History of Delaware County Pennsylvania - Chapter 26

Created: Wednesday, 13 April 2011 Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 February 2014 Written by Nathan Zipfel Print Email



It is very likely that the Swedish home authorities in preparing for the colonization of the Delaware, fully aware of the necessity which might arise for the services of a physician, took the precaution to include among the earliest settlers some person skilled in the art of medicine as then practiced, and capable of performing ordinary surgical operations. Of this, however, no positive evidence has thus far been discovered. Governor Printz, in his expedition, which reached its destination Feb. 16, 1643, was accompanied by a surgeon (then called a barber), but history has failed, as far as known, to record the name of the first disciple of Esculapius who thus located on our shores. The report of Governor Printz for 1647* informs us that "the reason so many people died in the year 1643 was that in the commencement of the settlements they had hard work and but little to eat." Previous to this, in 1641-42, sickness prevailed on the Delaware to such an extent that it scattered the English colony at Salem, and it is alleged that the Swedes also suffered severely from it. In 1647 the influenza visited the colony as a scourge, and it is recorded that "such as bled or used cooling drinks died, such as used cordials or more strengthening things recovered for the most part." The summer and fall of 1658 the Delaware River settlements were visited by severe illness. We are told by Alrichs,** in a letter dated June 26th of that year, that "sickness and hot fevers (are) prevailing here have kept us back badly and made many pining." On August 9th he writes, " A general fever-like disease has raged here again for some time and it is prevailing much among the inhabitants. The Lord pleased to take us into his merciful protection and relieve many weak people from it." October 7th, he states, "A burning and violent fever rages badly . . . . but few old ones have died, but rather many young children who could not endure it." Alrich also wrote respecting this epidemic, "our situation, which is certainly very disheartening by an ardent prevailing lever and other diseases, by which the large majority of the inhabitants are oppressed and broken down; besides that our barber (surgeon) died and another, well acquainted, with his profession, is sick."***

We know that Dr. Timon Stiddem accompanied the expedition which brought Governor Rising to our shore, landing at Fort Casimir, May 21, 1654,(4*) and that he took the oath of allegiance to Peter Stuyvesant in September, 1655, after the Dutch conquest of the colony. Certain it is that Dr. Stiddem resided for some time at Upland, for on the trial of Evert Hendrixson(5*) for an outrageous assault on Joran Kyn, he was one of the most important witnesses for the prosecution, stating in his testimony that the Finn, at different times, and without cause, came before his (the doctor’s) door, where he made a great noise and trouble with his axe; that on one occasion, when he was going in his canoe to bleed Jacob Swenson, Evert stoned him on leaving Upland Kill (Chester Creek), so that he was in fear of having his boat sunk or being himself wounded; that he finally got out of the creek, but he was drenched by the splashing of the stones in the water, and finally "he was compelled to leave Upland’s kil" because of this ruffian.

On Dec. 18, 1663, he was appointed by Dr. Jacop, who, it appears, held the appointment of the Dutch Company on the Delaware, as his successor; but D’Hinolossa objected to Dr. Stiddem, whom he regarded as Beekman’s friend,(6*) as previous to that date he had been appointed surgeon for the colony under Beekman’s jurisdiction. The doctor settled at Wilmington, and Governor Lovelace, May 23, 1671, patented to him a tract of land on which a great part of that city was subsequently built. He died previous to April 24, 1686, for his will was admitted to probate on that date. Professor Keen(7*) states that one of the descendants of the doctor now has the metal case, with his name and title engraved upon it, in which he carried his surgical instruments when visiting patients in the Swedish colony.

The next physician in point of time is mentioned by name in a letter from Alricks, May 25, 1657,(8*) in which he states that Mr. Jan Oosting, the surgeon, has given a memorandum of necessary medicines, and the following year, Oct. 10, 1658, he writes,(9*) "William Van Rosenberg, who came over as surgeon, put forth sundry claims against the people whom he attended on the passage inasmuch as his wages did not run at the time on the voyage, and he used his own provisions. There were on board the ship considerable sickness, accidents, and hardships, in consequence of a tedious voyage. One hundred souls required at least a hogshead or two of French wine and one of brandy, and a tub of prunes had also to be furnished for refreshments and comfort to the sick of scurvy and suffering from other troubles through the protracted voyage; for from want thereof the people became so low that death followed, which is a pretty serious matter. Here, on shore, I see clearly that the poor, weak, sick and indigent sometimes have need necessarily of this and that to support them one cannot easily or well refuse, though it be sometimes but a spoonful; frequently repeated it amounts to more than is supposed." Dr. Van Rosenberg, it is believed, was to supersede Dr. Oosting, for Alrichs states that "the barber (surgeon) also speaks of a house which Master Jan occupied being too small for him; he bath a wife, servant and child or children also." Westcott(10*) states that the doctor who died in the year 1658, as before mentioned, was Dr. Oosting, and the one who was sick was Dr. Van Rosenberg; certain it is the latter was living in 1662.

Quite early in our annals statutory provision was made respecting the professions, for in the Duke of York’s Book of Laws it was declared, so far as this colony was concerned, in 1676,
     "That no Person or Persons whatsoever Employed about the Bed of Men, women or Children, at any time for preservation of Life or health as Chirurgions, Medicines, Physicians or others, presume to Exercise or put forth any Arte Contrary to the known approved Rules of Art in such mistery or Occupation, or Exercise any force, violence or Cruelty upon, or to the Bodice of any whether Young or old; without the advice and Counsell of the such as are skillfull in the same Art (if such may be had) of at least of some of the wisest and gravest then present and Consent of the patient or patients, if they be Mentis Compotes; much less Contrary to such Advice and Consent upon such severe punishment as the nature Of the fault may deserve, which Law nevertheless, is not intended to discourage any from all Lawful use of their skill but rather to encourage and direct them in the right use thereof, and to inhabit and restrain the presumptions arogancy of such as through Confidence of their own skill, or any sinister Respect dare bouldly attempt to Exercise any violence upon or toward the body of young or old, one or other, to the prejudice or hazard of the Life or Limb of man, woman or child."(11*)

In 1678/9 Dr. Thomas Spry was a witness in a case tried at Upland on March 12th of that year.

In the Journal of Sluyters and Dankers,(12*) who visited Tinicum in 1679, it is stated that they met at that island Otto Earnest Cock, a Swede, whom they speak of as "late medicus," indicating that he had been, but was not then, a practicing physician. Before that date, however, we find that at the court held at Upland, Aug. 24, 1672, a petition was presented from certain residents of Amasland, which clearly indicates that the midwife who gave to that place the name it still has was located in Ridley previous to that year.(13*) Hence from the number of physicians, or "practioners of physick," already shown to be present in the colony previous to the year 1698, the remark of Gabriel Thomas was hardly true even at that time, that "of lawyers and physicians I shall say nothing, because this country is very peaceable and healthy. Long may it so continue, and never have occasion for the tongue of one nor the pen of the other, both equally destructive to men’s estate, and lives, besides, forsooth, they hang-men like have a license to murder and make mischief."

Dr. John Goodsonn was a physician in Chester in 1681.(14*) He was termed "Chirurgeon to the Society of Free Traders," came from London, and settled in Upland for a short time previous to the first visit of William Penn. He subsequently removed to Philadelphia. Dr. Smith states he "was probably the first practicing physician in Pennsylvania."(15*) In this remark, however, the author quoted is incorrect. In 1694, Dr. Goodsonn was appointed Deputy Governor under William Markham, his commission being signed by William Penn. He resided in Philadelphia in 1690, for his letter to William Penn is dated from that city, 20th of Sixth month of that year. (16*) Prior to 1700, Joseph Richards is mentioned as a physician at Chester, where he owned real estate.(17*)

The records of the physicians who practiced in this county during the last century can only be gathered from old letters or accounts filed in estate in the Orphans’ Court, where sometimes the physician’s name is given among the claims paid.

Isaac Taylor, who had been formerly sheriff of Bucks County in 1693, and was a noted surveyor in primitive days, "at the time of his death was a resident of Tinicum Island, practising the art of surgery." The statement of Professor Keen, just quoted, is directly opposed by that of Gilbert Cope,(18*) who tells us Dr. Taylor died in Thornbury in 1728. Dr. Isaac Taylor’s son John we know was a surveyor and physician, as his father had been, but in 1740 he embarked in the iron business, erected the noted Sarum Forge, at the present Glen Mills, on Chester Creek.

We learn from a petition on file in West Chester that in November, 1736, Alexander Gandonett was located in Chester, and he describes himself as a "Practioner in Physyck." He asked the court to grant him a license for the sale of liquor. He states:
     "Your Petitioner, by way of his Practice, is Obliged to Distill several sorts of Cordiall writers and it being often Requested by several of the inhabitants of this County to sell the same by small measure your Petitioner Conceiving that the same be of absolute necessity by way of his Practice yet that it may be Considered to be within the Act of Assembly for selling liquor by small prays your honours for the premises."

