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Publication No. 24 

WINTER 1985 

Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37133-0906 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 

Published by the 

President Mrs. Homer Pittard 

Vice President Mr. Steve Brown 

Recording Secretary Mrs. Cathy Goode 

Corresponding Secretary Mrs. Susan Daniel 

Publication Secretary Mr. Walter Hoover 

Treasurer Mrs. Kelly Ray 

DIRECTORS: Mrs. Lalia Lester 

Mr. Jerry Gaither 
Mrs. Judy Lee Green 

Publication No. 24 (Limited Edition - 650 copies) is distributed 
to members of the Society. The annual membership dues is $10.00. 
(Family $11.00) which includes the regular publications and the monthly 
NEWSLETTER to all members. Additional copies of Publication 24 may be 
obtained at $6.00 per copy. 

All correspondence concerning additional copies, contributions to 
future issues, and membership should be addressed to: 

Rutherford County Historical Society 

P.O. Box 906 

Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37133-0906 

Middle Tennessee State Uni>«rs,x> 

•^'"^"^ Urfreesboro. Tennessee 

^ '^^■'/^ FOR SALE 

V , 7 ^: 


The Rutherford County Historical Society 

P.O. Box 906 

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Dedicated to all the physicians 
who have lived these scenes, and 
to those of the future who will 
create theirs 





Chapter Page 



1803-1860 21 

III, THE STATE OF THE MEDICAL ART 1860-1920 .... 71 

1860-1920 87 

V. STATE OF THE MEDICAL ART 1920-1980 172 


1920-1980 189 






INDEX 288 


In the course of the research on this historical 
project, I have drawn certain conclusions and made certain 
assumptions which I deem to be logical and plausible 
explanations of the data at hand. The information has 
been gathered from multiple sources. Prominent in the 
research have been the material obtained at the Tennessee 
State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee; Vander- 
bilt University School of Medicine library, Nashville, 
Tennessee; Meharry Medical School library and archives, 
Nashville, Tennessee; Middle Tennessee State University 
library, Murf reesboro, Tennessee; Linebaugh library, 
Murf reesboro, Tennessee; and the Filson Club library, 
Louisville, Kentucky. Additionally, much valuable 
information has been obtained from members of physicians' 
families through correspondence, telephone conversations, 
and personal interviews. The assimilation of this material 
has not been an easy task; I consider the conclusions to 
be reasonable based upon the extensive analysis of the 
data obtained, although occasional errors may be discerned 
in the findings. 

The history will be presented in five parts. Part I 
will be an introduction and overview of the history of 
medicine in the county; Part II is a collection of 

biographies of nineteenth century physicians who practiced 
here; Part III is a collection of biographies of twentieth 
century physicians who practiced or are practicing here; 
Part IV is a history of Rutherford Hospital (now the Middle 
Tennessee Medical Center); and Part V is a history of the 
Rutherford County Health Department. 

The subject of medical history is intensely interesting 
and stimulating. Like all research projects it seems a 
continuous and never ending task and can frequently be a 
lifetime involvement. I recognize that my effort on this 
subject is at best an imperfect outline of the medical 
history of Rutherford County. However, I present this 
research to all those interested in history with the hope 
that it will prove interesting to the present and future 
generations, and especially to those who have direct or 
indirect involvement in the medical history of this area 
that it may help to preserve to their posterity information 
regarding that involvement. 

Robert G. Ransom, M. D. 
Murf reesboro, Tennessee 
October, 1984 


To list individually all who have helped or encouraged 
me in this research would require pages. Many have been of 
invaluable assistance, but some are preeminent. 

I am grateful to Dr. Robert Jones of the history 
department at Middle Tennessee State University for his 
helpful suggestions and encouragement. 

Mrs. Kelly Ray and Mr. Ernest Johns have encouraged 
the publication of this material from the outset. 

Many physicians' family members have given their time 
unselfishly in correspondence, telephone conversations 
and personal interviews. 

Many busy physicians were interviewed to "tap their 
memory bank." They granted time unhurriedly for this 
project and encouraged me along the way. 

I have received many photographs through the courtesy 
of physicians and descendants of physicians which were 
earmarked for use in the final manuscripts. I thank each 
of them. 

The libraries used in the research were very generous 
with their help and suggestions. Those with restricted 
archival and historical sections welcomed my project and 
granted me unhindered access to their priceless and 
irreplaceable material. 


My thanks to each publisher or copyright holder who 
gave me permission to quote or reproduce their copyrighted 
material . 

Mrs. John Q. Wade offered many helpful suggestions 
during the organization of the manuscript, and typed the 
final manuscript with her usual professional skill. A 
special acknowledgment and thanks is extended to her. 

Throughout all the traveling, interviewing, corre- 
sponding, and researching among the various "medical folk," 
I have only encountered cooperation, interest, encourage- 
ment, and kindness. Their enthusiasm made this work much 

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Margaret. 
Her hours of assistance in reading microfilm, typing, and 
proofreading, as well as her understanding and 
encouragement, were invaluable. 


The physicians who figure historically in the practice 
of medicine in Rutherford County include not only those 
who practiced in Murf reesboro, but also those who practiced 
in the outlying rural communities. Such a list must also 
include the physicians in the neighboring communities of 
our sister counties; Cannon, Coffee, Bedford, Marshall, 
Williamson, Davidson, and Wilson. The physicians who 
practiced in such neighboring communities to Rutherford 
County maintained practices which encompassed both 
counties. Such communities include Cainsville, Norene , 
Vine, and Vesta of Wilson County; Unionville, Rover, 
Deason, Bellbuckle, Wartrace, and Fairfield of Bedford 
County; Beech Grove, Gossburg, and Noah of Coffee County; 
Allisona, College Grove, Kirkland, Triune, and Nolensville 
of Williamson County; Chapel Hill and Holtland of Marshall 
County; Auburntown, Bradyville, Woodbury, Curlee, Porter- 
field, and Readyville in Cannon County; Oneyville, 
Treppardsville, Kimbro, and Antioch in Davidson County 
(Figure 1 ) . 

At the inception of Rutherford County in 1803, few 
doctors were in the area. And the few who were resident 
did not depend on medicine for their living. Few, if any, 
could make a living practicing medicine alone. Too, the 





area was pioneer and primitive, sparsely settled, hardly an 
area for a flourishing medical practice. Medical practice 
was usually combined with another occupation such as 
farming, storekeeping, preaching, teaching, and other forms 
of endeavor. The economy was agrarian; as the century 
progressed more physicians were found in small country 
communities. During the late nineteenth century, virtually 
every rural community in Rutherford County had one or more 
doctors. With the advent of industry and improved 
transportation, the economy became less agrarian and more 
concentrated in the towns and cities with the resulting 
migration of physicians away from the rural communities to 
the more urban. With these gradual changes, the physician's 
medical practice increased and he became a man of medicine 
full time. Too, the improvements in medical knowledge 
improved medical practice. X-rays, laboratory testing 
became available, hospitals built, all concentrating 
medical practice in the town or city. The horse and buggy 
passed into oblivion in favor of the automobile. Home 
calls faded away in favor of medical office or medical 
center care. Let us not yearn for the old, but appreciate 
the new. But let us not forget the old. Much of that 
which is learned today, in its broad aspects, is under- 
standable only when superimposed upon a historical 

background. "The longer you look back, the further you can 
look forward," said Mr. Winston Churchill, when addressing 
the Royal College of Physicians in March, 1944. 


There was no such thing as a "licensed physician" in 

Rutherford County in 1803. There was no law in Tennessee 

which required a practitioner of medicine to be licensed. 

Anyone, regardless of training, could profess to be a healer 

and practice unhindered if he so desired. Those who were 

legitimate practitioners of medicine possessed a knowledge 

of the medical arts. Most were trained by apprenticeship, 

usually two to four years, to a physician who most often 

was himself apprentice-trained. 

Under this arrangement the preceptor provided his 
student with practical experience and such theo- 
retical knowledge as he possessed, and in return 
the student assisted his preceptor in practice, 
performed various chores, and paid him a fee. 
Whether the student was well or poorly trained 
depended on the ability, knowledge, and conscien- 
tiousness of his preceptor . ■'• 

Apprenticeship, then, was the traditional mode of medical 
education that carried over to the frontier. 

At the time of the American Revolution it was esti- 
mated that only 400 of approximately 3500 colonial 
practitioners held the M. D. degree. 2 Prior to the 

Ijohn H. Ellis, Medicine in Kentucky (Lexington, Ky. : 
The University Press of Kentucky, 1977), p. 3. 

^Highlights of 200 Years of American Medicine — No. 1, 
prepared by the American Medical Association, Journal of 
the Tennessee Medical Association , V. 69, No. 3 (1976), 210, 

Revolution a few sons of wealthy parents went abroad for 
formal medical education in the European centers of London 
and Edinburgh. After the Revolution the political climate 
with England was hardly receptive for our students to train 
in their universities, even if students from this new, poor 
and struggling nation could afford a foreign education. So 
apprenticeship was virtually all that was available to a 
young aspiring student of medicine. 

Most of the few physicians, prior to the Revolution, 
who possessed their M. D. were trained at the University of 
Edinburgh. Benjamin Rush and John Morgan were both Edin- 
burgh trained physicians under the great William Cullen. 
In 1765 John Morgan established the first American medical 
school, as an adjunct to the College of Philadelphia. 

By requiring preliminary education for admission to 
what became known as the Medical Department of the 
University of Pennsylvania, Morgan intended to 
elevate the social and professional standing of the 
physician. His overall plan for the school was 
almost immediately successful, and within a-.few 
years, he assembled a full medical faculty. 

Benjamin Rush (famous as a patriot and signer of the Decla- 
ration of Independence) joined the faculty. The influence 
of the University of Pennsylvania and its eminent and 
forceful teachers was profound and of long duration. 

^Ellis, p. 6. 

King's College was founded in New York in 1768, 
Harvard in 1783, Dartmouth in 1797, and the University of 
Maryland in 1807, but the University of Pennsylvania was 
far ahead of these in training new physicians. 

There was no university west of the mountains in 1803. 
Transylvania University Medical School was founded in 
Lexington, Kentucky in 1817. The University of Louisville 
Medical Department was founded in 1837. The University of 
Nashville Medical Department did not open until 1851. Many 
of the apprentice trained physicians, at least those who 
were aspiring, hoped to obtain formal medical education and 
an M. D. degree. Many of them were eventually able to save 
the necessary money to travel to the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, University of Maryland, Transylvania University, or 
the University of Louisville. With two years apprentice- 
ship the physician could enroll at a medical college and 
take two years of course work of from four to seven months 
per year, depending on the school curriculum, and after two 
years of such work, obtain an M. D. degree. 

The preeminent medical school at that time certainly 
was the University of Pennsylvania and the preeminent 
professor and force at the University of Pennsylvania was 
Dr. Benjamin Rush. Therefore, American medical practice in 
the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was 

dominated by the precepts and teachings of Benjamin Rush. 

This man was intelligent, he was active in politics, he was 

a signer of the Declaration of Independence, an ardent 

patriot, activQ in public affairs. His energy seemed 

boundless. He was a prolific medical writer and some of 

his treatises are classics today. His monograph on insanity 

was ahead of its time. Fielding Garrison, the medical 

historian, characterized Rush as 

a man of highly original mind, well read, well 
trained in his profession, an attractive, straight 
forward teacher--sometimes wrong-headed as well as 
strong-headed . ^ 

Rush taught that 

disease, particularly disease manifested by fever, 
was due to the accumulation of a bodily poison that 
exerted its harmful effect by causing a nervous 
constriction of the vessels and to bring about a 
relaxation of the nervous excitement. Elimination 
was promoted by bleeding, administering drugs to 
induce vomiting, purging, sweating, and salivation, 
by drawing the poison to the surface by cupping 
(applying suction cups) and by blistering the skin. 
Calomel was sometimes given in such large doses that 
it caused the hair and the teeth to fall out. Rush 
cautioned his students that in blood-letting nothing 
could be worse than timidity, saying that it was 
frequently desirable to bleed a patient to the 
point of unconsciousness. Even in his obstetrical 
practice. Rush bled his patients, 30 ounces at the 

^Fielding Garrison, History of Medicine (Philadelphia, 
Pa.: W. B. Saunders Co., 1929), p. 379. 

beginning of labor, and at the same time, administering 
purgatives .^ 

Bleeding was produced by an operation which consisted 
in making an opening into a vessel to draw blood from it. 
When practiced on an artery, it was called arteriotomy. 
When practiced on a vein, it was termed phlebotomy or 
venesection. The process of bleeding is referred to some- 
times as blood-letting, venesection, arteriotomy, or wet- 
cupping. Blood-letting was used in the nineteenth century, 
both during the existence of a disease and in the prevention 
of disease. It was employed to fulfill various indications 
among which were (1) to diminish the actual mass of blood, 
(2) to diminish the consistence of the blood. The immedi- 
ate effects of blood-letting were diminution of the mass of 
blood and of heat, retardation of the pulse and sometimes 
syncope. Blood-letting from the veins (venesection or 
phlebotomy) was practiced on the subcutaneous veins of the 
neck, the face, the forearm, the leg, sometimes on those of 
the hand or foot. The necessary apparatus consisted of a 
bandage or riband, a compress of rag, and a lancet. The 
operation of phlebotomy in the limbs was performed by tying 
a circular bandage around the limb, acting as a tourniquet. 
A puncture was then made into the vein and the desired 

^James Bordley III, M. D., and A. McGehee Harvey, M. D. , 
Two Centuries of American Medicine 1776-1976 (Philadelphia, 
Pa.: W. B. Saunders Co., 1976), pp. 34-35. 


quantity allowed to flow. The ligature was then removed 
and a compress and retaining bandage applied. Capillary 
or local blood-letting was also practiced on the skin or 
mucous membranes by means of leeches, the lancet or cupping. 
Cupping is a type of blood letting performed by a scarifi- 
cator and a glass called a cupping glass. The lancets are 
placed in such a manner in the scarificator that when it is 
applied upon the affected part, the whole are by means of 
a spring, pushed suddenly into it. After scarification 
the cupping glass which has been previously exhausted by 
heat or by an exhausting syringe is then applied. The 
pressure of the air within the glass, being thus diminished, 
allows the necessary quantity of blood to be drawn. The 
latter procedure is referred to as wet-cupping. Dry-cupping 
is the application of the glasses without previous scarifi- 
cation. Dry-cupping was used to prevent the activity of 
absorption from any wounded part. Occasionally it was used 
to excite suppuration in abscesses and to remove pus when 
an abscess was opened. Cupping, taken without any epithet 
means the abstraction of blood by means of the scarificator 
and cups . 

Blisters were often used as a counter-irritant. The 
physicians felt that by exciting a disease artificially on 
the surface, he could often remove the effect of a disease 


which might be, at the time, existing internally. The 
blisters were accomplished by applying irritants to the 
skin such as cantharides, mustard, euphorbium, garlic and 
ammonia. It was simply raising a blister on the skin by 
applying irritating chemicals. The physicians thought the 
fluid in the vesicles was drawing out the various "poisons" 

Emetics were felt to be valuable agents in disease. 
They were substances capable of producing vomiting. The 
physicians felt that there was a "sympathy" between the 
stomach and other parts of the body which was very 
extensive; therefore they used emetics to "help" other organs 
in disease. The chief emetics used were antimony and 
potassium tartrate, copper acetate, copper sulfate, ipecac, 
lobelia, and zinc sulfate. Purgatives were used to keep 
the bowels opened, from mild purgation to intense purgation, 
depending on the opinion of the physician as to how 
vigorous he must expel the "poison." Calomel was a 
standard item. This is mercuric chloride and was used as a 
cathartic and diuretic. They liked to use calomel because 
it kept the kidneys opened as well as the bowels and they 
would frequently use it to the point of toxicity which 
would be measured by the degree of ptyalism (salivation). 
When the patient receiving calomel starting salivating a 


great deal, the dosage was usually reduced. The calomel 
also produced swelling of the gums and frequently looseness 
of the teeth. Other purgatives frequently used were senna, 
castor oil, aloe, jalap, magnesia. The specific agent or 
purgation was chosen relative to the desired amount of 
purgation, some being mild, others intermediate, others 

A sinapism was a type of poultice or cataplasm of 
which mustard formed the basis which was used for exciting 
redness and acting as a counter irritant. It was prepared 
by mixing flour 6f mustard and vinegar together to the due 
consistency. It was applied to the soles of the feet of 
patients in coma or on any patient who was exceptionally 
sick or delirious and it was also used on the painful 
parts in rheumatism. 

Some of Rush's contemporaries did not agree with his 
system of medicine and believed that his bleeding and 
purging were excessive but he was such a reknown patriot, 
such a forceful and energetic person, such a prolific 
writer, such a dogmatist, and he had such a large following 
among those who had attended his lectures at the Medical 
College and elsewhere, that his influence was widespread 
and long lasting. Rush's methods continued to be practiced 
with some modifications for several decades after his 


death. The erosion of his system, which came about slowly, 
was attributable to several factors. More students were 
beginning to study in European centers and were learning to 
distrust dogmatism. They brought back fresh new ideas 
about how one disease could be distinguished from another. 
A spirit of critical inquiry was beginning to replace blind 
reliance on authority. Many physicians began to realize 
that some diseases were self-limiting and would run their 
course and subside without the benefit of a physician. 
Also, public antagonism toward the harsh therapy of the 
Rush School made many people reject orthodox physicians and 
turn to quacks and cultists who employed gentler remedies. 
This competition from irregular practitioners forced the 
profession to examine more critically the rationale of its 
therapeutic measures. 

Independent minds were beginning to doubt the efficacy 
of bleeding as it was practiced and to collect statistical 
evidence to determine the question. Skoda in Vienna gave 
a series of pneumonia cases no treatment at all and got 
results as good or better than those who were treated with 
bleeding. Louis in Paris claimed that the influence of 
bleeding in pneumonia was much less than was supposed. 
He studied about 2000 cases and had many post-mortems. He 
applied statistical analysis to his patients comparing the 


effects of treatment by venesection and treatment without 
venesection. He found that there was no statistical 
difference in morbidity or mortality. He made a similar 
extensive study in typhoid fever and he proved the value 
of statistics in medical work. 

We wonder today how people had the fortitude to call 
a doctor knowing that they would have to submit to the 
harsh treatment employed by Rush and his many followers. 
They did so because of the high mortality rate of the 
diseases then prevalent, because the practices were 
advocated by Rush, and because it was commonly believed 
that without medical intervention the natural outcome of 
disease was death. 

The medical problems which physicians faced in 1803 

were much different from those of today. 

Infectious diseases were paramount. The death rate 
among children was appalling. To be convinced of 
this, one has only to walk through a cemetery of the 
mid-nineteenth century and note the graves of those 
who died before reaching their tenth year.° 

Cholera, yellow fever, influenza, pneumonia, diphtheria, 

measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, diarrheal 

diseases, tuberculosis accounted for many of the deaths of 

all age groups. 

^Bordley and Harvey, p. 31. 


Some of these infectious diseases occurred in epi- 
demics, notably cholera, diphtheria, typhus, typhoid fever, 
yellow fever, and small pox. The great epidemics of the 
nineteenth century were, 

to the people of those days, as mysterious as they 

were terrifying. They came stealthily, spread 

relentlessly, and killed without respect for age or 

rank. It must have been obvious to intelligent 

people that the doctors knew neither how to prevent 

disease nor how to cure it. The best medical advice 

was to flee the affected area with all possible 

haste, and this practice was followed by most of 

those possessing the means to do so. The sense of 

helplessness was of course due to ignorance about 

the cause of the disease and about how it was spread; 

the terror of confronting a remorseless, invisible 

enemy . ' 

Syphilis was not uncommon, but the mortality 
from this disease is obscure, since the more serious 
late manifestations were not then recognized. 
Streptococcal infections in the form of erysipelas, 
scarlet fever and childbed fever were common. 
Though nothing is known about the incidence of 
streptococcal and pneumococcal infections of the 
respiratory tract, it may be presumed that it was 
high. Malaria was prevalent in the southern states 
and frequently had serious consequences in spite of 
the availability of quinine. 

Since the causes of infectious diseases were not 
known and since it was difficult to distinguish one 
from another, these diseases were treated in a more 
or less similar manner. There is little doubt that 
in many cases the treatment did more harm than good.^ 

In spite of the limitations, the nineteenth century 

saw the profession gradually improving its knowledge in 

'Bordley and Harvey, p. 31. 
^Bordley and Harvey, p. 34. 


breadth. Certain objective features of disease were known, 
the art of careful observation has been cultivated, many 
empirical remedies had been discovered, the courser 
structure of man's body had been well worked out, and a 
good beginning had been made in the knowledge of how the 
machinery worked. But what disease really was, where it 
was, how it was caused, had not even begun to be discussed 

Empirical discoveries of helpful medications included 
quinine for fever and malaria, digitalis for heart failure, 
colchicine for gout, and opiates for pain. Smallpox 
vaccine became available about 1800. 

Most of the major medical discoveries in the nineteenth 
century were being made in Europe but outstanding dis- 
coveries were made in this country as well. John C. Otto 
of Philadelphia in 1803 wrote the first account of hemo- 
philia in which he described an investigation of a family 
of "bleeders." In 1807 John Starns, of Saratoga County, 
New York was the first to publish an account of the 
physiological effects of ergot in which he reported both 
its ability to stimulate and strengthen uterine contrac- 
tions and its power to constrict small blood vessels. He 
explained how ergot could be utilized to speed up child- 
birth and to control postpartum hemorrhage. His 


observations were soon confirmed by others, and, within a 
short time, ergot was recognized as a valuable drug avail- 
able to obstetricians. Ephraim McDowell, a frontier 
physician of Danville, Kentucky, was the first in the world 
to succeed in removing a diseased ovary in 1809, a remark- 
able achievement in the early days of the nineteenth 
century. In 1811 Elisha North of New London, Connecticut, 
wrote a treatise on a malignant epidemic, commonly called 
spotted fever. This work, based on personal observations 
of more than two hundred patients in a single epidemic, 
gave the first adequate description of cerebral spinal 
fever (meningitis). North was among the first to emphasize 
the importance of the clinical thermometer for the study 
of fever. Laennec laid the foundation of modern clinical 
medicine with his discovery of auscultation and the 
publication of his work on auscultation in 1819. His 
development of the stethoscope ushered in the era of 
physical diagnosis. Laennec ' s book^ is among the eight or 
ten greatest contributions to the science of medicine. In 
1831 chloroform was discovered by Samuel Guthrie, a chemist, 
It was not until 1847 that its anesthetic qualities were 

^R. T. H. Laennec, M. D., A Treatise on the Diseases 
of the Chest (London: T. and G. Underwood, 1821). 


recognized and put to use by James Simpson, Professor of 
obstetrics at Edinburgh. William Beaumont made a great 
contribution by his experiments on the physiology of 
digestion. He .published his classical work in 1833. 
Richard Bright in 1836 opened a new chapter on the relation 
of disease of the kidney to dropsy, Daniel Drake in 1840 
was the first to write a clinical description of "milk 
sickness." During the first half of the eighteenth century 
this disease caused many deaths and much serious illness 
among the frontiersmen of the middle west and actually 
delayed the settlement of that area. A discovery of supreme 
importance occurred at Massachusetts General Hospital, 
October 16, 1846. On that day, William T. Morton, in a 
public operating room, rendered a patient insensible with 
ether and demonstrated the utility of surgical anesthesia. 
The occasion was one of the most memorable in the history 
of medicine. In 1850 Henry Bowditch of Boston introduced 
thoracentesis, drawing off accumulation of fluid in the 
chest. William Reid of Rochester, New York, in a series of 
observations and experiments reported in 1851 and 1855, 
laid down the principals for the reduction of dislocation 
by simple manipulation. His methods were quickly accepted 
and won for him an international reputation. The publica- 
tion in 1858 of the research of Virchow on cellular 


pathology removed the seats of disease from the tissues to 
the individual elements, the cells. 

Although the American discoveries and innovations 
cited contributed to the progress of medicine, these were 
not a part of a broad plan and did not result in the 
creation of a foundation upon which a scientific structure 
could be erected. 

Therefore, this was in sharp contrast with the con- 
sistent and progressive development of clinical diagnosis 
and physiology in France, and of cellular pathology, 
biochemistry, and physiology in Germany. The Europeans 
were creating a firm base for modern medical science, 
while the American contributions (anesthesia excepted) did 
no more than fill in largely by chance, a few gaps in the 
rising structure. 

We must remember that the physicians of earlier times 
were practicing within the framework of medical knowledge 
as it was known at that time. 

When we reflect that physicians of earlier 
times saw the same diseases as we see, were 
possessed of the same five senses, were equally 
earnest and conscientious, and that about the same 
proportion then as now were endowed with common 
sense, it does not seem reasonable to look upon 
them as being so incompetent and impractical as 
often we are disposed to do. 

We have the advantage of living in a period 
when research into the material world has made trite 
for us knowledge which was hidden from them. For 


making our observations we have numerous instruments 
of precision whereas they had to depend on judgment 

Then, as now, speculation and hypothesis 
supplemented exact knowledge. 

Hypotheses are useful but it is important not 
to accept them as demonstrated facts. There is little 
doubt that some of the hypotheses accepted today 
will seem very absurd to the science of the future. 
The fact that a man has adhered to an erroneous 
hypothesis by no means convicts him of being 
incompetent . ^ ^ 

^^B. M. Randolph, M. D., '*rhe Blood Letting Controversy 
in the Nineteenth Century," Annals of Medical History , 
V. 7 (1935), 177. 


When Rutherford County was founded in 1803, appropri- 
ately educated physicians were a rarity, but the stock of 
people who moved into this area were a pioneer breed and 
perfectly willing to take their chances by acting as their 
own physician. They exchanged medical recipes just as they 
exchanged kitchen recipes. They had a recipe for virtually 
every symptom one can imagine. Some were helpful, some 
were not. When one v\7as found to give beneficial results, 
it was shared with neighbors all around, for the pioneer 
spirit dictated that each must help the other. 

Most of the families, who were moving west at the 
turn of the nineteenth century, possessed a medical book 
which gave advice on almost every medical problem. As 
they pushed farther west into the wilderness, medical care 
simply was not available. They acted as their own 
practitioners using such books as a guide. These books 
occasionally were written by physicians and occasionally 
they were written by quacks. One of the v/ell known books 
used in this area was Gunn ' s Domestic Medicine . The book 
discussed in plain language the diseases of men, women and 
children and it contained descriptions of the medical 



roots and herbs of the western and southern country and how 
they were to be used in the cure of diseases. The latter 
book was one of the better written books for this purpose. 
Much superstition pervaded the populace about medical 
illnesses. Many carried a buckeye in their pocket to 
ward off rheumatism. Many would wear a bag of asafetida 
attached to a string about the neck. The asafetida 
supposedly protected against infectious diseases. They 
would frequently use asafetida hung around a baby's neck 
to protect the baby from infectious disease. A bag 
supposedly protected the baby for six months. A man was 
hanged in Murfreesboro in 1813. The rope used for the 
execution was cut up and the small pieces passed out to 
the spectators as talismans against human ills.-'- More 
logically, the people kept on hand a variety of medications 
and herbs with which they would prepare various teas, 
salves, and poultices according to medical recipes col- 
lected by the family over the years. The people frequently 
depended more on their medical recipes than on trained 
doctors. There were also people roaming all over the area 
with absolutely no training in science, pushing themselves 

■'■Carlton C. Sims, Editor, A History of Rutherford 
County (Murfreesboro, TN. : Reprinted by Rutherford County 
Historical Society, 1981), p. 130. 


upon the public as cancer doctors, arthritis doctors, and 
herb doctors, all sorts of quackery. There was no legal 
regulation of any kind to prevent the business of 
charlatans and quacks. 

Surgery was limited to opening abscesses, removing 
foreign bodies, setting fractures, closing cuts. Surgery 
was still in a primitive state. They knew nothing about 
the necessity for cleanliness in surgery. Infections 
were devastating. It was not unusual for the surgeon with 
unwashed hands to suture while he held the scalpel in his 
teeth, frequently keeping the needles and thread fastened 
to his coat lapel. The germ theory was not to be dis- 
covered until the late nineteenth century. 

The earliest physicians in this county were Doctors 
T. Vernon about 1803, James Loudon Armstrong 1809, 
William Ward 1811, Swepson Sims 1811, John Nash Reid 1810, 
James Roane about 1812, Wilson Yandell, W. E. Butler, 
W. T. Henderson, and Elisha B. Clark 1816-17. The dates 
are approximate. These doctors were all trained under 
the apprenticeship. Dr. Wilson Yandell was particularly 
well trained and had three sons who became physicians. 
Then, in the 1820s and early 1830s, included Dr. James 
Maney, Frederick Edward Becton, Isaac C. Brown, Alfred 
Hartwell, P. H. Mitchell, Patrick D. Neilson, George 


Thompson, Henry Holmes Treadway, Samuel Watkins, John 
Robertson Wilson, Lunsford Pitts Yandell, and Benjamin 
Avent. Doctors Armstrong, Sims, and Wilson Yandell were 
still practicing also. 

The early medical practice in Rutherford County could 
be typified by a letter Dr. James Roane wrote to a friend 
who was caring for his cousin in Virginia. The letter 
was written in 1817 and he stated that from the descrip- 
tion the friend had given, his cousin's complaint was 
probably "rheumatic" and he recommended that the friend 
take about a half pint of blood and use a purgative in 
preparation for the following: dissolve one ounce of soda 
in a pint of strong decoction of seneka snake root and 
take two tablespoons, evening and morning in water or in 
some pleasant tea. He also advised wearing a warm plaster 
between the shoulders.^ A part of every therapy for 
virtually every disease was blood letting and purgatives 
and emetics to rid the body of "poisons." 

Dr. Lunsford Pitts Yandell, who started practicing 
in Murfreesboro in 1826, wrote several papers which were 
published in the Transylvania Journal of Medicine . A 

^Letter from Dr. James Roane to David Campbell, 
Abdingdon, VA. , Journal of the Tennessee Medical Associa - 
tion, V. 75 (March, 1982), 225. 


paper entitled "A Case of Purpura Haemorrhagica" was 
published in 1828. The patient had pleurisy and pneumonia 
symptoms. Dr. Yandell used venesection (blood-letting), 
cathartics, and nauseating doses of antimony. It was 
found necessary to repeat the bleeding more than once and 
calomel in 10 grain doses was given for several nights in 
succession followed by saline purgatives the next day. 
He also used blisters and diaphoretic drugs. In due time 
the patient developed severe diarrhea and opium was 
resorted to. Later the patient began to show signs of 
capillary hemorrhage from the mouth, ears and nostrils. 
At that time they administered sulphuric acid and a gargle 
made of borax. In a few days the patient rallied and 
convalesced. Dr. Yandell attributed the bleeding to the 
use of calomel. Dr. Yandell referred in his paper to 
Laennec--ref erring to Laennec ' s observation in pneumonia 
with the cylinder (early stethoscope) and the percussion 
findings in the chest. Dr. Yandell also wrote a paper on 
milk sickness which was published in the Transylvania 
Journal of Medicine in 1828. He described the symptoms 

Lunsford P. Yandell, M. D. , "A Case of Purpura 
Hemorrhagica with Observations," Transylvania Journal of 
Medicine and the Associate Sciences , V. 1 (1828), 237. 

Lunsford P. Yandell, M. D. , "An Essay on Milk- 
sickness," Transylvania Journal of Medicine and Associate 
Sciences , V. 1 (1828), 309. 


very clearly and stated that venesection was not a valuable 
remedy for this particular entity, that cathartics were 
deemed to be the most practical, calomel to be preferred. 
He stated that the bowels must be kept soluble with castor 
oil, salts or senna until complete health is restored. He 
also advised blisters to the abdomen, especially if the 
bleeding and the calomel had not allayed the vomiting. He 
emphasized that it was frequently necessary to cover the 
abdomen with blisters. On the whole, he stated that he 
would rely mainly on venesection, mercury, epispastics 
and effusions of cold water upon the extremities. In the 
last part of the paper, he described the post mortum 
examination of several cases, giving the pathological 
findings . 

The doctors believed that the decomposition of plant 
and animal matter poisoned the air with "marsh miasmata" 
giving rise to disease. The plant decomposition was 
always best effected during the presence of warmth and 
moisture which the physicians felt created rotted vegetable 
matter which in turn contaminated people with various forms 
of bilious disease, and they felt it was especially true 
of areas which were frequently flooded by creeks, streams, 
and rivers which laid down further deposits of decomposing 
matter. Of course, their observations of topography were 


at least partially correct, because in flooding these 
areas, sewage contaminated the marshy areas and the water 
supply was contaminated, therefore resulting in disease. 
But these people did not know of the relationship of 
sanitation to disease. 

