duty of the censors to examine all claims to membership and report favorably before any vote can be taken on said applicant for membership or if any member of the society be accused with any infringement of the laws of the society in letter or spirit it shall be the duty of the Censors to fully and thoroughly investigate the case and report thereon to the society. Sec. 7, it shall be the duty of the examiners to examine all applicants for admission as students of medicine into offices of members of this society.

Art. VI, Sec. I, this society shall meet quarterly, early April, July, October and December. Sec. 2, the president may call intervening meetings if he thinks it advisable or at the request of three members, giving ten days' notice to the members.

Art. VII, Delegates to the State Medical Society, shall be elected at the first meeting of each year by a majority of the members present.

Art. VIII, This Constitution may be altered or amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the society present, provided that three months' notice of such amendment shall have been given, said amendment to be submitted in writing.

This constitution was approved on the first day of May, 1876, by Drs. William Anderson, Wm. M. McConnaughy and W.S. Duncan, censors of the State Medical Society of Pennsylvania. The following are the charter members subscribing their names and agreeing to stand by the foregoing constitution: Dr. David Alter, Freeport; Dr. J.G. Cunningham, Kittanning; Dr. T.M. Allison, Kittanning; Dr. W.H. Stewart, Kittanning; Dr. C. J. Jessop, Kittanning; Dr. A.G. Thomas, Freeport; Dr. R. P. Hunter, Leechburg; Dr. A.M. Hoover, Freeport; Dr. R.L. McCurdy, Freeport; Dr. R.P. Marshall, Orrsville; Dr. W.B. Ansley, Apollo; Dr. R.E. McAuley, Apollo; Dr. J.K. Maxwell, Worthington; and Dr. H.K. Beatty, Kittanning.

From this time on to the present the organization of the Armstrong County Medical Society has had a happy and successful life. These good men of '76 instilled into its new life sufficient energy to make it fruitful, to multiply and replenish, and it is pleading to know that of the fifteen charter members of '76, seven of them still survive, and all are members of the Armstrong County Medical Society, except Dr. A.M. Hoover of Parker, who has his membership with the Clarion County Medical Society, and Dr. H.K. Beatty, of Pittsburgh. The home members are Drs. T.M. Allison, C.J. Jessop, and Dr. R.P. Marshall of Kittanning; Dr. R.P. Hunter, of Leechburg, and Dr. R.E. McAuley of Apollo. All these men have always been active for the best interest of the society [Drs. Beatty and Hunter have died since this was written � Ed].

For a number of years the society met quarterly on the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December. The society was organized in Freeport, but held most of the meetings at the county seat, with an occasional meeting at Leechburg, Freeport and Apollo. The office of Dr. J.G. Cunningham on Jefferson Street, Kittanning, was the home of the society until his death, which occurred in 1898, and his successor in office, Dr. F.C. Monks, continued the same courtesy to the society as had his friend, until he was compelled to vacate the rooms which were to be converted into store rooms. For a time through the courtesy of R.A. Steim, proprietor of the Steim House, the society was accorded the privilege of the hotel parlors, for which the society has always felt very grateful. At a regular meeting on September 8, 1908, a resolution was passed by the society arranging that the regular meetings should be held on the first Tuesday of each month in the Kittanning General Hospital, where it has continued to meet ever since. The officers of the society realizing that a well organized county medical society, utilizing the ability of the men for clinics, papers and operations, would be equal to a post graduate course in a college, decided to improve our society by getting all practicing physicians interested in the work, and with automobiles they started on a missionary tour of the county, and as a result all physicians in the county but one became members and in 1911 the Armstrong County Medical Society was the banner society of the State, and the banner society in attendance at the State meeting of that year in Pittsburgh.

In many places there are strife, jealousy and envy among physicians but we are happy to say and proud of the fact that in Armstrong county they are a pleasant set of physicians, courteous to each other, always willing to help each other in any kind of difficulty and are meeting more frequently, discussing better methods of caring for the sick and suffering, looking after better methods of business for the physicians. All this has largely eliminated the feeling of distrust and envy and brought us out of the misty cobwebs of selfishness into the clear sunlight of congeniality and brotherly love. Medical ethics are well observed, and this has elevated the profession to a high plateau of loyalty.

Dr. J.B. Donaldson, president of the State Society, after visiting our society was most happy in referring to the good work of the Armstrong County Medical Society. He said it was the best organized and best working medical society in the State, and in his annual address before the State society at Harrisburg, he referred to its work and advised that all eyes should be turned towards Armstrong county. In every field of the practice of medicine there are those people who appreciate the work of the physician and are grateful for the work he does for them and feel that they can never compensate him sufficiently for the great service rendered in times of their distress, while there are others who feel that they can not get enough service for which they could pay but never will as long as it is possible to evade it. They go the rounds until they have their names on every doctor's ledger and they never expect to pay; they form a class in common parlance called "dead beats." This class, on account of the legion of its members, drove the members of the fraternity to organize what they call a "Protective Association," whose motto may be defined: "Live in harmony with the rules of ethics of the society, see to it that the former physician has been satisfactorily dismissed before you render service." Many collecting agencies have been organized on account of this class but if the medical fraternity observe the rules of their faith there need be no accounts for any such organizations, for when you read a little extract from an address of Dr. T.N. McKee on this matter you who may follow in the medical ranks will be as pleased with the results as the members now in practice are.


The Kittanning Physicians' Protective Association was organized June 23, 1908. From that time up to and including the meeting of January 20, 1913, the members reported six hundred and seventy-two persons to the association from whom they were unable to collect for past services. During the same period five hundred and one, or seventy-four and four-tenths per cent of these persons, settled their accounts, thereby not only putting hundreds of dollars into the pockets of the members where it rightfully belonged, but doing to themselves a distinct and lasting service in the lessons of economy and honesty taught. When we consider that many of these accounts were of upwards of twenty years' standing and had been placed with some of the so-called "collection agencies" the results are truly remarkable. And let it be said that worthy charity has been well cared for; the worthy poor have been given ample time to make settlement, but the intentional "dead beat" has been taught the less of his life.

It is quite true that there are families into whose homes the physician goes, and instead of charging for the services rendered to the afflicted family he does it gratuitously, and often orders goods from his groceryman to be taken to the afflicted home, and no one knows from whence they come. No one else in all the world gets into the family secrets and learns more of the poverty, the misery and the suffering than does the kind-hearted and conscientious physician, and instead of making a public scheme, as would some seeking personal glory, he quietly helps them to tide over the emergency of the hour and goes quietly on with his work as though all were sunshine and son. His work at all times and in all places should be to make bad men good and good men better, as well as to look after their physical condition. The physician stands alone in the world as the only person who cannot pray for much business. The minister may pray for large salary, lots of weddings and big business, the merchant may pray for lots of customers, to come often and for big orders, the farmer for large crops and full granaries the laborer may pray for better wages and shorter hours, thus we might must through all the different walks of life; the physician can only pray for the speedy recovery of his patient, that he may be restored to his former health. And it is with real pleasure that we can say that this is the cast and character of the physicians of Armstrong county. The other business and professional men may lay plans and arrange for an increase of business, while the physicians are always endeavoring to look after better sanitation, teaching people to observe the laws of nature, to care properly for the isolation of the contagious disease and to thoroughly disinfect the residue of the sick room.