His application was recommended by Joseph Parker (the clerk of the court), John Salkeld, Thomas Cummings, Joseph Hoskins, John Wharton, and thirteen others, most of whom resided in Chester, or close in the vicinity of the borough, and were all prominent citizens. The court, however, did not immediately take action on the petition, for it is indorsed, "Referred to further Consideration." After this we learn nothing further of the fate of his "Cordiall waters." The doctor we know was in practice in Chester in January, 1747, for at that time he asked payment from the province for medicine and attendance on the sick soldiers of Capt. Shannon’s company quartered there.

John Paschall, who is said to have been born in Darby, about 1706, was never regularly educated for the profession, but he acquired considerable medical and chemical knowledge, which made him conspicuous in his day. He practiced medicine in the county, residing at Darby, and prepared a nostrum called "The Golden Elixer," which was widely advertised as "Paschall’s Golden Drops." He died at Darby in 1779, aged about seventy-three years.

Dr. Jonathan Morris was born in Marple, May 17, 1729. He studied under Dr. Bard, of Philadelphia, and after he had graduated located in Marple, where he practiced until near the close of his life, which was extended until within one month of his ninetieth year.

In St. Paul’s churchyard, in the city of Chester, is a slab of marble lying lengthwise, which bears this inscription:

"Here lies
He was the first who received a Degree
In the College of Philadelphia.
A man of virtue, worth and knowledge.
DIED 1767, AGED 36 YEARS."

Paul Jackson, whose remains repose in the vault covered by this slab, was not only prominent as a physician, soldier, linguist, and chief burgess of Chester at a time when that office was one of great honor, but in his short life had become distinguished as one of the most accomplished scholars in the colony. He was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and became Professor of Languages in the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). "His Latin compositions, which were published, secured for him a reputation for correct taste and accurate scholarship."(18*)

His studious application impaired his health, and when Gen. Forbes led the expedition against Fort Du Quesne he was appointed, May 11, 1758, captain of the Third Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment (Governor William Denny, colonel).(19*) His active life as a soldier restoring him to health, he concluded to study medicine. After he received his degree he came to Chester, where he married Jane, daughter of John Mather, and practiced his profession with marked success. He was, as stated before, chief burgess of Chester. His widow, in three years after his death, married Dr. David Jackson, a brother of her first husband. The latter, during the Revolutionary war, was surgeon-general of the Pennsylvania troops, appointed Sept. 30, 1780. He graduated at the first medical commencement of the University of Pennsylvania, June 21, 1768, and was recorded as of Chester County.(20*)

The late Dr. Charles J. Morton(21*) wrote, at the request of the Delaware County Medical Society, an interesting biographical notice of the centenarian physician, Bernhard Van Leer, which Dr. Smith has most admirably abridged for insertion in his "History of Delaware County." In the following account of the venerable physician I have largely used the exact words of Dr. Smith’s sketch:

Bernhard Van Leer, the son of John George Van Leer, was born near Isenberg, in the electorate of Hesse, in 1686, and emigrated to the province of Pennsylvania when eleven years of age. The family located in Marple, and Bernhard, or Bernhardus, as he was then called, remained a few years with his father, and then returned to Germany for the purpose of studying medicine in his native land. It is said that he was accompanied by a neighboring youth, John Worrell, who had the same object in view. Young Van Leer remained in Europe seven years, and not only studied medicine but also the classics and French. Some time after his return to this country, and shortly after he commenced the practice of his profession, he was married to Mary Branson, the daughter of a wealthy merchant of Philadelphia, who died many years before her husband, after having given birth to five children, two of whom, Branson and Benjamin, became physicians. Dr. Bernhard Van Leer married again, and by the latter marriage there were nine children, one of whom was Dr. Bernard Van Leer, of Marple. The elder Dr. Van Leer was a man of great physical vigor. In his one hundredth year he rode on horseback from Marple to his Chester County farm, a distance of thirty miles, in one day. In his one hundred and second year he was cruelly maltreated by burglars who entered his house because he refused to disclose his hidden treasure. He did not fully recover from his injuries then received. He died on the 26th of January, 1790, aged one hundred and four years.

His practice was chiefly conducted in his office. It is said that in the diagnosis of disease he relied very much upon the appearance of some of the secretions that were brought to him for inspection. His remedies for the most part were from the vegetable kingdom, and generally of the mildest form.

This system was certainly not adhered to by his son, Branson, who seems to have located in the borough of Chester, where he acted as the county physician, for the following bill shows that at least one of his patients had her full share of medication:

Chester County to DR. BRANSON VAN LEER, Dr.

1769 £ s. d.
Jan. 25. Bleeding Ann Gregory 0 2 6
" 25. A vomit 0 0 6
" 26. Pleuritec drop 0 4 2
" 26. Six pectoral powders 0 3 0
" 26. A cordial julep 0 4 6
" 27. A cordial julep 0 4 6
" 27. Six pectoral powders 0 3 0
" 27. A pectoral linctus 0 3 0
" 27. Pleuritic drops 0 4 2
" 28. Six pectoral powders 0 3 0
" 28. Two blistering plasters 0 5 0
" 28. Plaister 0 1 6
" 29. Six pleuritic drops 0 3 0
" 29. A purging Bolus 0 1 6
" 29. A cordial julep 0 4 6
" 30; Purging ingredients 0 2 0
" 30. Plaister 0 1 6
" 30. Six pectoral powders 0 3 0
" 31. A cordial julep 0 4 6
Feb. 1. Six pectoral powders 0 3 0
" 1. Pleuritec drops 0 4 0
" 1. A pectoral linctus 0 3 0
" 1. A cordial julep 0 3 0
" 2. Six pictoral powders 0 3 0
" 2. A cordial julep 0 4 6
" 4. A febrifuge julep 0 4 6
" 4. A pectoral linctus 0 3 0
" 4. Plaister 0 1 6
" 4. Purging bolus 0 1 6
" 4. 4 pectoral linctus 0 3 0
" 8. A pectoral linctus 0 3 0
0 4 6
" 10. A pectoral linctus 0 3 0
  £5 8 6

Of Dr. Richard Van Leer I have learned nothing other than that he was a physician, while of Dr. Bernard Van Leer, he practiced in this county, living on the old homestead in Marple, where he died in February, 1814.

Dr. Benjamin Van Leer settled in New Castle County, Del., for in 1762, in the advertisement of the lottery for St. Paul’s Church, Chester, it is stated that tickets can be had of him and several other gentlemen in that locality.(22*)

John Worrall, the lad who accompanied Bernhard Van Leer to Europe, is said to have been a son of Peter Worrall, of Marple, and that he graduated in Germany as a physician, returned to Delaware County, and settled in Upper Providence. In 1724 he married Hannah Taylor, and died while still a young man. His son, Dr. Thomas Worrall, was born in Upper Providence in 1732, and married Lydia Vernon, an aunt of Maj. Frederick and Capt. Job Vernon, who rendered good service to the American arms in the Revolution, and a sister of Gideon Vernon, who was conspicuous during that struggle for his loyalty to the English crown, and whose estates were confiscated by the authorities of Pennsylvania because of his warm espousal of the British cause. Dr. Thomas Worrall in his practice made use largely of our native herbs, as did many of the physicians in those days. He died in 1818, aged eighty-six years. Hon. William Worrall, of Ridley, has one of the medical works he frequently consulted in his practice, and in his handwriting on the fly-leaf, in faded ink, can easily be read:

"Thomas Worrall’s doctor book,

God give him grace to in it look."

Some of the remedies in vogue in the time of the Revolution would not be accepted by the profession, and hardly meet the approval of the general public of this day. I copy from the manuscript receipt-book of Capt. Davis Bevan,(23*) used during July and the early part of August, 1779, when enlisting at Chester a crew for the privateer brigantine "Holker," of which vessel Bevan was captain of marines, the following remedy:
     "A RECEIPT FOR A SORE MOUTH. To a gill of vinegar add a spoonful of honey and ten or twelve sage leaves; set these on a few coals in a clean earthen cup and let it boil a little; then burn the inner soal of an old shoe that has been lately worn, which when burnt to a coal, rub to a fine powder; take out the sage leaves and add a thimble full of the powder, with half as much allum powdered. Stop it close in a bottle and wash your mouth twice a day, after breakfast and after supper. It seldom fails to cure in a few days, and will fasten teeth loosened by the scurvey."

Dr. John Cochran, of Chester County, director-general of the military hospitals during the Revolution, does not seem to have practiced in the territory now comprising Delaware County, and the same remark is true of Dr. Samuel Kennedy, who was surgeon of the Fourth Battalion of the Pennsylvania troops and senior surgeon in the military hospital.