Dr. Samuel Hogg, who practiced mostly in Wilson 
County, but who later bought a farm near Smyrna and 
practiced in Rutherford County, wrote a letter to Dr. Samuel 
Brown in which he discussed the history of the autumnal 
fever of the year 1822 as it appeared in Wilson County, 
which undoubtedly appeared in Rutherford County as well. 
An epidemic prevailed that year, during the summer and 
fall. The disease commenced in most cases with a chill, 
pains in the extremities, soreness of all the muscles, 
nausea, diarrhea, and pain in the area of the liver. He 
stated that the skin was sometimes yellow. He described 
the symptoms in minute detail. The patients were 
treated with bleeding, cathartics, emetics, and the "bark" 
(refers to the cinchona bark or similar quinine con- 
taining bark). He used blisters to the region of the 
stomach or liver, calomel was used freely, and opium to 
induce rest. His letter was published by Dr. Samuel 


Brown in the Western Journal of Medical and Physical 
Sciences . 

Murfreesboro was the capital of Tennessee from 1819 
to 1826, a fact which undoubtedly influenced the influx 
of talented and educated people. We were fortunate to 
have in that period of our history a group of physicians 
who were intelligent, honest and well-educated for their 
day. It was they who began a movement to organize a 
state medical society to improve the practice of medicine 
in the state. It was their purpose to federate and 
bring into one compact organization the entire medical 
profession in the state of Tennessee and to unite with 
similar associations in other states with a view to the 
extension of medical knowledge and to the advancement of 
medical science. The movement started in this county 
by a meeting of interested physicians in 1829. We're 
not sure who these physicians were but it stands to 
reason that included in the group were the charter 
members from Rutherford County in the state medical 
association: Doctors James Maney, William R. Rucker, 
Lunsford Pitts Yandell, Frederick E. Becton, and Samuel 
Watkins . There were also undoubtedly other interested 

Samuel Hogg, "A History of the Autumnal Fever of 
the Year 1822," Western Journal of the Medical and 
Physical Sciences , V, 2 (February, 1828), 


physicians, probably from Davidson County and Wilson 
County. It was entirely possible, although we do not 
know, that this meeting was 'held at Oaklands, since 
Dr. James Maney was one of the charter members of the 
Tennessee State Medical Association. As a result of 
this meeting, these doctors petitioned the legislature 
to incorporate a medical society and it passed both 
houses to become law on January 9, 1830, The act empow- 
ered the society to elect a board of censors to issue or 
to refuse a license to practice medicine in the state. 
These board members would examine any prospective 
applicant and decide whether or not he was sufficiently 
trained to practice medicine. The act did not require, 
however, that no one could practice medicine in the state 
of Tennessee without a license. That was a fatal omission 
and was not to be rectified until almost sixty years later 
in 1889. So, even though the organization of a society 
was a step in the right direction, there was no teeth 
in the legislation to control the practice of medicine in 
the state and during that period of time, the state con- 
tinued to be a haven for all manner of quacks and charlatans. 
The society repeatedly petitioned the legislature, unsuc- 
cessfully over many years, to amend the act of incorporation 


to require practitioners to be licensed. The society was 
accused, on the other hand, of being self-serving in its 
desire to control the practice of medicine. The public's 
level of sophistication in such matters was such that it 
mattered little to them whether a doctor was licensed or 
not. Therefore, only a handful of Tennessee doctors 
traveled the necessary horseback miles to be examined by 
the society censors and become licensed. The society 
persisted in its efforts and finally won the legislature's 
cooperation. In 1889, the legislature passed a law which 
required all practitioners of medicine to be licensed. 

At the organizational meeting of the new state 
medical association. Dr. James Roane, son of Governor 
Archibald Roane, was chosen the first president of the 
Medical Society of Tennessee and this gentleman practiced 
in Murfreesboro for four years before he moved to 
Nashville. Dr. Lunsford Pitts Yandell was elected the 
first corresponding secretary of the state medical 
association and he was a practitioner in Murfreesboro from 
1826 to 1831. On the first board of censors was Dr. James 
Maney. Doctors Frederick Becton and Lunsford Pitts 
Yandell were on the committee charged to prepare and 
present a code of medical ethics for the government of 
the members of the society. At the first meeting of the 


society, Dr. Roane, the president, appointed three 
individuals of the society to read essays at the next 
annual meeting in 1831. Of these three. Dr. Becton of 
Murfreesboro was appointed to read an essay on medical 
topography of disease in Rutherford County. The new 
members from Rutherford County elected at the first 
meeting were Doctors Alfred Hartwell, George Thompson, 
John R. Wilson, Henry Holmes Treadway, William D. Gowen, 
Henry Holmes, P. H. Mitchell, William M. Yandell, John 
Claiborne Gooch, William L. Thompson, Thomas H, Read, 
and Lafayette Ezell. Our physicians contributed admirably 
to the development and organization of medicine in this 
state from the outset and to medical education. 

Dr. Lunsford Pitts Yandell was present at the 1831 
meeting of the medical society in Tennessee to which he 
had been elected corresponding secretary. His brother-in- 
law from Murfreesboro, Dr. Frederick Becton, read a paper 
on the medical topography of Rutherford County. There 
were several points in the paper on which the two dis- 
agreed rather pointedly and apparently some unpleasantness 
was exchanged between the two doctors. ° Dr. Becton ' s 

^Phillip M. Hamer, Editor, The Centennial History of 
the Tennessee State Medical Association 1830-1930 , 
(Nashville, TN. : Tennessee State Medical Association, 
1930), p. 37. 


paper which he read at that meeting was published in the 
Transylvania Journal of Medicine and the Associated 
Sciences in 1832. He discussed in the paper the effect 
of the marsh miasmata in causing diseases and expounded 
several theories of his ov/n about how disease was 
produced. He alluded to his observation that inhabitants 
residing near the rivers on the low bank side are usually 
more sickly than those who reside on the bluff side of 
the stream. He referred to greater sickness among people 
who were exposed to vicinities where stagnant water was 
present in ponds or creeks. He referred to the type 
buildings erected by the settlers of the county with 
foundations or bottom logs on or near the ground. Chip 
shavings and debris were left under the floors. The 
sleepers upon which the flooring planks were laid were 
close to the ground and, therefore, the rooms of these 
homes were exposed to the decomposing matter. Additionally, 
garbage was frequently decaying in the yard. He felt the 
buildings should be raised with the dwelling houses and 
kitchens some distance above the ground, removing all 
vegetable substances from beneath the floors and out of 

^Frederick E. Becton, M. D. , "An Essay on the Topo- 
graphy and Diseases of Rutherford County, Tennessee," 
Transylvania Journal of Medicine and the Associate 
Sciences , V. 5 (1832), 20. 


the neighborhood of the yard, and leaving a free space for 
ventilation under the houses. He alluded also to the 
dietetic habits of the people, stating "we in Rutherford 
County generally eat as if for a wager against time, 
swallowing our food mashed, but not masticated, and of 
course, scantily supplied saliva. Instead of applying 
this useful adjuvant in digestion to its proper and 
natural uses, it is spit up with tobacco juice, and the 
food in the stomach must find its way to the coats of 
that viscus floating in strong hot coffee." He treated 
most of the diseases similarly, bleeding freely at the 
beginning and subsequently by giving such doses of tarter 
emetic as would produce free vomiting, and cathartics to 
keep the bowels open. He also freely used cupping and 
leeching as well as applying blisters. 

The cholera epidemic visited Murfreesboro and the 
Middle Tennessee area in 1833. The disease made its 
appearance in June. The weather which had proceeded it 
was intensely hot accompanied by frequent showers of rain. 
The heat continued uninterruptedly for several weeks. 
During this period, the epidemic raged with more or less 
violence throughout the neighboring country. Dr. Henry 
Yandell, a brother to Lunsford Pitts Yandell, wrote an 
account of the epidemic as it appeared in Shelbyville. 


The epidemic covered much of Middle Tennessee and would 

probably typify the conditions of the epidemic in 

Murfreesboro as well. 

At once the whole population seemed to be invaded 
by disease, scarcely an individual being found in 
the place a day or two afterwards who was not more 
or less indisposed. The premonitory diarrhea 
generally preceded the more formidable symptoms but 
its duration usually was brief, if not promptly 
checked. The disease advanced after a few hours to 
its more malignant stage. No class was exempt. 
The wealthy and the poor, the temperant, the 
intemperant, each furnished their share of victims. 
Of the usual symptoms of the disease, vomiting was 
uniformly present. When diarrhea came on simulta- 
neously with this symptom, it rarely failed to 
hurry the patient off in from two to eight hours. 
For the first two days of its prevalence, few who 
died lived beyond eight hours after their attack. 
Out of a population of about 800, we lost thirty 
the first day after its eruption. Its malignancy 
was unabated on the second day, but, as many of 
the citizens had fled, the number of deaths was 
only about 15 or 20. In all, during its continuence, 
one hundred and nine of our citizens perished. It 
lingered in the town for about fourteen days when 
the population returned to their homes, and since 
that time uninterrupted health has prevailed. As 
already remarked, the pestilence spread itself 
throughout the surrounding country, several localities 
being severely afflicted. In some families ten or 
twelve died, and in Bedford County, it is supposed 
that the number of deaths exceeded two hundred and 
twenty. ° 

Dr. Yandell treated the disease with reliance chiefly 

upon calomel. He was governed only by the effects 

^Henry Yandell, M. D. , "An Account of Spasmodic 
Colera, As It Appeared in Shelbyville, Tennessee, in the 
Summer of 1833," Transylvania Journal of Medicine , V. 7 
(1834), 5. 


produced. He stated that the calomel alone seemed 
competent to allay the gastric irritability and check the 
watery passages. The description of the epidemic in 
Shelbyville would certainly correlate with the descrip- 
tion of the epidemic in Murf reesboro. Dr. James Roane 
lost his life in Nashville of cholera in the 1833 epidemic. 
The cholera epidemic visited again in 1835 with similar 
results. Dr. Alfred Hartwell lost his life in that 
epidemic . 

A majority of the physicians in Rutherford County 
joined the Tennessee Medical Society. Dr. George Thompson 
was made one of its censors in 1838. Dr. John Wilson 
participated in the 1838 meeting. Professor Yandell 
returned from Lexington regularly to participate in the 
meetings. Dr. Treadway was appointed to read a medical 

Dr. John W. Richardson was elected president of the 
Tennessee Medical Society in 1849. Dr. Richardson was a 
prominant physician in Rutherford County. He wrote a 
paper which was published in 1842 on the diseases of 
Rutherford County. 9 In his paper he mentioned first 

9john W. Richardson, M. D., "Remarks on the Diseases 
That Appeared in Rutherford County, Tennessee, During the 
Year 1841, and the Winter of 1841-2," Western Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery , V. 6 (1842), 426. 


Dr. John W. Richardson 
Tennessee Medical Association 


intermittent fever, stating that it existed almost continu- 
ally. Measles prevailed extensively during the early part 
of 1841. Whooping cough had prevailed for twelve months. 
Parotitis (mumps) had been in the neighborhood for a year 
and was still prevailing. He stated that it progressed 
remarkably slow, remaining in some families for four and 
even six months. He stated that it was attended with 
more fever and more cerebral disturbance (encephalitis). 
The summer and autumnal diseases were of the usual charac- 
ter with intermitting and remitting fevers. In November, 
an epidemic of influenza commenced. Many cases were 
alarming, so extensive and severe were the bronchial 
inflamation and pain. During the winter there were some 
cases of pleurisy, a good many cases of pneumonia and 
combinations of the two. Tonsillitis visited during the 
winter. He commented that in January an epidemic visited 
which was more unmanageable than any of the former and 
more fatal than all of the whole of them combined. The 
cases he described were those of meningitis. Of those 
who survived, some were left deaf or blind. 

The physicians practicing in the area in the 1840s 
were J. J. Abernathy, Martin W. Armstrong (Milton), 
Benjamin Ward Avent , William T. Baskette, Thomas Crutcher 
Black (Walter Hill), Jonathan Bostick (Triune), James 

Area Physicians During the 1840s 


J. J. Abernathy 
Martin W. Armstrong 

Benjamin Ward Avent 

(Murf reesboro) 
Wm. T. Baskette 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Thomas Crutcher Black 

(Walter Hill) 
Jonathan Bostick 

(Triune ) 
James Hamilton Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 
George D. Crosthwait 

John Claiborne Gooch 

( Smyrna ) 
Samuel R. Gooch 
James W. Gowen 

(Cannon County) 
William D. Gowen 
Samuel Hogg 

( Smyrna) 

Reuben D. Hubbard 
Daniel H. Johnson 
James Maney 

(Murf reesboro) 
Francis J. Manning 

(Fox Camp) 
Robert C. Price 
John W. Richardson 

(Murf reesboro) 
T. L. Rives 

Samuel B. Robison 
Dr. Rogers 
William R. Rucker 
Swepson Sims 
George W. Thompson 
Nimrod Whitefield Thompson 
James Wade 
John M. Watson 
James Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 


Hamilton Charlton, Nimrod W. Thompson, Jonathan C- Gooch, 
George Thompson, James Wade, William R. Rucker, George D. 
Crosthwaite, John M. Watson, James Maney, John W. 
Richardson, Robert C. Price, R. D. Hubbard, Daniel H. 
Johnson, Swepson Sims, F. J. Manning, Samuel B. Robison. 

By virtue, undoubtedly, of Dr. Richardson's position 
in the Tennessee Medical Society, the society convened in 
Murfreesboro for three consecutive years, 1850, 1851, and 
1852. The proceedings of the 1850 meeting follow: 

Murfreesborough, Ten., Wednesday, April 3, 1850. 

The Medical Society of Tennessee convened this 
day, in Odd Fellow's Hall, according tb adjournment, 
being its 21st annual session — the following members 
present : 

John W. Richardson, Rutherford County, Ten. 

L. P. Yandell, Louisville, Ky. 

F. H. Gordon, Lebanon, Ten. 

B. W. Avent, Murfreesborough, Ten. 

R. S. Wendell, Murfreesborough, Ten. 

Thos. C. Black, Murfreesborough, Ten. 

W. R. Rucker, Murfreesborough, Ten. 

The President, Dr. Richardson, called the Society 
to order, and requested the members present to 
re-sign the Constitution. 

The Secretary being absent, on motion. Dr. R. S. 
Wendel was appointed Secretary pro tem. 

On motion of Dr. Yandell the rule requiring 
the nomination of members to lie over one day, was 
suspended, and thereupon the following gentlemen were 
proposed and duly elected members of the Society, 

Dr. J. Abernathy, Dr. G. W. Burton, Dr. P. D. 
McCulloch, of Murfreesborough; Dr. S. H. Woods, 
Dr. L. W. Knight, Dr. D. H. Johnson, Dr. J. B. 
Armstrong, Dr. G. M. Alsup, Dr. W. A. Smith, Dr. L. V. 


Young, of Rutherford Co.; Dr. T. F. Waters, of Smith 
Co.; Dr. Caldwell, of Shelbyville; Dr. C. T. New, of 
Woodbury; Dr. G. L. Robertson, Dr. J. H. Li Hard, of 
Wilson Co.; and Dr. Smith Bowlin, of Bedford Co. 

On motion of Dr. Avent , the following gentlemen 
were appointed a Committee to arrange the order of 
business for to-morrow--Dr . B. W. Avent, Dr. F. H. 
Gordon, Dr. J. J. Abernathy. 

Dr. Gordon offered the following . resolutions , 
which were read, and on motion adopted: 

Resolved, That the long established custom of 
writing medical prescriptions in the Latin Language 
should be abolished; 

Resolved, That Natural Philosophy and Chemistry 
have an intimate connection with Medicine, throwing 
much light upon it, and ought therefore to be 
included among the preliminary studies of Medical 
Students ; 

Resolved, That the chief cause of the common 
complaint of the disrepute and degradation of the 
Medical Profession is to be found in the faulty 
elementary, or office medical education, and that 
the desired elevation of the standards, the qualifi- 
cations and exaltation of the Profession will never 
be accomplished until suitable measures shall be 
adopted to correct the cause; 

On motion, the Society adjourned until 9 o'clock, 
to-morrow morning. 

Thursday Morning, 9 o'clock. 

The Society met pursuant to adjournment. 
Proceedings of last meeting read. 

The Committee appointed at last meeting to 
arrange the order of business for this day, reported 
the following, which on motion, was received and 

1. Reading of Essays. 

2. Report of Cases. 


3. Orator's Address. 

4. Election of Officers. 

5. Motions and Unfinished Business. 

6. Appointments for next Annual Meeting. 

7. Select Place for next Annual Meeting of 

8. President's Address. 

Your Committee would suggest the propriety of 
appointing a reporter to take down the remarks of 
members on such medical subjects as may be discussed. 

B. W. Avent, 
F. H. Gordon, 
J. J. Abernathy, 

On motion, Dr. G. Burton was appointed Reporter. 

The appointments of Delegates to the next 
meeting of the American Medical Association to be 
held in Cincinnati, in May next, being in order, the 
following were duly elected: 

Dr. Kelley and Dr. J. Lindsley, of Nashville; 
Dr. F. H. Gordon, of Lebanon; Dr. J. W. Richardson 
and Dr. L. P. Yandell, of Rutherford Co.; Dr. G. W. 
Burton, Dr. B. W. Avent, and Dr. J. J. Abernathy, of 
Murfreesborough; Dr. Thos . Lipscomb of Shelbyville; 
Dr. R. G. White, of Pulaski; Dr. H. R. Robards , of 
Memphis . 

The Society then proceeded to the regular order 
of business. Dr. J. B. Lindsley appointed at last 
annual meeting to read an Essay on the Medical 
Topography of Davidson County, being absent, was on 
motion fined $10, for delinquency. 

The following gentlemen appointed at last 
meeting to report Cases, were also fined the sum of 
$5 each for delinquency, viz: Dr. J. W. Percy, 
Dr. R. M. Porter, Dr. S. H. Stout, Dr. W. P. Jones, 
Dr. J. G. Barksdale, Dr. George Thompson, Dr. G. A. 
J. Mayfield, Dr. S. S. Mayfield, and Dr. J. S. Parks. 

Dr. Thomas Lipscomb also appointed to report 
cases, excused his absense by letter, but presented 
through the Corresponding Secretary, a paper on 
Apoplexy, which on motion was received and read. 


Dr. Avent read a paper on Traumatic Tetanus, 
which was on motion received. 

On motion the Society adjourned until l| 
o'clock, P. M. 

Thursday, l\ o'clock, P. M. 

Society met pursuant to adjournment. On motion 
the contribution fee was fixed at $2 the present 

The accounts of H. M. Watterson, B, R. McKennie 
& Co. and Dr. W. Taylor amounting to $15, for 
advertising the meeting of the Society, were pre- 
sented, and on motion allowed and ordered to be 
paid by the Treasurer. 

Dr. R. S. Wendell read a case of Intermittent 
Fever, complicated with convulsions, which on motion 
was received. 

Dr. Avent, Corresponding Secretary, read a 
communication from Dr. J. King, declaring his inability 
to attend and deliver the Oration assigned him at the 
last meeting of the Society. On motion a fine of $10 
was imposed. 

Dr. Gordon read a paper on Tetanus caused by 
puncturing a Sarcomatus Tumor, which on motion was 

The President announced as next in order the 
election of Recording Secretary, the other officers 
being elected for the term of two years from last 
meeting; when Dr. R. S. Wendel was on ballot duly 
and constitutionally elected to fill said office. 

Dr. Gordon offered the following which was 

Whereas, The painful intelligence has reached 
this Society of death of our distinguished friend and 
associate. Dr. Benjamin R. Owen, of Lebanon, by 
whose decease, our Society and the Medical Profes- 
sion, have lost one of their brightest ornaments, 


Resolved, That a committee of two be appointed 
to present at our next meeting, suitable testimonials 
of the worth of our friend and the loss sustained by 
his decease. 

The President appointed Drs. Gordon and Lillard 
as committee. 

The President narrated some interesting cases 
showing the value of Enemata of solution of nitrate 
of silver in dysentery. 

On motion of Dr. Burton, it was resolved that 
the President write out a report of the same to be 
published as part of the proceedings. 

The appointments for the next annual meeting 
being in order, the President made the follov/ing — 
Dr. F. H. Gordon, Orator; Dr. J. J. Abernathy, of 
Murf reesborough and Dr. Tho ' s Lipscomb, of 
Shelbyville, to read Essays; and Drs. Avent, 
McCulloch, R. S. Wendel, and Burton, of Murf reesborough, 
Drs. Alsup, Young, Knight, G. Thompson, Crosthwaite, 
W. A. Smith, and Armstrong, of Rutherford Co., 
Dr. Waters of Smith Co., Dr. Robertson of Wilson Co., 
Drs. Barksdale and Caldwell of Shelbyville, Drs. S. S. 
Mayfield and J. S. Park of Franklin, Drs. Percy, 
Buchanan, Cheatham, Kelley, R. Martin, R. C. K. 
Martin, Porter, King, Ford and Winston of Nashville 
to Report Cases. 

Dr. Avent offered the following resolution, 
which was adopted: 

Resolved, That Prof. L. P. Yandell, of the 
University of Louisville, be requested to address 
this Society at its next annual meeting. 

Dr. Avent also offered the following resolution, 
which was adopted-- 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be 
tendered to Stranger's Refuge Lodge, No. 14, I.O.O.F., 
for the use of their Hall during the session of this 

Dr. Avent moved that a Committee of three by 
appointed to prepare the proceedings of this Society 


for publication, which was adopted, and Drs. Avent , 
R. S. Wendel and Burton appointed. On motion, 
the President was added. 

On motion, the President was requested to deliver 
his address in the Methodist E. Church this evening, 
at 7 1-2 .o'clock, and that the public be invited. 

On motion, the Society adjourned until 1st 
Wednesday in April, 1851, to meet at that time in 
Murf reesborough . 


R. S. Wendel, Cor. Secretary. 10 

Dr. Avent ' s presentation on traumatic tetanus 

indicated that physicians recognized that these symptoms 

occurred as a result of a wound. This particular case was 

preceeded by a wound to the foot in which a portion of 

splinter had remained. Dr. Avent described the symptoms 

of tetanus admirably, describing the severe spasms of the 

muscles and stated that when the patient was laid on his 

back, the heels and posterior skull were the only part of 

the patient that would touch the bed. He stated that the 

jaws were not completely locked but were very rigid, and 

swallowing was very difficult so that they were frequently 

prevented from administering either food or medicine. It 

was difficult for the patient to speak. The treatment 

IQ proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Meeting of 
the Tennessee Medical Society, Held at Murf reesborough , 
April, 1850 (Published by the Tennessee Medical Society, 
1850) . 


agreed upon was calomel in small doses, morphine, enemas 
composed of brandy and well prepared gruel to be adminis- 
tered every six hours. The spine should be rubbed with a 
strong volatile linament. Spirits of turpentine and 
castor oil were to be employed as purgatives. The wound 
was opened and the splinter extracted. The morphine was 
the main medication that helped relieve the symptoms of 
spasms. The patient did recover although it required 
several weeks. •'•-'■ 

Dr. Wendell reported a case of fever accompanied by 
gastroenteritis and convulsions in a man of age 35. 
Dr. Wendell bled him freely from the arm which reduced 
his pulse from an initial 120 per minute to nearly 90. 
He then applied a cup to each temple but as their drawing 
seemed to excite a great deal of pain, they were removed 
without obtaining much blood. He gave the patient 15 
grains of calomel and 2 grains of ipecac. He poured cold 
water over his head for some several minutes and he 
sponged the entire surface of the body with cold water 
and directed the family to repeat the calomel and ipecac 
in six hours and continue to use the cold water at 
intervals. On the evening of the same day, Dr. Wendell 

■^■^- Proceedings , April, 1850 , p. 11 


returned and found the patient to have a pulse of about 
100. He repeated the bleeding until the pulse indicated 
some change. He gave him a stimulating enema and 
repeated the enema in one hour. He then administered a 
dose of castor oil. The next morning he continued the use 
of cold water. The patient was given a purgative of 
castor oil and calomel combined which was used twice 
during the day. Later in the day, he was given calomel, 
opium, and ipecac, to be given every three hours until 
ptyalism (salivation) was manifested. Cups were applied 
to the whole length of the spine, both wet and dry, and 
this was followed by a blister on the nape of the neck 
extending up and over the occiput (lower part of the 
posterior skull). The sublingual glands (salivary glands) 
were rubbed with an unguent and a teaspoon of a mixture 
of strichnine and alcohol was ordered three times a day. 
The following day. Dr. Wendell discovered that ptyalism 
had taken place. He then gave him a cathartic of equal 
quantities of castor oil and turpentine. He found the 
pulse to be very weak and the extremities cold. He then 
placed a large blister over the stomach and one on each 
wrist and he dry cupped the whole length of the spine. 
When Dr. Wendell returned in the evening, the patient 
had a severe convulsion following which another enema was 


given. The next day, the patient began to rally and 
improve slowly and in a few weeks, he entirely recovered. -^"^ 

In Dr. Richardson's paper on injections of nitrate of 
silver in dysentery, he advised the use of nitrate of 
silver in an enema to be administered for the relief of 
the diarrhea. He had found that this was especially 
useful in the various dysenteries . ■'-■^ 

It was customary for the president of the society to 

deliver his address to the society as the last item of 

the meeting. In Dr. Richardson's address to the society, 

he admonished the physicians to read and study. He stated 

that the science of medicine had grown wonderfully since 

the apprenticeship and studies of most of the physicians 

practicing at that time and he further stated that the 

intelligent and industrious students have great advantages 

over those who studied medicine twenty, thirty and forty 

years ago. He emphasized that medicine v/as a progressive 

science and by the very nature of things must continue to 

be progressive. I quote from his address: 

If those who studied medicine and commenced 
the practice some thirty or forty years since have 
not read a great deal, they are far behind in the 

^^ Proceedings, April, 1850 , p. 15 
■^-^ Proceedings, April, 1850 , p. 19 


profession. Their old musty books have gone out of 
print, and out of date. ^ 

He further counseled. 

The advantages, then, to the older and younger 
physicians in theii associations are much more 
reciprocal than many, upon first view, will allow; 
for a while the young are benefited by the counsel, 
and practical experience of the old, the latter 
in turn receive much that is new and important 
from the former. ■'■^ 

Undoubtedly the meeting in Murfreesboro was a very 
stimulating educational experience for the local physicians. 
Other physicians in the community became interested in the 
work of the Medical Society of Tennessee and joined the 
society, among whom were Doctors Benjamin Avent, James 
Wendell, Thomas C. Black, J, J. Abernathy, G. W. Burton, 
P. D. McCullough, S. H. Woods, L. W. Knight, D. H. Johnson, 
J. B. Armstrong, G. M. Alsup, W. A. Smith, L. V. Young. 
Many of the physicians were probably stimulated to keep 
better records of cases in anticipation of reporting or 
publishing papers on their particular cases. Dr. Richard- 
son admonished the physicians to keep a diary of 
interesting cases to present to their colleagues. Com- 
municating interesting cases in Dr. Richardson's mind was 

^'^Proceedings, April, 1850, p. 23, 
^^Proceedings, April, 1850, p. 24, 


essential for educational progress. He found medical 
associations to be fine opportunities for doctors to 
present interesting cases to the profession where they 
could be examined, closely criticized and published. 

At the 1850 meeting in Murf reesboro. Dr. J. W. 
Richardson, Dr. Yandell, Dr. G. W. Burton, Dr. B. W. 
Avent, Dr. J. J. Abernathy were all appointed as 
delegates from the Tennessee Medical Association to the 
next meeting of the American Medical Association which 
was to be held in Cincinnati the following May. The 
American Medical Association had been formed in 1847; so, 
early in the history of the national organization, Ruther- 
ford County physicians were active in its proceedings. 

In 1851 the state society again met in Murfreesboro 
at which other Rutherford County physicians became 
members: Doctors Crosthwaite, W. T. Baskette, L. V. 
Young, W. A. Smith, E. D. Wheeler, J. M. Watson, S. B. 
Robinson. Dr. Richardson was still president of the 
society. Dr. Avent presented a paper to the society. 
Doctors McCul lough, Crosthwaite, Young, Knight, Thompson, 
Smith, and Armstrong all read essays. It was observed 
in that meeting that efforts were under way to establish 
a medical school in Tennessee and it was indeed in that 
year that the Medical Department at the University of 


Nashville was established. The society adopted the code 
of ethics established by the American Medical Association. 
That motion was made by Dr. Wendell of Murf reesboro, and 
it was unanimously passed. At the 1851 meeting, Dr. J. M. 
Watson was elected president for the next two years. He 
was a practicing physician in Marf reesboro. Dr. B. W. 
Avent of Murfreesboro was elected vice-president. Dr. R. S. 
Wendell, recording secretary. Dr. E. D. Wneeler, corre- 
sponding secretary, and Dr. J. J. Abarnathy, treasurer. 
That year a clean sweep of the officers of the state 
society was made by Rutherford County physicians. Doctors 
Richardson, Avent, Wheeler, McCullough, Baskette, Wendell, 
Robertson, Knight, Smith, Young, and Black of Rutherford 
County were appointed to report cases for the next 
meeting of 1852 which was also to be held in Murf reesboro. ■'^" 

At the 1851 meeting Dr. Avent read a case of fungus 
cerebri to which he appended the notes of the case treated 
by Dr. J, W. Richardson. ^^ Dr. McCullough reported a case 
of Cupture of the intestines caused by a fall from a horse 

^^"Proceedings of the Medical Society of the State of 
Tennessee," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 1 (1851), 73. 

-"-^B. W. Avent, M. D. , "Fungus Cerebri," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 1 (1851), 65. 


Dr. John M. Watson 
Tennessee Medical Association 
1851- 1853 


and also a case of traumatic tetanus. Dr. Crosthwaite 
reported a case of prolapsus vesicae. Dr. Armstrong 
presented to the museum of the society a rare specimen of 
lumbrici obtained from the liver of a dog. Dr. Young 
read a case of rupture of the uterus on which Dr. Watson 
made some remarks. Dr. Knight read a case of acute mania 
following an attack of bilious fever which elicited some 
remarks from Doctors Baskette and Watson. Dr. Thompson 
reported a case of puerperal convulsions. Dr. Smith 
reported a case of stricture of the bowels. Dr. Armstrong 
reported a case of indigestion accompanied with extreme 

The delegates appointed to the next meeting of the 
American Medical Association included Dr. B. W. Avent of 
Murfreesboro. The society resolved to instruct the dele- 
gates to use their best influence to induce the American 
Medical Association to urge the Congress of the United 
States to appoint a Board of Health for the United States. 
The duty of said board should be to publish the analysis of 
all secret compounds proposed as remedies together with 
the effects which said compounds are calculated to produce 
upon the human system in health and disease. It was 
further resolved that the delegates be instructed to use 
their endeavors to procure from the American Medical 


Association a memorial to the Congress of the United States 
"praying that body not to grant patents for secret 
compounds intended to be used as medicines." 

The society noted with pleasure, not only the efforts 
to organize a medical school in Nashville but also efforts 
to start the publication of the Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery on a regular basis. They recognized 
the educational value of a journal to the local physicians. 

When the Medical Society of Tennessee met in 
Murfreesboro on May 5, 1852, the meeting was held in Odd 
Fellows Hall and Dr. J. M. Watson of Murfreesboro pre- 
sided as president. At that meeting it was resolved that 
in the future a rule of the society would be to open for 
discussion by the members any paper which was read to the 
society, and, after each member had had an opportunity 
to speak, the writer of the paper should have the liberty 
to close the discussion. This represented an excellent 
medium for the exchange of ideas and advancement of educa- 
tion. This same format is used at most medical meetings 
today. Attending the meeting from Rutherford County were 
Doctors W. A. Smith, J. W. Richardson, S. B. Robi son., 
L. W. Knight, B. W. Avent, R. S. Wendell, E. D. Wheeler, 
J. J. Abernathy, W. D. Baskette, and J. M. Watson, W. A. 
Smith, P. D. McCul lough, and Thomas C. Black. 


Dr. Medicus Ransom was admitted as a new member. 

Dr. Richardson read a case of hour glass contraction 
of the uterus. IS Dr. Abernathy read an essay on tetanus. •'-^ 
Dr. Avent read a paper on three cases of urinary calculi 
with the operation of lithotomy on each. 20 Dr. Robison 
reported a case of ovarian inflammation. ^1 Dr. Smith 
reported a case of labor attended with laceration of the 
perineum. 22 The next meeting of the State Medical Society 
was scheduled for Nashville in 1853 and the meeting 
adjourned. The meeting was written up in the Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery and was described as 
unusually interesting in that a much greater interest was 
manifested by the members than from many years past. 
They also said that the meeting was more numerously 

ISjohn W. Richardson, M. D., "Hour Glass Contraction 
of the Uterus," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 3 (1852), 66. 

l^J. J. Abernathy, M. D. , "Essay on Tetanus," 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 3 (1852), 22, 


B. W. Avent, M. D., "Three Cases of Stone in the 

Bladder," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 

V. 3 (1852), 72. 

21s. B. Robison, M. D., "Case of Inflammation of 
Ovaria," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 3 
(1852), 77. 