In 1905 the Legislature authorized the appointment of a state board of health, with a health inspector in each county, and the counties were divided into district, and with the local boards of health with a physician as a member. All these are working assiduously for safeguarding the public, and thus causing better health of the people and less work for the medical man.


For many years the medical fraternity of Armstrong county had hoped for a hospital to care for the sick and injured, and finally the need became so great during the building of the B.R. & P.R.R. that Drs. S.A.S. and C.J. Jessop, doing the surgical work for the contractors, secured a private dwelling, employed nurses, and cared for the sick and injured. This stirred up the minds of public spirited men and women and they saw the crying need for such an institution; a board of directors was soon organized, property was secured and a general hospital was established, ready to care for the sick and injured. This is know as the Kittanning General Hospital. With the increasing industries in the county, and the growing population, the demands for the care of the sick and injured have largely outgrown the present hospital facilities and a move is now on foot for a larger and a modernized hospital; a site on the elevation just back of the county court house has already been secured by public inscription. And it is the hope of all that in the very near future the anticipations will be realized and the much needed hospital, modern in all its arrangements and details, will adorn the landscape overlooking the beautiful valley of the Allegheny and the town nestling so pleasantly on its banks.


The officers of the society have always worked for the best interest of the members, the program committee usually prepared the program at the first meeting of year, and it was usually carried out; if a member were unavoidably prevented from meeting with his society on the day his paper was called, and during the last year more than ninety percent responded. Some of the papers were demonstrated with an operation or the patient to illustrate.

Several good clinics have been held in connection with the society meetings. The secretary issues a monthly bulletin containing the names of the officers, the program, a resume of the preceding meeting, interesting short notes of tried and proved new remedies, and occasionally a good paper read before the society. The bulletin is a four page folder and is open for remarks, suggestions and criticism from any of the members.


The society out of the goodness of its heart occasionally banquets, that is, the physicians and their good wives assemble for an evening, have a good time, a handshake, get better acquainted and close the evening with a good spread. Several years ago it was suggested by a member of the Armstrong County Medical Society that the society should have an outing where the craft could assemble with their families and spend a day with nature. It was finally agreed to, and the druggists and the dentists with their families were requested to "join the happy band," and as a result the doctors, dentists and druggists' picnic or outing day has become an annual affair and is always looked forward to with a great deal of pleasure. The afternoon and evening are spent in the beautiful Lenape Park. The principal amusements of the afternoon are the annual ball game with the doctors on one side and the druggists and dentists combined on the other, and without exception the doctors come off the victors. Then quoits, horseshoe pitching, racing, jumping, swinging, visiting and a good basket picnic supper, with dancing in the evening. This, too, has had its influence in better feeling among the members of these three professions, it broadens the views on general principles, it widens the circle of friendship and has brought each profession to feel that there is a very close relationship among them.


The fees of the physicians of Armstrong county have somewhat varied. Very early in the history of the county we find that some of the office work, examinations and consultations, by some of the pioneers in practice were free and they charged a small fee for the medicines, while others were high charges. One would charge twenty-five cents for examination and medicine, another would charge one dollar for the same, their fees for visits varied much also; some men would make a visit into the country for twenty-five cents a mile and others would charge from fifty cents to a dollar a mile, but in those days money was very scarce and hard to get, and many a time the early doctor would take in exchange for his service a bolt of homespun linsey-woolsey, or the raw material, or products of the farm. We learn too that the early doctors were very charitable, where charity was due; but very few of their bills remained unpaid, for many of these people were getting their own homes and in due time would make settlement and "square up when the crops were off."

As time passed on and we find that in addition to farming, fruit growing and fur trapping, new industries were coming into the county, instead of the flax break, the wool carder and the old hand shuttle loom, the woolen mills came, then the blast furnace, remnants of which still remain in different parts of the county to this day. All of these industries brought new people and more doctors, money became plenty and the doctor's fees went soaring high; especially was it true of the villages which were assuming large proportions, becoming citified, and the doctors were busy and well paid. History tells us that this condition existed for some years until the number of physicians were increasing faster than the population; then the cutting of fees began, and rivalry in the ranks of the profession became manifest, and the people began to sit up and take notice and observed, as the always do, that rivalry along any lines in which they are interested always brings lower charges, and to help the thing along they were willing, at any time, to tell Dr. A. what Dr. B said about him, which of course would bring a sharp retort from Dr. A. and in this way the rivalry was kept going and the fee cutting moved happily along. Two of the most prominent physicians of the county in that day bid a three hundred dollar per year county job down to the measly sum of eighty dollars per year, where it remained until a few years ago, when two of our bright lights bid the same work down to fifty-seven and a half dollars. This very much lowered the medical standard, and the medical society began to wake up to the fact that such procedure was not conducive to the best interest of the society and requested its members to refrain from fee cutting and bidding on contract work, and a regular fee bill was established and in the main has been adhered to by most of the men of the profession. Yet there are some men in the ranks today, notwithstanding the increased cost of living, the increased cost of office equipment and the higher cost of educational trend, who are doing twenty-five cent office work and making visits to the country for less than twenty-five cents a mile.

A little experience of one of our doctors is worth relating: A young man whose family lived some five miles from the village doctor called at his office late one night and asked him what his charges were to go out to his father's house. The doctor said, "Well, the roads are rough and the night is dark and stormy; I will charge you about three dollars." The young man heaved a sigh of relief and remained silent until he caught up with his breath. The doctor not understanding the cause of the delay, hurriedly said, "Well, I will go out for two dollars and a half," fearing that the young man might go elsewhere. This was satisfactory to the young man and the doctor got his team ready and off they went, the conversation being principally of the topics of the times, until they neared the home, when the doctor incidentally asked the young man who was sick; and as the young man got out of the buggy he said, "Well doctor, no one is sick; I was anxious to get home and the liveryman wanted to charge me five dollars to send me out home, and it just struck him that you would go out for much less, and here I am home for just half the price asked by the liveryman, and I am certainly much obliged to you. Good Night." The doctor was free to relate that he did some thinking his return trip; his fees after that were more in keeping with the dignity of his profession.

Events of this kind and the Cheap John prices of fee cutters bring the blush of shame to the faces of the medical men. This may be the cause of the perpetual blush of the nose of so many of the profession. Of course, there are other causes which produce the same results.


Physicians as a rule do not have many political aspirations, in fact only a few of them ever digressed from their chosen profession, feeling rather "That he that putteth his hand to the plow and tuneth back is not worthy." This, however, does not apply to Dr. R.P. Hunter and Dr. J.W. McKee, who served as legislators, for they were well tried and proved, and went at the earnest solicitation of the medical fraternity. They are always ready and willing to serve their townsmen on the boards of school directors, in the council, or some other office that is full of empty honors, and there is scarcely a precinct in the county that does not have a doctor on one of these boards, if one is to be had. It is with real pleasure that they give of their time and their talents to improve the conditions of the schools, looking after better sanitary conditions, giving better light, securing better grounds and assisting to elevate the standard of morals in the boys and girls of today who are to be the men and women of tomorrow.