Dr. William Currie,(24*) a native of Chester County, in his youth intended to study theology, but he abandoned that purpose, read medicine, and graduated at the college at Philadelphia. On the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, his father, the rector of St. David’s Church, Radnor, and a loyalist, opposed his desire to enter the Continental service, but he persisted, and served as a surgeon in 1776, attached to the hospital on Long Island and subsequently at Amboy. On the conclusion of the struggle, Dr. Carrie, then in his twenty-ninth year, located in the borough of Chester, where he practiced medicine, and married, a daughter of John Morton, the signer of the Declaration of Independence. Previous to 1792 he remove I to Philadelphia, and published his "Historical Account of the Climate and Diseases of the United States." In 1811 he issued "Views of the Diseases most prevalent in the United States, with an account of the most improved methods of treating them," and in 18th his last work, "General View of the Principal Theories or Doctrines which have prevailed at different periods to the present time." He died in Philadelphia in 1829.

Dr. John Morton, the third son of John Morton, the signer of the Declaration, was a surgeon in the Continental service, was taken prisoner, and while so detained he died on the British prison-ship "Falmouth," in New York harbor. "The late John S. Morton, of Springfield, had for some time a letter in his possession, written by Dr. Morton to his father while he was a prisoner, in which he said they were almost starved, and could eat brick-bats if they could get them."(25*)

During and after the Revolution, Dr. John Smith was a practicing physician located in Lower Chichester. In 1783 he married Dorothea, sister of Henry Hale Graham. She died in 1798 of yellow fever, and it is said her husband had died several years before this time.

Dr. Peter Yarn all, who, between the years 1780 and 1791, resided in Concord, practicing his profession, in which he was highly successful, had a very eventful career. He was by birthright a Friend, but in 1772, when eighteen years of age, he quarreled with his master, for at that day all young men had to serve an apprenticeship, ran away, and enlisted. The influence of his family succeeded in getting him released from the service. Immediately on attaining his majority he began reading medicine, but when the colonies appealed to arms he enlisted in the American army, acting as surgeon’s mate in the field and in several hospitals. His health, however, failing, in 1778 he asked for and received his discharge. Thereupon he applied himself diligently to the study of his profession, and in 1779 he graduated from the College of Medicine of Philadelphia, and returned to the service as surgeon’s mate, sailing on the privateer "Delaware," but again he resigned, and practiced in the Pennsylvania Hospital. In 1780 he reunited with the Quakers, became a public Friend, located in Concord, and married, in 1732, Hannah Sharpless, of Middletown. In 1791 he removed to Montgomery County, where, his wife having died, he for the second time married. He died in 1798, the year the yellow fever was so fatal to the profession.

Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, who was called upon, together with Dr. Brown as consulting physician, by Dr. Craik, the medical attendant of Washington during the fatal illness of the latter in December, 1799, was a native of Delaware County, having been born near Marcus Hook Cross-road in 1762. He seems never to have practiced here, but married, October, 1783, Hannah Harman, of Darby. He settled at Alexandria, Va., where he soon gathered a large practice. It is said that Dr. Dick, when all hopes of the recovery of Washington "with less extreme remedies had been abandoned, proposed an operation which he ever afterwards thought might have proved effective in saving the general’s life, but it did not meet with the approval of the family physician."(26*)

At the beginning of the year 1799 the following physicians were practicing in Delaware County, residing in the townships mentioned:

William Pennell, Aston; Nicholas Newlin, Caleb S. Sayres, Lower Chichester; Joseph Shallcross, William Gardiner, Darby; Jonathan Morris, Bernard Van Leer, Marple; John Knight, Middletown; Jonas Preston, Newtown; John Cheyney, Thornbury.

The same year Jane Davis kept "an apothecary-shop" in Chester, the first person who ever kept a store of that kind in the county, although it seems that about that time Dr. Sayres had a shop attached to his dwelling at Marcus Hook.

Dr. William Martin, the grandfather of John Hill Martin, the author of the "History of Chester and its Vicinity," was born in Philadelphia in 1765, and was a man of much prominence in the annals of Delaware County. He was a physician as well as a lawyer, a justice of the peace, and chief burgess of Chester, and, in April, 1789, when Washington passed through Chester on his way to Philadelphia, Dr. Martin made the address of congratulation to the President on behalf of the town. In the year 1798 the yellow fever visited Chester as a fearful scourge. Dr. Martin was much alarmed, and seemed to have a presentiment that he would die of the pestilence. It is said that he frequently rode to the windows of the houses where persons were sick with the fever, would learn the condition of the patient, and prescribe and furnish the medicine without entering the dwelling. In September of that year, however, a British vessel was lying off Chester with all hands ill with the fever. Dr. Martin was sent for; he attended, and, as he had feared, he contracted the disease from which he died, Sept. 28, 1798.

It is recorded of him that he would never attend the funerals of any of his patients, and being pressed for a reason why he declined to be present replied, "No, sir; it looks too much like a carpenter taking his own work home."

Dr. Caleb Smith Sayers, who settled at Marcus Hook about 1789, was a descendant of Richard Sears, the New England branch of the family still adhere to that manner of spelling the name, who located at Plymouth, Mass., in 1630. Dr. Sayers was born in Elizabeth, N.J., his immediate ancestor being among the first settlers of that place. His residence at Marcus Hook still stands on Church Street, fronting the Delaware, a porch running along the entire front of the building. During the yellow fever in 1798, so constant and laborious was his practice consequent on the epidemic, that his physical strength failed under the excessive strain, and he died in 1799 at the early age of thirty-one years. He was at that time surgeon of the Eighth Battalion of Militia of the county of Delaware, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Edward Vernon. His son, Edward S. Sayers, who was consul for Brazil and vice-consul for Portugal, died in Philadelphia in March, 1877, aged seventy-seven years.

Dr. Jonas Preston was born in Chester, Jan. 25, 1764. He read medicine with Dr. Bond, of Philadelphia, attended lectures at the Pennsylvania Hospital, and after the usual course of medical instruction attainable at that time in the United States he went to Europe, graduating at the University of Edinburgh in 1785, and subsequently attended lectures at Paris. On his return to this country he located at Wilmington, Del., for a short time, thence removed to Georgia, but returning to Delaware County, he entered energetically into the duties of his profession, and soon acquired an extensive practice in Chester and Delaware Counties, confining himself almost entirely to obstetric cases, in which special department he soon established a reputation extending beyond the limits of the territory mentioned. During the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794 he volunteered as surgeon in the army. This caused him to be expelled from meeting, but he frequently said Friends might disown him, but he would not disown them. He represented Delaware County for eight terms in the Legislature, from 1794 to 1802, and in 1808 he was elected State senator, and was distinguished for his liberal views and sagacious foresight. About 1817 he removed from Marple to Philadelphia, but previously had been elected president of the Bank of Delaware County, succeeding John Newbold. While here he was an ardent advocate of all measures having for their object agricultural improvements. After his removal to Philadelphia he enjoyed a large and remunerative practice, and notwithstanding his busy life he had time to take an active part in many benevolent objects. He was a constant visitor at the Pennsylvania Hospital, and also Friends’ Asylum at Frankford. He was a director of the Pennsylvania Bank, Schuylkill Navigation Company, and other corporations. During his long professional career he had so frequently seen distress among the honest poor classes that when he died, April 4, 1836, he left by will four hundred thousand dollars "towards founding an institution for the relief of indigent married women of good character, distinct and unconnected with any hospital, where they may be received and provided with proper obstetric aid for their delivery, with suitable attendance and comforts during their period of weakness and susceptibility which ensues." Under this provision in his will was established the Preston Retreat, in Philadelphia, one of the noblest institutions of enlarged charity within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dr. Preston was buried in Friends’ graveyard, on Edgmont Avenue, in Chester, but his remains have been removed therefrom in recent years.

Dr. William Gardiner. I have thus far learned nothing beyond the facts set out in the list mentioned. I presume he was the son of Dr. Joseph Gardiner, who, in 1779, was a member of the Supreme Executive Council from Chester County. We do know that Dr. William Gardiner had a son, Dr. Richard Gardiner, who was born in Darby in 1793, who was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and practiced in Darby, afterwards in Newtown, until 1835, when he removed to Philadelphia. In the latter place he studied homoeopathy, and graduated, in 1848, from the Homoeopathic College. He subsequently acquired a large and lucrative practice in Philadelphia. Dr. Gardiner died in 1877, in his eighty-fifth year.

Dr. Isaac Davis, son of Gen. John Davis, was born in Chester County, July 27, 1787, and in 1806 became a student of medicine under Dr. Joseph Shalcross, of Darby, graduated in 1810, when he began practice in Edgmont, but on the breaking out of the war of 1812 was appointed surgeon of the Sixth United States Infantry. He died at Fort Jackson, Miss., July 21, 1814.