22w. A. Smith, M. D., "Case of Labor Attended with 
Laceration of Perineum," Nashville Journal of Medicine and 
Surgery , V. 3 (1852), 65. 


attended and that the discussions were considerably more 

animated. -• 

The Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery was in 
its second year of publication. It started its first 
year the same year the medical school was established. It 
should be also noted that Dr. J. M. Watson of Murfreesboro 
had been elected as the head of the Department of 
Obstetrics at the new medical school. 

The Rutherford County Medical Society was organized 
in Murfreesboro on June 1, 1852. Undoubtedly this was due 
to the stimulation of the three consecutive meetings in 
Murfreesboro by the Tennessee State Medical Association 
and the very active participation in the State Medical 
Society of Rutherford County physicians. Doctors B. W. 
Avent, S. B. Robison, J. W. Richardson, Medicus Ransom, 
B. H. Bilbro, R. S. Wendell, J. J. Abernathy, W. T. 
Baskette, L. W. Knight, T. C. Black, W. C. Martin, R. J. 
Powell, G. W. Burke, and H. H. Clayton were the founding 
members. Dr. J. W. Richardson was elected president, 
Dr. J. E. Wendell, vice-president. Dr. E. D. Wheeler, 
recording secretary. Dr. S. B. Robison, corresponding 

23"proceedings of the Twenty-third Annual Session of 
the Medical Society of Tennessee, held at Murf reesborough, 
May, 1852," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery, V. 3 


secretary, and Dr. B. W. Avent , treasurer. The objects of 
the society were stated to be "the discussion of the theory 
and practice of medicine and the collateral sciences." The 
code of ethics, of the recently organized American Medical 
Association was adopted. The meetings were held in May 
and November of each year. Cases were reported and dis- 
cussed and essays read. Many of the essays and case 
reports were published in the Nashville Journal of Medicine 
and Surgery and in other medical periodicals . ^4 

At the November 4, 1852, meeting of the Rutherford 
County Medical Society, Dr. William T. Baskette read a 
paper on cholera infantum. His treatment of the disease 
was the usual emetics, purgatives, and the ubiquitous 
calomel. He advised 

If there be any evidences of cerebral irrita- 
tion, such as delirium, photophobia, heat about 
the head, redness of the eyes, etc., a few leeches 
should be applied to the temples, or a cup or two 
behind the ears, and warm stimulating embrocations 
to the extremities. A towel wrung out of cold 
water may be applied to the head at the same time. 
When there is sufficient subduction of the 
arterial excitement, and no abatement of the head 
symptoms, the whole head ought to be shaved and a 
large blister drawn over it.25 


Hamer, p. 486. 

^^william T. Baskette, M. D., "Cholera Infantum," 
The Southern Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences , 
V. 1 (1853), 82. 


Dr. John W. Richardson was invited to give the com- 
mencement address to the graduates of the University of 
Nashville Medical Department February 24, 1853. He 
expounded on the difficulties in the practice of medicine, 
the great variety of diseases, the necessity for correct 
interpretation of signs and symptoms, the proper choice 
of treatment. He discoursed on many areas of problematical 

. . . it requires immense labor. You had better 
not engage in the practice of medicine at all if 
you do not intend to worship at her altar. You 
must study--read--think--observe closely, or the 
science will suffer in your hands, and the sick 
will suffer more. . . . 

Gentlemen--the science of medicine, properly 
studied, and the practice of medicine, faithfully 
pursued, will give a man more knowledge--do more 
to refine his morals and manners, and secure for 
him more friends and better friends, than any 
other human profession. No other science opens 
such a field for reading and reflection, where a 
man can do so much good, and make so much character. 
Here are cases that challenge the skill of the most 
gifted, objects for his charity, subjects for his 
benevolence, and every inducement that can be 
offered to make a man intelligent, virtuous, and 
happy. ^" 

When the Tennessee Medical Society met in Nashville on 
May 4, 1853, Dr. J. M. Watson presided as president. 

26john W. Richardson, M. D., "The Difficulties and 
Responsibilities of the Physician," Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery , V. 4 (1853), 129. 


Doctors Wendel , Ransom, Abernathy, Avent , Wheeler, Knight 

were present. Dr. Wheeler offered a tribute to the memory 

of Dr. W. A. Smith of Rutherford County who had died since 

the last meeting. The resolution was published with the 

proceedings of the society and a copy transmitted to the 

family of the deceased. ^^ Dr. Medicus Ransom reported a 

case of paralysis.^" Dr. John M. Watson's presidential 

address to the society was an eloquent review of the 

advances in medicine, though perhaps he was a bit complacent 

with the state of the art at that time. 

. . . the chances of new and valuable discoveries 
in the different departments of medicine are far, 
very far, greater than in former ages. And though 
there are many things which will live and perish 
only with the world, yet other important means will 
be discovered. The lancet, the leech, the cupping 
glass, calomel, quinine, tartar emetic cannot be 
superceded. Other medicines may rise and fall, and 
be finally dispensed with, but these cannot. 

But he did, nevertheless, attempt some visionary projections 

into the future. 

. . . more attention will, in all probability, here- 
after be given to the means of preventing (diseases) 

^'^ Transactions of the Tennessee State Medical Society 
at their Twenty-Fourth Annual Session, Convened at 
Nashville, May 4, 1853 (Nashville: J. F. Morgan, 'l853). 

2oM. Ransom, M. D., "Case of Cerebral Disease," The 
Southern Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences , 
V. 1 (1853), 236. 


than of curing them. . . . Hence we may soon look 
out beyond occulists, dentists, lithotomists , for 
pneumatologists , gastrologists , hepatologists , 
spermatologists , and, in short, a name and a doctor 
for every part of the system, whose case and duty 
it shall be to treat the diseases of one particular 
organ in .an open, scientific way. 29 

The professional and educational stimulus of the 
Tennessee Medical Society and the Rutherford County 
Medical Society on the physicians of the county was evident. 
Many papers were reported and published during the decade of 
the 1850s. 

Dr. J. 0. Sharber, who practiced in Versailles, 
reported a case of fatal uterine hemorrhage in a thirty-five 
year old woman. An autopsy was performed and the hemorrhage 
found to be the result of erosion of an artery from cancer 
of the uterus. ^0 

Dr. Taswell S. Smith reported a case of gun shot 
wound of the head. Three wounds were noted by Dr. Smith 
and treated in consultation with Dr. G. W. Burk. The 
wounds were debrided, the integument drawn together and 
retained with adhesive strips. A "nervous stimulant" was 
administered initially, then one grain of calomel was 

^^ Transactions, 1853 , pp. 27-28. 

^^J. O. Sharber, M. D. , "Death from Exterior Uterine 
Hemorrhage," Nashville Jounral of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 4 (1853), 259. 


ordered every hour for six hours followed by saline 
cathartics. On the second day the calomel doses were 
ordered again and pushed to ptyalism, with "the view if 
possible to prevent inflammation and promote absorption." 
The patient recovered. ■^■'- 

Dr . Medicus Ransom, at that time practicing in the 
Salem area, reported two cases of trismus nascentium 
(tetanus of the newborn). Such cases were so uniformly 
fatal that frequently a doctor was not even called to 
attend the infant. Dr. Ransom reported these two cases 
because they both recovered. He had used internal 
chloroform in the treatment of both cases which helped 
relieve the muscle spasms. He also scarified the umbilicus 
(almost always the portal of infection entry) and applied 
poultices to it. He was impressed with the effects of 
chloroform in treatment and encouraged the profession to 
try it. 32 

3lTaswell S. Smith, M. D., "Case of Sun Shot Wound 
of the Brain," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 8 (1855), 495. 

32iyi. Ransom, M. D. , "Cases of Trismus Nascentium," 
The Southern Journal of the Medical and Physical Sciences , 
V. 3 (1855), 21. 


Dr. William T. Baskette reported a case of congenital 
absence of the uterus. 33 

At the Rutherford County Medical Society meeting in 
June, 1856, the society requested Dr. Samuel B. Robison 
to take an account of the births, deaths, and marriages 
in the county for the preceding year. He was the property 
assessor for the county and could, therefore, gather the 
medical statistics when assessing the properties. His 
report covered the year from May 1, 1855, to May 1, 1856. 
He reported to the society at a later meeting. The most 
frequent causes of death were phthisis (tuberculosis), 
scarlatina, cholera infantum, flux, pneumonia, croup, and 
dropsy. The largest number of deaths was from flux, the 
second largest from "unknown causes." Other fatal 
illnesses included meningitis, tetanus, measles, pleurisy, 
child-bed fever, congestive chills, stomatitis, whooping 
cough, fits, old age, cancer, fever, and scrofula. He 
was impressed with the large incidence of flux and 
correlated the disease with the "miasma" emanating from 
the water courses. 34 

33william T. Baskette, M. D. , "A Case of Absence of the 
Uterus in an Adult Female," The Southern Journal of the 
Medical and Physical Sciences , V. 3 (1855), 157. 

34s, B. Robison, M. D., "Statement of the Births and 
Deaths of Rutherford County for One Year," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 13 (1857), 2. 


An interesting case was reported by Dr. Benjamin W. 
Avent describing an operation for tumor in which half the 
lower jaw was removed. Dr. J. J. Abernathy had originally 
removed part of the tumor, but it recurred. At the second 
operation. Dr. Avent listed the doctors present who 
assisted in the operation: Professor Buchanan (of the 
University of Nashville Medical Department), Doctors 
Baskette, Clayton, Robison, Wasson, Richardson, Keyes, 
and Mr. Buchanan, a medical student. Dr. Baskette admin- 
istered cholorform anesthesia. The surgery was described 
in some detail. Cautery and ligation were used to control 
bleeding. The patient recovered at the end of nine weeks. 
I would suggest that the cautery used may have prevented 
some of the inevitable post-operative infection . -^^ 

In 1858 the Rutherford County Medical Society wrote 
the editors of the Nashville Journal of Medicine and 
Surgery as follows: 


Murf reesboro. May, 1858 

Editors Nashville Medical Journal: 

Dear Sirs: At the regular meeting of the 
Rutherford County Medical Society, held in this 

^^B. W. Avent, M. D. , "Resection, With the Disarticu- 
lation of One Half the Inferior Maxilla," Nashville Journal 
of Medicine and Surgery , V. 13 (1857), 27. 


place on yesterday, 6th of May, the following 
resolution was unanimously adopted :-- 

Resolved, That this Society adopt the Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery as its organ, and 
that the Editors of that journal be requested to 
acknowledge the same, and to publish its proceedings, 
with such other matter as the committee may deem 
worthy of publication. 

The undersigned. Committee of Publication, have 
been directed to transmit a copy of the above 
resolution to you, and to request your approval. 

The Society holds its meeting semi-annually. 


B. W. Avent 
T. S. Smith 
L. M. Wasson 

It certainly was a credit to the doctors in the 

Rutherford County Medical Society that the letter was 

published in the Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery 

with an editorial comment which followed the letter: 

We have already privately expressed our willing- 
ness to publish the proceedings of this Society, and 
promise our readers a series of interesting practical 
articles from its members, among others, "On Croup," 
"On Intussusception," "On Veratrium Viride," &c, 
S(C , &c . 

No city in our State possesses an abler Faculty 
than our sister city of Murf reesboro, nor any 
county an abler one than Rutherford, which we think, 
accounts for the fact of the large number of our 
subscribers there. -^^ 

■^^ Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 15 

(1858), 86-87, 


The meeting of the Rutherford County Medical Society 
in May, 1858, must have been an all day affair, for 
several papers were reported and later published. Dr. H. H, 
Clayton reported some cases of trismus nascentium in which 
he used topical applications of chloroform. He used three 
parts of chloroform and nine of whiskey or diluted 
alcohol, sprinkled on a poultice every 20 or 30 minutes 
as long as the spasms lasted. The poultice covered the 
entire abdomen. 37 qj^ , Avent read a paper on the use of 
chloroform in mania. He reported the prompt relief of the 
mania state from the inhalation of chloroform. 38 q^ . T. S. 
Smith reported three cases of pneumonia treated with 
veratrum veride (an alkaloid which reduces blood pressure). 
He also used the usual procedures of bleeding, purging, 
catharsis, and vomiting. He reasoned that the veratrum 
reduced the frequency of the pulse, which was associated 
with a lessening of the heat of the skin, thirst and pain, 
and induction of free perspiration, all of which, he 

37h. H. Clayton, M. D., "The Topical Application of 
Chloroform in Trismus Nascentium," Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surger y , V. 15 (1858). 


B. W. Avent, M.D., "Chloroform in Mania," Nashville 

Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 15 (1858), 188. 


■3 Q 

assumed, reduced the inflammation. ^ Dr. H. W. Winstead, 
of Beech Grove, presented a case of epistaxis (nose bleed) 
which was so profuse the patient, a male child of five, 
almost exsanguinated. He used cold applications to the 
head, face, and back of the neck, gave astringent injections 
blew powdered alum into the nostrils, gave lead and opium, 
resorted to plugging, all to no avail. The patient was 
sinking from the loss of blood when the thought struck 
Dr. Winstead that he had heard (whether from a brother of 
the profession or some old woman he could not recall) that 
bathing the scrotum in cold water would stop hemorrhage of 
the nose. He then obtained a cloth wrung out in cold 
water, completely enveloped the genitals in the cloth, and 
the hemorrhage ceased. Dr. R. S. Wendell reported a 
case of fatal intussusception. The diagnosis was made at 
autopsy. Dr. L. M. Wasson read a paper on pseudo- 
membranous croup. He advised against venesection in this 

^^T. S. Smith, M. D., "Veratrum Veride as an Arterial 
Sedative," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 15 (1858), 195. 

"^Oh. W. Winstead, M. D., "Case of Profuse Epistaxis," 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 15 (1858), 

^•'■R. S. Wendell, M. D., "Case of Intussusception," 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 15 (1858), 


form of croup and relied chiefly on calomel, tartar emetic, 
and nitrate of silver as a local remedy. '^^ 

Dr. Wasson gave an essay on syphilis at the meeting 
of the county . society May 3, 1860.^-^ 

In 1860, by invitation. Dr. Benjamin W. Avent deliv- 
ered the commencement address to the graduating class of 
the Medical Department of the University of Nashville. 
Dr. Avent was very active in state and county societies, 
had written and published several medical papers, and was 
generally respected as an outstanding physician of that 

The doctors obviously relied much on their mutual 
sharing of cases at the medical meetings to arrive at 
more successful and efficient means of treating various 
disorders. The Rutherford County Medical Society had 
regular meetings from its inception in 1852 through 1860. 
It should be noted that an attempt at organizing a medical 
society in Rutherford County occurred in 1848 and Dr. J. J. 

^^L. M. Wasson, M. D., "Pseudo-Membranous Croup," 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 15 (1858), 

43l. M. Wasson, M. D., "An Essay on Syphilis as a 
Cause of Scrofula," Nashville Journal of Medicine and 
Surgery , V. 19 (1860), 101. 


Abernathy was elected its president.'*'^ However, this 
effort apparently failed. The records (minutes) of these 
early years of the society have been lost. 

^^Hamer, p. 136, 


Area Physicians During the 1850s 

J. J. Abernathy 

(Murf reesboro ) 
C. C. Abernathy 
Gideon M. Alsup 

(Falls Creek) 
J. B. Armstrong 

(Cannon County) 
Benjamin Ward Avent 

(Murf reesboro) 
John Baird 

(Wilson County) 
E. T. Barnett (ca. 1855) 

Wm. T. Baskette 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert Parker Bateman 

James M. Bell 

(Versailles 1855) 
John Bella 

(Fox Camp) 
Berryman H. Bilbro 

Samuel P. Black 
Thos. C. Black 

(Walter Hill) 
Robert Blair 

(Falls Creek) 
Jonathan Bostick 

Smith Bowl in 

(Bell Buckle) 
Alexander B. Buchanan 

(La Vergne) 
George W. Burk 

(Falls Creek) 
George W. Burton 
Thomas R, Butler 
Andrew Jackson Charlton 

(La Vergne area 1855) 
Ephraim Charlton 

(Davidson County) 
George Washington Charlton, 

(Davidson Co. ) 
James Hamilton Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 

Joseph Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 
Edwin Childress 

Wm. J. Clark 

H. H. Clayton 

(Murf reesboro) 
George D. Crosthwaite 

Joseph W. Davis 

(Smyrna--La Vergne) 
Preston K. Davis 

(Fox Camp) 
James H. Dickens 

Edward Donoho 

Dabney Ewe 11 

(Coffee County) 
Lafayette Ezell 

(Davidson County) 
Uberdwell Ezell 

Wm. W. Frazar 
John Wesley Gaines 

John Gannaway 

Joseph S, Gentry 

(Chapel Hill) 
John Claiborne Gooch 

( Smyrna ) 
James W. Gowan 

(Cannon County) 
William D. Gowen 

(Cannon County) 
Thomas Graves 

(Marshall County) 
Isaac H. Gray 

(Nolensvil le ) 
Addison P. Grinstead 
Sr. (Treppardsville) 
Allen Hall 



Area Physicians During the 1850s (continued) 

John W. Hall 

(Hall's Hill) 
Reuben D. Hubbard 
(Wilson County) 
Wiley Huff 

William M. Hutton 

John H. Ivie 
M. H. Jackson 
(Versailles ) 
Daniel H. Johnson 
Clement Jordan 

James E. Kendle 

(Versailles ) 
George Currin Kinnard 

(Eagleville area) 
John C. Kirkpatrick 

Lewis W. Knight 

P. G- Leech 

(Cannon County) 
William H. Lytle 
James Maney 

Francis J. Manning 

( Fox Camp ) 
James Edward Manson 

Robert W. Martin 

William C. Martin 
Phillip D. McCullough 
John L. McKnight 
Samuel A. McKnight 
Samuel N. McMinn 

(Wilson County) 
Samuel Caldwell McWhirter 

Jennings Moore 

(Bedford County) 
William N. Moore 
John H. Morgan 


Solomon G. Morton 

(Davidson County) 
George W. Mullins 

Abner W. Nelson 
Joseph H. Nelson 

(La Vergne) 
Charles T. New 

James K. Norton 

(Bedford County) 
James B. Owen 

(Williamson County) 
Benjamin H. Paschall 

(Williamson County) 
D. Pate 

(Williamson County) 
Alex R. Pinkston 

Green L. Poplin 

(Bedford County) 
Robert C. Price 

(Brown's Mill) 
Medicus Ransom 

John W. Richardson 

John H. Robinson 

(Chapel Hill) 
George Whitfield Robertson 

(Big Spring) 
Samuel B. Robison 
William R. Rucker 
Absalom W. Scales 

James Turner Scales 

J. W. Scales 

Mark Hardin Scales 

(Marshall County) 
James Searcy 

(Beech Grove) 
J. Sharber 


Area Physicians During the 1850s (continued) 

Jason B. Sheffield 

(Marshall County) 
D. Shegog 

Walter Sims 

(Wartrace ) 
Robert L. Singleton 

Wm. A. Smith 
Stephen Spain 
John W. Steele 
William D. Stone 

(Bedford County) 
George W. Thompson 

Nimrod Whitefield Thompson 
Samuel Wade 
L. M. Wasson 
John M. Watson 

(Murf reesboro) 

Sam Webb 

(Williamson County) 
James E. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert S. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
E. D, Wheeler 
Augustus H. White 
William H. Wilson 
John A. Wood 

(Cannon County) 
Stephen Henry Woods 
William C. Work 

( Fosterville ) 
Hillary H. Yeargan 

John S. Young 

(Davidson County) 
Lewis V. Young 



During the first half of the nineteenth century, there 
had been rapid progress in physiology, in pathology, in 
histology and the sum of the progress led to a new clinical 
medicine which was the beginning of medicine of the present 
day. With the advent of knowledge in the basic sciences, 
the laboratory became an essential tool of discovery and 
instruction. Germany played a leading role in the new 
development since it was only in Germany that there had 
grown-up a large body of full time scientists. There were 
professional physiologists and professional institutes of 
physiology in Germany. 

Such professional and professional institutes were 
poised to create new vistas in the future of medicine. 
These researchers were rejecting the vain speculation, 
theorizing and dogmatism of the past. Their researches 
were demonstrating that diseases and disorders of human 
function were a logical progression of a pathological 
process. The new emphasis, then, was on pathological 
physiology rather than a purely anatomical approach. The 
efforts in the area of pathological physiology created an 
era of laboratory medicine. Researchers began concen- 
trating on specific areas of medical science such as the 



study of liver disease, experimentally investigating 
pneumonia and kidney and heart diseases. A systematic 
study of temperature change in disease was developed by 
Carl Wunderlich in the 1860s. This study was one of 
pathological physiology at its best. There were many 
other specific studies on other disease states such as 
diabetes, the mobility, secretion, and digestive abilities 
of the stomach, the secretions of the glands, the heart in 
various diseased states. Mickowski made the decisive 
experiment in 1889 which proved that diabetes was due to 
pancreatic disease. Much research was proceeding in 
neurology. Laboratory studies were being developed such 
as tests for blood urea, blood biliruben, blood sugar. The 
use of such laboratory studies in physiology, experimental 
pathology, and pharmacology certainly had a great contri- 
bution to the increase of clinical knowledge, especially 
diagnostic ability. The results, however, were gradual 
rather than dramatic. 

Even though all of this research was opening new doors 
and creating new light and was certainly provoking the 
enthusiasm of scientifically minded physicians, it still 
did not kindle the imagination of the average practitioner 
and the layman. To them, it was not improving their 
knowledge as to the cause of disease and their experience 


in the treatment of disease; so far the pragmatist, 
something of immediate usefulness was desperately needed. 
That dramatic event occurred with the discovery that 
infectious diseases are caused by microorganisms . ■'■ 

It was in August 1857 that Pasteur sent his famous 
paper on lactic acid fermentation to the Lille Scientific 
Society and in December of the same year, he presented to 
the Academy of Sciences, a paper on alcoholic fermentation 
in which he concluded that the conversion of sugar into 
alcohol and carbonic acid is correlavent to a phenomenon 
of life. 2 

Pasteur was early impressed with the analogies 
between fermentation and putrefaction in the 
infectious diseases, and, in 1863 he assured the 
French emperor that his ambition was "to arrive 
at the knowledge of the causes of putrid and 
contagious diseases."^ 

The microscope had revealed a new world. The analogy 

between disease and fermentation urged the suggestion: 

what would be most desirable would be to push these studies 

^Erwin H. Ackernecht, M. D. , A Short History of 
Medicine (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 
1982), pp. 170-174. 

^Rene Vallery-Radot , The Life of Pasteur (New York: 
Doubleday, Page & Company, 1924), p. vii. 

■^Vallery-Radot, p. ix. 


far enough to prepare the road for a serious research into 
the origin of various diseases. If the tiny living 
organisms can produce changes in lactic and alcohol 
fermentation, why should not the same tiny creatures make 
the changes which occur in the body in the putrid and 
suppurative diseases. 

The first outcome of the researches of Pasteur upon 
fermentation and spontaneous generation represented a trans- 
formation in the practice of surgery which has probably 
been one of the greatest boons ever conferred upon 
humanity. It had long been recognized that occasionally a 
wound would heal without the formation of pus but almost 
invariably both spontaneous and operative wounds were 
associated with the development of pus, frequently becoming 
putrid, which we now term an infected wound. With the 
infection the general system became involved and the 
patient frequently died of blood poisoning. This was so 
common, particularly in the old ill-equipped hospitals, in 
the absence of knowledge of sepsis, that many surgeons 
feared to operate.^ The general mortality in all surgical 

'*Sir William Osier, Bart., M. D. , F. R. S., The 
Evolution of Modern Medicine (New Haven, Conn.: Yale 
University Press, 1929), pp. 208-209. 

^Osler, p. 212. 


cases was extremely high. A Young surgeon in Glasgow, 
Dr. Joseph Lister, recognized the value of Pasteur's 
experiments. Lister had done researches on inflammation 
and had been led to suspect that putrefaction was the 
cause of infection of wounds and that the primary cause 
was not merely the gases of the air but something carried 
by the air. Pasteur's work came as a revelation, and he 
deduced that infection in wounds must be analogous to 
putrefaction in wine. Lister then sought for means of 
destroying the organism. He selected carbolic acid as a 
disinfectant, using the antiseptic on wounds, dressings 
and most especially washing hands in antiseptic solution 
prior to surgery. Later, he developed a carbolic acid 
spray to be used in the operating area. At first it 
worked by hand, then by a pump and later by a steam 
apparatus. He first used his antiseptic system in 1865 
in a case of compound fracture of the leg. He published 
his results in 1867, describing eleven cases, nine recov- 
eries of life and limb, one amputation, and one death. 
This was a milestone in the history of surgery. He laid 
the foundation for aseptic surgery. At his death in 1912 

^Douglas Guthrie, M. D., F. R. C. S. Ed., F. R. S. E., 
A History of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pa.: J. B. Lippincott 
Company, 1946), pp. 323-325. 


a eulogy appeared in the Royal College of Surgeons Report: 

His gentle nature, imperturbable temper, 
resolute will, indifference to ridicule, and 
tolerance to hostile criticism combined to make 
him one of the noblest of men. His work will last 
for all time; humanity will bless him evermore and 
his fame will be immortal.' 

Inseparably linked with Pasteur in the creation of the 

science of bacteriology is the work of Robert Koch. Koch's 

first great discovery was his discovery of the anthrax 

bacillus. Koch further developed media to culture bacteria 

and new methods of fixing and staining bacteria that they 

may be studied and identified under the microscope. These 

great improvements in technique enabled Koch in 1879 to 

identify the bacteria causing wound infection. He was 

every inch a pure scientist. He developed scientific 

postulates on the genesis of contagion. These postulates 

were ( 1 ) the organism should be found in each case of the 

disease, (2) it should not be found in other diseases, 

(3) it should be isolated, (4) it should be cultured, 

(5) it should, when inoculated, produce the same disease, 

and (6) it should be recovered from the inoculated animal. 

With the pioneering work of Pasteur, followed by Koch, 

growth of the field of bacteriology exploded. The advances 

in the 1870s and 1880s were breath-taking. A partial list 

^Guthrie, p. 327. 


of diseases whose causative agents were discovered during 
the last decades of the nineteenth century and beginning 
twentieth century illustrates the rapid rate of progress: 
1875 Amoebic Dysentery (Loesch) 

1879 Gonorrhea (Neisser) 

1880 Typhoid Fever (Eberth, Gaffky) 
Leprosy (Hansen) 

Malaria (Laveran) 

1882 Tuberculosis (Koch) 
Glanders (Loeffler) 

1883 Erysipelas (Fehleisen) 
Cholera (Koch) 

1884 Diphtheria (Klebs, Loeffler) 
Tetanus (Nikolaier, Kitasato) 
Pneumonia (Fraenkel) 

1887 Epidemic Meningitis ( Weichselbaum) 

Malta Fever (Bruce) 
1892 Gas Gangrene (Welch) 
1894 Plague (Yersin, Kitasato) 

Botulism (van Ermengem) 
1898 Bacillary Dysentery (Shiga) 

1905 Syphilis (Schaudinn) 

1906 Whooping Cough (Bordet)^ 

^Ackernecht, pp. 178-180 


In the 1890s, it was realized by investigators, 
especially Loeffler and Roux, that a number of diseases 
were caused by organisms so small that they would pass 
through the filters which would retain bacteria. The 
filterable organisms were referred to by the investigators 
as viruses. They were so small they could not be seen 
under the ordinary microscope. A third group of organisms 
occupying a position between the virus and the bacteria 
was identified in the twentieth century and called 
rickettsia. ^ 

With the advent of the research in the field of 
bacteriology, means of prevention of the diseases caused 
by the bacteria was of pressing importance. Research 
efforts were directed toward this, giving rise to the 
new fields of serology and immunology. In 1890 Behring 
developed an effective diphtheria antitoxin which when 
injected neutralized the toxin elaborated by the diphtheria 
organism. Behring was the first to open the door to the 
field of serum therapy, and his discovery considerably 
reduced the mortality from one of the most murderous 
children's diseases. ^^ In 1885 Pasteur devised a rabies 
vaccine . 

^Ackernecht, pp. 180-181 
lOAckernecht, p. 181. 


Although the new knowledge in bacteriology produced 
enormous strides in medicine there was still no effective 
means of preventing many epidemics and the mechanism of 
contagion in these epidemics continued to be a mystery 
until the demonstration of the part played by vectors or 
intermediaries in the transmission of disease. It was 
learned that human carriers were possible. It was also 
recognized that animals could be carriers of parasitic 
organisms and insects were also recognized as vectors. 
Human carriers were recognized as being largely responsible 
for the spread of diphtheria, cholera, meningitis, typhoid 
fever, polimyelitis , and dysentery. It was known that 
dogs carried rabies and certain worms. It was recognized 
that the fly very often transported an infectious organism 
from excrement to food. In 1897 Sir Ronald Ross discov- 
ered that the malaria parasite was carried by the mosquito. 
In 1897 Simond and Ogata showed that fleas carried plaaue. 
In 1901 Walter Reed, Carroll, and Lazear demonstrated that 
yellow fever was carried by the mosquito. In 1909 
Charles Nicolle showed that typhus was transmitted by lice 
which also carried trench fever and relapsing fever. The 
discovery of the carrier opened the way for prevention of • 
contagious diseases. 


Such strides in the field of microbiology were 
responsible for the replacement of the symptomatic and 
empirical treatment of the early nineteenth century by 
the new causal treatment and prevention. For the first 
time, answers could finally be given to the question, 
"What causes disease." The whole of medicine was 
transformed. The field of public health mushroomed and 
surgery was undergoing a complete rejuvenation.^^ 

With the advent of the germ theory and recognition 
of the need for aseptic conditions, coupled with the 
availability of anesthesia and medication for pain, the 
surgeon's field rapidly progressed. Halstead introduced 
the rubber glove and they were used for the first time 
in surgery at JohnsHopkins Hospital in Baltimore, 1890. 
With the advent of asepsis, the surgeons could now enter 
the body cavities without the dreadful fear of certain 
death due to infection. The period of appendectomy was 
opened in 1885. Cholecystectomy was undertaken by J. M. 
Sims in 1878. Repair of hernias, esophagus and stomach 
operations, joints, vetebral column, head, previously 
areas never to be invaded were now accessible to the 
surgeon. The list goes on and on and the techniques were 

l^Ackernecht, pp. 182-184. 


rapidly improved. The procedure of using steam to 
sterilize surgical instruments was developed in 1886 by 
von Bergmann. 

A new era was born. The new era, born of micro- 
biology, initiated the rise of preventive medicine. 

Sir William Osier once called the modern period 
the age of preventative medicine. The truth of this 
statement is obvious once it is realized that the 
great accomplishment of modern medicine--the 
dramatically increased life expectancy in Western 
countries from forty years in 1850 to seventy years 
in 1950 — is due much more to preventive than to 
curative medicine. Miraculous and admirable as the 
new antibiotics, for instance, may be, they have 
never saved nearly as many lives as the rather 
prosaic procedure of pasteurizing milk.^^ 

Certainly the advances in bacteriology emphasize the 

necessity for individual hygiene and public hygiene. Snow 

had already shown that cholera was a water borne disease. 

Budd had also shown that typhoid was a water borne disease 

and these demonstrations were prebacteriological ; so the 

sanitary movement had already begun prior to so many 

discoveries in bacteriology. But bacteriology led to 

unprecedented advances in preventive medicine. 

Direct attack against certain diseases could 
now replace haphazard measures. The incidence of 
typhoid fever and dyphtheria could be rapidly 
reduced through control of the water and milk 
supplies, through control of carriers, and through 

■^^Ackernecht , p. 210 


immunization. After the identification of the 
mosquito as the carrier of yellow fever, William 
Crawford Gorgas, was able to carry out his spec- 
tacularly successful campaigns against yellow fever 
in Cuba and Panama, which won him world fame. 
Parallel discoveries made possible the effective 
control of malaria. The first great campaigns 
against malaria were directed by Sr. Ronald Ross, 
the discoverer of the transmission of malaria by 
mosquitoes. Gorgas, too, played his part in malaria 
control. As a whole the fight against water-borne 
diseases has been more successful than that against 
air-borne diseases . •'■-' 

Improvements in sewage disposal, pure water supplies, 
attention to personal hygiene and hygienic preparation and 
storage of foods received increasing attention. 