In all the bills pertaining to the health laws, the laws of sanitation, the laws of higher education, the laws relating to am ore extended course of study preliminary to the study of medicine, the one-board bill and the optometry bill, the Armstrong County Medical Society has always taken an active part, and in many instances has sent her members to Harrisburg to give whatever influence possible for or against them. In fact the society from its earliest inception has been working assiduously for the best interests of the people. The United States has a bureau of health for the pig, the calf and the colt, and has safeguarded them, and we are all proud of the fact that it does so, but the blush of shame comes stealing over the face of the true medical man when he thinks that he has devoted his life to the care and interest of the poor and the distressed and has been suing all the power of his soul to have a national bureau of health that the boys and girls may have an equal chance with the pig, the calf and the colt and has failed to secure it. As these are the hope of some of the resources in the commercial world, so the boys and the girls are the hope of America, the grandest arena God ever gave to man.

The medical men of Armstrong county have always been interested in the national bureau of health, and at some future time it is hoped that these things will come to pass. William Harvey was more than a quarter of a century trying to convince the world that there was a reality in the circulation of the blood, and the abuse he received from the medical world at that time was severe, but he had the courage to persevere and had the satisfaction of proving his claims, of seeing the world adopt his views and put his accusers to flight. This gives us both hope and courage, and the medical profession, true to its conviction, stimulated by its past history will continue to plead at the altar of justice until the powers back of the throne hear our pleadings, and place the boys and girls on equal footing with other offspring of the animal kingdom.

Several cases of malpractice have been instituted in our county courts and while the doctor was vindicated in each case, yet he was caused considerable annoyance and a loss of time from his work, and his attorney's fees and other losses incident to such proceedings.

Membership in the county medical society now eliminates all of this annoyance, for the State society provides all the funds and defends the doctor, and it is well worth the while for each one in the medical profession to take advantage of this, for all that is required is to become a member of the county society and stand by the rules of the same.

Another very nice feature of the State society is a relief fund to assist any of the members of the county society if at any time reverses should come and assistance should be needed, and all the cost connected with all these benefits is the payment of the annual dues, which amount to about three dollars per year, including a subscription to the State Journal, a monthly visitor, well worth the amount of the dues.


Many years ago the Great Physician and Teacher said, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together." This has been kept in mind by many of the members of the society and the minutes show that those who have been most faithful in attendance at the society's meetings have a better knowledge of medicine, and are more frequently called in consultation with other doctors; and they will tell you that membership in the county society and attendance at the meetings has been the source of great benefit to them, for the papers and clinics of the society have always been an inspiration and have been invaluable to them as post graduate work.

It is not the object of the writer to eulogize any member of the society, but somehow he fees that he will be pardoned for referring to a few, tow of whom have been son closely connected with the society since 1876; and some who have come in later have been of special value to the society, and it is altogether fitting that a word should be said in acknowledgment of their great worth to the society. Two of the charter members, Dr. C.J. Jessop and Dr. T.M. Allison, have been very active in the society since it was reorganized and no other names appear oftener than these two. Dr. S.A.S. Jessop, who came into the society a few years later with Dr. J.T. Deemar, is one of another strong pair of workers always ready to offer their service to the society. A few years later came Dr. F.C. Monks, and that other member was present secretary, and they have been always active and have a higher percent of attendance during their membership than any other in the history of the society for a similar length of membership; the year following, Dr. T.N. M'Kee and Dr. A.P.N. Painter, another strong addition, and some years later came Drs. A.E. Bower, C.A. Rogers, S.P. Hileman, W.J. Ralston and L.D. Allison, who have been the active censors of the society for many years and have been faithful to the best interests of the society, putting to flight any of the sharks who are always ready to swoop down on an unsuspecting people. Dr. D.I. Giarth, Dr. R.P. Marshall, Dr. J.A. Kelly and Dr. R.G. Ralston, who for some reason had withdrawn from the society some years ago, reinstated themselves and have been bright lights ever since.

That the present members may know the interest that some of the early members had in their society we will refer to away back in the eighties. A meeting was held at Leechburg and the members from Kittanning arrived at Kiskiminetas Junction too late for the train to the place of the meeting. Here was six miles to cover on foot through the cold November winds, and there was but one who had the courage to brave the winds, the others returning on the next train; but the secretary's minutes say: "Dr. J.T. Deemar, after walking railroad ties for six miles, reached the meeting place in time to read a most interesting and instructive paper on Ergot. The society tendered a vote of thanks to Dr. Deemar for his very excellent paper."

The officers of the society have been as follows: From 1863-1865 - David Alter, president; T.C. McCullough, secretary; Washington Reynolds, treasurer. 1866 - T.C. McCullough, president; Washington Reynolds, secretary; J.M. Taylor, treasurer.

No historical data can be obtained after this date until 1876, but from the latter year to the present there is not a break.







David Alter

H.K. Beatty

T.M. Allison


T.M. Allison

W.J. Cook

R.P. Bowman


T.M. Allison

W.J. Cook

T.M. Allison


T.M. Allison

W.J. Cook

T.M. Allison


T.M. Allison

W.J. Cook

T.M. Allison


T.M. Allison

W.J. Cook

T.M. Allison


J.K. Maxwell

J.T. M'Cullough

W.S. Stewart


T.M. Allison

J.T. M'Cullough

W.S. Stewart


M.H. Alter

W.H. Stewart

T.M. Allison


R.L. M'Curdy

W.H. Stewart

T.M. Allison


R.P. Hunter

J.M. Blain

C.J. Jessop


J.G. Cunningham

J.M. Blain

J.T. Deemar


W.S. M'Bryor

J.M. Blain

J.T. Deemar


J.A. Armstrong

W.H. Stewart

J.T. Deemar


J.K. Maxwell

S.A.S. Jessop

J.T. Deemar


J.D. Orr

H.B. Stone

T.J. Henry


C.J. Jessop

H.B. Stone

A.P.N. Painter


W.W. Leech

H.B. Stone

A.P.N. Painter


F.C. Monks

H.B. Stone

A.P.N. Painter


J.B.F. Wyant

F.C. Monks

A.P.N. Painter


T.N. M'Kee

F.C. Monks

T.M. Allison


J.T. Deemar

F.C. Monks

T.M. Allison


J.T. M'Cullough

F.C. Monks

T.M. Allison


A.P.N. Painter

F.C. Monks

T.M. Allison


S.A.S. Jessop

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


A.E. Bower

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


C.A. Rogers

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


J.G. Allison

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


L.D. Allison

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


S.P. Hileman

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


J.D. Orr

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


J.M. Steim

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


D.O. Thomas

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


R.P. Marshall

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


S.E. Ambrose

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison


J.A. Kelly

J.B.F. Wyant

T.M. Allison

[NOTE: The reason no special record appears for 1877 and 1911 is that the time for election of officers was changed and the president was held over until his successor took office.]