Dr. Jacob Tobin seems to have practiced in Chester about the beginning of this century, as did Dr. Richard Tidmarsh. Dr. Brown had a number of patients in the same locality, but I have been unable to learn his first name or the place of his residence. I do not know anything more of Drs. Tobin and Tidmarsh than their names. Dr. George W. Bartram was a practicing physician, residing in Chester, where he kept a drug-store in the house which formerly stood on the site of Brown’s Hotel. He was a justice of the peace, chief burgess of the borough for a number of years, and customs officer at the Lazaretto. Previous to 1818, Dr. Edward Woodward was in practice in this county, and resided in Middletown. In 1808 Dr. Nathan Hayes was a practicing physician in Edgmont.

Dr. Job H. Terrill came to Chester early in this century, and in October, 1809, purchased the house on Market Street where Maurice Beaver lately had his tin-store, the grounds extending to Fourth Street. The doctor was a man of fine conversational powers, possessing a ready vocabulary, and was rapid in his utterances. He was a noted lover of horses, and always kept one of the best, if not the best, in Chester. He would have his negro man, Ike, train his horses on Welsh Street, and would stand and watch them speeding along from Edgmont road to the Porter house and back. He always rode in a sulky, and in getting in one day his horse started, threw him against the vehicle, and injured his thigh so severely that it brought on a disease which ultimately proved fatal. He died Jan. 20, 1844, aged fifty-nine years.

Dr. Samuel Anderson was not a native of this county, but his career therein was one of much honor and public usefulness. In early life he entered the United States navy as assistant surgeon, but after holding the commission a few years he resigned the service and located in Chester, when he began the practice of his profession, securing in a short time a prominent position. During the war of 1812 he raised a company of volunteers, the Mifflin Guards, became its captain, and served with his command in the fall of 1814 at Camp Du Pont for three months. In 1815-18 he represented Delaware County in the Legislature, and was elected sheriff in 1819. In 1823 he was again appointed assistant surgeon in the United States navy, and assigned to the West India station, then commanded by Commodore Porter, but he was compelled to resign therefrom on account of his health. Returning to Delaware County, he was elected, 1823, 1824, and 1825, to the Legislature, and the following year represented the district composing Delaware, Chester, and Lancaster Counties in Congress. In 1829-33 he was a member of the Legislature, and the last year the Speaker of the House. In 1834-35 he was again the representative from this county, and made the report of the joint committee of the two houses relative to the alleged abuses in the Eastern Penitentiary, at that time one of the most important questions before the people of the State. Dr. Anderson then resided in Providence, on the farm now owned by Samuel Lewis. He subsequently removed to Rockdale, where he practiced his profession until 1841, when he was appointed inspector of customs at the Lazaretto. In 1846 he was elected justice of the peace in Chester, an office he held at the time of his death, Jan. 17, 1850, in his seventy-seventh year. Dr. Anderson was a tall, slender, conspicuous personage, of fine mind, an agreeable speaker, and a ready, fluent debater. For many years he was president of the Delaware County Bible Society. He married Sarah Moore (she was then a widow), daughter of Jacob Richards, and her sister, Susan, was the wife of Dr. Caleb S. Sayers, of Marcus Hook. Mrs. Anderson survived the doctor nearly twenty-one years, dying. Nov. 4, 1870, in the ninety-fifth year of her age.

Among the physicians who practiced in Delaware County from 1800 to 1850 (at which latter date the Delaware County Medical Society was organized, and a list of the doctors then practicing was made and has ever since been regularly kept) I find notice of the following:

Ellis C. Harlan was in practice and resided at Sneath’s Corner, Chester township, early in this century. He, with Dr. William Gray and several other physicians, on Friday night, Dec. 17, 1824, made an autopsy of Wellington’s body (he had been hung about noon of that day) in the old pole well-house, as it was then known, which, modernized, still stands on the north side of Third Street, below Franklin Street, Chester. Dr. Jesse Young succeeded Dr. Harlan about 1825, and continued at Sneath’s Corner until his death, Aug. 29, 1852. Dr. Young, however, a short time previous to his decease, had associated with him Dr. James Serrell Hill, at any rate, the office of the latter being at Dr. Young’s residence. Dr. David Rose succeeded Dr. Young at Sneath’s Corner, and still resides there practicing his profession.

Dr. Benjamin Rush Erwin practiced in Upper Providence until the fall of 1829, when he removed to Philadelphia, and Dr. Joseph Leedom succeeded him, to be in turn succeeded, in 1843, by Dr. James Boyd, of Montgomery County, whose residence and office was at the Rose Tree Tavern. Dr. James Wilson was in practice in Nether Providence many years before 1840, while in 1838, Dr. William L. Cowan, a Thomsonian physician, had his office near Friends’ meeting-house, in that township.

Dr. Gideon Humphreys was a practicing physician in Aston in 1820. Of the latter it is related that, on one occasion when he desired to prepare a skeleton from the corpse of a colored man drowned in Chester Creek, he borrowed a very large iron kettle from a neighbor. In the night, while he was at work in the spring-house, a huge fire under the pot, some one passing near saw the light, went to the spring-house, and reported next day that the "Doctor had boiled a darkey’s head in the pot." This coming to the ears of the owner of the article, she, when it was sent home, returned it, saying, "Tell the doctor to keep that pot to boil another nigger in. I won’t have the nasty thing in my house." Dr. George R. Morton was located at Village Green in 1827. He seems to have removed from Marlborough, Montgomery Co., for on July 10, 1826, he contributed to the American Medical Review an interesting account of a horned woman residing in that locality.(27*) Dr. Byington was in practice in Aston about 1833. Dr. Samuel A. Barton was there previous to 1840, and Dr. Richard Gregg, then residing at Wrangletown, had a number of patients in that locality. He subsequently removed to Lima, where he died in July, 1872. Dr. Joseph Wilson was a practicing physician in Springfield in 1812, and was captain of the Delaware County, troop of horse and prominent in the political movements of the day. In 1837, Dr. James Jenkins was located in Radnor, as was also Dr. Joseph Blackfan, and the same year Dr. J.F. Huddleson was in Thornbury. In 1833, Dr. M.C. Shallcross resided in Darby, and was in full practice; about 1840 he removed to Philadelphia, locating near Haddington, where he associated himself with Dr. J.P. Stakes, and for some time continued from that place to practice in Delaware County. Dr. Shallcross died in Philadelphia, Nov. 30, 1871, aged eighty-one years. About 1823, Dr. Joshua W. Ash began practice in Upper Darby, where he continued until his death, in March, 1874, in the seventy-seventh year of his age. He was a member of Friends’ meeting, warmly interested in the Delaware County Institute of Science, and prominently connected with the Training-School for Feeble-Minded Children. The first map of Delaware County, drawn from actual surveys, was published in 1848 by the doctor. In 1833, Dr. Caleb Ash was in Darby, his office located opposite Friends’ meeting-house. Prior to 1848, Dr. George Thomas was in full practice at the same place, but in 1845 he seemed to have located in Newtown or Edgmont, and about 1833, Dr. William Gray Knowles was, in Darby; he subsequently removed to Baltimore, and is now a resident of Upland. In 1852, Dr. P.J. Hoopes was a physician in that village, and in the same year Dr. James Aitkins was in practice in Edgmont, as in 1842 was Dr. H. Bent, a botanic Thomsonian physician. In 1840, Dr. Phineas Price was located in Bethel, and was conspicuous in a noted controversy he had with Levis Pyle. At August court, 1849, Dr. Price was indicted and convicted of an assault on Pyle. The parties had met in the Methodist Church to adjust some church business, a dispute arose between them respecting characters, when Dr. Price forcibly ejected Pyle; hence the prosecution. In 1844, Dr. Price had been tried by the church, if my informant is correct in his statement, because of some religious opinions which were regarded as unsound. Andrew Hance and the doctor subsequently got into a newspaper controversy, and finally each of them published pamphlets. For some statement made in that issued by Dr. Price he was sued for libel; whether criminal or civil proceedings were instituted I do not know. In 1844, Dr. J.H. Marsh practiced in Concord, as did Dr. George Martin in 1852.

Dr. William Gray, a member of the well-known family of Gray, of Gray’s Ferry, was for many years one of the most noted men of the county. He was born in 1795, and in early life he had gone to his uncle, Thomas Steel, a miller in Darby, to learn that business, but finding the occupation uncongenial, he abandoned it, and studied medicine under his relation, Dr. Warfield, of Maryland. After he graduated he settled in Chester, where for many years he had a large and lucrative practice. He died May 12, 1864.

Dr. John M. Allen, in 1844, practiced in Chester, his office then being in Charles W. Raborg’s drugstore, where Charles A. Story, Sr., now has his cigarstore. In the spring of 1845, Dr. Allen leased Dr. Terrill’s house and altered the front part of the building into a drug-store, where he soon secured a large and profitable business. In 1851, Dr. Allen purchased the property where Mortimer H. Bickley’s large building now stands, and continued there until the breaking out of the war, in 1861, when he was appointed surgeon of the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and subsequently medical director of the Department of West Virginia, and surgeon-in-chief of staff, in which position he served until late in the year of 1864, when his health broke down, and he was honorably discharged from the service after having been in the hospital several months. He is now alderman of the Middle Ward, an office he fills most creditably.