The formal education of doctors, however, was lagging 
behind the brilliant discoveries in science. The American 
Medical Association had been founded in 1847 and was 
constantly pushing toward improvement of medical education. 
It fought to establish a code of medical ethics, promoted 
health measures, and generally sought to improve the 
professional status of physicians. The developments in 
medicine itself was the largest force demanding reforms 
and improvements in medical education. The first medical 
school to lead the reform movement was associated with Lind 
University in Chicago (presently Northwestern University). 
In 1859 Lind raised its entrance requirements and 

l^Ackernecht , p. 214 

lengthened its academic year to five months. The school 
received no support in its fight to raise educational 
standards until 1871 when Harvard instituted a three year 
graded course, a nine month academic year, and written and 
oral examinations. Within a few years, Pennsylvania, 
Syracuse and Michigan swung into line. 

Then, in 1893, the Johns Hopkins University School of 
Medicine was established. A remarkable faculty was 
assembled there including William H. Welch, William Osier, 
William S. Halstead and other outstanding professors. 
This university drastically reshaped American medical 
education and set a pattern which persists today. From 
its inception Hopkins required a college degree as a 
prerequisite for admission, provided a four year graded 
curriculum, made extensive use of laboratories for 
teaching purposes, and integrated the hospital and college 
facilities to provide clinical training to advanced 
students. The institution flourished, and, within a few 
years, its students and professors were carrying the 
Hopkins' system to all parts of the United States. 

The Carnegie Foundation employed Abraham Flexner, a 
man who had studied American higher education, to survey 
the field of medical education. Flexner 's report was a 
damning indictment of medical education. In 1904 the AMA 


created a permanent committee on education which two years 
later became the AMA council on medical education. The 
council had begun to classify schools on an A, B, C basis, 
evaluations which played a role in standardizing medical 
education. The Carnegie Foundation brought foundation 
money to the better schools, and, by improving them, 
forced the weaker schools out of business. ^^ 

Another outstanding discovery at the end of the 
nineteenth century was X-rays by Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen. The 
field of radiology was thus born. Originally the X-rays 
were applied only in the diagnosis of fractures and of 
foreign bodies but soon the scope of X-ray examination 
was extended. 

The intravenous infusion of physiological salt solu- 
tion came into use in the 1890s as a result of the 
effective sterilization of needles, tubing and solution. 
This immediately had a dramatic effect on the mortality of 
the various dysenteries which had been attended by severe 

The need for blood transfusions had been recognized 
for years but also was recognized as being unsafe. It was 

^^Albert S. Lyons, M. D. , F. A. C. S., and R. Joseph 
Petrucelli, II, M. D. , Medicine An Illustrated History 
(New York, N.Y. : Harry N. Abrams , Inc., Publishers, 1978), 
pp. 534-537. 


not until 1901 when Landsteiner of Vienna discovered three 
main blood groups. A fourth group was discovered by 
DeCastello and Sturli in 1902. Then in 1909 Jansky of 
Prague defined and designated by letters the four main 
blood groups that we recognize today; A, B, AB, and 0. 
Landsteiner ' s discovery of the blood groups solved the 
riddle of why some transfusions were successful while 
others were fatal . It now became apparent that to avoid 
such reactions, it was necessary to transfuse an individual 
with blood that matched his own blood group. Blood trans- 
fusions were used extensively for the treatment of the 
wounded in World War I but it was not until the latter part 
of the war that the citrate method of anticoagulation was 
sufficiently developed and standardized. Prior to using 
citrate in blood, a common problem was the coagulation of 
blood in the tubing or in the needle. With citrated blood 
the blood could be stored in bottles and administered when 
necessary. The introduction of intravenous fluids and 
blood for transfusion was a giant step forward in the 
treatment of various medical and surgical problems. 

By 1920, the avenue of approach to modern medicine 
was being well paved. The elaboration of the germ theory, 
the development of aseptic surgery, the rise of preventive 
medicine and development of antitoxin, the development of 


intravenous fluids and availability of blood transfusions, 
as well as the advancement in the quality of medical 
education formed the foundation for the enormous strides 
witnessed in the twentieth century. 


The Medical Society of Tennessee met in Murfreesboro 
in 1861. Benjamin Ward Avent was elected its president 
but he had little opportunity to preside over the society 
for the storm clouds of war were gathering. After forty 
years of increasing bitterness and misunderstanding between 
the North and the South a division seemed inevitable. A 
movement for secession of the southern states began in 
1860, and in December of that year the first southern state, 
South Carolina, seceded. In February, 1861, the Confederate 
States of America was formed but there were only seven 
states as members at that time. Tennessee showed little 
enthusiasm for South Carolina's position and remained loyal 
to the union as evidenced by her vote for the constitu- 
tional candidate, John Bell, in 1860, instead of the pro- 
slavery candidate, Breckenridge. Rutherford County also 
cast its vote for Bell. Furthermore, Tennessee did not 
believe that the election of Lincoln was sufficient ground 
for secession, and took the lead in trying to effect a 
compromise. In January, 1861, the Legislature submitted 
the question of secession to the people and the people voted 
against secession, but the firing on Fort Sumter changed 
the situation. On May 6, 1861, the Legislature passed an 
act to organize and equip a provisional force. On the same 


Dr. Benjamin W. Avent 


Tennessee Medical Association 




day, it voted to resubmit the question of secession to the 

people. This time the state voted for secession by over a 

two to one margin. There was an overwhelming vote for 

secession in Rutherford County.-'- Fort Sumter made war 

inevitable and President Lincoln's call for troops revealed 

that war was to be carried into the South. In June 

Tennessee formally withdrew from the Union and was the last 

state to secede. Dr. Avent was appointed by Governor 

Harris as the Surgeon General of the Provisional Army of 

Tennessee, and he continued in that position until 

Tennessee's army was turned over to the Confederacy .2 

An unheralded but vital contribution to the 
Provisional Army of Tennessee was the establishment 
of the Medical Board of Tennessee and the office of 
Surgeon General by Governor Harris. This department 
was considered to be one of the best in the 
South. Under the vigorous leadership of Surgeon 
General B. W. Avent, a solid medical department was 
founded. A tireless worker, Avent assigned surgeons 
to each state regiment and established central 
hospitals throughout Tennessee. ^ 

^Carlton C. Sims, Editor, A History of Rutherford 
County (Murfreesboro, TN. : Reprinted by Rutherford County 
Historical Society, 1981), pp. 41-42. 

^Phillip M. Hamer, Editor, The Centennial History of 
the Tennessee State Medical Association 1830-1930 
(Nashville, TN: Tennessee State Medical Association, 
1930), p. 137. 

^Harris D. Riley, Jr. and Amos Christie, "Deaths and 
Disabilities in the Provisional Army of Tennessee," 
Tennessee Historical Quarterly , V. 43 (1984), 149-150. 


War fever was spreading in the area. A citizen of 
Murfreesboro wired Nashville: "All excited and aroused. 
All united. Secession flag waves over us. All for war."^ 

April 16, .1861 (Beech Grove) 

This has been quite a cold day. The ground is 
completely saturated with water. Crops will be late. 
The war has begun. Fort Sumter was taken last 
Saturday and Major Anderson was taken prisoner. 
There is a general belief that a general war will 
ensue between the sections. Blood has flowed and 
the cry is becoming universal--Give us liberty or 
give us death! The South has our sympathy and when 
she falls we will be found within the ruins and 
rubbish of that, our proud fabric of human liberty.^ 

Rutherford County is said to have furnished more men to 
the cause of the Confederacy than any other county in the 
state in proportion to its population. She furnished 
infantrymen to twenty different regiments and cavalrymen 
to more than a dozen regiments.^ The physicians also 
rushed to the aid of the Confederacy. Thirty-one physicians 
in the area provided their professional services to the 
Confederacy. Nine other individuals fought for the Con- 
federacy who became physicians after the war. Approximately 
one-fourth of the physicians in the area were commissioned 
into the Confederate Army. 

^Sims, p. 42. 

^William M. Hoover, M. D. , diary entry. 

^Sims, p. 94. 


Area Physicians Serving in Civil War 

C. C. Abernathy 

B. W. Avent 


Prov. Army Tenn. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
♦Thomas J. Bennett 
Samuel P. Black 

Ass't. Surgeon 
James N. Bridges 
H. H. Clayton 


(Murf reesboro) 
Robert W. Couch 


♦John James Covington 

(College Grove) 
Benjamin F. Duggan 


( Unionville) 
John N. Dykes 

Thomas J. Elam 

Watson M. Gentry 


(College Grove) 
♦Nathaniel Gooch 
James W. Gowen 


( Auburntown) 
G. W. Harris 


(Walter Hill) 
Robert B. Harris 

♦Henry M. Hearn 

(Woodbury ) 
William M. Hoover 


(Beech Grove) 
♦Robert N. Knox 
Amasa W. Manire 

Ass't. Surgeon 


♦Pleasant H. McBride 
(Beech Grove) 
William H. McCord 

Lyman B. McCrary 


Thomas C. McCrary 

Ass't. Surgeon 

(Bell Buckle) 
Allen p; McCul lough 

Armstrong E. McKnight 


James B. Murfree 


(Murf reesboro) 
♦Robert Owen 

(College Grove) 
John Patterson 

George W. Robinson 


(Big Spring) 
Leonard N. Sanders 

Ass't Surgeon 

Samuel W. Scales 


Ephraim A. Speer 

Ass't Surgeon 

John W. Steele 


Robert F. Tatum 


H. Joseph Warmuth 

Ass't. Surgeon 

( Smyrna ) 
Robert S. Wendel 


(Murf reesboro) 


Area Physicians Serving in Civil War (continued) 

B. N. White 
William Whitson 
♦Thomas W. Wood 

♦Studied medicine after the war. 


Governor Harris offered the Provisional Army of 

Tennessee to Jefferson Davis on July 2, 1861, but the 

transfer of the state army to the Confederacy did not 

begin until July 31. Confederate officers had to travel 

to each camp and outpost of the state troops to muster the 

men into Confederate service. When the Provisional Army 

of Tennessee was transferred to Confederate service, it 

boasted twenty-four regiments, ten artillary batteries, an 

engineer corps, quarter-master corps, a medical department, 

and an ordnance bureau. '^ After Tennessee's army was turned 

over to the Confederacy, Dr. Avent served as a surgeon in 

the Confederate Army and he served successively as medical 

director of the army corps of General A. S. Johnston and of 

General Breckenridge. ° 

No area of Tennessee and probably no equal area 
of the entire South can point to as many finger- 
prints of the war as can Rutherford County. War came 
time and time again, and not only to the doors, but 
to the very firesides and dining tables of Rutherford 
County families. The section west and northwest 
of Murfreesboro bore the brunt of the burden, 
though no area escaped the ravages of war. 

Geographically, Rutherford County is in the 
exact center of the state. For that reason, Murfrees- 
boro and the surrounding county afforded a strategic 
position in the control of the state. Moreover, 
good roads radiated in every direction from the town, 
and the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, a most 

"^Riley, p. 138. 
^Hamer, p. 137. 


vital artery, bisected the county. The eyes of both 
armies were upon Rutherford County. During the late 
summer and fall of 1862, the 'Confederate Army hoped 
to hold the county, and even in the early winter of 
that year when Jefferson Davis, Commander-in-Chief 
of the Confederate Army, visited the army at 
Murfreesboro, the prospects for the reorganized and 
heavily reinforced Confederate Army of Tennessee 
looked rather good. General Braxton Bragg was in 
charge of this army. This was the army that was to 
fight the three-day Battle of Stones River against 
the Union Army of General Rosecrans.^ 

With the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, 

Nashville became vulnerable and was occupied by the Union 

Army. When the Confederates withdrew from the Murfreesboro 

area, the Union forces occupied Murfreesboro in the spring 

of 1862. General Forrest's daring raid in July of 1862 

brought Murfreesboro again into Confederate hands, but the 

Union Army was still massed in the Nashville area, and in 

December, 1862, began to move south toward Murfreesboro, 

setting the stage for the Battle of Stones River. The 

battle began December 31, 1862. 

Provost Marshall John Fitch wrote what he saw 
among the hosts of Union wounded: "Those who 
witnessed surgical operations at the noted brick 
house hospital will never forget those scenes. 
They were the headquarters for cases requiring 
amputation; and, at times, three tables were thus 
in requisition. Human limbs and pieces of flesh 

^Sims, p. 89. 


cast outside the house, through the windows, would 
fill a cart load. The floors ran rivers of blood, 
and the surgeons and attendants resembled butchers 
at work in the shambles. "10 

Many witnesses testified to the uproar in the 
town of Murf reesboro. "Confusion reigns supreme," 
wrote a wound rebel. "Thousands of prisoners and 
wounded without number occupied the town which was 
almost entirely set apart for a hospital for the 
wounded and dying." 

A hospital had been set up in a church visited 
by a young Tennessean who had just been walking 
over part of the battlefield. "Here I saw more 
horrible sights, if possible," he reported, "than 
I had already seen. The groans and cries of 
suffering soldiers rang long in my ears." One 
soldier obviously in agony made a vivid impression, 
insistently calling out to him, begging that he take 
a knife and cut a bullet out of his hand. At last, 
a doctor came up, took out the bullet and dressed 
the wound. 

A lady who went into Murfreesboro in search of 
her son wrote, "On entering town, what a sight met 
my eyes! Prisoners entering every street, ambulances 
bringing in the wounded, every place crowded with 
the dying. The churches were full of wounded, where 
the doctors were amputating legs and arms. "■'■■'■ 

There was not enough room for all the wounded. 
Make-shift hospitals had been established in schools, 
churches, hotels, and homes while in some cases the 
wounded were simply stretched out in the halls or 
on porches and sidewalks. ^^ 

10 James Lee McDonough, Stones River — Bloody Winter in 
Tennessee (Knoxville, TN. : The University of Tennessee 
Press, 1980), p. 158. 

llMcDonough, p. 164. 
^^McDonough, p. 20 3. 


A hospital had been set up in the court house. The 
wounded waited patiently for the overworked doctors to 
examine their wounds. The doctors who remained in 
Murfreesboro undoubtedly were all working feverishly to 
help the wounded. The Confederate Army retreated and 
Murfreesboro remained occupied by Federal troops the 
remainder of the war. 

Before the Battle of Stones River, while the Federals 
were in control of Murfreesboro in 1862, they issued an 
order forbidding anyone to engage in his business or pro- 
fession unless he first took an oath of allegiance to the 
Federal government. Not a lawyer, doctor, merchant, 
undertaker, nor minister of the gospel would subscribe to 
the oath. Mr. Sam Winston, a man of excessive wit and 
humor, commented, "The time has come when a man can't get 
a lawyer to defend his legal rights; a doctor to protect 
his health; a druggest to sell him medicine; an undertaker 
to bury him; nor a preacher to save him from hell." 

Dr. William Baskette was arrested by the Federals for 
treating Confederate soldiers, but was later released by 
Dr. Moses, a Federal surgeon. After the Battle of Stones 

13c. C. Henderson, The Story of Murfreesboro (Murfrees- 
boro, TN.: The News-Banner Publishing Co., 1929), p. 81. 


River, he was employed in Confederate hospitals, made their 
surgeon-in-chief, and remained with the hospitals for about 
six months. When in 1863 he was arrested for the third 
time and sent to Fort McHenry as a prisoner of war, he was 
released on parole, went to Georgia, returned to Tennessee 
with Hood's army hoping to reach his family. Dr. Thomas C. 
Black was also arrested by the Federals and was a prisoner 
in the court house when General Forrest made his raid; he 
was one of the prisoners freed by General Forrest. 

The physicians from the area who were serving the 
Confederate Army had their hands full. These physicians 
were treating battle wounds, certainly, but of even more 
consequence were the diseases which decimated the troops. 
The overwhelming majority of deaths in the Civil War 
resulted from the ravages of disease. Approximately three 
out of every five Union and two out of every three Con- 
federate deaths were caused by illness. There were eruptive 
fevers, measles, scarlet fever, small pox, erysipelas and 
others. Diphtheria appeared irregularly. The so-called 
camp diseases were diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, and 
typhoid fever. Of the contagious diseases, measles was the 
most important from the standpoint of numbers, serious 
complications, and easy communicability . During the early 
months of the war, more disability was caused by measles 


than any other disease, but typhoid fever, along with 

dysentery and malaria, were the leading killer diseases 

in the Civil War. 

An important lesson soon learned in the Civil 
War was that men from rural and up-country districts 
suffered more from disease than did those from an 
urban background. Since most southerners were rural 
residents, they lived in relatively isolated environ- 
ments and, hence, had not been exposed as frequently 
to these diseases. This helps to explain why there 
were so much disease within their ranks. . . . 
Young soldiers from rural areas had not been exposed 
to them and when they were crowded together in the 
usual military environment, then troops became 
fertile candidates for contagious infections. 

Injury on the battlefield and surgery in the hospital 

were followed by dangerous and frequently fatal secondary 

infections. The most feared were erysipelas, pyemia, and 

gangrene. Erysipelas and pyemia are usually caused by 

streprococcal infections and these infections were highly 

fatal. Despite such formidable handicaps, the southern 

surgeons kept at their tasks, working diligently with what 

they had available to help the wounded and sick. 

The medical practitioners of the South gave 
their lives and fortunes to their country, without 
any prospect of military or political fame or 
preferment. They searched the fields and forests 
for remedies; they improvised surgical implements 
from the common instruments of every day life; they 
marched with the armies, rescued the wounded on the 
battlefields, binding up the wounds, and preserving 

■'•'^Riley, p. 146. 


the shattered limbs of their countrymen; through 
four long years [they] opposed their skill and 
untiring energies to the ravages of war and 
pestilence. ■'•^ 

The North had effectively blockaded the South. There- 
fore, medical supplies were very difficult to obtain and 
the medical personnel worked against terrible odds, 
frequently having no medications to ease the suffering of 
the soldiers. Later as the fortunes of the South waned 
and the southern soldier was preyed upon by exhaustion, 
exposure and the effects of an inadequate diet, disease 
became rampant but even the hospitals frequently could not 
provide adequate nutrition. 

A raid against the ravages of disease and 
injury in the southern armies was the Confederate 
Medical Service. ... to the surgeons of the 
medical corps is due the credit of maintaining troops 
in the field. Their tasks were demanding and 
difficult, requiring, in light of the seemingly 
insurmountable obstacles which confronted them, a 
nearly super human effort.^" 

In our nation's history the Civil War was the bloodiest 
conflict. The number of deaths in the Civil War, approxi- 
mately 625,000 men. North and South, is greater than all 
our other wars together. And when we realize that of these 

■^^ James 0. Breeden, Joseph Jones, M. P., Scientist of 
the Old South (Lexington, KY.: The University Press of 
Kentucky, 1975), pp. 228-229. 


Breeden, p. 227 


deaths most were due to illnesses rather than battle 
casualties, it emphasized the need for preventive medicine 
which was to begin its development later in the century and 
be available to lessen the casualties in future wars. 

Dr. J. B. Murfree was the surgeon in charge of a Con- 
federate hospital which had been established on the 
campus of Emory and Henry College in Virginia near Salt- 
ville. He experienced a brush with Champ Ferguson, the 
infamous Confederate guerrilla. There had been a battle 
near Saltville which the Confederates won, and in which 
several prisoners were taken, among whom were many 
wounded who were confined for treatment in Dr. Murfree 's 
hospital. The Federal wounded were placed on the third 
floor of a building, access to which was attained by a 
stairway on either end of the building. The stairways 
were each guarded by a Confederate sentry to prevent 
escape of the Federal prisoner . Champ Ferguson and his 
men rode in one day, hitched their horses, overpowered one 
of the sentries and gained access to the Federal prisoner 
area of the hospital. Champ was looking for a Lieutenant 
Smith for whom he carried a grudge, the exact nature of 
which was never determined. When he located Lieutenant 

■"■^Riley, p. 139, 


Smith, the latter was wounded, lying on a cot but conscious. 
Champ approached him, drew his pistol, told him he was 
going to kill him and shot him through the head. The 
commotion was reported to Dr. Murfree by a nurse. Dr. Murfree 
went immediately to the building and confronted Champ 
Ferguson asking him and his men to leave the area immedi- 
ately, that this was a Confederate hospital for the treat- 
ment of the sick and wounded, and they had no business 
there. Champ threatened to kill him and pulled his 
revolver, aiming it directly at Dr. Murfree' s chest. Fate 
intervened in that one of Champ's own men stepped between 
Champ and Dr. Murfree, prompting Champ to desist in his 
threat, and he left without harming Dr. Murfree. ^^ 

Dr. H. H. Clayton experienced at first hand the horrors 
of Andersonville Prison. He was stationed there as a 
prison surgeon. ^^ Andersonville had been established in 
Georgia as a stockade for Federal prisoners. The Confed- 
eracy at this time was sorely pressed on every side and 
the southern leaders were simply unable to provide for 
such a large number of prisoners. They had tried to 
exchange them with the North but to no avail. Supplies 

l^Thurman Sensing, Champ Ferguson Confeder ate Guerilla 
(Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 1942), 
pp. 178-180. 

l^confederate Patriot Index, V. 1, 1894. Tennessee 
Division United Daughters of the Confederacy. 


were a problem because of the northern blockade. There 

was a shortage of food, clothing, medication, bedding, a 

situation which created the suffering and death experienced 

at the prison.' At the end of the war outraged northerners 

vehemently contended that Andersonville ' s unspeakable 

horrors were the result of a cold-blooded conspiracy by 

leading Confederates to murder helpless prisoners; on the 

other hand, the southern apologists, although fewer in 

number, vociferously countered attributing the suffering 

and death to the prostrate state of the Confederacy. 

The sick in the prison were housed in several 
long sheds. They were two story but were open on 
all sides. Those patients treated here lay upon 
bare boards, or upon such ragged blankets as they 
possessed without any bedding, not even straw. Pits 
designed to serve as latrines had been dug within a 
few feet of the lower floor but were seldom used 
because of neglect and the debilitating effect of 
scurvy, diarrhea, and dysentery. 

Conditions in the hospital were perhaps even 
more distressing. Situated on a five acre site, 
it was plagued by all of the stockade's major 
problems. The water supply, a stream also, had been 
quickly turned into an immense cesspool. The 
ensuing stench was exacerbated by the proximity of 
the stockade, for the marsh into which its filth 
laden stream emptied lay nearby. 

More than two thousand patients and attendants 
had been crowded into this confined area with pre- 
dictable results. There was such a shortage of 
space that many of the sick were forced to pitch 
their tents within a few yards of the stream, even 
that portion used for a privy. Shelter was grossly 
inadequate. In general the patients were poorly 
supplied with old and ragged tents but some of them 


had neither protection against the elements nor 
bunks and lay upon the ground oftentimes without a 
blanket. 20 

Dr. Joseph Jones, Confederate surgeon, was sent to 

Andersonville to study the various diseased states. He 

was outraged by the almost absolute neglect of the 

personal cleanliness of the sick by the prison. An 

extreme shortage of medical officers worsened the plight 

of the sick. The surgeon in charge found it virtually 

impossible to induce physicians to come to Andersonville, 

Jones attributed this situation to a variety of factors: 

The absence of necessary facilities, the 
consequent unsatisfactory results of practice and 
distressing nature of the duty, the remoteness of 
the area, the pressing medical problems in other 
parts of Georgia created by Sherman's invasion, the 
scarcity of physicians in the Confederacy, and 
finally, the nature of the conflict, which tended 
to excite such prejudices as would disincline 
medical officers from voluntarily seeking service 
amongst the captive enemies. Those that did come 
frequently became so thoroughly discouraged that 
they endeavored to get transfers to other fields 
of labor, preferring the hardships and exposures 
of service at the front. Those who braved the 
obstacles and stayed were often unable to perform 
their duties because overwork and exhalations from 
the sick and filth disabled them. This was 
especially true of the surgeons serving in the 
stockades . ^l 


Breeden, pp. 183-184. 

^^Breeden, p. 185 


So, it would appear that Dr. Clayton must have endured 
a very miserable service attending the sick at Anderson- 
ville. Amid such conditions he probably suffered some of 
the diseases himself. 

In a lighter vein Dr. C. C. Abernathy and Dr. John 
Bridges became friends in the service; both were surgeons. 
Dr. Abernathy induced Dr. Bridges to come to Rutherford 
County to practice at the end of the war. While working 
together at a Confederate hospital examining patients' 
wounds, one soldier had a gunshot wound in the knee and 
Dr. Abernathy was examining him for the presence of 
"laudable pus." The doctors judged the seriousness of 
infection by the odor of the pus emitted from the wound. 
A disagreeable odor usually meant the development of 
gangrene, attended by certain death. Dr. Abernathy asked 
Dr. Bridges, who had red hair and a full red beard, to 
examine the wound. When Dr. Bridges bent down to smell 
the wound, his beard was contaminated by the exuding pus 
along with the contaminating maggots which provided some 
humorous relief from the tedious and tense work of 

o 9 

attending the sick. 

The guns fell silent at Appomattox in 1865 and peace 
was restored. This senseless fratricidal struggle 

^^Related by the late Dr. Robert Abernathy, great 
grandson of Dr. C. C. Abernathy, at an interview in 1982. 


resulted in the loss of over 600,000 lives during the war 
itself and untold thousands undoubtedly died later from 
disease or injury incurred during the war which pushed 
the death toll, considerably higher. Allan Nevins has 
written, "We lost not only those men, but their children, 
and their children's children. We have lost the books 
they might have written, the scientific discoveries they 
might have made, the inventions they might have perfected. 
Such a loss defies measurement . "^-^ 

At the war's end the Rutherford County physicians and 
area physicians returned to their homes to pick up the 
pieces and try to start anew, but some were permanently 
scarred from the ravages of disease and some were not to 
return. Dr. George Whitfield Robinson, who practiced in 
Big Spring, served as a captain in the war. He was 
wounded and captured but not imprisoned. He helped in the 
enemy hospital. His wound became infected and he died 
in 1863 in Kentucky. His body was brought as far as 
Lebanon under military escort, then turned over to his 
wife who brought him home in a wagon and buried him in 
the family cemetery. ^4 

2-^Allen Nevins, "The Glorious and the Terrible," 
Saturday Review , V. 44 (September 2, 1961), 46-47. 

^^Margaret M. Powell, "Big Springs," Rutherford 
County Historical Society, Publication No. 22 (Winter, 
1984), p. 37. 


When the Civil War had dragged out its years of 
destruction of human life and property, and Tennessee 
found herself still a state of the United States and 
not of the Confederacy, the physicians of the state, 
many of whom had given four years of their life to 
military service, took up again the work of organiz- 
ing their profession into an instrument that would 
serve both them and their public. ^^ 

Dr. B. W. Avent, president of the state society at 
the beginning of the war, resumed his practice in Murfrees- 
boro at the end of the war. He issued a call to the 
Medical Society of Tennessee to meet in Nashville April, 
1866. Reorganization of the medical society thus began. 
The state medical society called for the reorganization of 
the local medical societies that medicine might once again 
continue its organized work. The Rutherford County Medical 
Society must have reorganized soon after the end of the 
war. Dr. John W. Richardson gave a paper before the 
Rutherford County Medical Society on May 2, 1867. The 
paper is interesting because it shows the advancement in 
medical thinking toward treatment of disease. Dr. Richard- 
son's paper was entitled "Indications for Stimulants"; he 
emphasized the importance of using such medication as a 
stimulant to the various systems of the body along with 
anodynes for the relief of pain and adequate nutrition, 

25Hamer, p. 73. 


all of which should support the patient in disease to a 

much better extent than the older means of therapy. 

When I was an office student, (More than 
thirty-five years ago) , I was often sent around by 
my Preceptor to visit his patients, with a standing 
order to bleed those who had fever, provided they 
had not already been bled; and if they had been 
bled, the fever still being high, to bleed them 
again. Did it cure them? It did not. Did it 
relieve--break up the fever? I think not. Well, 
what did it do? It "weakened" them--sometimes very 
much; and the theory was, by this kind of treatment 
you lessened the chances of inflammation. How then 
did we proceed? We bled, puked, purged, and 
starved our fever patients, and all others with 
phlegmasiae and local inflammations, until they 
looked like they would die from debility, poverty 
and exhaustion. When coming to the conclusion that 
there was no danger now of exciting inflammation, 
and knowing not what other medicines to give, we 
commenced with wine, barks, bitter tonics, mineral 
acids, and something to eat, when they began to 
improve, unless they had been run so far down that 
stimulants would have no effect. 

I will not say to you, "Don't bleed at all," 
but I do say, "When the skin is pale, circulation 
weakened and the patient nearly exhausted, try the 
other plan. I guess you will never repent it." 

Dr. Richardson discussed in the paper the treatment of 

convulsions, the treatment of pain, of certain nervous 

diseases and fevers, and said, "Give them stimulants and 

nourishing diet and make them sleep; if these don't save 

them, nothing will." He commented in the paper that most 

of the physicians had abandoned the practice of bleeding 

in patients with fever since about 1844 or 1845 but certain 

other types of illnesses apparently continued to be 

treated by bleeding. He further discourses: 


And whereas, the rule of thirty-five years ago 
was to bleed, puke, purge and starve — the rule now 
is to feed your patients, puke them only when you 
want to empty the stomach of some offending matter-- 
purge them only so as to obviate fullness and 
constipation of the intestinal canal, and give them 
stimulants and anodynes as medicine. Prostration 
attends our fevers from the beginning. I ask, is 
it good treatment, to further debilitate a patient 
who has already great lassitude and cannot be kept 
in an erect posture without syncope?^^ 

The Tennessee Medical Society met in convention in 
Nashville in April, 1868. The president. Dr. Lipscombf 
appointed Dr. John W. Richardson, Dr. C. C. Abernathy, and 
Dr. B. W. Avent to be among the eighteen delegates from 
the Tennessee society to the American Medical Association 
which was to be held in Washington, D. C, in May, 1868.27 

Dr. Samuel B. Robison read a paper before the Ruther- 
ford County Medical Society in 1869 on cholera infantum 
in which he describes the symptoms of the disease and the 
treatment, once again resorting to the ubiquitous calomel 
as recommended treatment in combination with ipecac. His 
reasoning for the use of calomel was to stimulate the liver, 

During the unchecked violence of the disease, 
all food taken is either ejected by the stomach, or 
passes through the bowels in a short time totally 

26john W. Richardson, M. D. , "Indications for 
Stimulants," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 3 (1868), 65. 

27iiTennessee Medical Society Proceedings," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 3 (1868), 479. 


undigested, having undergone no other change than 
that of extreme acidulation. These facts are 
demonstrable in almost all cases of the disease. 
Now, I would ask the question: If the liver is 
acting at all, why is there not some bile in the 
stools? And if the fact is apparent that the liver 
is not acting, then the question arises, has the 
diseased state of the bowels suspended the action 
of the liver? If not, may we not readily conclude 
that a suspension of the liver's action has become 
the prime cause of the derangement of the bowels? 
From this fact, of itself, that a restoration of the 
biliary secretion relieves all the derangement of 
the bowels. With this array of facts before us, 
the only rational plan of treatment is plainly 
suggested; bringing about a healthy action in the 
liver, and the disease is at once arrested. 2° 

He used the calomel in doses sufficient to produce 
bilious discharges, so it would seem that although new 
insights were developing in therepeutic medicine, some old 
ideas stubbornly held their place. 

The controversies centered around venesection 
stimulated debates at meetings as well as in the scientific 
literature. Dr. C. C. Abernathy, who formerly practiced 
in Murfreesboro but who was a native of Giles County and 
practiced there most of his professional career, submitted 
an article on blood-letting for publication in 1871. It 
was read before the Tennessee State Medical Society that 
year. It was his opinion that venesection still had its 
place in the therapy of disease. 

28samuel B. Robison, M. D. "Cholera Infantum," 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 4 (1869), 


Twenty-five years ago an argument in support 
of venesection as a potent and efficient remedial 
agent would have been regarded by the majority 
of the profession a work of supererogation. 

Now however, what was then esteemed as 
"principies remedia" in the reduction of inflama- 
tion, is discarded by a large and respectable 
number of the profession, and has the seal of 
condemnation stamped upon it. Into such disrepute 
has it fallen, that he who advocates it hazards 
the risk of being branded as old fogy, or esteemed 
a plodder in his chosen profession. . . . 

I regard the almost general abandonment of 
the lancet as a great public calamity. I believe 
that untold numbers of precious lives have been 
lost for want of timely and judicious blood- 
letting, and myriads more are doomed to fill 
premature graves unless we retrace our steps and 
start anew in the right direction. 