The following is a list of the names of the physicians who have located in Armstrong county, the year of graduation, the school from which they cane and their location:

Year Name School Location
1797 Simeon Hovey University of Connecticut Hovey Township
1804 Elisha Wall University of England Brady's Bend Township
1819 George Hays   Kittanning
1814 Samuel S. Neale University of Pennsylvania Kittanning
1814 Josiah Stevenson   Kittanning
1818 Samuel M. M'Masters   Kittanning
1820 Abner Bainbridge   Kittanning
1821 Malthus Ward   Kittanning
1822 Samuel S. Wallace University of Pennsylvania Brady's Bend Township
1824 Samuel Byers   Kittanning
1824 William Simms   Wayne Township
1824 Joseph Beggs   Lawrenceburg
1825 James Goe   Lawrenceburg
1832 Charles Snowden   Freeport
1833 J.B. Williamson   Freeport
1836 David Alter   Freeport
1841 D.M. Boreland   Freeport
1842 Andrew Mansel   Freeport
1842 A.M. Barnabe University of England Vanburen
1844 Henry Weeks   Freeport
1845 J.R. Crouch Ohio Medical of Cincinnati Dayton
1846 Ellis Simpkins   Slatelick
1847 J.W. James Jefferson Brady's Bend
1848 J.W. Wick   Putneyville
1849 S.T. Redick   Freeport
1849 Thomas Galbreth   Freeport
1850 J.A. Donaldson   Freeport
1851 John A. Maxwell University of Pennsylvania Worthington
1853 Joseph Eggert Cleveland Parkers Landing
1853 J.K. Park Cleveland Whitesburg
1853 William M'Bryor University of New York Apollo
1853 R.L.M. M'Curdy Western Reserve Freeport
1854 Thos. M. Allison Jefferson Kittanning
1855 Thos. M. M'Gill Jefferson Freeport
1855 W.L. Morrow Jefferson Freeport
1855 Robert S. Wallace Jefferson Brady's Bend
1857 N.E. M'Donald   Freeport
1857 J.C. M'Lelland Western Reserve Freeport
1859 W.P. M'Cullough   Freeport
1859 W.B. Wayne University of Vermont Parker's Landing
1859 C.B. Gillespie Philadelphia College Freeport
1860 W.B. Sturgeon University Dist. of Columbia Atwood
1860 Robt. G. Ralston Jefferson Cowansville
1860 John Kennedy   Slatelick
1860 J.M. Pedegrew University Dist. of Columbia Rural Valley
1865 A.M. Rea Jefferson Atwood
1865 A.D. Binkard Long Island Med. College Perry Township
1866 J.P. Klingensmith Jefferson Plumville
1866 A.G. Thomas Univ. of New York Freeport
1867 J.A. Armstrong Jefferson Kittanning
1867 J.G. Cunningham Jefferson Kittanning
1867 Crist Kronpy   Freeport
1868 A.D. Johnson   Slatelick
1869 Robt. P. Hunter Jefferson Leechburg
1869 B.F. Goheen Western Reserve Parker's Landing
1869 A.M. Hoover Jefferson Parker's Landing
1869 W.N. Smith Hahnemann Kittanning
1869 J.E. Hall Jefferson Parker's Landing
1871 H.K. Beatty Jefferson Kittanning
1871 Wm. Plank   Freeport
1871 Robt. M'Auley Physicians and Surgeons NY Apollo
1871 W.H. Stewart Jefferson Kittanning
1872 T.M. Allison Jefferson Kittanning
1872 J.W. M'Kee University of Cleveland Cochran's Mills
1873 J.W. Morrow Jefferson Cowanshannock Tp.
1873 R.M. Mateer Jefferson Elderton
1873 R.P. Marshall Miami Kittanning
1873 J.A. Kelly University of Wooster Whitesburg
1874 T.C. James Bellevue Dayton
1874 C.J. Jessop Jefferson Kittanning
1874 W.S. Hosic   Dayton
1874 T.P. Klingensmith   Plumville
1875 M.R. George Jefferson Apollo
1875 P.W. Shumaker Jefferson South Bethlehem
1875 A.J. Calhoon Jefferson Goheenville
1875 L.W. Schnatterly Philadelphia College Freeport
1875 J.M. St. Clair University of Pennsylvania Elderton
1876 J.H. Smith Cleveland Medical Long Run
1876 W.B. Walker Cincinnati College Dayton
1876 S.N. Metzler   Phoenix
1877 J.T. M'Cullough Jefferson Parker's Landing
1877 M.F. Calhoon Miami Dayton
1877 C.R. Litzell Jefferson Kittanning
1877 J.A. Henry College of P. and S., Iowa Dayton
1877 R.P. Bowman   Kittanning
1878 W.C. Bovard University of Pennsylvania Elderton
1878 T.F. Stockdale Jefferson Rural Valley
1878 M.H. Alter   Kittanning
1878 W.W. Wolfe Hahnemann Freeport
1878 J.C. Cheesman Miami Slatelick
1878 J.C. M'Kee Jefferson Slatelick
1879 S.A.S. Jessop Jefferson Kittanning
1879 R.W. Hays   Ford City
1879 J.T. Deemar Jefferson Kittanning
1880 U.O. Hileman Baltimore Leechburg
1880 W.W. Leech Jefferson Apollo
1880 John Hepburn Jefferson Goheenville
1880 J.A. Bryson Ohio Medical College Worthington
1880 J.T. Shutt Baltimore Girty
1880 A.D. Johnson   Slatelick
1881 W.K. Young Baltimore Apollo
1881 W.H. Montgomery Baltimore Leechburg
1881 W.D. James   Brady's Bend
1881 Byron Clark Maryland Medical Dayton
1881 J.M. Blain Jefferson Kittanning
1881 R.G. Fairley Hahnemann Kittanning
1881 J.L.G. Egertt Baltimore Parker's Landing
1882 R.A. Walker Cleveland Medical Rockville
1882 W.C. Park Western Reserve Cochran's Mills
1882 V.K. Corbett Jefferson Oakland
1882 R.C. Beatty Baltimore Spring Church
1882 W.C. Bleakney Fort Wayne Atwood
1882 C.A. Duff Fort Wayne Oakland
1882 C.P. M'Adoo University of Cleveland Atwood
1883 G.A. Blose Jefferson Eddyville
1883 L.G. Baker University of Iowa Parker's Landing
1883 J.N. Harrison Jefferson Dayton
1884 W.L. M'Bryor University of Pennsylvania Apollo
1884 T.J. Henry Jefferson Apollo
1884 A.E. Hileman Baltimore Rural Valley
1884 L.W. Raisin University of Cincinnati Wattersonville
1884 W.K. Smith Wooster Maysville
1884 M.E. Park Western Reserve, Cleveland Kelly Station
1884 O.S. Sharp Jefferson Dayton
1885 J.M. Patton Physicians and Surg. Balt. Neale
1885 S.W. Kellar Western Reserve, Cleveland Widnoon
1885 W.L. Shields University of Kentucky Dayton
1885 J.D. Orr Jefferson Leechburg
1886 R.S. Keeler University of Cincinnati McVill
1886 M.P. M'Ilroy Hahnemann Freeport
1886 J.H. King Western University, Pa. Worthington
1886 R.C. Moorhead Cleveland Mahoning
1887 G.S. Morrow Baltimore Dayton
1887 C.S. Mohney Jefferson Kittanning
1887 C.M. Ewing Western University, Pa. Olivet