During the forties, and until about 1855, Dr. James Porter practiced in Chester, residing at that time in the old, Porter house. Dr. H.K. Smith, a physician at Chichester Cross-roads, in 1841 sold his practice to Dr. Manley Emanuel, who succeeded him there, although Dr. Smith still continued to practice in Delaware County. Dr. Emanuel, subsequently to 1870, removed to Philadelphia, where he died July 18, 1880, aged eighty-three years. His son, Dr. Lewis M. Emanuel, who was born in London, and was a lad of seven years when his father settled in Upper Chichester, after he graduated began practicing at Linwood, but during the war of the Rebellion he became an assistant surgeon in the field. The exposure consequent thereon induced consumption, which terminated in his death in 1868.

Dr. Jesse Kersey Bonsall was by birth a Delaware countian, studied medicine and graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, and for a time located in Schuylkill County, but an opportunity offering, he went to Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands, where he practiced successfully for several years. In 1842 he returned to Delaware County, having accumulated while abroad what at that time was, regarded as an ample fortune. Here he pursued his professional calling, residing in Chester until his death, Nov. 7, 1858, aged sixty-one years.

Professor Charles D. Meigs, M.D., who, however, never practiced in our county, was for many years at the head of the Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia; at one time connected with the Obstetrical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and whose work on the diseases of women gave him a world-wide reputation in the profession, died suddenly, at his residence in Aston, June 23, 1869. He was in his seventy-eighth year at the time of his death. On the morning of Nov. 21, 1872, Dr. Tracey E. Waller, a practicing physician at Marcus Hook, where he had been located for several years, was found dead in his bed. He had retired the night before apparently in good health. Dr. Chittick Verner -  said to be a descendant of Lord John Lammey, a Huguenot, who, with his brother James, fled from France to escape persecution and became a British subject -  died in Chester, April 4, 1877. Dr. Verner was educated for the ministry, but abandoned it when the court at Castle Derg, Ireland, appointed him syndic for the town of Ardistraw, a position he held for several years. In 1847 he emigrated to America, and became surgeon-steward at the Naval Asylum, Philadelphia. While there he studied medicine, graduating at Jefferson College, and during the Rebellion he was in service in the field as a surgeon. At the close of the war he practiced medicine in Philadelphia, but the death of his brother, to whom he was devotedly attached, so preyed on him as to unsettle his mind. From that time to his death he was insane. He never practiced in this county.

On Feb. 10, 1880, Dr. Joshua Owens died of paralysis in Chester, aged sixty-five years. Dr. Owens was a native of Elizabethport, N.J., and a graduate of Jefferson College, Philadelphia. He first located at Elkton, Md., but a few years subsequently removed to Chester. During the war of the Rebellion he was senior surgeon of Pennsylvania, and was the first volunteer physician to reach Washington after the attack on Fort Sumter. He was one of the first medical directors of divisions, and was assigned to duty with the Army of the Potomac. In 1863 he was commissioned surgeon-general of New Mexico, a position he resigned in 1865. Dr. Owens and his two sons made a tour of Europe on foot, and the graphic descriptions of his travel and noted places he saw, which appeared in the Delaware County Republican, were highly interesting. The doctor was a strong and vigorous writer.

Dr. Mordecai Laurence, a venerable physician, died in Haverford, Feb. 21, 1880, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.

Dr. George Smith was born in Haverford, Feb. 4, 1804. He graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, April 7, 1820, and practiced in Darby and its vicinity for five years, when, coming into possession of a large estate, he retired from the active duties of the profession, superintending his farm, and devoting his leisure moments to literary and scientific studies. From 1832 to 1836 he was State senator, the district then comprising Delaware and Chester Counties, and while a member of that body, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, he drafted the bill in reference to public schools, which, warmly supported by Thaddeus Stevens and George Wolf, passed substantially as reported by Dr. Smith, and thus the first practical enactment respecting free public education in the State was secured. On Dec. 8, 1836, Governor Ritner appointed Dr. Smith an associate judge of Delaware County, and in 1840 he was elected to the same position for a second term. So earnest was Dr. Smith in his advocacy of popular education that, at considerable personal inconvenience, he consented to act as superintendent of the common schools in the county for several years, as well as president of the school board for Upper Darby district. In September, 1833, he, with four other public-spirited men, founded the Delaware County Institute of Science, and was president of the organization for nearly half a century. In 1844, Dr. Smith, John P. Crozer, and Minshall Painter were appointed by the Delaware County Institute a committee to prepare an account of the extraordinary rainstorm and flood of August 5th of that year in this county, and the greater part of the preparation of that work, an octavo pamphlet of fifty-two pages, printed in solid small pica type, was done by Dr. Smith. In 1862 he published his "History of Delaware County," a volume which will stand as an enduring monument to the learning, accuracy, and thoroughness of its author, and, so long as American history continues to be a theme of investigation and study, will be quoted and referred to as authority. On the morning of Feb. 24, 1884, full of years and honor, Dr. George Smith passed into eternity, leaving the world the better in that he had lived.

Dr. Isaac Taylor Coates, a native of Chester County, was born March 17, 1834. Determining to study medicine, his means being limited, he taught school in Delaware County to obtain the required sum necessary not only for his own support, but to complete his professional education. In 1858 he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and within a short time sailed for England as surgeon of the packet-ship "Great Western." He shared, in common with his cousin, Bayard Taylor, a desire to visit foreign lands, and for several voyages he remained attached to the ship, and, while in port at Liverpool, he made short journeys to various points in Europe. He subsequently settled in Louisiana, but on the breaking out of the Rebellion came north, tendered his services to the government, and was appointed surgeon on the steamship "Bienville," on the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. In 1864 he was transferred to the frigate "St. Lawrence," and later to the gunboat "Peosta." In 1867 he was surgeon of the Seventh United States Cavalry, under Custer, and made the arduous tour of the Southwest, returning home via Arizona and California. In 1872 he visited Peru, and was appointed medical director of the Chimbote and Huazaz Railroad, that wonderful tramway through the clouds, then being made over the mountains by Henry Meigs. While at Arequipa, in 1873, Dr. Coates made the first ascent of the Mistic volcano, eighteen thousand five hundred and thirty-eight feet high, and in doing so he was compelled to abandon his guide, who was completely exhausted in the attempt. In 1876 he returned to the United States by crossing the Andes to the navigable head-waters of the Amazon, and descending that river to Para, whence he sailed for home. In 1878, after practicing in Chester during the interval, Dr. Coates returned to Brazil as surgeon of the Collins expedition, which was designed to construct a railroad around the rapids of the Madeira River.

The sad fate of that expedition is fresh in the recollections of our people, for among those who went were many persons from Delaware County, some of whom fell victims of the cruel hardships they were compelled to undergo in a strange land, while others never again regained their shattered health, Dr. Coates was among the latter. Hence he spent several years in traveling in Colorado, California, and New Mexico, and while returning to Delaware County to place his son, who accompanied him, at Swarthmore College, he was taken ill, and died at Socorro, N.M., June 23, 1883. Dr. Coates was an accomplished writer and eloquent speaker. In 1876 he delivered the Centennial oration in Chester; on Oct. 22, 1882, he was the orator at the Penn Bi-Centennial at Los Angeles, Cal. In 1877 he delivered an admirable lecture at Chester, entitled "Land of the Incas," and on the "Archaeology of Peru" before the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Dr. Coates was a member of the American Geographical Society, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and other scientific and learned bodies.

Dr. Alfred M. Owens, son of Dr. Joshua Owens, a surgeon in the United States navy, a native of Delaware County, died at Pensacola (Florida) Navy-Yard, Aug. 22, 1883, of yellow fever, then an epidemic at that station. His wife, who was with her husband, died on the 27th of the same month with the like disease.

Dr. Jonathan Larkin Forwood was born in West Chester, Chester Co., Pa., Oct. 17, 1834. His father, Robert Forwood, a native of Delaware, was a farmer, and was the descendant of a prominent English family, the first of the name in this county having settled in that State about 1700, from whom the Forwoods of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Alabama trace descent. His mother, Rachel Forwood, was a daughter of William and Sarah Larkin, a descendant of John Larkin, who settled in Maryland, becoming the purchaser of a large tract of land in Cecil County, Md., in 1682, before the coming of Penn, and from whom all the Larkins of Delaware County are descended. Young Forwood was without means; hence his early education was necessarily restricted to that which could be obtained in the public schools, and in the State of Delaware, where his parents had removed a few years after his birth, common schools were the exception, not the rule, and he was unable to obtain tuition there excepting during three months in the winter, and that for only three years prior to attaining his fifteenth year. Having determined to secure an education, his devotion to books, his studious and strictly moral habits, his self-reliance and determination, all combined to aid him in that endeavor. Working during the day at whatever he could get to do to earn a livelihood, and pursuing his studies in the evening and far into the night at a cost of youthful pleasures, at the early age of eighteen he had qualified himself to pass an examination as a teacher.