He suggested the profession should imitate the 

examples of Armstrong, Eberle, Chapman, Stokes, Physic, 

Wood and other great "lights" in the profession (late 

eighteenth century and early nineteenth century 

physicians who were prominent as medical educators and 

advocated the lancet). He also referred to the work of 

Austin Flint (one of the pioneers in physical diagnosis 

of heart disease) and others who opposed venesection. 

Dr. Abernathy further discoursed: 

Our physical surroundings change, and men 
change, but principles are immutable. If vene- 
section was ever right, it is right now. The 
greatest men of the world have advocated and 
practiced it. Let us see if they were right. 
Under what circumstances is venesection indicated? 


Area Physicians During the 1860s 

J. J. Abernathy 

(Murf reesboro) 
James E. Arnette 

(Cannon County) 
Edward Austin ■ 

Benjamin Ward Avent . 

(Murf reesboro) 
John Baird 

(Murf reesboro) 
Wm. T. Baskette 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. K. Bedford 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. H. Bilbro 

Jesse Bivins 

(Murf reesboro) 
Samuel P. Black 
Thos. C, Black 

(Walter Hill) 
Jonathan Bostick 

( Triune ) 
Thomas King Bostick 

Smith Bowlin 

(Bell Buckle) 
Alexander B. Buchanan 

(La Vergne) 
William G. Burrows 

(or Burrus) 
Dr. Chamberlain 

(La Vergne) 
Marion Chandler 
Ephraim Charlton 

(Davidson County) 
George Washington Charlton, 

(La Vergne) 
James Hamilton Charlton 
Joseph Charlton 
Edwin Childress 

W. F, Chrisman 

John W. Clary 

(Unionville ) 

Henry Huey Clayton 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Walter Preston Coleman 

(La Vergne) 
Wm. Cowden Cook 

(Murf reesboro) 
John B. Copeland 

Joseph W. Davis 

(Smyrna — La Vergne) 
James H. Dickens 

Thomas J. Elam 
John S. Fletcher 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. R. Freeman 

(Murf reesboro) 
John Wesley Gaines 

( Antioch) 
John Gannaway 

Watson Meredith Gentry 

(College Grove) 
James W. Gowen 

( Auburntown) 
Elias Tidwell Gray 

(Versailles ) 
Isaac H. Gray 

Addison P. Grinstead 

(Treppardsville ) 
C. W. Hale 

(Cannon County) 
John W. Hall 

(Hall's Hill) 
Robert B. Harris 
Jr. (Jefferson) 
Joseph Hase 
Eugene Henderson 
A. A. Hendrix 

(Murf reesboro) 
William Murphree Hoover 

(Beech Grove) 
Ruben D. Hubbard 



Area Physicians During the 1860s (continued) 

William Hughes 

(Bell Buckle) 
William M. Button 

R. W. January., Sr. 
Clement Jordan 

J. W. King 

Lewis W. Knight 
William H. Lytle 

James Maney 

Amasa W. Manire 

Phillip H. Manier 

James Edward Manson 

J. H. Martin 
Robert W. Martin 

William C. Martin 
Wm. Harrison McCord 

Lyman Beecher McCrary 

(Woodbury ) 
Thomas Chapman McCrary 

(Bell Buckle) 
Allen Posey McCullough 

(Marshall County) 
Armstrong Eagleton McKnight 

Joseph M. McLean 
George W. McWhirter 

( Auburntown ) 
E. S. Milton 

( Fosterville) 
John H. Morgan 

James B. Murfree, Sr. 

Joseph B. Muse 

Joseph H. Nelson 

( La Vergne ) 

Samuel. B- Nelson 

(La Vergne) 
Charles T. New 

G. Osborn, Jr. 

John Patterson 
Wm. Squires Posey 
Medicus Ransom 
J. Ransom 

(Versailles ) 
John W. Richardson 
Thomas Skidmore Richardson 

Wm. Temple Richardson 
John R. Rickman 

(Wilson County) 
Higdon J. Robertson 

George Whitfield Robinson 

(Big Spring) 
Samuel B. Robison 
William R, Rucker 
Leonard Newton Sanders 
James Searcy 

(Beech Grove) 
Henry Shacklet 

(Davidson County) 
J. Sharber 

(Versailles ) 
Robert G. Shaw 

(Bedford County) 
Walter Sims 

Robert Smith 

(Davidson County) 
Taswell Sidney Smith 

John B. Snel lings 

(Wartrace ) 
John M. Stenson 

(Bell Buckle) 
A. Stoville 

( Beech Grove ) 
Charles Finley Sutton 

(Bell Buckle) 


Area Physicians During the 1860s (continued) 

Robert Fountain Tatum, Sr. 

(Woodbury ) 
Edmund J. Taylor 

Nimrod Whitefield Thompson 
Sam W. Thompson 

James R. Turner 

(Marshall County) 
Henry Joseph Warmuth 

( Smyrna ) 
L. V. Warren 
L. M. Wasson 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. L, Webb 
Sam Webb 

(Williamson County) 
James Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert S. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 

E. D. Wheeler 

( Murf reesboro ) 
T. D. Whitaker 

(Marshall County) 
John J. White 

(Davidson County) 
Samuel K. Whitson 

William Whitson 

( Fosterville ) 
H. R. Williams 

(La Vergne) 
Harrison Whitfield Winstead 

(Nolensville ) 
A. T. Wood 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Stephen Henry Woods 

William C. Work 

( Fosterville ) 
Hillary H. Yeargan 


When those organs or tissues most essential to 
life have become the seat of active inflammation 
or congestion. In what way does blood-letting 
relieve inflammation? First, by reducing the 
force of the heart's action. Second, by relieving 
the turgescence of the bloodvessels of the 
inflamed part. Third, by diminishing the fibrine, 
which is largely increased beyond its normal 
proportion to the other constituents of the blood. 
Fourth, by exciting the action of the absorbents, 
and thereby removing the morbid products of the 
inflammation. Fifth, and lastly, by stimulating 
indirectly, the depressed nerve centres to resume 
their natural control of the system at large. 

He believed that the withdrawal of blood promoted 
the removal by absorption of "morbid" products which were 
detrimental to life, especially the products of inflamma- 
tion. He pointed to the fact that in pleuritis (pleurisy), 
a very painful condition, venesection relieved the pain 
and allowed the patient to breathe more freely. He also 
observed that venesection was helpful in certain types of 
fever. He concluded: 

The opprobium which rests upon it is neither 
sustained by convincing argument nor actual 
experience, the opinions of Rokitansky, Aitken, 
Niemeyer, Flint, to the contrary, not withstanding."^^ 

Dr. J. F. Fryar of Triune wrote the Nashville 

Journal of Medicine and Surgery in 1871 criticizing the 

views of a Doctor King who had written an article on the 

determining cause of labor at full term which had been 

29c. C. Abernathy, M. D., "Blood-Letting, " Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 7 (1871), 200. 


published in the American Journal of Obstetrics . Dr. Fryar 
found fault with some of Dr. King's reasoning and went on 
to expound on the influences of solar phenomena in 
determining the onset of labor. He felt that more informa- 
tion would be obtained if we made a comparison of statis- 
tical records and astronomical calculations which would 
give us the relation of the earth to the sun, moon, and 
other planets at any given time; such would give a more 
definite idea of the primary cause of labor at full term.^^ 
Many physicians of that day held to the notion that labor 
started with various phases of the moon. 

Dr. John Richardson was particularly interested in 
puerperal convulsions (convulsions which develop at the 
time of delivery). He did a nice piece of statistical work 
on this. He distributed about four hundred circulars, and 
placed notices in several medical journals requesting the 
cooperation of physicians who had seen these type cases. 
He had 54 physician contributors with 297 cases reported 
and found that primiparas (first pregnancy) encountered 
the convulsions almost three to one as compared to the 
multiparas (had had previous pregnancies). Also convul- 
sion before delivery was almost three to one to convulsion 

30j. F. Fryar, M. D. , "Determining Causes," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery ," V. 8 (1871), 3. 


after delivery. The mortality rate in the mothers was 
almost 60 percent and the mortality rate of the infant 
also was close to 60 percent. He requested the doctors to 
furnish him with their methods of treatment and he stated 
that the prominent idea with the profession was that the 
convulsions were caused by "hyperemia" of the brain and 
consequently the lancet was freely used to alleviate this. 
He commented, however, that many physicians have almost 
entirely discarded the lancet as a means of arresting the 
convulsions and were directing their attention to a difffer- 
ent class of treatment. He did not go into his preferred 
treatment of the condition. 

Dr. C. C. Abernathy was elected president of the Tennessee 
Medical Association for 1873-74 and was serving in that 
capacity when Middle Tennessee experienced another cholera 
epidemic in the summer of 1873. It was spread from Memphis 
to Nashville and thence into Rutherford County and the 
surrounding counties. Nashville was particularly hard hit 
and there were several cases in Murfreesboro but the 
epidemic did not reach the proportions in Rutherford County 
as it did in 1833 and 1835. The epidemic was spread 

31 John W, Richardson, M. D. , "Puerperal Convulsions," 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 10 (1872), 21 


Dr. Charles C. Abernathy 
Tennessee Medical Association 


primarily by the people visiting Nashville for the Nashville 
Industrial Exposition. It was in full swing in May 1873. 
Hundreds of people were contaminated by the drinking water. 
They in turn, spread the disease to outlying communities. 
It reached Murfreesboro on June 1.^^ 

Dr. P. C. Coleman reported a case of head wound to the 
Rutherford County Medical Society in May, 1874. The patient 
was a teenager who had received a blow from a rock, and the 
wound apparently was sufficient to have produced contusion 
of the brain, for the patient developed convulsions, and, 
according to Dr. Coleman, had a total of one hundred convul- 
sions before he gradually began to improve. Doctors Neely 
and Black saw the patient in consultation with Dr. Coleman. 
Interestingly, .the treatment used was a purgative since his 
bowels had not operated. It was observed that the patient 
had a very full and hard pulse; the doctors, therefore, 
agreed to bleed him freely and they observed that he seemed 
to be relieved in some respects but continued to have 
convulsions all night. They tried chloroform but this did 
not control the convulsions. After he was bled the treat- 
ment consisted simply in keeping his bowels opened and the 

32john B. Thomison, John B. , M. D. , "The Middle 
Tennessee Cholera Epidemic of 1873," Journal of the 
Tennessee Medical Association, V. 68 (1975), 887. 


use of chloral hydrate to produce sleep. The patient 
recovered spontaneously,.' 

Dr. James Brickell Murfree had become a member of the 
Medical Society of Tennessee in 1860 and in that same year 
was elected its secretary and treasurer. After the war he 
resumed his active participation in the state society and 
was honored by being selected its president in 1874-75. 

Dr. J. W. Davis of Smyrna reported a case of depressed 
skull fracture in which he, assisted by Doctors Harris and 
Weakley, made an incision over the wound after anesthetizing 
the patient with chloroform. He raised the scalp well 
back over the sound side, made a trephine hole in the bone, 
pulled the disk of bone out, and, with an elevator manipu- 
lated into the trephine area, elevated the depressed 
portion of bone to its proper place. They then took 
stitches in the scalp, leaving a small opening for the 
escape of blood and matter. Following treatment cold water 
dressings were used, then poultices until suppuration set 
in. Then "dry clay dust" was used. The internal treat- 
ment was two small doses of calomel the first night, and 

■^■^P. C. Coleman, M. D. , "A Case of Contused Wound of 
the Head, Followed by Convulsions," Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery , V. 14 (1874), 345. 


Dr. James B. Murfree, Sr , 


Tennessee Medical Association 



after that just enough morphine to subdue pain and obtain 
rest. The patient recovered. -^^ 

Dr. J. B. Murfree wrote a paper on diphtheria which 
he read before the Medical Society of the State of Tennessee 
in April, 1874. In the paper he referred to an epidemic of 
diphtheria which occurred in Rutherford County from the 
summer of 1873 until March, 1874. He stated that it pre- 
vailed very extensively over about one half the county. He 
knew of 210 cases of which there were 34 deaths. He 
obtained statistics from other doctors in the area. 
Dr. Medicus Ransom reported 20 cases. Dr. H. H. Clayton 
30 cases. Dr. J. F. Byrn 8 cases. Dr. J. B. Murfree himself 
had 37 cases. Dr. J. H. Dickens in Readyville had 20 
cases and Dr. J. N. Bridges had 95 cases. Dr. Bridges 
practiced in the Readyville area also; so the epidemic 
must have been more concentrated in that section of the 
county. Diphtheria is associated with the formation of a 
membrane in the throat. When this membrane invades the 
larynx and trachea, frequently the patient will suffocate. 
Dr. Murfree stated: 

There is no known cause which we can assign 
for diphtheria other than ordinary contagion. It 
has been observed to prevail at all seasons of the 

■^^J. W. Davis, M. D. , "A Case of Punctured Fracture 
of Skull Trephined Successfully," Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery , V. 14 (1874), 342. 


year but generally it is more frequent during the 
fall and winter months and less frequent in the 
spring and summer. 

The diphtheria organism had not been identified at 
that time. It is interesting that Dr. Murfree indicated 
the treatment to be an attempt to sustain the vital forces 
by tonics, stimulants and nutrition. He stated that the 
aim should not be to try to cure the disease by specific 
medications since the cause was not known. He gave his 
patients iron, quinine, mineral acids, wine, brandy, eggs, 
milk, soups, etc. He also painted the throat with 
carbolic acid twice a day. In some who progressed to the 
croup phase he performed tracheotomy for relief of the 

Dr. H. J. Warmuth of Smyrna read a paper on imperforate 
anus with total absence of the lower bowel to the Rutherford 
County Medical Society. In the paper he obtained a consult 
from Dr. Crosthwait. They attempted an operation but it was 
not successful. 

When Dr. James B. Murfree addressed the Tennessee 
Medical Society in 1875 as its president, he referred to 

^ J. B. Murfree, M. D. , "Diphtheria," Nashville Journal 
of Medicine and Surgery , V. 14 (1874), 160. 


H. J. Warmuth, M. D. , "Imperforate Anus with Total 

Absence of Lower Bowel," Nashville Journal of Medicine 

and Surgery , V. 14 (1874), 214. 


the improvements which have been made in instruments and 

appliances that brought a decided advance in the practice 

of surgery, and he stated that the practice of medicine 

had undergone a revolution that was amazing and that the 

change was not one simply of mode but was a change which 

was attended with happy results. 

This advance in our knowledge in practice of the 
medical sciences is not the result of time alone but 
is founded upon the earnest, studious investigations 
which have been carried on in all parts of the world. 
A discovery here, and another there, though minute in 
themselves, yet when taken together and aggregated, 
make a long step forward in advancing our knowledge. 
Perhaps to the discoveries and observations which 
have been made in Pathology, more than to any other 
department, is due to the change in our treatment 
of disease. 

The invention of instruments, which ingenious 
minds have made, greatly enhance our treatment of 
diseases, for in many instances they serve as aids 
to a correct diagnosis, and all rational treatment 
must be founded upon our knowledge of the immediate 
pathological condition. 

The grandest improvement in the science of 
medicine, to my mind, is the marked and increasing 
tendency to conservatism in the treatment of disease. 
By conservatism in the practice of medicine we 
understand to be that plan or system by which we 
can the soonest, and with safety, relieve the human 
system of disease with the least expenditure or 
sacrifice of individual vitality. It is that plan 
of treatment which, while it aims to remove diseased 
action, yet at the same time it sustains the power of 
life. In the practice of conservatism we refrain 
from employing hurtful remedies, when we are satisfied 
that the disease under treatment will subside without 
active interference. A large proportion of the 
diseases which come under our care have a regular 


course to pursue/ many of them being self-limiting, 
and their tendency is to a restoration of health. ' 

It certainly was a marked change from the perturbative 
means of treatment during the earlier part of that century. 
The means of treatment of all illnesses generally made the 
patient miserable and he suffered untold misery under the 
harshness of the therapies; whereas the new conservatism 
referred to by Dr. Murfree was designed to make the patient 
comfortable, to improve his nourishment, support him in 
every way possible, and, generally, the results of such 
treatment were far superior to the old methods. 

In 1875 a medical society was formed in Smyrna. 

Mr. Walter King Hoover has in his possession the original 

minute book and Mr. King quotes from those minutes in his 

book on the history of Smyrna. 

"The object of this society shall be to unite 
the medical men of Smyrna district and neighborhood 
into a society for mutual recognition, fellowship, 
the advancement and diffusion of medical knowledge 
and the adoption and promotion of all measures that 
will tend to the relief of suffering, and the 
protection of the lives of the community." Their 
first meeting was held in Dr. B. B. Gracy ' s office 
which was a small frame building located at Division 
Street, at Front Street. The doctors affixing 
their signatures to these proceedings were 

37 Address of President James B. Murfree, Transaction 
of the Medical Soc iety of the State of Tennessee (1875). 


J. W. Davis, President W. H. Manier 

George D, Crosthwait, B. B. Gracy 

Vice-president C. W. Patterson 

H. J. Warmuth, Secretary J. S. Waldron 

B. F. Guill J. S. Sneed 

Thomas J. Bennett J. E. Sherrill 
G. W. Crosthwait 

The minutes of this society ran for three years and 
Mr. Hoover found no evidence that it operated after 
that. 38 

In 1877 at the Tennessee Medical Association meeting 
in Nashville there were twenty-three delegates from the 
Smyrna Medical Society. ^^ In 1879 at the state meeting 
the Smyrna Medical Society was also represented. Dr. J. W. 
Davis, who was elected president of the newly organized 
medical society, gave his inaugural address to that society 
on August 9, 1877. Therefore, since he referred in the 
body of the paper they had honored him one year ago by 
electing him president, it would appear that the Smyrna 
Medical Society was formed in 1876 rather than 1875.'^'^ 
This is further supported by Dr. G. D. Crosthwait 's 
presidential address to the Smyrna Medical Society in 1878 
in which he comments, "At the close of the second year of 

^^walter King Hoover, A History of the Town of Smyrna , 
Tennessee (Nashville, TN. : McQuiddy Printing Co., 1969), 
p. 384. 

•^^Hamer, pp. 76-77, 

'^^J. W. Davis, M. D. , "M. D. — Medicinae Doctor — What 
He Must Know, and How He Ought to Act," Nashville Journal 
of Medicine and Surgery , V. 20 (1877), 160. 


our organization, we may reasonably congratulate ourselves 
on having made some progress towards the attainment of its 
objects." It would therefore seem that 1876 was the date 
of origin of the Smyrna Medical Society. ^■'- 

It would seem logical that the physicians in the 
Smyrna-La Vergne area would want to organize and have their 
own society. Transportation and communication were many 
times a problem in those days, and it would have been very 
difficult for these physicians to travel to Murfreesboro 
to attend the medical meeting without taking a whole day 
off from their practice. The same was true of the 
physicians in Cannon County. These physicians frequently 
attended the meetings of the Rutherford County Medical 
Society but it was time consuming from the standpoint of 
transportation. As transportation improved over the years 
it was much easier for these physicians to take part in 
the regular proceedings of the Rutherford County Medical 

Meanwhile the Rutherford County Medical Society was 
quite viable. In 1877 Dr. P. C. Coleman read a paper 
before the society on cholera infantum recommending 

'*^G. D. Crosthwait, M. D. , "Address to Smyrna Medical 
Society, 1878," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 22 (1878), 102. 


treatment by calomel, placing a synopism over the 
epigastrium should the vomiting prove obstinate, and the 
use of opium to arrest the exhausting diarrhea. He recom- 
mended attention to the diet, ventilation, light and mild 
exercise, thus getting away from the old concept of 
confining patients in a dark room with closed door and 
absolute rest.^^ d^ . James H. Dickens read a paper on 
malaria to the Rutherford County Medical Society in 1877 
in which he discussed the knowledge of the profession as to 
the association of the disease with marshy areas in the 
late spring and summer. The profession had observed that 
one did not find this disease in higher elevations. He 
also observed that when the season was particularly dry 
and devoid of rain, the incidence of malaria was much 
less. They had observed a great deal about the occurrence 
of the disease in relation to geographical conditions but 
they still did not know the vector. '*3 

It should be noted that Dr. J. J. Abernathy was 
elected president of the Tennessee Medical Association in 
1876. He served the year 1876 to 1877. At that time he 

-P. C. Coleman, M. D. , "Cholera Infantum," Nashville 

Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 20 (1877), 6. 

43james H. Dickens, M. D., "Malaria," Nashville Journal 
of Medicine and Surgery , V. 20 (1877), 51. 


was practicing in Decherd. He had previously practiced in 
Murf reesboro. 

In 1877 at the end of Dr. Abernathy's tenure of 
office. Dr. Benjamin W. Avent was elected president again. 
Dr. Avent had moved to Memphis in 1866 to become professor 
of surgery in the Memphis Medical College. He had 
practiced in Murfreesboro prior to that for many years and 
had distinguished himself as an outstanding physician and 

Dr. Avent delivered his presidential address to the 

Medical Society of the State of Tennessee on April 2, 1879, 

The paper was a discussion of the use of stimulants in 

the treatment of disease; he also reviewed the development 

of the various theories of the production of disease and 

pathological states. 

It is worthy of notice that in no period in 
the history of medicine has there been so much 
labor expended in searching after the great prin- 
ciples of Physiology and Pathology, as at the 
present; and it may be truthfully added, that at 
no period has there been such complete ignoring 
of standard remedial agents. It has certainly 
caused the abandonment of the practices of 
routinism in the treatment of acute disease. It 
has put a quietus to that heroic administration 
of medicine so common even a few years ago. It 
has caused us to dispense with the lancet, and 
has almost completely upset the so-called anti- 
phlogistic treatment. It has limited to a great 
extent the use of mercurials, and has set aside 
the theory once so prominent, that acute 
inflammation necessarily implies a sthenic diathesis. 
And finally, it has forced the substitution of 


nervous and arterial sedatives with support and 
stimulation in the treatment, even, of active 
disease, for depletion and starvation. '^^ 

Dr. Avent ' s address was to be his last active 

participation .at a meeting of the state society. He 

returned to Memphis to his duties as professor of Surgery 

and private practice, only to encounter in the summer of 

1878 one of the worst epidemics in the history of the 

United States at his very doorstep. Yellow fever had 

been feared for generations. The doctors of 1878 did 

not know the cause of yellow fever. They had studied the 

geography of the disease and knew that yellow fever was 

"river borne." Doctors observed that cool weather always 

brought an end to the epidemic and they had noticed that 

the spread of the disease seemed to have something to do 

with the wind currents. Unknowingly, they described 

precisely the conditions under which mosquitoes thrive, 

but it was not to be until 1900 that the vector of 

yellow fever was found to be the mosquito. Large 

epidemics of yellow fever had occurred on or near the 

North Atlantic Coast and on the Gulf Coast. Severe 

epidemics had affected Philadelphia, New York, Mobile, New 

^^B. W. Avent, M. D., "Indications for the Use of 
Stimulants in the Treatment of Disease," Address of the 
President, Transactions of the Medical Society of the 
State of Tennessee, 1898, p. 14. 


Orleans, Pensacola, and cities as far north as St. Louis 
and Cincinnati had felt its sting. The contagion spread 
up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, having origi- 
nated in the West Indies. The first cases were experienced 
in Memphis in August. Twenty-five thousand people fled 
the city in panic, fleeing to other cities, primarily to 
Louisville, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Nashville, and 
Chattanooga. The remaining population was exposed to the 
ravages of the epidemic. As the epidemic began to rage 
in Memphis, the plight of the city became known and 
donations of money as well as food and medical supplies 
began to reach Memphis. Volunteer aid was forthcoming 
from all over the nation, liurse corps, doctors, relief 
organizations all were brought into action in an attempt 
to care for the sick. The epidemic raged on until 
October 29 when the Memphis Board of Health declared the 
epidemic at an end and the refugees were informed that it 
was safe to return. The final estimate was that there 
were 17,600 cases of yellow fever in Memphis out of a 
population of about 20,000 with 5,150 deaths. The fever 
did not spare the physicians. There were 93 physicians 
who died in the epidemic of whom 63 were Tennessee 
physicians and Dr. Benjamin W. Avent , who stayed on duty 
in his city, was one of the victims. Also Dr. John Hicks 


of Murfreesboro, who volunteered his services in the 
epidemic, succumbed to yellow fever on September 17. There 
were 693 cases of yellow fever in Chattanooga during the 
same epidemic of which 197 patients died. There was one 
case in Beech Grove and one case in Murfreesboro, both of 
whom died. There were 96 cases in Davidson County, 
eighteen of whom died. 45 

Dr. J. s. Bass, a black physician practicing in 
Murfreesboro, donated his services to the people of 
Chattanooga during the yellow fever epidemic. 

J. T. Hill, correspondent to the Nashville 
Daily American reported: "Dr. Bass, a colored 
physician, arrived from Murfreesboro today 
(October 11) and goes to work at once." 

Hill reported October 18th that "Dr. Bass, the 
colored physician from Murfreesboro is doing 
excellent service, and has made a host of friends, 
in and out of the profession." 

In the Twelfth Annual Report of the Freedman ' s 
Aid Society in 1879 it was reported that for 
Bass's "faithful and efficient labor he received 
the hardy thanks of the medical profession of 
that place, and on his return to his home at 

45s. R. Bruesch, Ph. D. , M. D., "Yellow Fever in 
Tennessee m 1878," Part I, Journal of the Tennessee 
Medical Association. V. 71, No. 12, p. 887; Simon R 
?Q^r^^' ^^' °" ^' ^•' "Yellow Fever in Tennessee in 
i«78. Part II, Journal of the Tennessee Medical As socia- 

tion, V. 72, No. 2, p. 91; Simon R. Bruesch, Ph. D. , 

M. D., "Yellow Fever in Tennessee in 1878," Part III 
Journal of the Tennessee Medical Association, v 72 ' 
No. 3, p. 193. " 


Murfreesboro he was met at the depot by the mayor 
and prominent physicians and a public reception' 
tendered him."^^ 

Dr. George W. Overall graduated from medical college 
in 1875 and located in Murfreesboro where he practiced 
for three years. He moved to Memphis in 1878 just prior 
to the onset of the epidemic and was there treating 
patients during the epidemic. Dr. Overall wrote a letter 
to Dr. J. B. Murfree in which he detailed all the symptoms 
of yellow fever and the treatment he administered them. 
Dr. Overall had done a preceptorship under Doctors Clayton 
and Murfree prior to going to medical school . The letter 
was written September 12, 1878. At the time he said he 
had lost 15 cases but had turned out about 150 or 200. He 
also stated in the letter that he was very tired and very 
much exhausted. He was one of the physicians who survived 
the epidemic. ^^ 

When Dr. Avent was asked by a friend what he was doing 
to avoid contracting the disease, he replied, "Nothing but 
trusting in God, and trying to do my duty." When Dr. Avent 

'^^Jim Leonhirth, "The Black Presence in Rutherford 
County," Griffith ! , published by the Rutherford County 
Bicentennial Commission, Robert E. Corlew, Chairman, 1976. 

^"^G. W. Overall, M, D., "Letter to Dr. J, B. Murfree, 
Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 22 (1878), 


was asked what he knew of the yellow fever he replied, "I 
only know that it is the pestilence that walketh in dark- 
ness, and the destruction that visiteth at noonday. "^8 
Dr. J. B. Murfree wrote an eloquent memorial tribute to 
Dr. Avent which was published in the transactions of the 
state society in 1879.^9 

At the state meeting in 1879, the delegates from the 
Smyrna Medical Society were Dr. B. B. Gracy and Dr. C. W. 
Patterson. Also attending from Smyrna were Dr. H. J. 
Warmuth and Dr. J. W. Davis and Dr. G. W. Crosthwait. The 
Smyrna Medical Society obviously was still quite active at 
that time. It should be noted in passing, that Dr. J. W. 
Davis and Dr. H. J. Warmuth were especially active in the 
state organization and both published several papers during 
their careers. The delegates from the Rutherford County 
Medical Society were Dr. William Freeman and Dr. J. H. 
Washington. A memorial sketch was presented by Dr. J. B. 
Murfree of the late Dr. J. B. Hicks, of Murfreesboro 
who died in Memphis of yellow fever. The biographical 
sketch of the late Dr. B. W. Avent v/as also presented. 

48Hamer, p. 138. 

49j. B. Murfree, M. D., "In Memoriam--B. W. Avent, 
M. D.," Transactions Medical Society of the Stat e of 
Tennessee ( 1879) , p. 179. 


Area Physicians During the 1870s 

John W. Acuff 

(Bell Buckle) 
James E. Arnette 

(Cannon County) 
James Barton 

(Cannon County) 
Thomas J. Bennett 

( Smyrna — Triune ) 
Samuel P. Black 
Thos. C. Black 

(Walter Hill) 
Robert C. Boyle 

Smith Bowl in 

(Bell Buckle) 
James N. Bridges 

Robert Buchanan 

(Near Eagleville, 

Williamson County) 
Joshua Marion Coffee Burger 

T. J. Burnett 
William G. Burrows 

(or Burrus ) 
James F. Byrn 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Marion Chandler 
Ephraim Charlton 

(Davidson County) 
James Hamilton Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 
Joseph Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 
Edwin Childress 
Wm. J. Clark 

John W. Clary 

Wm. F. Clary 

(Bell Buckle) 
Henry Huey Clayton 

(Murf reesboro) 
Preston C. Coleman 

Walter Preston Coleman 

(La Vergne area) 
Wm. Cowden Cook 

(Murf reesboro) 
George D. Crosthwait 

(Florence ) 
Joseph W. Davis 

(Smyrna — La Vergne) 
Preston K. Davis 

(Davidson County) 
James H. Dickens 

James M. Dill 
Charles Donoho 

(Williamson County) 
Benjamin F. Duggan 

(Unionville ) 
F. M. Duke 

Thomas J. Elam 
Richard W. Fain 
John S. Fletcher 

(Wartrace ) 
James Fozrar 
W. R. Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
T. J. Frizzell 

(Bell Buckle) 
J. F. Fryar 

(Triune ) 
John Wesley Gaines 

( Antioch ) 
John Gannaway 

Brainard B. Gracy 

( Smyrna) 
Elias Tidwell Gray 

(Versailles ) 
Isaac H. Gray 

(Nolensville ) 
Addison P. Grinstead 

( Treppardsville) 
Benjamin Franklin Guill 
John W. Hall 

(Hall's Hill) 


Area Physicians During the 1870s (continued) 

Robert R. Hall 

Robert B. Harris 

Henry Marion Hearn 

John B. Hicks 
William Murphree Hoover 

(Beech Grove) 
William M- Hutton 

(Bedford County) 
Garner M. Jordan 

(Triune ) 
Samuel Tolbert F. Kirkpat 

Lewis W. Knight 
J. H. Lillard 
James Maney 

(Murf reesboro) 
Amasa W. Manire 

John Wesley Mankin 

(Beech Grove) 
James Edward Manson 

Robert W. Martin 

J. W. McCleary 

Wm. Harrison McCord 

Lyman Beecher McCrary 

Thomas Chapman McCrary 

(Bell Buckle) 
Allen Posey McCul lough 

Joseph M. McLean 
Samuel N. McMinn 

(Wilson County) 
J. G. Mickle 

Elbert S. Miller 

(Bedford County near 

Fostervillle ) 
E. S. Miller, Jr. 

(Fosterville ) 
John H. Morton 

(Williamson County) 
William A. Mulky 
James B. Murfree, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Joseph B. Muse 

M. Edward Nealy 
rick (Walter Hill) 
C. C. Neal 

(Williamson County) 
Samuel B. Nelson 

(La Vergne) 
Charles T. New 

M. W. Newson 

(Bedford County) 
Andrew Norvell 

(Coffee County) 
George W. Overall 
Urban G. Owen 

(College Grove) 
B. H. Paschall 

(Williamson County) 
John Patterson 
George Pinkard 
J. S. Poynor 

( Smyrna) 
Medicus Ransom 
John W. Richardson 

(Murf reesboro) 
Higdon J. Robertson 
John H. Robinson 

(Chapel Hill) 
James Joshua Rucker 



Area Physicians During the 1870s (continued) 

John J. Rucker 
Leonidas D. Russell 
James Searcy 

(Beech Grove) 
Thomas G. Shannon 

(Nolensville ) 
Forsyth Smalling 
Ephraim A. Speer 

Robert Fountain Tatum, Sr. 