1887 J.S. Beck University of Iowa Brattonville
1887 C.J. Hoffman Western University, Pa. Worthington
1888 J.W. Blair Western University, Pa. Kittanning
1888 J.B. Stewart Cincinnati College Kittanning
1888 M.C. Housholder Jefferson Apollo
1888 J.C. Edghill Homeopathic, Cleveland Freeport
1888 J.H. Heagy Homeopathic, Cleveland Freeport
1889 W.H. M'Caferty Western University, Pa. Freeport
1889 V.F. Thomas Western University, Pa. Ford City
1889 D.I. Giarth Jefferson Ford City
1889 J.B.F. Wyant Western University, Pa. Kittanning
1890 A.P.N. Painter Jefferson Kittanning
1890 J.M. Cooley University of New York Kittanning
1890 R.M. Powers Western University, Pa. Goheenville
1890 T.N. M'Kee Western University, Pa. Kittanning
1890 H.B. Stone Jefferson Kittanning
1891 H.K. Powers Western University, Pa. Kittanning
1891 E.E. M'Adoo Western University, Pa. Brick Church
1891 F.E. Henry Physicians and Sur., Balt. Apollo
1891 F.C. Monks   Kittanning
1891 W.S. M'Creight Western University, Pa. Elderton
1891 C.S. Beck University of Iowa Putneyville
1892 T.H. Newcome Western University, Pa. Templeton
1892 S.J. Heffner Western University, Pa. Oakland
1892 C.J. Steim Medico-Chirurgical Kittanning
1892 J.I. Hunter Curtis Leechburg
1893 J.C. Hunter Baltimore Apollo
1893 J.H. Donnell Western University, Pa. Dime
1893 A.D. M'Elroy Jefferson Ford City
1894 J.S. Shall University of Pennsylvania Leechburg
1894 C.H. Shadle University of Pennsylvania Templeton
1894 B.H. Brewster Western University, Pa. Parker's Landing
1894 J.A. James Cleveland Medical Yatesboro
1894 S.J. Deemar   Ford City
1895 H.M. Tittle Western University, Pa. Apollo
1895 W.A. Barnes Hahnemann Kittanning
1895 J.G. Allison Baltimore McGrann
1896 H.E. Almes Baltimore Cochran's Mills
1896 T.W. Kellar Western University, Pa. Worthington
1896 D.O. Todd Baltimore Cochran's Mills
1896 O.C. Clark Western University, Pa. Worthington
1896 J.K. Hosterman Western University, Pa. Ford City
1896 H.B. Khuns Western University, Pa. Center Valley
1896 F.I. Smith Jefferson Kaylor
1897 C.W. M'Kee Rush Cochran's Mills
1897 C.A. Rogers Western University, Pa. Freeport
1897 J.B. Rough Western University, Pa. Spring Church
1897 J.A. Bole Western University, Pa. Leechburg
1897 J.A. Osborn Hahnemann Freeport
1897 J.E. Stutte Western University, Pa. Parker's Landing
1897 W.J. Brewer Western University, Pa. Parker's Landing
1897 C.E. Keeler Baltimore Elderton
1897 W.J. Bierer Western University, Pa. Kittanning
1898 J.L.M. Halstead   Freeport
1898 S.E. Ambrose Baltimore Rural Valley
1898 A.E. Bower University of Pennsylvania Ford City
1898 J.M. Steim Medico-Chirurgical Kittanning
1898 C.H. Furnee Vanderbilt Kittanning
1898 D.T. M'Kinney Louisville Atwood
1899 T.R. Hillard University of Illinois Widnoon
1899 Mary J. Delmore Woman's Maryland Fairmount
1899 A.A. Moore   Parker's Landing
1900 S.P. Hileman University of Pennsylvania Kittanning
1900 R.F. Tarr Maryland Medical Kittanning
1900 J.F. Sweny Western University, Pa. Freeport
1900 E.J. Hetrick Lawson Western Medical Kittanning
1900 A.H. Townsend Western University, Pa. Apollo
1901 J.H. Ralston Jefferson Slatelick
1901 B.H. Hamilton University of Pennsylvania Yatesboro
1901 W.C. Stewart Baltimore Johnetta
1901 J.K. Kiser Cleveland Homeopathic Kittanning
1902 A.M. Hileman University of Pennsylvania Butler
1902 W.J. Ralston Jefferson Slatelick
1902 L.L. Ficthorn Western University, Pa. Ford City
1902 E.K. Shumaker Western University, Pa. South Bethlehem
1902 C.W. Berguin University of Michigan Parker's Landing
1902 F.W. Hileman University of Pennsylvania Kittanning
1902 H.M. Welch Western University, Pa. Leechburg
1902 B.W. Schaffner Jefferson Templeton
1902 M.L. Ross University of Pennsylvania Kaylor
1902 C.D. Bradley University of Pennsylvania Ford City
1903 L.D. Allison Jefferson Kittanning
1903 R.K. Mead University of Pennsylvania Sagamore
1903 W.A. Upperman Western University, Pa. Ford City
1904 M.C. Calwell Western University, Pa. Ford City
1904 R.E. Shall Physicians and Surg., Balt. Dayton
1904 Rena M. Hileman Woman's Medical College Leechburg
1904 C.M. M'Laughlin Jefferson Freeport
1904 J.M. Reed Medico-Chirurgical Ford City
1904 O.C. Campbell Medico-Chirurgical Ford City
1904 B.J. Longwell Ohio Medical College Oakland
1905 F.K. Booth Western University, Pa. Ford City
1905 C.V. Hepler Western University, Pa. Eddyville
1905 T.L. Aye Western University, Pa. Kelly Station
1905 D.H. Riffer Western University, Pa. Leechburg
1905 J.C. Boreland Western University, Pa. Dayton
1905 R.L. Young Jefferson Dayton
1905 C.B. M'Gogney Western University, Pa. Kaylor
1905 D.O. Thomas Baltimore New Kensington
1905 B.B. Barton Maryland Medical College Adrian
1905 J.R. M'Dowell Western University, Pa. Freeport
1906 C.M. Young Baltimore Queenstown
1906 C.C. Parks Jefferson Leechburg
1907 P.R. Deemar Baltimore Kittanning
1907 J.A. Lowery University of Louisville South Bend
1907 C.C. Ross Western University, Pa. Eddyville
1908 M.S. Sell Western University, Pa. Leechburg
1908 W.E. Griffith Baltimore Yatesboro
1908 E.H. Robinsteen Hahnemann Ford City
1908 A.I. Slagle Western University, Pa. Templeton
1908 J.E. Ambler Hahnemann Ford City
1908 C.F. Seton Jefferson Sagamore
1909 J.W. Campbell Baltimore Elderton
1909 J.M. Dunkle Western University, Pa. Worthington
1909 C.C.A. Bane Jefferson Ford City
1909 F.L. Flemming Medico-Chirurgical Dayton
1910 R.B. Armstrong Western University, Pa. Goheenville
1912 V.E. Van Kirk Western University, Pa. Leechburg
1912 J.E. Quigly University of Maryland Adrian
1913 McGivern Medico-Chirurgical Kittanning
1913 Geo. E. Cramer Western University, Pa. Templeton

