Early medicine in Dayton

arm

Jesse Green’s memoir, written when he was an elderly man, give us glimpses of life in Dayton in the early days of its settlement. Accidents were always a danger, and not all had as good an outcome at this one:

“Our first physician in Dayton, was a German, whose name I have forgotten, next was Allen H. Howland, Harmon Hurlbut and Peter Schemerhorn, Dr. Howland was also an excellent surgeon whom father [John Green] employed, when he had his arm smashed from the hand to above his elbow, in cutting the ice from a water wheel, other Physicians wanted to amputate his arm, above the elbow but father would not consent to this, and sent for Dr. Howland, notwithstanding they had just passed through a very bitter campaign, in which Wm. Stadden was the regularly nominated candidate for the state Senate and Dr. Howland ran against him as an independent candidate and was defeated. When he called to see father and examined his wound, father made this proposition to him, “if he would save his life and his arm, he would give him five hundred dollars,” and the Dr. said he could do it, and took the case and did do it, and got his five hundred dollars.”1

The second physician in active practice in Ottawa is believed to have been Dr. Allen H. Howland, who came here in 1833 from Saratoga, New York. He had received a good medical education, and for nearly a third of a century enjoyed a large practice. He was something of a politician, and had many enemies as well as numerous friends. He was an able man, and enjoyed the confidence of his fellow citizens. He died in 1866.2


  1. Unpublished memoir of Jesse Green, a transcription of which is in the possession of Candace Wilmot, Urbana, IL
  2. Ottawa: Old and New (Ottawa, Illinois: The Republican-Times,1912-1914), 192

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