(Woodbury ) 
John S. Taylor 
Elijah D. Thompson 

(Marshall County) 
Nimrod Whitefield Thompson 
Robert Jetton Turner 
William M. Turner 

(Marshall County) 
John S. Waldron 

(Smyrna--La Vergne) 
Henry Joseph Warmuth 

( Smyrna ) 
J. L. Webb 

(College Grove) 

James E. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert S. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. Wesley 

(Bedford County) 
T. D. Whitaker 

(Marshall County) 
Bartholomew Newton White, Sr 

(Murf reesboro ) 
John J. White 

(Davidson County) 
H. R. Williams 

(Williamson County) 
Harrison Whitfield Winstead 

John A. Wood 

Thomas Walter Wood 

Hillary H. Yeargan 
Ridley Zackery 

(Wilson County) 


The vice-president of the state society, at that time, was 
Dr. H. J. Warmuth of Smyrna. Dr. Murfree of Murfreesboro 
read a paper on treatment of urethral strictures. 
Doctors Warmuth and Murfree were selected as delegates to 
the American Medical Association,^*^ 

In the 1880s the physicians in the area continued to 
support the state organization and were active in their 
county society. Dr. J. W. Davis of Smyrna wrote a letter 
to the Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery commenting 
on an article he had seen in the January issue of 1884 
in which a doctor in Humboldt sought to discredit the germ 
theory in the production of malaria. Dr. Davis defended 
the germ theory, an indication that the new discoveries in 
medicine were filtering into the communities here from 
the researches abroad. ^■'■ 

The state society had always supported efforts toward 
improvement in medical education. At its 1878 meeting 
the society congratulated the profession upon the forma- 
tion of the American Association of Medical Colleges, an 

^Q Transactions of the Medical Society of the State 
of Tennessee , 1879. 

^Ij. W. Davis, M. D., "Malaria," Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery , V. 33 (1884), 154. 


association that looked to the advancement of medical educa- 
tion in the United States and the establishment of a common 
policy among medical schools. The reform that the organiza- 
tion had recommended was the establishment of a three year 
course for medical students. 

This was wholly objectionable to such men as 
Dr. J. W. Davis of Smyrna who, in 1881, proposed 
that the Medical Society of Tennessee recommend to 
the medical colleges "to go back to the old rule of 
two terms, or two courses of lectures, and to give 
the degree of M. D. upon the merits and qualifica- 
tions of candidates, and not upon the number of 
years he may have been able to spend about town 
and colleges." Action on this proposal was 
deferred until the following year when Dr. Davis 
addressed the society in support of it. A man 
should be given the M. D. degree he thought whenever 
he was qualified, and there was no need to lengthen 
the time that must be spent with preceptor or in 
college; many talented young men were financially 
unable to spend three years in study and their 
places were filled by drones whose money enabled 
them to stay in college. After all, he argued, 
"the real study of medicine is at the bedside;" 
there was need for more doctors; the poor must have 
medicine as well as the rich, and it must be cheap; 
"a man of fine acquirements" would not "go out into 
these out-of-the-way places and settle down to the 
practice of medicine," and it was accordingly 
desirable to graduate honorable men with fair 
capacity for those humble places. This speech 
provoked an animated discussion but the society 
refused to adopt the proposal that Dr. Davis had 
made. -'■^ 

The state society continued insistently from its 
beginnings in 1830 to urge the importance of a licensing 

^^Hamer, pp. 92-93. 


law controlling the medical practice in Tennessee. They 

continued to press the issue. A proposed bill was 

reported at the meeting in 1888 and was endorsed by the 

society. A committee of seven was directed to bring 

the bill before the legislature. In that body the bill 

met opposition as usual. It was first defeated, then it 

was reconsidered, and finally it was passed and approved 

by the governor on April 4, 1889. 

In announcing this result to the medical society 
at its annual meeting a few weeks later. Dr. Cain, 
the president, said that too much praise could not 
be given to the members of the general assembly for 
their good judgment in passing the bill despite 
bitter opposition from within and without the 

This "Act to regulate the Practice of Medicine 
and Surgery in Tennessee" provided that there should 
be appointed by the governor a State Board of 
Medical Examiners to be composed of two physicians 
from each grand division of the state. On this 
board there should be representation of "the three 
schools of medicine, namely. Allopath, Homeopath, 
and Eclectic." Any physician engaged in the 
practice of his profession in Tennessee at the time 
of the passage of the act was required to make proof 
of that fact to the clerk of the county court who 
would then issue to him a certificate entitling him 
to continue to practice. Any person who should 
wish to begin the practice of medicine in Tennessee 
was to be required to obtain a certificate from the 
board in either of two ways: (1) He must present a 
diploma from a medical college "in good standing," 
the board being required to recognize any college 
recognized by the "National Medical Association," 
or (2) He must pass a satisfactory examination 
before the board on anatomy, physiology, chemistry, 
pathology, surgery, obstetrics, and therapeutics. 
All certificates were required to be registered 


in the office of the clerk of the county court. 
Anyone practicing without a certificate could be 
punished by a fine only. Any itinerant vendor of 
any drug, nostrum, or application for the treat- 
ment of disease or injury was to be fined not less 
than $100. The act did not apply to midwives.^^ 

The governor sought the assistance of the state 
society in appointing the physicians to the board. He 
appointed Dr. J. B. Murfree to the first board who was 
elected its president. 

The physicians of the county took their medical 
diplomas to the county court clerk's office where they were 
recorded and the physician was given a certificate by the 
county court clerk certifying that he was properly trained 
and was therefore licensed to practice medicine in this 
state. I have seen one such certificate issued to Dr. 
Armstrong Eagleton McKnight by the county court clerk in 
1889 after he had shown his diploma from the University of 
Nashville. Dr. McKnight practiced in the Milton-Porterf ield 

As transportation improved greater communication and 
exchange of ideas were inevitable among the members of 
the profession and more medical societies were formed. 
The Tri-state Medical Society was formed representing 

^^Hamer, pp. 100-101. 


Area Physicians During the 1880s 

John W. Acuff 

(Bell Buckle) 
James E. Arnette 
(Cannon County) 
James Barton 

(Cannon County) 
John S. Bass 

Thomas J. Bennett 
( Smyrna — Triune ) 
W. C. Bilbro, Sr. 

Robert C. Bogle 

(Fosterville — Midland) 
M. H. Bonner 

Smith Bowlin 

(Bell Buckle) 
James N. Bridges 

J. H. Bryan 
Andrew Jackson Burkitt 

(Smyrna — La Vergne) 
William G. Burrows 

(or Burrus ) 
James F. Byrn 

Alexander Cams 

(Cannon County) 
James M. Chadwick 

(Beech Grove) 
Ephraim Charlton 

(Davidson County) 
James Hamilton Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 
John W. Clary 
Wm. Franklin Clary 

(Bell Buckle) 
C. C. Clayton 
Henry Huey Clayton 

S. B. Cobb 
Preston C. Coleman 
John James Covington 
(College Grove) 

F. P. Crockett 
George D. Crosthwait 

George W. Crosthwait 

(Florence ) 
James Peyton Curlee 

Joseph W. Davis 

(Smyrna — La Vergne) 
James H. Dickens 

James M. Dill 
Charles Donoho 

(Williamson Co. ) 
Benjamin F. Duggan 

F. M. Duke 

John Netherland Dykes 

Thomas J. Elam 
John Everett 

(Cannon County) 
John R. Fletcher 

George Flowers 

(Cannon County) 
W. R, Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
T. J. Frizzell 

(Bell Buckle) 
John Wesley Gaines 

John Gannaway 
R. A. Gentry 

(Williamson County) 
Brainard B. Gracy 

Elias Tidwell Gray 

Madison G. Green 

(Nolensville ) 
Isaac H. Gray 

Samuel Carver Grigg 

Area Physicians During the 1880s (continued) 


Addison P. Grinstead 

( Treppardsvil le ) 
Moses T. Griswell 

Benjamin Franklin Guill 

(Wilson County) 
John W. Hall 

(Hall's Hill) 
Joseph David Hall 
Robert R. Hall 

Robert B. Harris 

Henry Marion Hearn 

Samuel Hoover 
W. C. Hoover 

(Bedford County) 
William Murphree Hoover 

(Beech Grove) 
Dewitt Clinton Huff 

William M. Button 

(Bedford County) 
Horton Blount Hyde 

Garner M. Jordon 

Robert F. Keyes 

John 0. Kirkpatrick 
Samuel Tolbert F. 


(Triune ) 
Lewis W. Knight 
Robert N. Knox 
George Leonard Landis 

( Unionville ) 
Bailey Peyton Lester 

Nathaniel M. Lewis 

( Florence ) 
James Polk Lyon 
William H. Lytle 
Amasa W, Manire 

( Eagleville ) 

Phillip H. Manier 

William Manire 

John Wesley Mankin 

(Beech Grove) 
James Edward Manson 

( Blackman ) 
J. D. Martin 

(Coffee County) 
Robert W. Martin 

J. B. McClellan 

(Murf reesboro) 
Pleasant H. McBride 

Wm. A. McCord 

(Holt's Corner) 
Wm. Harrison McCord 

Lyman Beecher McCrary 

Thomas Chapman McCrary 

(Bell Buckle) 
Allen Posey McCullough 

Thomas McGahey 

(Williamson County) 
Armstrong Eagleton McKnight 

Joseph M. McLean 

Thomas M, McMurray 

(Nolensville ) 
Elbert S. Miller 

Lorenzo Dow Miller 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. J. Miller 

Robert Moon 

( Unionville) 
H. A. Mosely 

Thomas B. Mosley 



Area Physicians During the 1880s (continued) 

James B. Murfree, Sr. 
John W. Murray 

( Wartrace ) 
M. Edward Nealy 

(La Vergne) . 
Samuel B. Nelson 

( La Vergne ) 
Simon Nesbitt 

M. W. Newson 

(Bedford County) 
James K. Norvell 

(Beech Grove) 
James B. Owen 

(Williamson County) 
Urban G. Owen 

(College Grove) 
Benj. H. Paschall 

(Williamson County) 
Charles W. Patterson 

(La Vergne) 
John Patterson 
Jason Hazard Patton 

(Triune ) 
Alex R. Pinkston 

(Triune ) 
T. W. Preston 

(Wilson County) 
Medicus Ransom 
Robert William Read 
Absalom H. Reems 

(Cannon County) 
Higdon J. Robertson 
Aaron B. Robinson 

(Chapel Hill) 
W. D. Robinson 
James J. Rucker 

John J. Rucker 
Minus L. Rucker 

(Wilson County) 
Hardin N. Scales 

(Versailles ) 
J. E. Sherrill 

(Wilson County) 

W. H. Sims 

William Sparkman 

(Cannon County) 
Ephraim A. Speer 

(Readyville ) 
J. B. Spickard 

(Wilson County) 

Ed Swanson 

(Marshall County) 
Robert Fountain Tatum Sr. 

(Woodbury ) 
John Templeton 

(Coffee County) 
Elijah D. Thompson 

(Marshall County) 
Nimrod Whitefield Thompson 
James T. Turney 

( Auburntown ) 
John W. Wade 

(Bedford County) 
Samuel Wade 
John Walden 
John S. Waldron 

(Smyrna--La Vergne) 
G. W. Word 
Henry Joseph Warmuth 

{ Smyrna) 
John H. Washington 
Francis L. Weaver 

(Davidson County) 
James E. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert S. Wendel 

( Murf reesboro ) 
T. D. Whitaker 

(Marshall County) 
B. N. White, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
John Howland White 

(Jordan's Valley) 
Samuel K. Whitson 

(Fairfield — Wartrace ) 

Area Physicians During the 1880s (continued) 


William Whitson 

(Jordan's Valley) 
James Williams 

(Marshall County) 
Harrison Whitf.ield Winstead 

(Nolensville ) 
Charles Witt Womack 

(Chapel Hill) 

Thomas W. Wood 

Stephen Henry Woods 
Hillary H. Yeargan 
William Eleazer Youree 


doctors from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. At its 
meeting in Chattanooga October 15, 1890, Dr. J. B. Murfree 
presented a paper on uterine fibroma. They were per- 
forming hysterectomies under aseptic conditions for the 
larger fibroid tumors. ^4 qj- , Murfree presented a paper on 
intestinal obstruction to the Tennessee Medical Society 
in 1892 in which he recommended laparotomy (the laying 
open of the abdominal cavity, finding and relieving the 
strangulation) as the only rational hope of saving the 
life of the patient when the usual means of relief have 
failed. 55 

Dr. Murfree was invited to give the commencement 

address to the graduating class of the Medical Department 

of the University of Nashville and Vanderbilt University 

in March, 1892. In his address he referred to 

. . . the grand achievements and the wonderful 
progress made in the etiology and treatment of 
disease, in the improvement and perfecting of the 
technique of surgical operations, the fruitful 
discovery of material medicines, and the invention 
of instruments and appliances. . . . The patient, 
untiring search after the prime cause of disease 

54j. B. Murfree, M. D., "Uterine Fibroma," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 69 (1891), 145, 

55j. B. Murfree, M. D. , "Intestinal Obstruction," 
Transactions of Medical Society of th e State of Tennessee 
(1892), 94. — 


has extended so far into the occult precincts of 
morbid processes as to demonstrate a physical cause 
of disease. The microscope extends the realm of 
pathological anatomy to the limits of the invisible 

The. recent science of bacteriology has dis- 
covered and demonstrated a great multitude and a 
great variety of microbes, the incipient and the 
invisible germs of disease, and has revealed the 
fact that each specific disease has a specific 

Dr. Murfree touched on the necessity of better 
medical education stating that the students should have a 
higher education and that the curriculum in medical 
colleges should be lengthened and improved. He further 
insisted that the scholastic education of the young men 
designed to enter the medical profession should be 
increased. He was gratified to see progress toward the 
tendency of a higher grade of scholastic education among 
those entering medical colleges and looked forv;ard to 
liberally educated medical students and systematic medical 
education throughout the land.^" 

Asepsis in surgery had increased the success of 
surgery enormously and was very much in evidence in the 
1890s. Dr. Murfree referred to the necessity of asepsis 
in the private practice of obstetrics in a paper which he 

^^J. B. Murfree, M. D. , "Charge to the Graduating 
Class," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 71 
(1892), 145. 


read at the Tri-states Medical Society held in Chattanooga 
in 1893. 

It is unnecessary in this connection to 
discuss the germ theory, but whether accepted or 
rejected, all will agree that the want of cleanli- 
ness in the lying-in room is a prolific source of 
puerperal diseases. 

He describes in some detail the techniques used in 

obstetrical deliveries for the purpose of asepsis. 

Dr. H. J. Warmuth gave a paper on postpartum 

hemorrhage to the state society in 1893. He described a 

case that he and Dr. Gracy of Smyrna attended. He found 

the woman to be edematous. Much albumen was in the urine. 

She was mentally confused (a case of eclampsia which these 

doctors recognized even then). Dr. Warmuth injected 

veratrum viridis (a drug which reduces the blood pressure) 

and morphine into her arm. Dr. Gracy administered 

chloroform and the child was delivered with the help of 

forceps. The patient developed a severe postpartum 

hemorrhage. Dr. Warmuth injected ergotine hypodermical ly , 

simultaneously applying manual pressure over the uterus. 

This abated the hemorrhage and the woman and child made a 

57j, B. Murfree, M. D., "The Necessity of Asepsis 
in Private Obstetrical Practice," Nashville Journal of 
Medicine and Surgery , V. 74 (1893), p. 193. 


good recovery. 58 it's interesting that the symptoms of 
eclampsia were recognized and a drug used to reduce the 
blood pressure at a time when blood pressure measurement 
was not yet utilized in practice. It should also be 
noted that there were disease states in which blood 
pressure obviously was markedly elevated and in whom the 
practice of venesection at times might have been life-saving, 

The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, 
established a medical department in 1892. Dr. J. B. 
Murfree was offered and accepted the position of professor 
of surgery at that institution, a position he held from 
1893 until shortly before his death in 1912. He was 
invited to give the commencement address to the graduating 
doctors of the University of the South in 1894; in that 
address he continued to urge progressive medical 
education. 59 

The field of nutrition and dietetics was just begin- 
ning to be developed. Dr. W. C. Bilbro gave a paper at 
the state society in 1895 on nutrition in which he 

58j. H. Warmuth, M. D., "Post-Partum Hemorrhage," 
Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of 
Tennessee (1893), p. 167. 

59j. B. Murfree, M. D., "What Is Life?" Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 76 (1894), 151. 


discussed the necessity for a certain percentage of 
proteins, fat, and carbohydrates as well as minerals and 
suggested proportional parts of each as a balanced diet. 
They had not developed the concept of calories but 
generally were beginning to understand the general make-up 
of a balanced diet.^^ 

They were doing radical mastectomies in the 1890s 
and Dr. Warmuth read a paper at the state society 
detailing the operation and describing one particular 
operation on his patient in which Doctors Crosthwait and 
Gracy assisted. Dr. Gracy administered chloroform 
anesthesia. The operation included the excision of the 
breast, removing the major chest muscles down to the rib 
cage, and dissection of the lymph nodes in the axilla. ■'- 

The Middle Tennessee Medical Association was organized 
in Nashville September 20, 1894. It was to be composed of 
physicians in the central part of the state and would meet 
once or twice a year at various towns in Middle Tennessee. 
The Rutherford County physicians were active in this society 

^^W. C. Bilbro, M. D., "What Shall We Feed Our 
Patients?" Transactions of the Medical Scoiety of the State 
of Tennessee (1895), p. 297. 

^Ij. H. Warmuth, M. D. "The Radical Operation for 
Cancer of the Breast," Transactions of the Medical Society 
of the State of Tennessee (1896), p. 210. 


as well as in the state society and their own county 
medical society. In 1895 Dr. Murfree presented a paper to 
the Middle Tennessee Medical Society entitled "The 
Surgical Treatment of Pleural Effusions"^2 and presented 
another paper to that society in 1896 entitled "Placenta 
Previa. "^-^ Dr. Murfree was elected president of that 
organization in 1898 and gave an eloquent presidential 
address to the organization which met that year in Dixon, 
Tennessee, on May 19 and 20. His address was entitled 
"The Doctor. "64 

Dr. C. B. Heimark established a practice in Eagleville 
about 1895. He built up a good practice there and the 
people seemed to like him. It was noted that he began 
making regular night trips to Nashville in a wagon hauling 
a mysterious load. He would change horses in Nashville 
and return before morning ready to go about his usual 
business of medical practice. This activity went on for 

62j. B. Murfree, M. D., "The Surgical Treatment of 
Pleural Effusions," Nashville Journal of Medicine and 
Surgery , V. 79 (1896), 199. 

"^J. B. Murfree, M. D., "Placenta Previa," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 80 (1896), 103. 

64j. B. Murfree, M. D., "The Doctor," Nashville 
Journal of Medicine and Surgery , V. 84 (1898), 9. 


some time. The people of Eagleville became suspicious 
when it was revealed that grave robbing was going on in 
the community. State authorities were informed and an 
investigation traced some of the stolen bodies. Two 
bodies were traced to Burlington, Vermont, in a box that 
was labeled "books." The bodies were returned to Murfrees- 
boro by train, and hearses carried them back to Eagleville; 
they were then reburied. The investigation revealed that 
an eastern concern had contracted to pay Dr. Heimark $45 
for each body delivered to them. Supposedly the bodies 
were resold to medical schools in the east to be used by 
students in anatomy classes for dissection. In all three 
bodies were stolen. Dr. Heimark was arrested. The grand 
jury indicted him in February, 1898. He was fined $150 
and sentenced to six months in jail. He paid the fine, 
served the sentence, then left the county. In the AMA 
Directory, Volume I, 1906, he was listed as residing and 
practicing medicine in Battle Lake, Minnesota. 

An interesting paper was presented to the state 
society by Dr. W. F. Clary of Bell Buckle in 1897 des- 
cribing the preferred treatment of typhoid fever. The 

65Minnie Fairfield Dyer, The History of Eagleville 
(Privately Published, 1972), pp. 8-9. 

Area Physicians During the 1890s 


John W. Acuff 

(Bell Buckle) 
James Barton 

(Cannon County) 
John S. Bass 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Thomas J. Bennett 

( Smyrna--Triune ) 
Robert C. Bicknell 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. C. Bilbro 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert C. Bogle 

(Fosterville — Midland) 
M. H. Bonner 

(Murf reesboro) 
James N. Bridges 

James F. Byrn 

(Murf reesboro ) 
James M. Chadwick 

(Beech Grove) 
Ephraim Charlton 

(Davidson County) 
Wm. Franklin Clary 

(Bell Buckle) 
John James Covington 

(College Grove) 
George W. Crosthwait 

( Florence ) 
James Peyton Curlee 

Joseph W. Davis 

(Smyrna--La Vergne ) 
James H. Dickens 

(Readyvil le ) 
James M. Dill 
John F. Dismukes 

(Porterf ield) 
Benjamin F. Duggan 

Solon S. Duggan 

( Unionvil le ) 
F. M. Duke 

( Wartrace ) 

John N. Dykes 

(Versailles ) 
E. M. Eaton 
J. E. Elam 
Thomas J. Elam 
John A. Ewing 

(La Vergne) 
Clarence N. Ferguson 

(Chapel Hill) 
John R, Fletcher 

(Wartrace ) 
W- R. Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
John Wesley Gaines 

( Antioch) 
John Gannaway 

Brainard B. Gracy 

( Smyrna ) 
Elias Tidwell Gray 

(Versailles ) 
Samuel Carver Grigg 
Moses T. Griswell 

(Wartrace ) 
Benjamin Franklin Guill 

(Wilson County) 
Joseph David Hall 

Robert B. Harris 

( Jefferson ) 
Henry Marion Hearn 

Charles B. Heimark 

W. E. Hibbett 

( Smyrna ) 
William Murphree Hoover 

( Beech Grove ) 
Dewitt Clinton Huff 

Enoch H. Jones 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Garner M. Jordan 

( Triune ) 

Area Physicians During the 1890s (continued) 


Robert N. Knox 
George Leonard Landis 

( Unionvil le ) 
Bailey Peyton Lester 

(Woodbury ) 
Nathaniel M. Lewis 

(Florence ) 
Amasa W. Manire 

John Wesley Mankin 

(Beech Grove) 
Robert W. Martin 

Pleasant H. McBride 

J. B. McClellan 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Lyman Beecher McCrary 

(Woodbury ) 
Allen Posey McCul lough 

Armstrong Eagleton McKnight 

Bennett Rucker McKnight 

(Auburntown) . 
Thomas M. McMurray 

( Nolensville ) 
Lorenzo Dow Miller 

Robert Moon 

(Unionville ) 
James W. Morton 

(Chapel Hill) 
James B. Murfree, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
James B. Murfree, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
M. Edward Nealy 

(Walter Hill) 
James K. Nor Veil 

(Beech Grove) 
D. F. Orr 


W. M. Orr 

Urban G. Owen 

(College Grove) 
George C. Paschall 

(Williamson County) 
Thomas Ivan Poplin 

Medicus Ransom 
Robert William Read 
James Joshua Rucker 

Minus L. Rucker 

(Wilson County) 
Robley Edward Sanders 

(Walter Hill) 
Ephraim A. Speer 

( Readyville ) 
James A. Speer 
Robert Fountain Tatum, Sr . 

(Woodbury ) 
Nimrod Whitefield Thompson 
James T. Turney 

(Auburntown ) 
John S. Waldron 

(Smyrna--La Vergne) 
Henry Joseph Warmuth 

( Smyrna ) 
James E. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert S. Wendel 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. N. White, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
John Howland White 

(Jordan's .Valley) 
Harrison Whitfield Winstead 

(Williamson County) 
Thomas W. Wood 

( Deason ) 
Stephen Henry Woods 
William E. Youree 


treatment, that of hydrotherapy, was described by Dr. Brandt 
of Germany in the 1860s; most of the medical schools in 
the country had adopted it as the treatment of choice. The 
patient with typhoid always had a high fever; he was 
immersed in a tub of cold water for periods of up to 
fifteen or twenty minutes, three and four times a day for 
the control of the fever, more often if the fever warranted 
it. He stated in the paper that no drug or method of 
treatment was presently known by which the enteric fever 
could be aborted, but it could be controlled by the cold 
baths. He wrote that blood-letting, emetics, purgatives, 
astringents, turpentines, silver nitrate, mineral acids 
and antiseptics had all been used in the past but were not 
warranted in present treatment, stating "the greater 
number of these agents have no longer even a historical 
interest . """ 

When the Middle Tennessee Medical Association met in 
Murfreesboro in May, 1904, Dr. J. B. Murfree was designated 
by the Rutherford County Medical Society to give the 
welcoming address to the visiting doctors. Dr. E. H. Jones 
of Murfreesboro read a paper to the group entitled 

^^W. F. Clary, M. D., "Treatment of Enteric or Typhoid 
Fever According to the Method of Brandt," Transactions of 
the Medical Society of the State of Tennessee (1897), 76. 


"Gastro-Intestinal Disorders in Children." He primarily 
discussed the summer diarrheas in infants attributing the 
cause of these illnesses to bacterial contamination of 
milk, at least' on many occasions. He prescribed saline 
enemas which, he physiologically reasoned, replaces some 
of the lost constituents of the blood. The doctors were 
beginning to realize that dehydration was a major part 
of the morbidity of diarrheal disease. 

In 1902 the Medical Society of the State of Tennessee 
changed its name to The Tennessee State Medical Association 
and established a new constitution and a new set of by-laws 
to go into effect immediately. The new constitution and 
by-laws provided that the transformed state organization 
should be a federation of county medical societies that 
should hold charters from the association. The members of 
the association were to be the members of the county 
society or, to put it in another way, only those physicians 
in the state who were or should become members of county 
societies could attain membership in the state association. 
The county societies were required to receive a charter 
from the state association and to adopt principles of 

E. H. Jones, M. D., "Gastro-Intestional Disorders in 
Children," Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery , 
V. 96 (1904), 717. 


organizations not in conflict with the state organization's 
constitution and by-laws and the county society was to 
have the right to send delegates in proportion to its 
membership to the House of Delegates of the Tennessee State 
Medical Association. In that year the Rutherford County 
Medical Society received its charter from the Tennessee 
State Medical Association, a charter which has remained 
in effect to the present day.^^ 

By the turn of the century medicine in Rutherford 
County was experiencing the excitement of the new dis- 
coveries in medicine, most especially that which was 
brought about by the germ theory. Already the subjects of 
microbiology and bacteriology were being taught at the 
medical schools in Nashville. So the dissemination of the 
exciting new medical knowledge acquired in the last part 
of the nineteenth century had reached our area and was 
already being utilized in the local practice of medicine. 
In addition the discovery of the germ theory initiated an 
interest in public health. The epidemics of cholera and 
yellow fever in the seventies had goaded the legislature 
to action and the State Board of Health was established 
in 1877. That board undertook to do something about 

^^Hamer, pp. 119-120 


controlling the epidemic diseases and they set about to 
get boards of health established in the towns and cities 
within the state. The Murfreesboro Board of Health was 
organized during 1877 with a membership as follows: 
James B. Murfree, M. D. , president, C. B. Huggins, Sr., 
secretary, H. H. Clayton, M. D. , health officer, Medicus 
Ransom, M. D. , Robert S. Wendell, M. D., and J. B. Palmer. 
In 1885 the general assembly passed a law creating county 
boards of health to be composed of the county judge, the 
county court clerk, the county health officer. Soon there- 
after the Rutherford County Board of Health was formed 
with James B. Murfree, M. D., president, John Woods, 
chairman of the County Court, W. B. Robinson, Clerk of the 
County Court. ^^ 

Dr. E. H. Jones read a paper before the Middle 
Tennessee Medical Association November 17, 1904, on 
obstetrical practice in which he emphasized the many safe- 
guards and danger signals in obstetrical practice. In 
this paper he mentioned that everyone knew it was impos- 
sible to completely sterilize the hands; therefore, all 
examinations should be done with sterile gloves. Although 
Halstead was the first to use gloves in aseptic surgery 

^^Sims, pp. 141-142, 


in the 1890s, the news spread quickly and they were being 
used in Rutherford County in 1904.70 

Dr. Jones read a paper on pellagra at the Tennessee 
State Medical Association in April, 1911. The cause of 
pellagra at the time was unknown, but it was theorized that 
it might be produced as a result of spoiled grain. They 
recognized sufficient relationship between the development 
of the cases and the diets of the patients to associate the 
disease with some type of dietary problem. He reported a 
case he had seen whose diet had been largely of corn, mush 
and milk. Dr. Jones did not mention changing the patient's 
diet, but treated him with arsenic, iron, and strychnia; 
so, of course, that type of treatment did not correct the 
deficiency state. They did not know about vitamin defi- 
ciencies at that time and they did not know whether the 
disease was communicable or not. This disease was very 
prevalent in the south during the early nineteen 
hundreds J'- 

Dr. S. S. Duggan, a practitioner in Eagleville, read, 
before the Rutherford County Medical Society on August 30, 

^^E. H. Jones, M. D., "Obstetrical Maxims Epitomized 
and Emphasized," Nashville Journal of Medicine and 
Surgery , V. 97 (1905), 1. 

7^E. H. Jones, M. D. , "Pellagra, With Report of a 
Case," Journal of the Tennessee State Medical Association , 
V. 4 (1911), 97. 


Area Physicians 1900-1910 

John W. Acuff 

(Bell Buckle) 
John S. Bass 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Thomas J. Bennett 

( Smyrna--Triune ) 
W. C, Bilbro 

L. A. Brothers 

( Fosterville ) 
James F. Byrn 

(Murf reesboro) 
James M. Chadwick 

(Beech Grove) 
Ephraim Charlton 

(Davidson County) 
W. F. Clary 

(Bell Buckle) 
William Collett 
J. J. Covington 

(College Grove) 
G. W. Crosthwait 

(Florence ) 
James P. Cur lee 

Dr . Denny 
James M. Dill 

John F. Dismukes 

(Porterf ield) 
George T. Drennan 

(Bell Buckle) 
J. C. Drennan 

S . S . Duggan 

John N. Dykes 

(Christiana ) 
V. K, Earthman 

(Murf reesboro) 
Thomas J. Elam 
Sam E. Estes 

(Walter Hill) 
Dr. Evans 
John A. Ewing 

(La Vergne) 

George C. Fisher 

(Unionville ) 
Robert J. Fisher 

(Unionville ) 
Edgar C. Freas 

( Lascassas ) 
W. R. Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
John Gannaway 

Lemuel B. Gilbert 

David R. Gooch 

B. B. Gracy 

( Smyrna ) 
Charles R. Graham 
Elias T. Gray 

(Versailles ) 
S. C. Grigg 
M. H. Grimmett 

(Wilson County) 
M. T. Griswell 

( Wartrace ) 
Leon B. Hagley 
J. D. Hall 

G. C. Hardin 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. T. Harris 
J. P. Hickman 

(Murf reesboro ) 
E, M. Holmes 
John L. Hoover 

(Beech Grove) 
DeWitt T. Hough 
J. R. Hudson 

(Major ) 
D. C. Huff 

( Christiana ) 
A. J. Jamison 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. H. Jernigan 

(Cannon County) 
Luther R. Johnson 

(Murf reesboro ) 

Area Physicians 1900-1910 (continued! 


Enoch H. Jones 

(Murf reesboro) 
G. M. Jordon 

(Triune ) 
J. C. Kelton . 