The following physicians have practiced in the county at different periods, but correct data as to time, place and school, cannot be found:

Name Location
Edward Manso North Buffalo
G.A. Knight Kaylor
W.J. Cook Freeport
Fred Deibler Cochran's Mills
G.W. Barnett New Salem
W.B. Ansley Apollo
G.S. Engle Red Bank
J.W. Bell Apollo
J.S. M'Nutt Apollo
O.P. Bollinger Apollo
T.C. M'Cullough Kittanning
Will Brown Apollo
Will Hosack Dayton
J.A. Meeker Kittanning
J.A. Carson Leechburg
Washington Reynolds Kittanning
J.T. Crawford Leechburg
James Kiers Leechburg
Will Wilson Leechburg
J.P. Pollard Leechburg
Geo. Marchand Leechburg
W.L. Wykoff Leechburg
J.S. Cleveland Kittanning
Will Aitkins Rural Valley
John Murdock Parker's Landing
Andrew B. Otto Kittanning
John Kiskaden Apollo
Sherman Bills Apollo
Ad. Burleigh Mahoning
Will Kirk Mahoning

There are now in Armstrong county seventy-nine physicians, or about one physician to every eight hundred and sixty persons. This proportion is a little higher than in the rest of the United States, for that ratio is about one physician to six hundred and forty. The following named physicians were members in good standing in the Armstrong County Medical Society, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and eligible to membership in The American Medical Association, in 1913:

Name Location
Allison, Thomas M. Kittanning
Allison, L. Dent Kittanning
Allison, James G. McGrann
Ambler, Jesse E. Ford City
Ambrose, Samuel E. Rural Valley
Aye, Thomas L. Kelly Station
Barton, Blain B. Adrian
Bierer, William J. Kittanning
Bower, Albert E. Ford City
Campbell, Jessee W. Elderton
Campbell, Orin C. Ford City
Clark, Omer C. Worthington
Cooley, John M. Kittanning
Cramer, Geo. E. Templeton
Deemar, John T. Kittanning
Deemar, Roscoe Kittanning
Dunkle, John M. Worthington
Flemming, Edward L. Dayton
Giarth, David I. Ford City
Griffith, Wilbert E. Homer City, Pa.
Hileman, Sharon P. Phoenix, Arizona
Henry, Thomas J. Apollo
Hileman, Frank W. Kittanning
Hileman, Uriah O. Leechburg
Hunter, James C. Apollo
Hunter, Joseph I. Leechburg
Hunter, Robert P. Leechburg
James, John A. Yatesboror
Jessop, Charles J. Kittanning
Jessop, Samuel A.S. Kittanning
Keeler, Charles E. Elderton
Kelley, James A. Whitesburg
Kiser, John K. Kittanning
Knight, George A. Kaylor
Lawson, Elenor J. Kittanning
Longwell, Benj. J. Seminole
Lowery, John A. South Bend
M'Cafferty, William H. Freeport
M'Cright, William S. Elderton
M'Dowell, James R. Freeport
M'Auley, Robert E. Apollo
M'Gogney, Charles B. Kaylor
McGivern, Chas. S. Kittanning
M'Kee, Thomas N. Kittanning
M'Laughlin, Charles M. Freeport
Marshall, Robert P. Kittanning
Mead, Ralph K. Sagamore
Monks, Frederick C. Kittanning
Morrow, George S. Dayton
Newcome, Thomas H. Templeton
Orr, Joseph D. Leechburg
Parks, Clarence C. Leechburg
Powers, Henry K. Oakmont
Quigley, James E. Adrian
Ralston, Robert G. Cowansville
Ralston, William J. Kittanning
Riffer, David H. Leechburg
Robensteen, Carl H. Ford City
Rogers, Charles A. Freeport
Ross, Clarence C. Echo
Schnatterly, Lewis W. Freeport
Seaton, Charles F. Sagamore
Slagle, Augustus I. New Orleans, La.
Steim, Chas. J. Kittanning
Steim, Joseph M. Kittanning
Stockdale, Thomas F. Rural Valley
Tarr, Robert F. Kittanning
Thomas, David O. New Kensington
Townsend, A. Howard Apollo
Walker, William B. Dayton
Welch, Howard M. Leechburg
Wyant, Jay B.F. Kittanning

The following located in Armstrong county but are nearer to the meeting place of the Clarion County Medical Society and have their membership with that society:

Name Location

Hoover, Albert M. Parker's Landing

Shumaker, Edgar K. South Bethlehem

Shumaker, Philip W. South Bethlehem

Stute, John E. Parker's Landing

Furnee, Charles H. Kittanning

The following physicians located in the county are not connected with any society:

Name Location

Adams, William Furnace Run

Hillard, Thomas r. Widnoon

Halstead, John L.M. Freeport

King, Jessee H. Worthington

Leech, William W. Apollo

Shadle, Charles H. Templeton

On account of the progress of the governing principles of the State and National societies, the society found it necessary to change to constitution in 1909 to conform to that of the higher bodies.


DAVID ALTER, M.D. - Chief among the medical men of this county in the past as a man of learning and science was David Alter. In appearance he was retiring, gentle, and kindly, with a calm, even temperament, in fact, the very reverse of what one would expect a man of his attainments to be. yet his name will stand at the head of the roll of those who have given t o the world the present methods of microscopic analysis. For this gentle country physician was the discoverer of the great plan of spectrum analysis. By this discovery it is possible to tell the difference between human blood and that of animals, to test the variation between beet and cane sugars, to analyze the various gases and locate them, and even to tell the composition of the sun and stars.

Dr. Alter was also the inventor of a rotating retort for the manufacture of oil from coal and shale, and the pioneer in the discoveries of coloring matter and chemicals from cool tar.

David Alter was born in 1807 in Westmoreland county, within a few miles of Freeport, where he spent most of his life. For many years he practiced in that won and in the township of buffalo, carrying on whenever he could the study of the refraction of light. In 1854, he published in the American Journal of Science and Art, of New York, a paper on "Certain Physician Properties of Light, Produced by the Combustion of Metals in the Electric Spark, Reflected by a Prism." The second article from his pen, in 1855, treated of the effect of the spectrum on gases. These articles antedated all that were published on the subject by others who tried to claim the credit of discovery. In the last article he suggested the application of his discovery to the analysis of the composition of the shooting stars.

Notwithstanding these marvelous discoveries, Dr. Alter never succeeded in acquiring wealth, but remained the simple physician of the town. But as time passes onward and his discovery paves the way to others of still more marvelous character, the memory of his first revelation on light will grow brighter in the memories of the generations who continually profit from them. After a life of honor and industry, Dr. Alter passed away on September 18th, 1881.

Among the remarkable incidents connected with his discovery was the fact that his first prism was a fragment of glass from the ruins of the fire which destroyed a large glass works in Pittsburgh in 1845. In those days photography was in the beginning, and Dr. Alter was compelled to use the pioneer process of Daguerreotyping to reproduce his spectrum lines. The exposures then required were minutes, in contrast to the fractions of a second that reproduces the rays in modern times.

In a letter to Robert W. Smith, in 1880, Dr. Alter says: "In 1836, while engaged in experimenting in electro-magnetism, in Elderton, I conceived the idea that the galvanic current could be made available for telegraphing by causing the deflection of the magnetic needle, and in accordance made a plan for pointing out the letters of the alphabet by deflection, and was successful at the distance of 120 feet. But having no time nor means to pursue the subject then, I neglected it and did apply for a patent."