In his nineteenth year a newspaper by the merest chance fell in his way. In it he saw an advertisement for teachers in a school in Montgomery County of this State. Without informing any one of his intention, he left home, went to Eagleville, was examined, and accepted by the directors. This was announced to young Forwood after dark on a September day in 1851. He must return home until the beginning of the session, but how to do this with but twenty-five cents in his pocket was a serious question. Knowing that to confess poverty is to be placed at a disadvantage, he kept the secret to himself, and bravely walked from Eagleville to Philadelphia, a distance of twenty-three miles, during which journey he had nothing to eat, and was compelled to take his boots off and walk in his bare feet, for the rubbing of the leather had covered his feet with blisters. He arrived at daybreak on Sunday in Philadelphia, where he took the stage for Darby, paying his last penny for that short ride. From Darby he walked to Chichester, in this county, where his parents then lived. He found his mother filled with anxiety his mysterious absence occasioned, and, received a reprimand for his conduct. He told his mother that on the following day he would leave home forever; that the world was his theatre, and he was going to act his part creditably. She did not, however, realize this until she saw the young man gathering together his clothing, when she presented him with enough money to carry him to Eagleville, where he began his independent career, and continued to teach until the following spring at a salary of twenty-five dollars a month. At this time young Forwood took the money which he had been enabled to save out of his salary and entered himself as a student at Free and College until the spring of 1852, when he gave all the money he had saved and taught a class in geometry as part payment for his tuition. He left there at the end of that session, in 1854, and applied for a school in Springfield, Delaware Co., and was accepted.

Dr. Charles J. Morton was then one of the directors. The doctor one day asked young Forwood what was his object in life, and whether he proposed teaching school for a small pittance for the remainder of his days? He replied that he intended to enter one of the professions. Dr. Morton offered the young man the free use of his medical library and any instructions he might require. Forwood accepted this kind offer, and here was the great turning-point of his life. The following spring, at the close of the session of 1855, the schoolmaster was made the recipient of a silver cup, with an appropriate inscription, which he still has in his possession. In the fall of the same year Forwood was entered in the University of Pennsylvania, having saved sufficient money to defray the tuition of one term. It was suggested to the young man that there were other and cheaper medical colleges, but knowing that his profession would be his only capital in life, he determined to procure the best medical education. His money failing him, about the close of 1855 he was compelled to teach school again, and procured a situation once more at Middletown.

In the summer of 1856, finding that he had not been able to gather enough money to go on with his medical studies, he submitted to an examination, and received a scholarship in the University. In the spring of 1857 he graduated with honors in all the seven branches of medicine. He was compelled, however, to borrow forty dollars from his uncle, Jonathan C. Larkin, for whom he had been named, to pay for his diploma. Dr. Forwood came at once to Chester, where he settled, having completed one of the epochs in his life’s history. Here, in his practice, he paid particular attention to surgery, a branch which had not been followed by any physician in Chester for a long time. In 1858, Dr. Forwood performed the first amputation of a leg that had been done in this city for fifty years. His operations in surgery have covered almost all important cases since then. He has operated four times successfully lithotomy, a work seldom attempted, except in medical colleges and by professors of surgery.

In 1864, when the municipal hospital of Philadelphia was burned, the board of health located it at the Lazaretto, and Dr. Forwood was requested to take charge of it, and did so for four years, until the new buildings were completed. After the battle of Gettysburg, when the wounded Confederate soldiers were sent here, the doctor was called upon to take a department in the hospital, and while there performed. several splendid operations, among others that of amputation at the shoulder joint. On leaving this public institution the doctor received the highest testimonials from the officers in charge. In 1867 he started the Delaware County Democrat, and although the county committee of the party bad declared that no Democratic paper could be supported, he by his untiring energy made it not only a financial success, but one of the most unflinching Democratic organs of the State. Its editorials were outspoken and fearless. In the same year he was elected to Council from the Middle Ward, and took a leading part in that body. He was, upon taking his seat, made a member of the Street Committee, and for more than three years the chairman.

In the spring of 1872 he was elected mayor of Chester in the most exciting political contest the municipality had known to that time. His election was contested; Gen. William McCandless and William H. Dickinson appearing as counsel for Forwood, and William Ward and J.M. Johnson for the contestant. Three terms he was elected mayor in succession, and in 1884, after an intermission of three years, was again elected to the office, although the Republican majority is usually nearly five hundred. He has been frequently a delegate to the Democratic County and State Conventions, and member of the State Executive Committee. In 1874 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress, and in 1876 an elector on the Presidential ticket during the noted candidacy of Tilden and Hendricks. In 1880 he was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention which nominated Gen. Hancock for President, and in 1884, when Governor Cleveland was named for the same office. As a public speaker Dr. Forwood ranks high, and as a political manager few men excel him.

Successful as has been his political career, his chosen profession is the field of his ambitious desires, and to-day, although he has secured a large and remunerative practice, he is devoted to the study of medicine and surgery, paying particular attention, at the present, to. gynecology, in which special branch he is attaining an extended reputation in nowise confined to this locality, but patients from many of the great cities visit him for medical treatment. Several operations performed by him were so noticeable that full account thereof was published in medical works for the information of the public.

Half a century ago the Thomsonian practice of medicine had many warm advocates throughout the country, and Delaware County had several doctors adhering to the rules of treatment under the theory. In 1838 so numerous had the adherents to the system grown that a society known as the Thomsonian Friendly Botanic Society of Delaware County was organized, and on June 2d of that year held a meeting at Providence Friends’ meeting-house. This first assemblage was also the last, or, if it was not, I am unable to find anything further respecting it.

The Delaware County Medical Society owes its origin to the chance conversation of two physicians, Dr. Ellwood Harvey, then of Birmingham, and Dr. George Martin, of Concord, which resulted in the conclusion that they would make an attempt to organize a county society, which should be connected with that of the State. The first meeting of physicians to that end was held in Chester, Thursday, May 2, 1850, at the law-office of Hon. John M. Broomall, when, on motion of Dr. Harvey, a temporary organization was effected by calling Dr. Joshua Owen to the chair and the appointment of Dr. Martin secretary. The following resolutions were then offered by Dr. Martin:
     "WHEREAS, Experience has fully shown that the progress of any Art or Science is promoted by the frequent reunion and full interchange of the personal observation of those whose profession is connected with it; and,
     "WHEREAS, The organization of County Medical Societies throughout the State is calculated to produce such results; and,
     "WHEREAS, It is of the highest importance to introduce throughout every county of our State an elevated Code of Ethics for the government of our profession by which the members of it will be held under recognized censorial head, which may tend to increase its respectability on the one hand and unite it against the encroachments of Charlatanism on the other; Therefore, we the physicians of Delaware county here assembled do hereby
     "Resolve, That it is expedient to form ourselves into a medical association, which shall bear the name of the ‘Delaware County Medical Society.’
     "Resolved, That the Society shall be considered as a branch of the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania."

A committee of three was appointed to draft a constitution, and the physicians of the county were invited to meet in Penn Buildings, Chester, on May 30, 1850, to effect a permanent organization of the society. At the time designated the constitution of the association was adopted. By its provisions any person of respectable standing in the profession, of good moral character, who was a graduate of any medical school recognized by the Pennsylvania State Society, or who had been for fifteen years in practice in the county as a regular physician, was eligible to membership, provided such physician did not prescribe any remedy the compounds of which he was unacquainted with, or who was interested in any way in patent medicines or in collusion with any apothecary to procure patronage or profit, or who claimed superior qualifications in the treatment of any disease. The members were interdicted from rendering any medical service gratuitously to any clergyman or physician whose name was attached to any certificate in favor of patent medicines, or who permitted reference in favor of such nostrums to be made to him.

Dr. Jesse Young was chosen the first president; Dr. Joshua Owens, vice-president; Dr. Robert Smith, secretary; and Dr. Ellwood Harvey, treasurer. A committee was also appointed to ascertain and report the names of all practitioners of medicine in the county, whether regular or irregular. For several years the society met promptly at designated times at the houses of the members, and much interesting information was imparted, highly beneficial to the profession. Among the most important work under the auspices of the society was the geological survey of the county, which was made in 1851. by Drs. Harvey and Martin, associated by Dr. Samuel Trimble, of Concord township, an expert micrologist. The chart and the report made by these gentlemen was published in the transactions of the State Society, and it is the basis of all subsequent geographical publications in reference to our county. In the fall of 1852 the Delaware County Medical Society, in connection with that of Chester County, effected an arrangement for the publication of a quarterly journal, The Medical Reporter, the first number of which was issued July, 1853. This periodical was conducted by five editors,

Drs. J.F. Huddleson and George Martin, of Delaware County, and Drs. W. Worthington, Isaac Thomas, and Jacob Price, of Chester County. It contained the proceedings of the doctors in the counties, with papers read, addresses delivered before, and reports of cases made to either of the two organizations, together with editorial and other items of interest. It was published for three years, when it was discontinued. The society, so far as our county was concerned, about 1856, "languished and languishing did live," until at the meeting on Feb. 24, 1857, Dr. Mans presented the following resolution, which was adopted:
     "Resolved, That all books and other property belonging to the society be placed in the hands of Dr. R.H. Smith, to become the property of any medical society organized in Delaware County, provided such Society is a branch of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, and formed within one year; otherwise to be delivered into the hands of the treasurer of the State Medical Society."