(Lascassas ) 
I. H. King 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert N. Knox 
George L. Landis 

(Unionville ) 
B. P. Lester 

N. M. Lewis 

(Florence ) 
James P. Lyon 
A. W. Manire 

(Eaglevil le ) 
R. W. Martin 

James L. Mason 

(Beech Brove) 
James E. Mayes 

( Almaville ) 
J. B. McClellan 

(Murf reesboro) 
Lyman B. McCrary 

(Woodbury ) 
A. P. McCul lough 
A. E. McKnight 

Bennett R. McKnight 

( Auburntown ) 
Thomas M. McMurray 

( Nolensville ) 
L. D. Miller 

(Murf reesboro) 
Thomas A. Mitchell 

Robert Moon 

W. A. Moon 

(Bell Buckle) 
James W. Morton 

(Chapel Hill) 

J. B. Murfree, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. B. Murfree, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles E. Myers 

( Smyrna ) 
Richard Neal 
M. E. Nealy 

(Walter Hill) 
Boone E. Noblitt 

( Wartrace ) 
James K. Norvell 

(Beech Grove) 
Houston Odom 

W. M. Orr 

J. C. Overall 

Urban G. Owen 

(College Grove) 
W. T. Owen 

(College Grove) 
G. C. Paschall 

(Williamson County) 
A. R. Pinkston 

(Triune ) 
Rufus Pitts 

(Murf reesboro) 
Thomas I. Poplin 

M. D. Ratcliff 

R. W. Read 
H. C. Rees 
John R. Rickman 

(Chapel Hill) 
Jefferson Robinson 

(Versailles ) 
J. J. Rucker 

M. L. Rucker 

(Wilson County) 
Charles H. Russell 

(Nolensville ) 
Robley E. Sanders 

(Walter Hill) 


Area Physicians 1900-1910 (continued) 

W. J. Sanders 
William H. Sedgewick 

S. B. Smith 

John Simpson 

John W. Sneed 

( Antioch) 
E. A. Speer 

(Readyville ) 
D. L. Strader 

James T. Summers 

(Walter Hill) 
G. W. Taylor 
J, S. Taylor 

John Templeton 

(Wartrace ) 
James P. Temple 

(Fosterville ) 
W. T. Thach 

(Bell Buckle) 
George W. Todd 

(Rucker ) 
James T. Turney 

( Auburntown ) 

R. C. Van Hook 
Parks Vaughan 
R. D. Vaughn 

(Walter Hill) 
E. B. Vaughn 
J. C. Waddy 

(Murf reesboro) 
Charles E. Walker 

John L. Walker 

(Wartrace ) 
B. N. White, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Garrett White 

(Chapel Hill) 
John H. White 

(Bell Buckle) 
S. K. Whitson 

(Wartrace ) 
H. W. Winstead 

(Williamson County) 
Thomas W. Wood 

( Deason) 
Stephen H. Woods 
Dr. Woodson 
William E. Youree 


1911, a paper on dystocia. This paper was published in 
the Journal of the Tennessee State Medical Association .^^ 

The Rutherford County Medical Society was meeting 
regularly and the meetings were held in an office of one 
of the physician members. The society was meeting 
monthly and at each meeting some instructive cases were 
reported and usually an essay was read in addition to the 
usual business of the society. At the meeting in 
November, 1912, medical legislation was the subject under 
general discussion. At that time the county society 
proceedings were being published in the Journal of the 
Tennessee State Medical Association if the secretary of 
the county society would be good enough to send the 
journal the minutes of the meetings. At the October, 

1912, meeting of the local society. Dr. E. H. Jones gave 
a paper on endometritis and Dr. W. C. Bilbro gave a paper 
on bradycardia. At the meeting in February, 1913, 

Dr. Matt B. Murfree, Sr. read an essay on meningitis and 
at the meeting in March, 1913, Dr. J. C. Overall of 
Lascassas read an essay on pleurisy. At other sessions in 
1913 Dr. S. B. Duggan of Eagleville read an essay on 

'^S. S. Duggan, M. D., "Dystocia," Journal of the 
Tennessee State Medical Association, V. 5 (1912), 405. 


fracture of the elbow and Dr. Bart White, Jr. reported an 
interesting case of hematuria. At the February, 1914 
meeting Dr. E. M. Holmes and Dr. B. N. White, Jr., reported 
cases of appendicitis. In December, 1914, Dr. White, 
secretary of the local society, wrote the Journal of the 
Tennessee State Medical Association as follows: "There 
are twenty-four members enrolled, the society is active, 
attendance at meetings good, and fraternal feeling 
excellent." In May, 1916, the subject for discussion was 
arteriosclerosis. At the meeting in October, 1916, 
Dr. A. E. Goodloe read a paper on rheumatism. 

The county society had an annual outing at the fair- 
grounds near Murfreesboro on July 4, 1917. A number of 
invited guests were present, among them Doctors 0. N. 
Bryan and E. M. Sanders of Nashville who contributed to 
the scientific program. The members of the society came 
with their families and their baskets and had an old- 
fashioned good time together. This annual outing had 
come to be a feature which was looked forward to with 
great pleasure each year and had undoubtedly done a great 
deal to help make the society a stronger and better 

Several doctors from the area served in World War I. 
The doctors were accustomed to civilian practice and had 


to undergo military training to equip them €or military 
duty. They in turn trained the enlisted personnel to 
prepare them for service in the medical departments. 
Repeated physical examinations of all enlisted men were 
necessary to eliminate the physically unfit. All the 
soldiers were immunized against typhoid and small pox. 
They were responsible for sanitation of camps, ships, as 
well as all of the medical needs of the sick and the 
wounded. The physicians had a great deal more to work 
with in World War I than they had in the Civil War. 
Preventive medicine was better understood and better 
precautions in sanitation and immunization were under- 
taken. Wounds were treated with the new surgical aseptic 
conditions. Blood was available for transfusions and 
intravenous fluids were available which markedly reduced 
the number of deaths. 

On the battlefield, when a man fell in the front 
line, he received his first dressing from his comrade or 
an emergency dressing that the soldier had on his person. 
Then regimental stretcher bearers would attend the wound 
and, if it was serious, the wound was attended by a 
regimental surgeon whose aid post would be as near as 
possible to the fighting line. No surgery was done at 


the regimental aid post. The wound was dressed and 
hemorrhage was controlled as far as possible, and, if 
necessary, a vessel would be ligated. The wounded 
soldier, after receiving aid at the regimental aid post, 
was carried back farther to the advanced dressing stations 
or advanced aid posts by ambulance bearers. The ambulance 
then conveyed the seriously wounded to one of the field 
hospitals. There the patients were carefully examined 
and whatever necessary was done. In the field hospitals 
anti-tetanus serum was given and the necessary surgery 
was performed. He was then transferred to the evacua- 
tion hospital. ^^ Dr. W. T. Robison served ten months of 
duty with field hospitals in France. Dr. D. C. Haggard 
of Unionville also served in France. Dr. M. B. Murfree, 
Sr., was on field hospital duty in France. 

The war started April, 1917, and ended November, 
1918. Measles and its complications presented one of the 
major problems in the army camps. Once again the raw 
country boys, previously unexposed to the common conta- 
gious diseases and therefore lacking immunity, were thrown 
with the inevitable diseases to which they had not been 

^^ajor W. J. Bell, M. R. C, "Surgery on the Battle- 
field," Journal of the Tennessee State Medical Association , 
V. 11 (1918), 61. 

Area Physicians 1910-1920 


J . F . Adams 

E. B. Allen 

J. S. Allen 
W. C. Bilbro 

L. A. Brothers 

V. S. Campbell 

W. F. Clary 

(Bell Buckle) 
John R. Charlton 

(La Vergne area) 
G. W. Charlton III 

J. J. Covington 

(College Grove) 
W. J. M. Covington 

(College Grove) 
S. C. Craig 
G. W. Crosthwait 

( Florence) 
James P. Curlee 

James M. Dill 

John F. Dismukes 

(Porterf ield) 
S. S. Duggan 

( Eagleville ) 
Thomas C- Dunn 

J. N. Dykes 

V. K. Earthman 

Sam E. Estes 

(Walter Hill) 
John A. Ewing 

(La Vergne) 
George C. Fisher 

( Unionville) 
Robert J. Fisher 


John J. Garrett 

R. C. Garrett 

David R. Gooch 


A. E. Goodloe 

B. B. Gracy 
( Smyrna ) 

Elias T. Gray 

S. C. Grigg 
J. D. Hall 

John Henry Hamilton 

( Smyrna ) 
G. C. Hardin 

F. C. Hargis 

C. C. Harris 
J. P. Hickman 

(Murfreesboro ) 
John L. Hoover 

(Beech Grove) 
J. R. Hudson 

(Walter Hill) 

D. C. Huff 

A. J. Jamison 

Edward 0. Jenkins 

Enoch H. Jones 

(Murfreesboro ) 
J, C- Kelton 

( Lascassas ) 
George L. Landis 


B. P. Lester 

Henry Lee 
N. M. Lewis 

A. W. Manire 



Area Physicians 1910-1920 (continued) 

W. D. Martin 

( Smyrna ) 
James E. Mayes 

( Almaville ) 
J. B. McClellan 
(Murf reesboro) 
Lyman B. McCrary 

Henry L. McGee 

Bennett R. McKnight 

( Auburntown) 
L. D, Miller 

D. D. Moncrief 

(Chapel Hill) 
James P. Moon 
J. Robert Moon 
William A. Moon 
(Bell Buckle) 
C. H. Morgan 

(Rucker ) 
James W. Morton 
(Chapel Hill) 
Mathias B. Murfree 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. B. Murfree, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Chester E. Myers 

(Unionville ) 
M. E. Nealy 

(Walter Hill) 
James K. Norvell 
(Beech Grove) 
J. C. Overall 
W. T. Owen 

(College Grove) 
Arthur Otis Parker 

Ernest W. Patton 

Jack F. Perkins 
(Beech Grove) 

Rufus Pitts 

(Murf reesboro) 
Thomas I. Poplin 

Robert W. Read 
W. T. Robison 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. J. Rucker 

John J. Rucker 
Robley E. Sanders 

(Walter Hill) 
W, J, Sanders 
J. A, Scott 

(Murf reesboro) 
Asa D. Sharp 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. M. Shipp 

S. B. Smith 

John W. Sneed 

( Antioch) 
James T. Summers 

(Walter Hill) 
J. S. Taylor 

James P. Temple 
Leland A. Thompson 

(Bell Buckle) 
C. E. Tubb 
E, B. Vaughan 
R. D. Vaughan 

(Walter Hill) 
John L. Walker 

B. N. White, Jr. 
(Murf reesboro) 
Garrett White 

(Chapel Hill) 
E. L, Williams 


Area Physicians 1910-1920 (continued) 

T. H. Wood J. B. Woodruff 

(Bell Buckle) William E. Youree 

Thomas W. Wood 


exposed. There were also large outbreaks of mumps and 
meningitis. Pneumonia was a very prevalent disease. 
During the autumn of 1918, influenza entered the picture 
with a terrible epidemic.'^'* Dr. B. N. White, Jr. was 
cited for meritorious service at Camp Forest, Georgia, 
where he was working in the communicable disease section 
of the hospital. In this war, also, the deaths from 
diseases exceeded those from wounds but the high mortality 
from disease occurred chiefly in the camps in the United 
States and was attributable, in large part, to the 
influenza epidemic of 1918. Had it not been for that 
epidemic the death rate from disease in. the military forces 
would have been considerably lower. 

The 1918 pandemic of influenza reached Middle 
Tennessee in early September and ended the middle of 
November. In the Middle Tennessee counties about one 
person in four contracted the disease and about one person 
in every three hundred died of it. The deaths were 
usually due to pneumonia. In some areas all public 
places were closed until the epidemic had subsided. In 
Middle Tennessee a considerable number of prominent 

V4Bordley and Harvey, pp. 112-113 


citizens including doctors died .of the disease. It was 
said that most cases were fearful of dying. The epidemic 
was indeed severe, but not when compared to some of the 
other epidemics endured such as the cholera epidemics 
of 1833, 1835, and 1873, and the yellow fever epidemic in 
Memphis of 1878. Medically speaking, we are only 
slightly better off in our relationship to influenza today 
than the world was in 1918. Our advantage is in the 
posssibility of treatment of complications- and in the 
production of artificial immunity. By November 1, the 
influenza situation in Middle Tennessee was such that the 
schools and public places were again opened. When the 
long World War ended some ten days later, the Middle 
Tennessee area was able to celebrate a double armistice. 75 

75john B. Thomison, M. D., "The 1918 Influenza 
Epidemic in Nashville," Journal of the Tennessee Medical 
Association, V. 71 (1978). 


Area Physicians Serving as Medical Officers 
During World War I 

Jesse F. Adams 

B. F. Donahue 

Snethan B. Duggan 

Vernon K. Earthman 

(Murf reesboro) 
Aareiel E. Goodlee 

(Murf reesboro) 
Daniel C. Haggard 

George E. Horton 

(Wartrace ) 
D. D. Moncrief 

(Chapel Hill) 

Orville B. Moon 

(Bell Buckle) 
Mathias B. Murfree 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. A. Nunn 

(College Grove) 
Asa D. Sharp 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. N. White 

(Murf reesboro) 
S. W. Williams 

(Cannon County) 
H. C. Wysong 

(Beech Grove) 


When World War I came to a close the European nations 
found themselves economically and socially depressed. The 
war ended Europe's preeminence in medical research 
especially Germany. As a result of the economic and social 
devastation, a "brain drain" of eminent scientists occurred 
with the migration of many great men to the United States. 
These men became established in various university centers 
and along with our own developing scientists, developed 
brilliant research centers which were to surprise and 
benefit all the world with their startling discoveries. 

Even more scientists immigrated to the United States 
just prior to and after World War II. Abraham Flexner's 
work in the evaluation of all the medical schools at the 
turn of the century was a great step toward the future 
development of research centers and the advancement of 
scientific knowledge. He published his report in 1911, 
and, as result of the report, charitable foundations, such 
as the Rockefeller and Carnegie, supported the institu- 
tions of merit with millions of dollars. This resulted in 
the closing of inferior institutions and the development of 
the superior ones. In the state of Tennessee it resulted 



in the closing of the University of Nashville and several 
other medical schools which were existent in the state, and 
served the development of the three institutions we see 
today; Vanderbilt University, The University of Tennessee, 
and Meharry. 

A gradual increase in requirements for medical school 
admission was seen during the 1920s; by 1930 two years of 
college pre-medical education were required for entrance to 
medical school and the medical school curriculum had been 
increased to four years. As the scientific knowledge began 
to mushroom, it became very apparent that an appropriately 
educated physician must have greater education. The pre- 
medical requirements by the 1940s had increased to three 
years and today most institutions prefer a bachelor's degree 
before admission to medical school; uniformly, all medical 
schools have a four year curriculum before granting an 
M. D. The concept of internship and residency training 
in hospitals was developed in the late nineteenth century 
especially at John Hopkins and gradually was embraced by 
all the other good institutions. This resulted in the 
development of internship requirements following gradua- 
tion before one could be licensed to practice medicine by 
any of the several states. 

As the knowledge in medicine advanced the practitioner 
in general medicine found it difficult to remain abreast 


of all the finer details in each discipline of medicine and 
surgery. This led, then, to the development of special- 
ization, and the various disciplines found themselves 
fragmented into subdisciplines , such that today an enormous 
specialization in the medical field is appreciated. 

The development of medicine over the last sixty-odd 
years has been along two major lines; specialism and pre- 
ventive medicine. These are not divergent branches of 
progress but have brought about advancement in all that is 
implied in the term "preventive medicine." 

With the development of better research centers medical 
discoveries increased in pace. One of the great contri- 
butions to medicine in 1921 was contributed by Doctors 
Banting and Best with their successful isolation of insulin. 
Prior to 1920 the only treatment for diabetes was strict 
control of the diet with severe limitation of carbohydrate 
intake. In spite of the most rigid dietary adherence the 
disease frequently was fatal. Young diabetics rarely 
survived for more than a few years. The first insulin 
injection was given to a young boy in a Toronto hospital 
in 1922. The Eli Lilly Company undertook the commercial 
production of insulin in 1922. 

Research in genetics was in progress and the chromo- 
some theory of heredity was postulated by the American 


biologist, Thomas Hunt Morgan, in 1921. Vitamin E was 
discovered in 1922. Vitamin B in pure form was isolated 
in 1926 by Jansen and Donath. The theory of the gene was 
propounded by .Thomas Morgan in 1926, and Doctors Murphy and 
Minot treated pernicious anemia with liver extract success- 
fully in 1926. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 
1928. In 1929 Vitamin K was discovered by the Danish 
biochemist Henrik Dam. Yellow fever vaccine was developed 
in 1930 by Max Theiler. A Swiss chemist, Paul Karrer, 
isolated Vitamin A in 1931, Fritz Mietzsch and Josef 
Klarer demonstrated the antibiotic effect of sulfanilamide 
in 1932. Vitamin D was discovered in 1932. Reichstein 
synthesized pure Vitamin C in 1933. Vitamin B2 was recog- 
nized by Doctors Kuhn, Szent-Gyorgyi and von Jauregg in 
1933. Vitamin E was chemically identified by Karter, 
Salomon, and Fritzsche in 1938, and Vitamin Eg was isolated 
in 1938. The Rh factor in human blood was discovered by 
Philip Levine and Rufus Stetson in 1939. 

In addition to the great discoveries in the chemical 
and physiology laboratories as listed above, much research 
was going on in the field of physics, and important 
developments in the field of surgical techniques. The 
American surgeon, Harvey Gushing, developed new techniques 
in brain surgery during the 1920s. The ultra-centrifuge 


was developed by Theodor Svedberg in 1923. Wilhelm Einthoven 
received the Nobel Prize in medicine for pioneering work in 
electrocardiography in 1924. The "iron lung" was developed 
by Drinker and Shaw in 1927. The cyclotron was being 
developed by Lawrence in 1930. This contributed toward the 
introduction of enormous advances in nuclear medicine in 
later years. Alexis Carrel developed an artificial heart 
in 1936. The first electron microscope was demonstrated 
by the Radio Corporation of America in Camden, New Jersey, 
in 1940. Intensive atomic research was begun in 1941 as 
the "Manhattan Project" and Enrico Fermi split the atom in 
1942. J. Andre-Thomas devised a heart-lung machine for 
heart operations in 1951. Radio-active isotopes were 
first used in medicine and industry in 1952. 

The optical microwave laser was constructed in 1960. 
Michael DeBakey first used an artificial heart to take over 
the circulation of a patient's blood during heart surgery 
in 1963, and Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the world's 
first human heart transplant operation in Cape Town, South 
Africa, in 1967. The heart pacemaker was first implanted 
in 1970 to correct a condition called "heart block." The 
first "test tube baby" was born in England in 1978.-'- 

■'■Bernard Grun, The Timetables of History (New York, 
N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1979). 


It is important, when discussing the developments in 
the twentieth century, to realize that in each of these 
areas, basic research had already started many years prior 
to the final discovery, and, in many cases basic scientific 
research had started in the early nineteenth century. A 
whole field of science rarely develops over-night. It is 
usually developed through a series of classical experi- 
ments over a long time frame involving the talents and 
efforts of many scientists. As an example, modern gastro- 
enterology could be said to have been born on June 6, 1822, 
when Dr. William Beaumont treated the severe wound of Alexis 
St. Martin which left his stomach permanently exposed 
through the abdominal wall. Dr. Beaumont's classic series 
of experiments proved the presence of hydrochloric acid 
in the gastric juice. So the developments have usually 
been stepwise, the startling new discoveries having been 
predicated on the researches of many people in the past. 

Specialization has spread continuously. The American 
Medical Directory now lists sixty-six specialties, the last 
two of which are aero-space medicine and emergency medicine. 
A few of these fields will be chosen to illustrate the 
remarkable advances of the twentieth century. 

In the field of human genetics research has steadily 
advanced. Intensive research on inborn or genetic errors 


started in the 1940s. As a result of such researches, the 

cause of Down's Syndrome (or Mongolism) is now recognized 

as a genetic error. In the late 1960s techniques were 

developed for prenatally diagnosing genetic diseases by 

culturing cells obtained from the amniotic fluid. This 

has permitted the detection of abnormal fetuses. Recent 

experimental work indicates that someday it may even be 

possible to introduce genetic material into defective cells 

so that they might essentially cure themselves. 

Immunology actually began it's history at the end of 

the nineteenth century and is one of the building stones 

of preventive medicine. The present century has seen the 

introduction of large scale vaccinations against diphtheria, 

tetanus, small pox, polio, whooping cough, typhus, cholera, 

measles, mumps, influenza, and most recently, hepatitis B. 

Allergic reactions were recognized. 

At the end of World War II, immunology entered 
a phase which eventually permitted a molecular bio- 
logical explanation for many of the immune phe- 
nomena associated with infectious diseases and 
which showed that many other biological activities, 
not directly related to infectious diseases, actually 
have an immunological basis. In the 1930s it had 
been discovered that the factors in blood which 
carry out the immune activity are in the gamma globulin 
fraction of the blood serum. Later studies showed 
these factors to be protein molecules, called 
immunoglobulins, which are capable of a wide range 


of interacting functions (e.g., with polio virus, 
tetanus toxin, diphtheria toxin, ragweed pollen).^ 

In the first part of the twentieth century the viruses 
could only be studied by observing the effect on the 
organisms they infected. They were too small to be seen 
by the ordinary microscope. With the invention of the 
electron microscope it was possible to examine the structure 
of viruses in greater detail and to study their relation- 
ships and reactions within the cells they infected. Methods 
were developed for growing cells in culture media called 
"tissue culture." This permitted the development of 
knowledge regarding the genetics in mutation of viruses. 
The practical results from all this research have had 
beneficial effects on the health of mankind second only to 
the discovery of antibiotics. The development of the 
polio vaccine, rubella vaccine (German measles), measles 
vaccine, hepatitis B etc., are examples of the benefits. 

In the field of cancer more and more information is 
being developed but we are still far from all the answers; 
however, in the process of this research we have developed 
a totally new field called oncology, which specializes 

^Albert S. Lyons, M. D. , F. A. C. S., and R. Joseph 
Petrucelli, II, M. D. , Medicine An Illustrated History 
(New York, N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams , Inc., Publishers, 1978), 
p. 579. 


in cancer treatment. The tools of research and therapy used 
in oncology are radiation and chemotherapy. 

In the fields of diagnosis and therapy radiation has 
been useful not only in the theraputic treatment of cancer, 
but it has also been a powerful tool in the diagnosis of 
disease. X-ray facilities in hospitals and offices have 
become centers of diagnostic activity. Tuberculosis became 
detectable earlier and cancers were found more readily at 
stages when they could be surgically removed. Early in 
the 1920s methods of visualizing the gall bladder and 
kidneys by X-ray were developed using contrast media. 
These workers and others took the first step toward the 
visualization of blood vessels, heart and other structures 
by techniques which used X-ray. A new concept developed 
in the early 1970s: a diagnosis by computer processing 
of many beams of radiation cast into the body from differ- 
ent directions (computerized axial tomography or CAT-SCAN), 
which provided insight into the interior of the body far 
exceeding the capabilities of the conventional X-ray 
facilities. The use of radio-active isotopes for purposes 
of "scanning" has been developed and may show abnormalities 

in the lungs, tumors in the brain, growths in bone, masses 

in the thyroid, liver, and other organs. 

Lyons and Petrucelli, pp. 587-588. 


Penicillin and sulfanilamides were used successfully 

in the treatment of bacterial disease in the early 40s. 

After World War II the field of antibiotic research advanced 

rapidly with the introduction of streptomycin, tetracyclines, 

chloramphenical . Today we have available a host of 

antibiotics to cover most of the vast spectrum of bacterial 


As new substances were used, bacterial targets 
developed resistance so researchers have had to 
enter an ever-quickening race to stay ahead of the 
adaptation by germs to each new drug. Furthermore 
antibacterial agents are limited by the inherent 
toxicity and newly acquired allergies and sensi- 
tivities of [some] patients to the antibiotics.'* 

High blood pressure was known late in the nineteenth 

century and efforts to measure it were started by various 

researchers in Europe, The first blood pressure manometer 

was developed in Germany but it was cumbersome and not 

accurate. Late in the 1890s an Italian physician improved 

the manometer, making it much more accurate and less 

cumbersome. Dr. Harvey Gushing, returning to America 

from a trip in Europe, brought one of these instruments 

back and started measuring blood pressure for the first 

time in America in 1905. Rapidly following this, the use 

of a blood pressure measuring instrument became a part of 

^Lyons and Petrucelli, p. 590 


routine examinations. Then problems of elevation in blood 
pressure started to be intensively investigated. Various 
medications were tried to reduce blood pressure. In the 
late 1920s the surgeons developed a surgical procedure 
called sympathectomy which reduced the blood pressure 
in patients who had severe blood pressure disease (the 
so-called malignant hypertension). Gradually drugs have 
been introduced which have been effective in reducing the 
blood pressure. Now a whole host of these medications 
are available which allow the hypertensive patient to 
control his problem permitting him to lead a productive, 
near normal life. 

With the advent of preventive measures in the control 
of epidemics the deaths from infectious disease began a 
decline. As a result the life expectancy of the population 
began to increase. As the age of the population 
increased other diseases began to occupy a more prevalent 
position in the cause of mortality. Whereas a hundred 
years ago infectious diseases were overwhelmingly the most 
prevalent cause of death, today we find cancer and 
cardiovascular disease. Research efforts into these two 
areas have been immense but they continue to be the major 
causes of death in our population excluding trauma from 
accidents. To choose one of these areas in illustrating 


the advances in medicine from 1920 to 1980 cardiovascular 
disease offers ample illustration. 

Einthoven's experiments demonstrated a correlation 
between occlusion of coronary arteries in animals and the 
development of abnormal changes on the electrocardiogram. 
These experiments led to modern electrocardiography; the 
physician can now see certain changes suspect of cardio- 
vascular disease; and he can frequently identify the 
changes of acute heart attack due to coronary occlusion. 
It also allowed development of knowledge in conduction 
defects (rhythm disturbances) of the heart. The field of 
cardiology, therefore, was enormously aided by the develop- 
ment of the electrocardiogram. Each year more than 1.5 
million Americans suffer heart attacks, a large percentage 
of whom die. In most instances these attacks are due to 
coronary insufficiency or occlusion and many of the deaths 
are sudden. This led to the realization that the sudden 
deaths were due to rhythm disturbances produced by faulty 
blood supply to the heart muscle; this knowledge in turn 
lead gradually to the development of the concept of a 
Coronary Care Unit (heart unit). The innovators and 
researchers realized that if some means could be developed 
to constantly monitor a coronary patient's heart rate and 
rhythm, it might be possible to prevent many of the fatal 


rhythm disturbances. The concept of counter electric shock 
had been developed years previously; electric shock was 
known to be capable of producing a fatal arrhythmia; but 
it also was known that countershock could restore a normal 
beat in some hearts with fatal arrhythmia. Gradually 
these concepts were improved and today's modern coronary 
care unit is the result. Simultaneously the concept of 
cardiopulmonary resuscitation was developed; now artificial 
resuscitating measures for breathing and circulation can 
be instituted early in the course of respiratory or heart 
arrest. These new concepts have considerably reduced the 
mortality in cardiovascular disease. 

Further, in the field of surgery the development of 
the heart-lung machine allowed the surgeons to do open- 
heart surgery with insertion of artificial heart valves to 
replace defective ones (most of which occurred as the 
result of rheumatic fever or congenital defects) which 
otherwise could have been fatal early in life. With the 
development of contrast media studies in X-ray, arterio- 
graphic studies were developed which allowed the practi- 
tioner to see the actual arteries and to note the 
obstruction of blood supply not only to the heart but 
also to other such as the brain or extremities or the 
abdominal viscera. Once a technique was devised to 


demonstrate the area of obstruction it was only a matter of 
course for the surgeons to develop a process by which the 
obstruction could be by-passed. The development of today's 
coronary by-p^ss surgery and by-pass procedures in other 
areas of the body was a natural result. 

When Barnard transplanted the first human heart in 
1967, the medical community and lay population alike 
developed feverish excitement over the future potentiality. 
As the researches in the field of immunology began to 
develop drugs which could suppress the immune system (which 
was frequently rejecting the donor tissues) more and more 
transplant procedures became available and were far more 
successful. Today, in addition to heart transplants, 
surgeons are performing successful kidney transplants, 
liver transplants, heart-lung transplants, bone marrow 
transplants . 

To produce all of these wonders of modern medicine 
has required the intermeshing and cooperation of many 
scientific disciplines, each complimenting the other, and 
cooperating to build a scientific framework of knowledge 
and technique which have allowed the development of 
unbelievable progress in the treatment of human disease. 

Today's modern hospital with all its improved 
diagnostic facilities, treatment expertise, qualified 


professional personnel, and supurb ancillary and supporting 
facilities and personnel is a far cry from the treatment 
centers earlier in the century. Further, the education of 
not only the physician, but also the other professional 
people involved in health care, has been markedly improved, 
and, in fact, demanded by the profession and public alike. 
A big contribution to the improvement in medical care has 
been due to improved education of the public toward medical 
problems; the effectiveness of the various communication 
media as well as the educational efforts on the part of 
organized medicine has contributed greatly to this end. 
The communication media has been very active in informing 
the lay public about medical developments over the years, 
teaching them about the developments of new medications, 
new diagnostic procedures, how to handle various medical 
crises, all of which has led to a much more informed and 
sophisticated lay population toward medical matters. 

One must also consider the improved communication and 
transportation available to the modern public. With the 
improvements in these areas, we now enjoy a superb ambulance 
capability with resuscitation units and trained resuscita- 
tion personnel on the units which allow transportation of 
the acute patient from the site he was stricken to the 
hospital, supporting him during transport by professional 


personnel. Further, these units while en route are in 
communication with emergency room units, whose physicians 
can give appropriate medical advice allowing the ambulance 
personnel to a:dminister many support measures to the patient 
until he reaches the hospital. Now heliports are being 
developed in the larger medical centers for the purpose of 
rapidly evacuating acutely ill patients to the hospital. 

The list of new medicines available for therapy in 
various disease states, the new surgical and medical pro- 
cedures available, the ever increasing knowledge in all the 
areas of medicine is mind boggling. Undoubtedly these 
unprecedented advances have made the modern physician more 
satisfied with his work than perhaps the earlier physicians 
were. More tools and understanding are available to the 
modern physician. The same is true with the lay public. 
They obviously are much more satisfied with the treatment 
received today than were the people a hundred years ago. 

Nevertheless, to put all this into perspective we must 
still realize that we have no cure for arthritis, no cure 
for the problem of aging, no cure for all of the forms of 
cancer, no cure for many diseases of the central nervous 
system. And we must also realize that with the cure of so 
many diseases of the past resulting in the consequent 
prolongation of the average life expectancy by decades, we 

have developed other social and therefore other medical 

problems which command the attention and efforts of modern 

man — the problem of drug abuse, alcoholism, mental stress, 

the appalling • loss of life through accidents, and the 

enormous load put on hospitals and surgeons to treat the 

trauma resulting from accidents. It certainly seems that 

as old problems are solved, new and frequently more 

formidable problems present themselves as a new and ever 

increasing threat. 

Today the doctors ' powers 

. . . to prevent and control disease have grovm out 
of all recognition. If scientific progress can 
be kept at present levels--which is no foregone 
conclusion but needs untiring and intelligent 
efforts; if the social gap can be bridged between 
medical knowledge and its availability to the 
majority of the community; if civilization is able 
to survive the catastrophies which threaten it; 
then most of the history of medicine so far may 
be hardly more than "prehistory" to future historians 
and doctors. Yet their debt to their predecessors 
will be as immeasurable as is ours to the anonymous 
caveman who once in the dim past discovered the use 
of fire.^ 

^Erwin H. Ackernecht, M. D., A Short History of 
Medicine (Baltimore, Md . : John Hopkins University Press, 
1982), p. 240. 


Rutherford County Medical Society remained organized 
but did not hold the usual regular meetings during World 
War I because so many of the doctors were in the military 
service, but in 1920 reorganization was effected. The 
society met in February of 1920 and elected Dr. M. B. 
Murfree, Sr., president. Dr. J. M. Shipp of Readyville 
vice-president, Dr. J. A. Scott secretary-treasurer; 
Dr. Murfree and Dr. V. S. Campbell were chosen as delegate 
and alternate delegate respectively to the state conven- 
tion. Following the reorganization the medical associa- 
tion met regularily and was thoroughly active. The meetings 
were held in the basement of the Central Christian Church 
and at each meeting the ladies of the church served the 
society lunch. 

At the December 1 meeting 1920 of the Rutherford 
County Medical Society the entire December program was 
devoted to the subject of cancer with several case reports. 
At the meeting of May 4, 1921, Dr. J. F. Adams of Brady- 
ville presented a paper "What the Country Doctor Can Do." 

In the fall, 1922, the Middle Tennessee Medical 
Society met in Murf reesboro. Committee on arrangements 
were Doctors Robison, Murfree, and Scott. The meeting was 



held in the Elks Club but the public meeting was held in 
the auditorium of Middle Tennessee State Normal and a 
banquet was held for the members at Middle Tennessee State 
Normal. Dr. J. F. Adams of Bradyville gave some case 
reports at the meeting and Doctor M. B. McCrary of Woodbury 
gave a paper on pellagra.^ 

During the 1920s, at least up until the time 
Rutherford Hospital was built, the basic health care 
delivery system changed little over the methods used during 
the first twenty years of the century. However, immuniza- 
tions had been developed and were being used for the 
purpose of prevention. The doctors still practiced much of 
the medicine and surgery in the homes of the patients, 
traveling widely into the county. Doctors Robinson, 
Murfree, and J. F. Adams did most of the surgery in the 
area, most of which was done in the home of the patient, 
usually on the kitchen table, but, if extensive surgery 
was involved, they sent the patient to a Nashville hospi- 
tal. Sometimes a Nashville physician would journey to 
Murfreesboro to assist a local physician in surgery at 
the patient's home. Obstetrical deliveries at that time 
were done almost all in the home, elaborate preparation 

■'-Mayne B. McCrary, M. D., "Pellagra," Journal of 
Tennessee State Medical Association, V. 15 (1923), 529 


being made to insure antisepsis so far as possible. 
Instruments were being sterilized and the doctors wore 
sterilized gloves for surgical procedures and obstetrical 
deliveries. They carried sterile packs with them into 
the homes, having been prepared at their offices, but 
occasionally the instruments would be sterilized in the 
home. Most of the doctors in the 1920s had automobiles, 
but in the country some still used the buggy, and in some 
cases horseback. Many of the physicians had a driver 
because they weren't too adept at managing the new "motor 
machines . " 

Communication between Murfreesboro and Nashville was 
improved, allowing reasonable access to Nashville hospitals 
except in certain emergencies. The Nashville , ^ Ghatbanopga 
and St. Louis railroad served Murfreesboro and Nashville. 
There were five trains daily between Nashville and 
Murfreesboro. The hard surface road between Nashville and 
Murfreesboro was said to be the best road in the state, 
and regular bus service four times each day and a touring 
car service every hour from Nashville to Murfreesboro was 
in service. There were no hospitals in the county and no 
laboratory facilities available. When laboratory tests 
were required, the doctors used the state laboratory in 
Nashville. From a public health standpoint there was no 


real organized public health program in the county in the 
early twenties. Rutherford County had only four regis- 
tered nurses and three practical nurses in addition to the 
Red Cross nurse, Miss Ferguson. There were sixteen mid- 
wives practicing in the county, all untrained. There was 
no regular organized clinic work in the county and no 
efforts had been made by the local health authorities 
along the line of venereal disease control. The county 
certainly needed an active public health program and the 
county was in desperate need of hospital facilities. 