MYRON H. ALTER, son of Dr. David Alter, was born in Freeport, Pa., January 23, 1851. His early education was obtained in the public schools of his native town and at Mt. Union College, Ohio. Graduating from the latter in 1871, three years later he received his A.M. degree. He then took up the study of medicine with his father and attended the University of Michigan for a time. Returning home, he assisted his father in his laboratory and in the practice of medicine for a few years, then entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, from which he graduated in 1878 and located in Kittanning, where he continued in practice for ten years. On account of ill health he sought the mild climate of Southern California, locating to Los Angeles in 1887, where he remained for several years, but not receiving the benefit he hoped for, he returned to Kittanning after resting a year at his old home in Freeport, and although a sufferer himself from a complication of diseases, he strove to the last to alleviate the suffering of those about him. Having inherited in a large degree his patient, investigating spirit and talent from his father, he was often called upon by his brother physicians to make chemical and microscopical examinations for them in special cases. He was on of nature's noblemen, a man of learning; in religion he was reticent, but those who knew him well saw clearly his profound reverence for truth and his high regard for the Supreme Being and His relation to mankind. He was a member of the Armstrong County Medical Society, The Pennsylvania Medical Society, The American Medical Association, The American and Iron City Microscopical Societies, first president of the Southern California Scientific Association, vice president and instructor in arts in the School of Design at Los Angeles, Cal., and had several literary titles and degrees. He represented the American Medical Association as a delegate to the British Medical Association in London in 1883, and visited many of the hospitals and colleges across the water in the interest of his profession. In his home he was devoted and loving, in his profession ethical, conscientious and faithful, giving his very best for the betterment of the profession and alleviating suffering, ministering alike to the poor and needy as well as the rich. He died January 22, 1896.

THOMAS H. ALLISON was born June 28, 1820, near West Middletown, Washington Co., Pa., son of Rev. Thomas and Ann Allison. He received his early education in a common subscription school, extended his course into the Florence Academy and finished in Franklin College, New Athens, Ohio, after which he entered the office of Dr. A.C. Hamilton, of West Middletown, where he prepared himself for Jefferson Medical College, and graduated from that school in the class of 1854, well at the head. He practiced his chosen profession for a year or so at Murraysville, and later removed to Elderton, where he practiced until the breaking out of the Civil war. Being largely possessed of patriotic love and devotion for his country, his valor as a soldier, his strong personality soon brought him to the front and he became acting surgeon in the Hammond General Hospital at Point Lookout, Md., and during the invasion of Pennsylvania he was the commissioned surgeon of the 29th Emergency Regiment. When the war was over he located at Kittanning, where he had a large practice. Few, if any, men were better known and respected in Western Pennsylvania, not only by his professional brethren but by all who knew him. He was a successful physician, a skillful surgeon, positive in his manner, yet sympathetic and tender, and he possessed a heart overflowing with charity, and all who knew him loved and respected him. In 1843 he married Miss Mary McFadden, of West Middletown. Two of the children of this union still survive, Mrs. J.S. Moore of Chautauqua, and Dr. Thos. M. Allison of Kittanning. In religious matters he was on of the strongest pillars in the M.E. Church of Kittanning, he was a member of the Armstrong Medical Society, the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He was for many years surgeon for the Allegheny Valley Railroad. He was a member of the Free Masons. His chief diversion from his practice was his devotion to his farm and its products, cattle and sheet, and at an early date he brought into Armstrong County the fine Jersey cows of which he was so proud, and also introduced the Aberdeen angus, as well as the Spanish Merino, Shropshire and Dorset sheet. He was a member of most of the sheep and cattle clubs and associations of the county.

WILLIAM M'BRYOR was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., on Nov. 29, 1822, and spent his boyhood days on his father's farm, and attended the school of his native town, but desiring a better education, he entered the Classical Institute of Jefferson, Ohio, from which e graduated in 1847. The same year he entered the office of Dr. John Dixon of Pittsburgh, then attended the University of New York for one term and finally entered into partnership with Dr. John M'Neal of New Salem, Ohio. In 1852, he again entered the University, graduated in medicine in 1853 and located in Apollo the same year to practice his profession, where he remained until his death.

He was interested in the educational institutions of the county and served as president of the once famous Kittanning Academy, which is now only a matter of history. Hew as largely active in the organization of the Apollo Savings Bank, the Du Bois Savings Bank and the Westmoreland and Armstrong County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He was an active Christian worker in the Presbyterian Church of Apollo, a member of the Armstrong County Medical Society, and often represented that society in the State and national meetings.

JOHN K. MAXWELL, a prominent physician of Armstrong county, was a son of Robert and Jane Maxwell and was born near the present site of Strattonville, Claroion County, October 25, 1825. the coat of arms of the Maxwell family was a wild boar's head, and from legend it is learned that it was given in the early history of Scotland, when the kind of that country, being annoyed by a very wild and fierce boar in one part of his kingdom, declared that the honor of knighthood should be conferred upon the one who would kill the boar. A Maxwell having succeeded in killing the dangerous animal, was knighted and received as his coat of arms a wild boar's head. The Doctor's father, Robert Maxwell, born March 17, 1767, in Franklin County, moved to Clearfield County in 1792, where he built the first house in what is now Clearfield, Pa. there was not another white settler within forty miles of his chosen home. John K. Maxwell grew to manhood, received a good practical education, and at the age of twenty-one was appointed surveyor of Clarion County. In 1845 he took up the study of medicine with Dr. James Ross in Clarion, after which he entered the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1851, and located in Worthington, where he practiced until March 3, 1863, when he enlisted in the Union Army. On account of his ability he was appointed assistant surgeon of the 45th Regiment, Pa. Vols., and served until Aug. 31, 1864, when he was discharged on account of physician disability, and returned to Worthington. After regaining his health he resumed his practice, which was large and lucrative, and continued until the time of his death.

In 1848 he married Hannah Lobaugh, who died in 1871 and in 1872 he married Mrs. Nannie Cowan by whom he had five c children, W.H., John R., Dr. Thomas M., a prominent physician of Butler, Robert C. and Jennie. Dr. Maxwell was one of the strong Christian characters who exerted an influence on all who came in touch with him, a Presbyterian and member of Kittanning Lodge, F. and A.M.

A.P.N. PAINTER was born at Pine Creek Furnace, Armstrong County, Feb. 16, 1869. He was the son of John P. and Rebecca Neale Painter. He attended the old Pine Furnace school and when he was ten years old his family removed to Kittanning, where he finished his education in the high school in the class of 1885. Soon after this he entered upon the study of medicine, attended the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia and graduated from there in 1890. After a short residence in the city of brotherly love he returned to his native county and located in Kittanning, where with his skill and resourcefulness he built up a large family practice. Few, if any young men, succeeded as he did in retaining such a large following. His entire time, talents and attention were devoted to the interests of his patients as well as to his society in medicine. He was ethical in his profession, always willing to assist his brethren, was respected and esteemed by the profession and honor and loved by his patients, and left an unsullied record of many fidelity to the trust imposed. He was am ember of the American medical Association, the Medical Society of Pennsylvania and the Armstrong Medical Society having served the latter as president and treasurer. He served on the board of Pension Examiners and was a member of the medical staff other Kittanning General Hospital from its organization until his death, which occurred on May 2, 1910. He married Elizabeth A. Crawford, daughter of Goerge and Eliza Crawford in 1898. He was survived by her, one son, and two daughters; by his father and three brothers, Charley, engaged in insurance; James M., the banker, and John H., now president judge of the Armstrong county court. Dr. Painter was a grandson of Dr. Samuel S. Neale, Kittanning's second physician, and like his grandfather he was always anxious for his county medical society's success, was faithful to its best interests and worked for its growth and development.

He was an active worker in Freemasonry, in Lodge No. 244, having passed the chairs by service from the Blue Lodge through the Royal Arch. He was a member of No. 1 Commandery and of Syria Temple.