This testamentary disposition of the effects of the society having been duly made a resolution which had been laid over from a former meeting, which set forth "that it is expedient that the Delaware County Medical Society be, and it is hereby dissolved," was adopted by a unanimous vote.

On March 16, 1857, a meeting of the physicians of Delaware County was called at the Washington House, Chester, to reorganize the Medical Society, and on the 30th of the same month an adjourned meeting was held at the Charter House, Media, when an organization was effected by the election of Dr. Hillborn Darlington, president; Dr. Manly Emanuel, vice-president; Dr. George B. Hotchkin, secretary; and Dr. Charles H. Budd, treasurer. Further action was deferred until the next meeting, which was held at Media, May 26, 1857, but the attendance was so small that it was deemed proper to defer all matters to the next meeting appointed to be held at the Washington House, Chester, Aug. 25, 1857. At the latter date hardly any persons attended and the project was abandoned for the time being.

On April 19, 1861, by invitation of Dr. Joseph Parrish, superintendent of the Pennsylvania Training School for Feeble-Minded Children, near Media, a number of physicians from various parts of Delaware County met to witness an exhibition of the pupils of that institution. It was stated that invitations had been sent to every physician in the county whose name was known to Dr. Parrish, but in consequence of a heavy storm then prevailing, and the national excitement consequent on the bombardment of Fort Sumter, many failed to attend. The meeting was so profitable and agreeable that the physicians present resolved that the Delaware County Medical Society should be revived. A temporary organization was made by calling Dr. Parrish to the chair and appointing Dr. J.L. Forwood secretary, and on May 10, 1861, the society was permanently re-established by the election of Dr. Manly Emanuel, president; Dr. Joseph Parrish, vice-president ; Dr. George B. Hotchkin, secretary; and Dr. Joseph Rowland, treasurer. The rebellion then upon the country demanded the services of so many physicians -  and Delaware County furnished its full quota -  that those doctors who remained were so busy that they rarely attended the meetings of the society, which were held occasionally, but no record of the proceedings was kept. At the conclusion of the war, on May 16, 1865, an adjourned annual meeting was held at the office of Dr. J.L. Forwood, in Chester, and on his motion it was resolved that "In consequence of the long interruption to the meetings occasioned by the general unsettlement of the country, etc., that the constitution of this society be formally readopted; the signatures of those present be affixed as active members, and that gentlemen hereafter received be regularly balloted for as required by our Constitution." An election was then held, which resulted in the election of Dr. Manley Emanuel, president; Dr. J.L. Forwood, vice-president; Dr. Isaac N. Neilson, secretary; and Dr. Charles J. Morton, treasurer. This was merely a spasmodic movement, for nothing further seems to have been done until March 16, 1869, when a meeting was held at Dr. Parrish’s sanitarium, at Media, which was addressed by Dr. Emanuel, who appealed to the medical men of the county to awaken from their lethargy and co-operate for the common good through the valuable means presented by an energetic and well-organized medical society. The following officers were then elected: Dr. Manley Emanuel, president; Dr. J.L. Forwood, vice-president; Dr. Isaac N. Kerlin, secretary ; and Dr. Theodore S. Christ, treasurer. The meetings of the society from that time to the present have been well attended, and the interchange of opinions and discussions on topics relating to the science and practice of medicine at these gatherings has resulted in much benefit to the profession. On May 21, 1879, the State Medical Society met in Holly Tree Hall, Chester, on which occasion over two hundred and fifty persons assembled. The session continued Wednesday afternoon and evening and during Thursday. The following Friday the society visited the Training School for Feeble-Minded Children at Media, where the ceremonial installation of officers of the State Society for the succeeding years was performed.

The officers of the Delaware County Medical Society in 1883 were Dr. William B. Ulrich, president; Dr. R.H.N. Milner, vice-president; Dr. Linnaeus Fussell, secretary; and Dr. John B. Weston, treasurer.

The following-named physicians of the county have been and are members of the society:

George Martin Concordville
Manley Emanuel Linwood
Ellwood Harvey Chester
Charles S. Heysham Newtown Square
Robert K. Smith Darby
Joshua Owen Chester
Charles J. Morton "
Caleb Ash Darby
Joseph Wilson "
Samuel A. Barton Village Green
Thomas Turner "
Reuben H. Smith Media
J.C. Hutton Chelsea
Joseph Rowland Media
A.W. Matbew Aston
George Smith Upper Darby
J. Howard Taylor Concordville
Jesse W. Griffith Ridleyville
J.P. McIlvain Media
J.T. Huddleson Thornhury
J. Morris Moore Newtown
Hillborn Darlington Concordville
James S. Hill Chester township
J. Siter Parke Radnor
Edward Young Chester
John A. Thomson "
George B. Hotchkin Media
James W. Hoey Lenni
John M. Allen Chester
Jonathan L. Forwood "
Joseph Parrish Media
Isaac N. Kerlin "
James J. McGee United States Navy.(28*)
William H. Forwood Chester
Charles D. Meigs Thornbury
Henry Pleasants Radnor
Charles W. Pennock Howellville
Henry M. Kirk Upper Darby
William T.W. Dickeson Media
Isaac T. Coates Chester
T.L. Leavitt "
F. Ridgely Graham Chester
Theodore S. Christ "
J. Pyle Wurrall Media
Lewis M. Emanuel Linwood
C.C.V. Crawford Village Green
Orrin Cooley "
Francis E. Heenan Chester
Samuel P. Bartleson Clifton Heights
William B. Ulrich Chester
James B. Garretson Darby
M. Fisher Longstreth "
William C. Bacon Upper Darby
John T.M. Forwood Chester
David Rose Sneath’s Corner
Edward Maria Howellville
Charles H. Bubb Darby
Henry M. Lyons Media
John G. Thomas Newtown Square
Jacob Boon Darby
Samuel Trimble Lima
D. Francis Condie "
Henry M. Corse "
Edwin Fussell Media
Linnaeus Fussell "
Edward T. Gammage Chester
John W. Eckfeldt Haverford
Dillwyn Greene Marcus Hook
Francis F. Rowland Media
Rebecca L. Fussell "
Daniel W. Jefferis Chester
John B. Mitchell "
Joshua Ash Clifton Heights
D.G. Brinton Media
George R. Vernon Clifton Heights
Joseph H. Homer Thornton
Robert A. Given Clifton Heights
Conrad J. Partridge Ridley Park
David K. Shoemaker Chester
Eugene K. Mott "
John Wesley Johnson "
William S. Ridgely "
Philip C. O’Reiley "
Mrs. Frances W. Baker Media
T.P. Ball Chester
John B. Weston South Chester Borough
A. Edgar Osborne Media
---- Pennypacker Media
Robert H. Milner Chester
F. Marion Murray Lenni
Horace H. Darlington Concordville
Henry B. Knowles Clifton Heights
William B. Fish Media
Henry C. Bartleson Fernwood
Thomas C. Stellwagon Media
J. Willoughby Phillips Clifton Heights
William Bird Chester
Fletcher C. Lawyer Howellville
Clarence W. DeLannoy Chester
Joseph Crawford Egbert Radnor
Lawrence M. Bullock Upland
Charles Carter Wallingford
William S. Little Media
Henry Seidell South Chester Borough
Mrs. Hannah J. Price "
Henry C. Harris Landsdown
George M. Fisher South Chester Borough

Dr. John T. M. Cardesa and his son, Dr. John D.M. Cardesa, well-known physicians, residing at Claymont, Del., have a large practice in Delaware County. Dr. Anna M. Broomall, daughter of Hon. John M. Broomall, of this county, is a graduate of the Woman’s Medical College, Philadelphia, located in that city, and has a large and growing practice. All of these last-named doctors are adherents of the allopathic school.

Dr. Cyrus S. Poley kept a drug-store in Chester in 1870, and removed therefrom after 1876, for in that year Governor Hartranft appointed him surgeon of the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Militia, comprising the troops in this military district.

A Brief History of Homoeopathy in Delaware County.(29*) -  Delaware County has the honor of being the birthplace of those veteran homoeopathic practitioners, Drs. Walter Williamson, Richard Gardiner, and Gideon Humphreys, all espousing the cause at nearly the same time, and last, but not least, of being the residence of Dr. A.E. Small, at the time of his conversion to homoeopathy.

Dr. Walter Williamson introduced homoeopathy into the county in the year 1836. He graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1833, and immediately settled in Marple. He moved to Newtown in 1835, and in the spring of 1836 his attention was directed to the new system of medical practice. At the earliest opportunity he obtained all the books and pamphlets then published in the English language which had any bearing upon the subject, commenced the study of its doctrines, and began to practice it in the vicinity, where not even the name itself had ever been heard, except by one family, John Thomas, of Upper Providence. He rapidly gained a large practice, but in 1839 he moved to Philadelphia, owing to seriously-impaired health. He was one of the founders of the Homoeopathic College of Pennsylvania, the first institution in the country to teach this system of practice, and from 1848 until his death in 1879 he filled one of the professorships in the college. Dr. Williamson was born in Delaware County, July 4, 1811.

The second practitioner to unfurl the standard of homoeopathy in Delaware County was Dr. M.B. Roche. He settled near Darby in 1839, and continued the practice there for three years. In 1842 he was succeeded by Dr. Alvan E. Small, a native of the State of Maine, and a graduate of the Medical Department of Pennsylvania College. He practiced in Upper Darby as an allopathic physician in 1840, and became a homoeopathic in 1842. Dr. Small continued to practice in the county until he moved to Philadelphia, in 1845.

Dr. James E. Gross, a native of New England, graduated at the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1850, and soon afterwards settled in Darby to practice, but remained there only a few months, and then moved to Lowell, Mass.

Dr. Stacy Jones, student of H.N. Gurnsey, M.D., graduated at the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in March, 1853, and settled in Upper Darby. He remained in his first location for three years, and then moved into the borough of Darby, where he continues to practice.

Dr. Charles V. Dare, a native of New Jersey, graduated at the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in March, 1854, and very soon afterwards settled in the borough of Chester. Dr. Dare was the first homoeopathic physician in Chester. He continued to practice there until he sold his practice to Dr. Coates Preston, in March, 1858.

Dr. Coates Preston, a native of Pennsylvania, graduated at the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in March, 1853, and first settled at Sculltown, N.J. In the spring of 1824 he moved to Woodstown, N.J., where he continued to practice until he moved to Chester, succeeding Dr. Dare. In the course of a few years he built up quite a large practice in Chester and the surrounding neighborhood. On account of a serious illness in the winter of 1865, and the consequent feebleness of health which continued through the following spring months, Dr. Preston was induced to take into partnership Dr. H.W. Farrington, but after a few months’ trial of the new relationship the connection was dissolved. Dr. Preston continued his practice, and Dr. Farrington took an office at another place in Chester, but after a few months moved to Beverly, N.J., and since to California. Dr. Preston outlived much of the prejudice and opposition against the new practice which existed among the people in his locality when he first settled in Chester, and firmly established homoeopathy in the respect and confidence of the community on a broad and firm foundation. He removed to Wilmington, Del., in the spring of 1881, and died there on the 9th of August in the same year.

Dr. Davis R. Pratt, a native of Newtown, graduated at the Homoepathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in March, 1816, and practiced in his native place. In 1863 he moved to Philadelphia, and subsequently to Trenton, N.J., where he remained until compelled by ill health to relinquish the duties of the profession. He died of bronchitis on Jan. 28, 1868.

About 1863, Dr. E.D. Miles practiced medicine in Media. Dr. John F. Rose, after serving in the army, at the close of the war of the Rebellion settled in Media, July 1, 1865. Immediately after the death of Dr. Henry Duffield, of Chester County, Dr. Rose moved to that borough in February, 1866.

Dr. Robert P. Mercer graduated at the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania in March, 1861, and in the following month located at Marshalton, Chester Co., Pa. In January, 1863, he was appointed to the entire charge of the medical department of the Chester County almshouse. After discharging the duties of that office on strictly homoeopathic principles for two years, he resigned in 1865, and removed to Wilmington, Del.

In November of the same year (1865), at the solicitation of Dr. Preston, Dr. Mercer moved to Chester, where he is still in successful practice.

Dr. Henry Minton Lewis graduated at the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in March, 1869, and settled in Chester soon after, where he remained for three or four years, when he moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. Dr. Trimble Pratt graduated at the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in March, 1870, and settled in Media the following June.

In addition to the above, there are in Chester in successful practice at the present time Drs. Charles W. Perkins, Samuel Starr, William T. Urie, Frederick Preston, and Franklin Powell; and at Upland, Dr. Isaac Crowthers.

The Homoeopathic Medical Society of Chester and Delaware Counties was organized in October, 1858, by the meeting together of Drs. Duffield, of New London; Hawley, of Phoenixville; Hindman, of Cochranville; Johnson, of Kennett Square; Wood and Jones, of West Chester. It has been in a prosperous condition ever since, having four meetings annually, which are held in January, April, July, and October. Dr. Duffield was its first president. Its present membership is thirty-four.

In addition the following physicians, who have not connected themselves with either the Allopathic or Homoeopathic Medical Societies, are in practice in this county: Charles A. Kish, William F. Campbell, George W. Roney, Samuel C. Burland, Chester; William Calver, Booth’s Corner; Henderson Hayward, Birmingham; Benjamin S. Anderson, Marple; William P. Painter, Darby; Franklin Soper, Ridley Park; William S.S. Gray, Village Green; Lawrence M. Bullock, Upland; Andrew Lindsay, Radnor; John G. Thomas, Newtown; Henry L. Smedley, Media; James Edwards, Springfield. Eliza C. Taylor practices in Marcus Hook, Chester, and Thornbury.

* Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. vii. p. 262.

** Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. vii. p. 539.

*** Note to "Contribution to Medical History," by Dr. Casper Morris, "Pennsylvania Historical Society Memoir," vol. i.

(4*) It may be questioned whether the date given as of Dr Stiddem’s arrival is not erroneous. In the deposition of John Thickpenny (New Haven Colonial Record, vol. 1. p. 106) it is stated that while George Lamberton and the English settlers, who had been expelled from New Jersey by Governor Printz in 1643, were at Tinicum, Printz’s wife and Timothy, the barber (surgeon), strove to get John Woollen drunk by furnishing him a quantity of wine and strong beer, with the intention, while he was intoxicated, of making him say that George Lamberton "had hired the Indians to cut off the Swedes." If the doctor who came with Printz was "Timothy" Stiddem, then he was in New Sweden ten years before the date given in the text, which is the time mentioned by Professor Keen as the probable date of the doctor’s arrival on the Delaware. ("Descendants of Joran Kyn," Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. iii. p. 337.)

(5*) "Documents relating to the, History of the Dutch and Swedish Settlements on Delaware River," vol. xii. p. 424.

(6*) Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. vii. p. 697.

(7*) "Descendants of Joran Kyn," by Professor G.B. Keen, Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. iii. p. 339 (note).

(8*) "Documentary History of New York," Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. v. p. 288.

(9*) Penna. Archives, 2d. series, vol. v. p. 305.

(10*) History of Philadelphia, chap. Lii. (Sunday Dispatch).

(11*) Duke of York’s Book of Laws, p. 20.

(12*) Journal of Voyage to New York in 1679-80; Memoirs of the Long Island Historical Society, vol. i. p. 177.

(13*) "Amasland was first called Amma’s land, A midwife formerly lived at the place where Archer’s farm now is, hence that place, and subsequently the whole tract around it, received the name of Amman’s Land, now Amas Land."Acrelius’ History of New Sweden, p. 204; Record of Upland Court, p. 65.

(14*) Colonial Records, vol. i. p. 429.

(15*) Smith’s "History of Delaware County," p. 465.

(16*) Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. iv. p. 192.

(17*) Martin’s "History of Chester," p. 495.

(18*) History of Chester County, p. 738.

(19*) Penna. Mag. of Hist., vol. ii. p. 59 (note).

(20*) Penna. Archives, 2d series, vol. ii. P. 564.

(21*) History of University of Pennsylvania; Memoirs of Penna. Hist. Soc., vol. iii. p. 197.

(22*) The Medical Reporter, No. vii., April, 1856.

(23*) Pennsylvania Journal, Jan. 14, 1762.

(24*) The book is now in possession of the Delaware County Institute of Science, to whom it was presented by Dr. Allen, of Chester.

(25*) Biographical notice of Dr. William Currie, Hazard’s Register, vol. vi. p. 204.

(26*) Martin’s "History of Chester," p. 145.

(27*) The fullest sketch of Dr. Dick yet published will be found in Thomas Maxwell Potts’ "Centenary Memorial of Jeremiah Carter," p. 75.

(28*) Hazard’s Register, vol. ii. p. 11.

(29*) Dr. McGee was in charge of Military Hospital, Chester, during the illness of Dr. Leconte, 1862.

(30*) From MS. prepared by Walter Williamson, M.D., in possession of his family. (See "Transactions of the World’s Homoeopathic Convention," Philadelphia, 1876.)

Source:  Page(s) 253-267, History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, by Henry Graham Ashmead, Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co. 1884