JOHN A. ARMSTRONG, A.M., was born in Westmoreland county, Aug. 18, 1838, of Scotch-Irish descent. He was a student of nature and grew up in the schools of his native town, pursuing his studies further in the academies of Leechburg and at Pittsburgh; then entered Jefferson College, where he received his A.M. degree in 1862. He then began the study of medicine, but in 1863 his patriotism was aroused and he became a member of Company K, Pennsylvania militia. In 1864, he enlisted in Company I, 205th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, served until the close of war, and was honorably discharged in 1865. He then resumed his medical studies and the same year he entered Jefferson Medical College, from which he graduated in 1867 and located in Leechburg, where he was one of the leading men of his profession. He was an ardent devotee to his chosen calling, always working in harmony with his fellow practitioners for the advancement of the medical profession. He was a member of the State and National Medical Societies, an active worker in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, a scholarly and a Christian gentleman. He died on the 12th day of July, 1912.

WILLIAM WESLEY WOLFF was born in Bethel township, Armstrong county. Practically all of his professional career was pursued in Allegheny, Pa. but his affections were deeply implanted in Kittanning, where his brother, Findley P. Wolff, is a prominent attorney. His early education was obtained in the schools of Kittanning and the Freeport Academy. Later he was employed, during four or five years, as teacher in the public schools, in Armstrong and Clarion counties, and for about two years was a dry goods clerk in Kittanning and Oil City. He then took up a two year course of reading medicine under the direction of Dr. W.W. Smith of Kittanning, and in October 1878, he entered the Homeopathic Medical College in Cleveland, from which he graduated with the degree of M.D., in March 1880. Early in the summer of the same year he began the practice of medicine in Freeport, Armstrong county, Pa., and being the only physician of the Homeopathic school within the bounds of his location his practice readily became considerable and his success very gratifying. but having long entertained a dream of the possibilities and opportunities incident to a city practice, when an opening, having promise of such advantage, presented itself, he removed from Freeport and located in Allegheny in the spring of 1884. Inspired with the dignity and benevolence of his profession he devoted himself unreservedly to the science and practice of cure. His success as a practitioner has been commendable, and he has taken high standing as a citizen and as a useful member of society; and his appreciation by his neighbors and contemporaries has been evidenced by their conferring upon him many positions of preferment and distinction. He has long been an office bearer in the North Avenue M.E. church, and he manifests a lively interest in the spiritual activity and growth of that church. He has also been actively and conspicuously identified with the leading fraternities, notably the Masonic brotherhood and the Royal Arcanum, and has been repeatedly called upon to fill honorable stations in the supreme council of the latter order.

On the fourteenth day of June 1899, Dr. Wolff was married to Miss Ada Byron Swindell, an estimable young lady of Allegheny, the marriage having been solemnized by Rev. J.N. Bruce, D.D., in Westminster Presbyterian Church. To brighten their already comfortable home on the heights on Perrysville Avenue, three children came, William Edward, Harrold Swindell and Ada Elinor.

ROBERT M. MATEER was born in Pine township, now Boggs township, Armstrong county, on the 5th day of October, 1848, and died at Shelocta, Indiana county, on the 18th day of June, 1900. His father, Samuel Mateer, was on of the well known and well to do farmers of Armstrong county, and had preceded him to the spirit world only two months, and was the first to break the large and closely knit family circle. Eliza Mateer, his mother, was a daughter of the late Benjamin Ambrose, and survived the doctor a little more than two years, dying August 7, 1903. The doctor is survived by six brothers: James E.B., Harvey J., Samuel S. and Alex M. Mateer, all of Boggs township and B. Frank of Kittanning, all of whom are prosperous farmers, and Ambrose M. Mateer, of Ford City, who carries on a large merchandising business in that place. Also at the time of his death the doctor was survived by three sisters: Annie J. Calhoun, wife of Willliam C. Calhoun, a farmer of Boggs township; Maggie, wife of Findley P. Wolff, an attorney of Kittanning, and Elizabeth, widow of Joseph Banks, of Kittanning.

Dr. Mateer's preparatory schooling was received in the public school and in Glade Run Academy, and later he was employed four or five years as teacher in the public schools. He read medicine about two years under the supervision of Dr. J.M. Pedegrew, of Rural Village, and entered Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in October, 1871, and graduated with the degree of M.D., in the class of 1873. In April of that year he began the practice of medicine in Elderton, where by careful attention to business and fair treatment to all he soon found himself engaged in a large and interesting practice. During his late nine or ten years in Elderton, in company with Harvey Rankin as partner, he was engaged in the drug business. He was also a postmaster.

On January 18, 1874, Dr. Mateer was married to Miss Mary J. Donnelly, an accomplished and highly esteemed young lady of Elderton, who, with their two daughters, Mrs. Maude Lowman, wife of Ab. H. Lowman, now of Butler, Pa., and Mattie Mateer, since married to John Whitehead of Vandergrift, Pa., survive the doctor.

HAMILTON KELLY BEATTY was the eldest son of William W. Beatty, later of Manorville, who was for many ears a prosperous dealer in and manufacturer of lumber, and while working in the lumber mills, the doctor acquired not only a fair knowledge of business and business methods and a valuable acquaintance with machinery, but also a large, robust, healthful frame which gave him a strong, imposing personality and enabled him to go through the trying and embarrassing vicissitudes to be met with in a practice so varied in range and character as was that in which he first began his professional career. He was born in the township of Bethel, Armstrong county, in the month of April, 1847. He was the eldest member of a family of five, but all of these had preceded him in death except on brother, William W. Beatty, Jr., of Wilkinsburg, who, with the doctor's wife, formerly Miss Belle Robinson, of Kittanning, are the only near relatives to survive. In July, 1863, when the doctor was just past the age of sixteen, he enlisted for three months' service in the Civil war, in Company "B," Second Battalion, Pennsylvania Infantry. He battalion was employed during the time guarding the bridge across the north branch of the Potomac, near Cumberland, Md., on the line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; and in January, 1864, their terms of service having expired, the boys were discharged and sent home. In July of that year the doctor again enlisted, this time for a period of one year, in Company "G," 193rd Infantry later transferred to the 97th; and all or nearly all of this term of service was given to bridge guarding on Gunpowder river, near Baltimore. The doctor, although yet under the age of nineteen, was advanced to the rank of sergeant of the company, and in June, 1865, their services being no longer required, they were again mustered out and sent home.

Immediately after his return from the army Dr. Beatty continued his medical education. After a brief period spent in preparatory studies at Leechburg Academy, he, in company with the late Charles S. Bovard of Manorville, entered upon the college course at Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa., and in the fall of 1869, having had the advantage of a course of preparatory reading of medicine under the supervision of the late Dr. T.C. McCullough of Kittanning, entered and enrolled as a student in Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. In 1871, he opened an office in Kittanning, where he practiced for nine years, then removing to Allegheny, where he remained until his death in 1913. He was interred in the Kittanning cemetery beside his son. Dr. Beatty was a prominent member of the Presbyterian church, and on the board of trustees of Western Theological Seminary.

Source: Page(s) 76-102, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 19114.
Transcribed June 1998 by Chrissy Kyack for the Armstrong County Smith Project.
Contributed by Chrissy Kyack for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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