The Red Cross Chapter was organized during World 
War I and headed by Mr . S. B. Christy Jr., a local 
business man. Whatever real public health work was done 
from then until the establishment of a public health 
program was done by the Red Cross under the efficient 
public health nurse. Miss Maude Ferguson. The work was 
financed by the local chapter of the Red Cross with an 
annual appropriation by the city of Murf reesboro . Miss 
Ferguson developed a public health program that included 
physical examinations of school children and a generous 
amount of public health education. She had the loyal 
support of a number of physicians and dentists who gave 
generously of their time and services to assist her. 
The county court appropriated and provided a health 


budget for the county. A part time health officer was 
appointed by the county court which appropriated $700 
annually for his salary and incidental expenses. The 
major portion- of his activities consisted of visits to 
patients at the county farm and county jail. A County 
Board of Health was in existence but no health work of an 
organized nature was carried on by this organization. 
There also was a City Board of Health early in the 1920s 
and there was a part time health officer who was given a 
salary of $300 a year. His duties consisted chiefly of 
treating the sick in the city jail. 

There was a very high tuberculosis death rate in 
Rutherford County during the twenties, an exceedingly 
high mortality from typhoid fever and a moderate infant 
mortality rate. The water supply of Murfreesboro during 
the early twenties, although chlorinated, needed filtra- 
tion. There were abundant areas of public health need. 
The general health standards of the community were found 
lacking. Many homes within the city limits had no toilet 
facilities. Commercial farms and factories had ignored 
sanitary conditions. There was an unusually high inci- 
dence of pellagra, hookworm, venereal disease. There 
was an inadequate sewerage system. Miss Ferguson, of the 
Red Cross, learned of the Commonwealth Fund in New York 


Area Physicians During the 1920s 

J . F . Adams 

( Bradyvi lie — Woodbury ) 
E. B. Allen 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. S. Allen 

(Murf reesboro) 
H. Ashley 

J. B. Black 

(Murf reesboro) 
T. J. Bratton 

L. A. Brothers 

V. S. Campbell 

(Murf reesboro) 
Lennora S. Carter 

J. W. Cartwright 

M. L. Connell 

W. J. M. Covington 

(College Grove) 
Albert M. Cross 

G. W. Crosthwait 

Charles R. Crow 

(Bumpus Mills) 
N. H. Culbertson 

(Chapel Hill) 
E. A. Davis 

(Murf reesboro) 
C. W. Dickey 

(Nolensville ) 
J. F. Dismukes 

J. H. Dyer 

(Wartrace ) 
V. K. Earthman 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. T. Eatherly 

(Chapel Hill) 
W. J. Engles 

( Smyrna ) 

Sam E. Estes 
(Walter Hill) 

W. R. Estes 

J. A. Ewing 
(La Vergne) 

C. N. Ferguson 
(Chapel Hill) 

J. K. Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
W. H. Garner 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. J. Garrett 

R. C. Garrett 


D. R. Gooch 

A. N. Gordon 

J. R. Gott 

(Murf reesboro) 

B. B. Gracy 
( Smyrna ) 

W. W. Graham 

(College Grove) 
J. D. Hall 

H. E. Handley 

(Murf reesboro) 
James R. Hamilton 

(Murf reesboro) 
John H. Hamilton 

( Smyrna ) 
G. C. Hardin 

(Murf reesboro ) 
F. C. Hargis 

( Lascassas ) 
J. T. Harris 

(Walter Hill) 
J. P. Hickman 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. L. Hoover 

(Beech Grove) 
D. C. Huff 



Area Physicians During the 1920s (continued) 

J. D. Huff 

A. J. Jamison 

J. T. Johnson . 

(College Grove) 
J. E. Jones 

J. C. Kelton 

(Lascassas ) 
W. C. Kirkland 

G. L. Landis 

Harry Lee 

(Walter Hill) 
J. H. Lemore 

J. S. Lowry 

( Smyrna ) 
J. B. McClellan 

M. B. McCrary 

H. L. McGee 


B. R, McKnight 
( Auburntown) 

D. D. Moncrief 

(Chapel Hill) 
J. P. Moon 

(College Grove) 
J. R. Moon 

W. A. Moon 

(Bell Buckle) 
M. B. Murfree, Sr 

H. S. Mustard 

Bristol Nelson 

0. G. Nelson 

B. L. Ousley 




J. C. Overall 

G. C. Paschall 

( Arrington ) 
James A. Paty 

(Bell Buckle) 
J. G. Robinson 
(College Grove) 
T. Robison 
J. Rucker 
E. Sanders 
(Walter Hill) 

A. Scott 

M. Shipp 

H. Smith 
(Beech Grove) 

B. Smith 
(Overall ) 

M. Smoot 

H. Sneed 

W. Sneed 
( Antioch) 

W. Summers 
(Walter Hill) 

P. Taylor 

S. Taylor 

E. Tubb 

C. Van Hook, Sr 
(Norene ) 

John L. Walker 

J. I. Waring 

B. N. White, Jr. 

Garrett White 

(Chapel Hill) 



Area Physicians During the 1920s (continued) 

L. Wiles 
(Halls Hill) 

W. Williams 
(Gassaway ) 

L. Williams 

B. Woodruff 
(Murf reesboro) 

Dexter Woods 

(Murf reesboro) 
T . H . Woods 

(Bell Buckle) 
H. C. Wysong 

(Beech Grove) 
W. E. Youree 

(Readyville ) 


City and its interest in establishing child health 
demonstrations. Mr. Christy, Red Cross head, contacted 
the Commonwealth Fund, hoping to influence them to estab- 
lish such a program in Rutherford County. This led to a 
consideration of Rutherford County for establishment of a 
Child Health Demonstration Unit financed by the fund. 
Dr. S. J. Crumbine was sent by the Commonwealth Fund to 
investigate the possibilities in Rutherford County. He 
worked in the area for some time, preparing an elaborate 
report to take back to the Commonwealth Fund. He listed 
all the resources of the area, considered the possible 
support systems of the clubs and organizations, local 
physicians and dentists, prepared an extensive evaluation 
of the health in the county, studied the public school 
system and its needs from a health standpoint, and worked 
carefully with the State Health Department to insure 
their interest, should the fund establish one if its 
demonstrations in Tennessee. He evaluated the various 
support systems that existed in Nashville such as labora- 
tories, hospitals, the State Health Department, the 
medical schools, and the nursing schools. On June 10, 
1923, Dr. Crumbine, in company with some state health 
officials, motored to Murfreesboro from Nashville and met 
with several interested citizens and officials. An 


official meeting was held at the Woman's Club in the 
afternoon at which Judge John E. Richardson of the city 
court presided. Mr. S. B. Christy introduced Dr , Crumbine 
who outlined the plan of demonstration. His associate, 
Dr. DeSaussure, gave a short talk on public health. 
Dr. Bishop, the state health officer, gave a very earnest 
talk in which he asked "What can we do to deserve this 
demonstration?" Miss Ferguson of the Red Cross talked of 
the great benefit to Tennessee should the demonstration 
be established here. Dr. B. M. White, Jr. spoke for the 
doctors stating that the citizens of Rutherford County 
would grant every request of the demonstration committee 
because all the requests were just and he felt that a 
County Health Unit should be established here. There was 
firm support from the medical community. Dr. S. B. Smith, 
the county health officer, reported that the people were 
realizing the need for a health demonstration and that he 
would personally support it in every way he could. 
Dr. W. T. Robison spoke for the need of the demonstration. 
Many other interested citizens spoke in support. Mr. 
Christy moved that a Public Health Association be formed. 
The motion was carried at the meeting and the following 
were elected by acclamation: Mr. S. B. Christy, presi- 
dent; Dr. White, vice-president, Mrs. Edgar McAdoo, 


secretary; and Mr. S. L. Ledbetter, treasurer. The 
president then appointed an executive committee to consist 
of the president, the secretary, and the following 
members: Mr. .Richard Stickney, Mr. J. K. Marshall, and 
Mr. Richard Moon. Dr. Crumbine wrote up all of the 
material and sent elaborate reports back to the Common- 
wealth Fund with his personal impression that "If a rural 
community is to be selected for the demonstration, 
Rutherford County should receive serious consideration. "^ 
Rutherford County was selected and the demonstration 
began in 1924. The Commonwealth Fund maintained the 
objective that adequate health service in the community 
or county could only be obtained by providing facilities 
for well-ordered clinical service as well as for an 
effectively organized health department. The two should 
work cooperatively and it was with this objective that 
they started the demonstration. The demonstration was 
a five year program to develop a pattern of health 
organization which could be used in all southern com- 
munities. Dr. Harry S. Mustard was the first director. 
Other staff included a pediatrician, health educator. 

^S. J. Crumbine, M. D., A Study of Rutherford County, 
Tennessee, unpublished manuscript, prepared for the 
Commonwealth Fund, New York, N. Y, 1923. 


sanitarian, laboratory technican and five public health 
nurses. Miss Maude F'erguson was appointed the Director of 

The child health demonstration committee developed a 
concept of public health and a framework for putting it 
into effect which was carried forth from its beginnings to 
the present day, improving services all along the way. The 
concept was based on teamwork among the officials of the 
community, the doctors, the dentists, the teachers, 
mothers, fathers, and the children themselves. They 
developed fifteen health committees scattered over the 
county which did a great deal for the welfare of the mothers 
and babies in their own neighborhood. Some of those com- 
mittees were connected with parent-teacher associations. 
The Rutherford County Medical Society gave the child health 
demonstration its official approval, and its individual 
members, like progressive doctors should, turned their 
attention more and more to keeping children well in 
addition to curing them when they were sick. Children in 
the schools were taught from day to day the way to be 
healthy. They went about their work of improving sani- 
tation throughout the county. An effort was made to have 
sanitary toilets built at every school outside the sewered 
area of Murf reesboro. They knew that insanitary privies 


Rutherford County Health Department 


The county health department and the child health 
demonstration established offices and clinic and 
laboratory facilities in this building on N. Spring 
Street in 1924. 


polluted the surface soil with human waste and this would 
surely pollute nearby wells and lead to many of the 
diseases such as typhoid and summer diarrhea complaints 
among those who drank the water. A sanitary privy built 
at a school could be conveniently observed and copied by 
home owners and tenants in the neighborhood. 

Immunization was encouraged and programs of vaccina- 
tion were developed for small pox, diphtheria, and typhoid 
fever among the children. They influenced Murfreesboro 
to adopt an ordinance which required dairymen to maintain 
certain standards of purity of milk which was supplied for 
use in the city. Nurses visited expectant mothers to help 
them prepare for childbirth under a doctor's guidance 
and the nurses made visits to mothers of very young 
babies to help them care for their children through the 
difficult first weeks of life. A pediatrician (the first 
one provided by the Commonwealth Fund was Doctor Waring) 
conducted well-baby centers in Murfreesboro and at various 
points in the county to which mothers could bring their 
babies and children who were still below school age. The 
pediatrician would examine the child, and tell the mother, 
if he found a medical condition, that the child should 
be taken to their family physician. He gave general 
advice regarding feeding and healthful care. He examined 


school children, about a third of all the children in the 
schools every year, so that each child would be examined 
once in three years to find out whether they were devel- 
oping as they. should, watching for signs of conditions 
that needed the attention of the family doctor or dentist. 
Nurses would help at the examinations of these children 
and would visit the parents in their homes afterward to 
make sure that the doctor's advice was understood and 
followed as completely as possible. After three years of 
the demonstration it was noted statistically that of the 
476 babies who received health demonstration care, 15 died 
(1 out of 32). Of the 250 babies not under the demonstra- 
tion program 35 died (1 out of 7 ) . 

The object of the school medical examinations was not 
only to keep track of the child's progress in health but 
also to find in time the physical handicaps and dangers 
which might seriously interfere with a child's school work 
and later life. They developed what was called a blue 
ribbon program. This was developed as an educational 
program in the schools which motivated the children to 
eliminate handicaps found at health examinations by going 
to their family doctor or dentist to have the conditions 
corrected. One such youngster in Lavergne one year won 
his blue ribbon only after getting glasses, having his 


tonsils treated, his teeth fixed, and improving his 
posture; every one of these changes for the better would 
pay him dividends long after the blue ribbon was forgotten. 
Children were taught good health habits by their teachers 
with the help of a health educator supplied for the time 
by the child health demonstration. They learned what 
foods constitute a healthy diet. They learned what baths, 
fresh air, and plenty of sleep do for health and generally 
how to make every day count in building up strength and 
vigor. In some small schools where there were no wash 
basins, the children developed the habit of pouring water 
over each others hands at the edge of the school porch 
so that they might be clean before they eat. Outside one 
small school youngsters drank out of folded paper cups so 
as to avoid "exchanging germs." 

The health education did not stop at the schools. 
The women who were organized into the fifteen local health 
committees were themselves studying what a neighborhood 
could do to promote its own health. 

The demonstration unit developed a venereal disease 
clinic. They built five tents, floored and screened, 
which were used in the county to enable those who had 
tuberculosis to live out doors (at that time fresh air was 
considered the best treatment for tuberculosis). They 


developed systems of vital statistics, keeping record of 
births, deaths and certain illnesses. In Murfreesboro a 
laboratory was provided so that milk and water supplies 
might be tested for purity. 3 

The child health demonstration ended January, 1929. 
When the health demonstration was completed. Dr. H. S. 
Mustard prepared a final report for the Commonwealth 
Fund on the demonstration. The success of the demonstra- 
tion was evident; very striking results were attained in 
lowering the death rates among mothers and infants. The 
city and county were prompted to appropriate funds for the 
maintenance of a permanent Rutherford County Health 
Department. The demonstration had attracted the attention 
of foreign countries and many visitors from such places 
as Turkey, Norway, Mexico, Canada, and many other foreign 
countries, as well as visitors from many states in this 
country came to observe the work here. All were very 
impressed with the excellent work that was carried on in 
the county. In 1930 a report was published by the American 
Public Health Association showing that the Rutherford 
County Health Department received the highest score of 

■^ They're Pioneers (Murfreesboro, TN: Rutherford 
County Child Health Deminstration Committee, 1927). 


any rural county in the country. For some time the 
Tennessee State Health Department had recognized the high 
type of public health promoted here and had been sending 
physicians and nurses to this county for field training 
under the direction of the local health department. 
Dr. J. B. Black, who had been with the health department 
as a health officer since 1927, became the director of the 
Rutherford County Health Department when Dr. Mustard 
ended the demonstration. As a result of the success of 
the demonstration the Commonwealth Fund of New York 
notified Mr.S.i B» Christy that the Board of Directors of 
that charitable organization had appropriated $75,000 for 
a building to house the Rutherford County Health Depart- 
ment. The building was to be given to Rutherford County, 
since the authorities of Rutherford County had shown a 
willingness to help themselves by appropriating suffi- 
cent funds for the maintenance of its well organized 
Health Department.^ 

The site for construction of the new Health Depart- 
ment was chosen to be the corner of North Church and East 
Lytle Street, It was the site of the old Cannon home. 

'^ The Home Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, June 17, 


Rutherford County Health Department 


The Cortunonwealth Fund of New York City presented 
the building to Rutherford County during dedication 
ceremonies October 5, 1931. 


Application for a charter for the Rutherford County Health 
Corporation, the holding company for the Rutherford County 
Health Department, was made and granted in 1930. The 
officers of the new corporation were S. B. Christy, presi- 
dent; A. L. Smith, C. M. Haynes, Julian Lytle, T. E. Hord, 
A. T. Elmore, and S. E. McElroy.^ The Health Department 
building was completed in 1931 and was presented to Ruther- 
ford County by the Commonwealth Fund of New York in formal 
dedication ceremonies October 5, 1931. S. B. Christy, 
chairman of the board of directors of the Health Depart- 
ment, presided over the occasion which was held in the 
auditorium of the new building and attended by members of 
the county court and several hundred others. The first 
speaker was Collier Crichlow, city commissioner, who was 
followed by Dr. H. S. Mustard. Dr. E. L. Bishop, State 
Health Commissioner, was next introduced and delivered 
a short but fitting talk on health work in Tennessee. 
Mr. Barry Smith of New York, director of the Commonwealth 
Fund, made the main address of the occasion, presenting 
the building to the county, and Mr. Christy accepted the 
building on behalf of the county. ^ 

^ The Home Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
November 21, 19 30. 

^ Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
October 5, 1931. 


A disturbance arose in the Rutherford County Medical 

Society in the mid 1920s over the alleged unethical conduct 

of certain of its members. The controversy which ensued 

raged for some time and without any apparent hope of 

settlement. Finally on June 21, 1926 a group of the 

members from Rutherford and Cannon County met and organized 

the Stones River Academy of Medicine. The newly organized 

doctors wrote the Tennessee State Medical Association 

through the district counselor and sent the charter, 

requesting that it be revoked and a new one issued to the 

newly organized Stones River Academy of Medicine. 


. . . at its annual session April, 1926, in Memphis: 
We the undersigned Physicians of Rutherford County, 
state of Tennessee, all of whom are reputable and 
legally registered and practicing non-sectarian 
medicine, respectfully petition that your honorable 
body issue to the undersigned a charter for organi- 
zation and operation as the "RUTHERFORD COUNTY 

At that time Dr. J. P. Taylor of Wartrace was the 
counselor for the fifth district. He carried the informa- 
tion to the state medical association counsel who con- 
sidered the request and rejected it. Dr. Taylor then wrote 
Dr. Scott, 

^From the files of the Rutherford County and Stones 
River Academy of Medicine. 


I am returning under separate cover the charter 
of the Rutherford County Medical Society in accord- 
ance with the decision of the counsel of the 
Tennessee State Medical Association. This action 
was taken by the counsel for the reason that there 
were no definite facts assigned that seemed to 
justify its revocation. 

We hope that whatever differences might have 
existed in your society that tended to disrupt its 
harmony have been or can be composed so that your 
society can go on in the spirit of fraternity 
cooperating with each other to your mutual good 
and to the good of organized medicine generally. 

If for any reason you are not in a position to 
turn this charter over to your society, kindly 
return it to me. 

With assurances of my very highest regards, I 
beg to remain, yours fraternally, J. P. Taylor, 
Counselor, Fifth District. 

A news item appeared in the June issue of the State 

Journal : 

A group of physicians residing in Rutherford 
County met recently and organized the Stones River 
Academy of Medicine. Meetings will be held on the 
second Wednesday of each month. The scientific 
program, which is now in preparation, will be pre- 
ceeded by a luncheon. The following were present 
and became charter members of the Academy: Doctors 
V. S. Campbell, B. N. White, J. C. Overall, J. R. 
Gott, W. T. Robison, J. C. Kelton, J. M. Shipp, 
A. J. Jamison, M. B. Murfree, J. F. Adams, S. W. 
Williams, J. A. Scott, and J. I. Waring. Election 
of officers resulted in the selection of Dr. J. C. 
Overall, president; Dr. J. M. Shipp, vice-president; 
and Dr. J. I. Waring, secretary-treasurer.^ 

Q Journal Tennessee State Medical Association , V. li 
(1926), 52. 


Then in the July issue of the state journal the 

following news item was printed: 

The Rutherford County Medical Society was 
reorganized July 7 with a full membership composed 
of the following: J. F. Adams, M. D. , Woodbury; 
A. N. Gordon, M. D. , Fosterville; J. C. Kelton, M. D. , 
Lascassas; M. B. McCrary, M. D. , Woodbury; B. R. 
McKnight, M. D. , Auburntown; B. L. Ousley, M. D. , 
Christiana; S. B. Smith, M. D., Overall; E. B. 
Allen, M. D.; J. S. Allen, M. D. ; V. S. Campbell, 
M. D.; A. J. Jamison, M. D. ; M. B. Murfree, M. D. ; 
J. C. Overall, M. D.; W. T. Robison, M. D.; J. A. 
Scott, M. D.; B. N. White, M. D. ; S. L. Wiles, M. D.; 
J. R. Gott, M. D.; all of Murf reesboro. ^ 

So it would seem that most of the doctors remained in 

both societies. The new organization was not affiliated 

with the state association but it met once each month, 

gave scientific programs and carried on all the regular 

business of the profession. In its by-laws barriers were 

set up to prevent the induction of undesirable members. 

In the meantime the Rutherford County Medical 
Society was meeting only once a year to elect 
officers. On the ground that the county society 
was acting in conflict with the letter and spirit 
of the constitution and by-laws of the Tennessee 
Medical Association, a majority of the members 
asked the House of Delegates through the counselor 
having jurisdiction time after time to revoke the 
existing charter and grant one to the group known 
as the Stones River Academy of Medicine. Finally 
after the House of Delegates was convinced that 
the controversy with the local members of the 
profession could not be satisfactorily adjusted. 

" journal Tennessee State Medical Association , V. 11 
(1926), 90. 


it revoked the old charter and granted one on 
August 7, 1932 to the Rutherford County and 
Stones River Academy of Medicine. 10 

The Stones River Academy of Medicine changed its name 
to the Rutherford County and Stones River Academy of 
Medicine prior to the issuing of the new charter. With 
the issue of the new charter, the old Rutherford County 
Medical Society ceased to exist and the new society has 
been in continuous operation to the present time. 

Dr. Harry S. Mustard, director of the child health 

demonstration and the county health officer during the 

years of the demonstration, was concerned over the lack of 

facilities for hospital care in the county. 

In June, 1924, Mr. Barry C. Smith, director of 
the Commonwealth Fund's child health demonstrations 
arrived in Murfreesboro to survey the Rutherford 
County demonstration. During this visit 
Dr. Mustard suggested to Mr. Smith that a small 
hopsital would be complimentary to the demonstration 
and further suggested that the Commonwealth Fund 
might provide for the cost of undertaking such a 
project. Not disinterested, Mr. Smith advised 
Dr. Mustard to further survey the situation and then 
put his proposal in writing. The following 
excerpt is from Dr. Mustard's letter, dated June 24, 

Dr. Mustard to Mr. Smith 

Since your visit to Murfreesboro, I have 
cautiously surveyed the situation and have come to 
the conclusion that there is a real need for a 

lOcarlton C. Sims, A History of Rutherford Count y 
(Murfreesboro, TN. : Reprinted by Rutherford County 
Historical Society, 1981). 


modern hospital in Murf reesboro. I have felt that 
the matter must of necessity be approached with 
great caution, and with this in mind have not con- 
templated any move for a few months. However, the 
local clubs have commenced to agitate "hospital," 
their idea being to raise enough money by public 
subscription to convert some fairly commodious 
residence for hospital purposes. They have been 
moving rather fast, and under the circumstances I 
have felt that it would be wise to guide their 
efforts to some extent. Consequently, I have talked 
to Mr. Christy (Simeon B. Christy) and Mr. Todd 
(Andrew L. Todd), both of whom you know, and one 
of the solid practicing physicians (Dr. William T. 
Robison) and have told them as I see it, the 
hospital problem here should be tackled from the 
standpoint of maintenance, and have further told 
them in the strictest confidence that if it were 
so approached I should be glad to write to you on 
the possibility that the Commonwealth Fund might be 
interested in a hospital proposition in the south. H 

From this beginning Mr. Christy became very involved 
in correspondence to the Commonwealth Fund, and, in the 
summer of 1925 the Commonwealth Fund committed itself to 
the building and equipping of the hospital. The completed 
cost of construction was $161,620 all of which was pro- 
vided by the Commonwealth Fund. The formal opening of the 
hospital was held on May 2, 1927, and the first patient 
was admitted at 7:30 A. M. on the following morning. It 
was chartered as a general welfare private corporation with 
the name Rutherford Hospital, Incorporated. The physicians 
and surgeons of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County met at 

11 James R. Arnhart, A History of the Development of 
Rutherford Hospital, unpublished manuscript. 


■»teiA .v^'vxktift^'' 

Rutherford Hospital 
Opening Day 
May 2, 1927 


the new Rutherford Hospital on April 15, 1927, to perfect 
a staff organization and to discuss the matters appertain- 
ing thereto. The organization elected staff officers: 
Dr. W. T. Robison, chief of staff; Dr. A. N. Gordon, 
assistant chief; Dr. J. A. Scott, staff secretary. A 
committee was named to draft rules and regulations to be 


submitted at a later meeting. 

Miss Mary F. Petitte, R. N. , P.H.N. , was appointed 
permanent superintendant in charge. She came to Murfrees- 
boro from New York. The original board of directors 
chartered under the laws of Tennessee were T. R. Whitus, 
John E. Richardson, A. D. McKnight, Wiley H. Robinson, 
Mary E. Marshall, Andrew L. Todd, Howard Henderson, J. P. 
Gordon, S. B. Christy, Mrs. Jim Haynes, George M. Darrow, 
George Youree, John M. Butler, and S. F. Houston. The 
board of directors appointed an administrative board of 
five composed of the following: S. B. Christy, John M. 
Butler, S. F. Houston, A. L. Todd, and A. D. McKnight. 

All physicians, to be considered eligible for 
appointment to the staff were required to qualify under 
the minimum standards of the American College of 
Surgeons and must be actively practicing in Rutherford 


News Banner , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, April 16, 1927, 


County. Staff appointment was determined by the adminis- 
trative board. The minimum standards were: (1) that 
physicians and surgeons privileged to practice in the 
hospital be organized as a definite group or staff; (2) 
that membership upon the staff be restricted to physicians 
and surgeons who are: (a) full graduates of medicine in 
good standing and legally licensed to practice in their 
respective states; (b) competent in their respective 
fields; and (c) worthy in character and in matters of pro- 
fessional ethics; (3) that the staff initiate, and, with 
the approval of the governing board of the hospital , adopt 
rules, reguations, and policies governing the professional 
work of the hospital; that these rules, regulations and 
policies specifically provide: (a) that staff meetings be 
held at least once a month; (b) that the staff review 
and analyze at regular intervals their experience in the 
various departments of the hospital; (4) that accurate and 
complete records be written for all patients and filed in 
an accessible manner in the hospital; (5) that diagnosis 
and therapeutic facilities under competent supervision be 
available for the study, diagnosis, and treatment of 
patients, these to include: (a) a clinical laboratory 
providing chemical, bacteriological, serological, and 


pathological services; (b) an X-ray department providing 
radiographic and fluoroscopic services. ^^ 

The first baby born at Rutherford Hospital was Mary 
Alice Robison,' the daughter of the head of the official 
staff of the new hospital. Dr. W. T. Robison and Mrs. 
Robison.l'* The hospital received accreditation by the 
American College of Surgeons in 1929. ^^ 

The Stones River Academy of Medicine began meeting in 
the hospital in 1927, the hospital providing a room for 
their meetings; they had their monthly meetings in that 
facility for many years. 

The people of Rutherford County owe a great debt to 
the Commonwealth Fund of New York. In addition to pro- 
viding the public health department building and initiating 
the public health program through the child demonstration, 
it provided Rutherford County's first hospital, giving 
all of it to the county; in addition the Fund helped the 
general medical community in every way it could while it 
was actively involved in the medical affairs of Rutherford 

^^ News Banner , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, May 2, 1927. 

l^ News Banner , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, May 23, 1927. 

^^ The Home Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, April 29, 


County. The Fund provided fellowships for many of our 
doctors to leave their practice and take post-graduate 
training. In 1929 they provided training to Dr. V. Sumpter 
Campbell, sending him to Harvard Medical College for four 
months post-graduate work. A dozen or more Rutherford 
County physicians and dentists received fellowships from 
the Commonwealth Fund, some of whom were Dr. Jamison, 
Dr. J. R. Gott, Dr. J. C. Kelton, Dr. J. C. Overall, 
Dr. J. A. Scott, Dr. J. M. Shipp of Smyrna, Dr. S. L. 
Wiles, Dr. B. N. White, Jr. These scholarships were from 
two to four months long, studying at some of the best 
medical centers in the east. Dr. Campbell's work was in 
internal medicine; Dr. Jamison's in urology; Dr. Scott's 
in eye, ear, nose, and throat; Dr. Kelton' s in obstetrics; 
Dr. Overall's in radiology; Dr. Gott ' s in pediatrics; 
Dr. White's work was in eye, ear, nose, and throat. The 
fund paid all of the doctor's expenses while he was away 
from his practice. 

Considering the enormous benefit this charitable 
organization gave to Rutherford County, it would be appro- 
priate to know something of the history of the foundation. 

The Commonwealth Fund was established in 
1918 by Anna M. Harkness, widow of Stephen V. 
Harkness, who had been a partner in the founding 
of the Standard Oil Company. Their son, Edward S. 
Harkness, the first president of the fund, added 
substantially to its endowment. The Fund from the 


beginning has had deep roots in a commitment to 
medicine and health care services as early as 
1921. Its first activity in this area was support- 
ing innovative approaches to improving the psy- 
chological and physical welfare of children. It 
established demonstration child guidance clinics 
in which .psychiatrists, psychologists and social 
workers treated children with emotional and 
behavioral problems and worked to enlist the coopera- 
tion of parents, teachers, social workers, physicians 
and judges. In later years the Fund promoted child 
guidance work in communities throughout the country. 
It also financed fellowships in child psychiatry, 
child psychology, and psychiatric social work, and 
ran its own child guidance training institute from 

Between 1922 and 1929 the Fund set up and 
supported rural and small town demonstrations of 
infant and child health and health education 
services. Experience with these and the child 
guidance demonstrations indicated a need to prevent 
illness and disease by improving the social and 
physical environment. The Fund worked closely with 
state and county departments of health to strengthen 
their supervisory and technical services responsible 
for sanitation, maternal and child health, and 
health education in rural areas. It also provided 
post-graduate fellowships for physicians already 
established in these areas, and for medical students 
who agreed to settle there to practice medicine, as 
well as support for new academic courses in pre- 
ventive medicine and public health. 

Concerned about the lack of both health care 
facilities and personnel in rural America in 1926 
the Fund began a program of matching grants for the 
construction of rural hospitals. These were to 
provide not only regular hospital services but also 
public health, nursing and professional training. 
In total fifteen hospitals were built. The program 
ended in 1946 with the passage of the Hill-Burton 

From its early years through the 1950s, the 
Fund made grants for medical research. Between 
1937 and 1967 the Fund's program of advanced fellow- 
ships in the health field enabled professors and 


Area Physicians During the 1930s 

J. F. Adams 

Ralph Adams 

John A. Alexander 

E. B, Allen 

J. S. Allen 

(Lascassas ) 
J. B. Black 

T. J. Bratton 

L. A. Brothers 

V. S. Campbell 

Lennora S. Carter 

John Cason 

M. L. Connell 

W. J. M. Covington 

(College Grove) 
N. H. Culbertson 

(Chapel Hill) 
E. A. Davis 

William N. Dawson 

William M. Dedman 

(Murfreesboro ) 
C. W. Dickey 

( Nolensville ) 
V. K. Earthman 

W. C. Eggleston 

(Chapel Hill) 
Sam E. Estes 

(Walter Hill) 
J. K. Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
W. H. Garner 


R. C. Garrett 

A. N. Gordon 

J. R. Gott 


J. D. Hall 

George C. Hardin 
F. C. Hargis 
*Richard L. Harris 
(Murfreesboro — VA) 
H. H. Hudson 

A. J. Jamison 

J. E. Jones 

J. C. Kelton 

(Lascassas ) 
Lois Kennedy 

Harry Lee 

(Walter Hill) 
J , S . Lowry 

Eva Lin Malone 

J. B. McClellan 
M. B. McCrary 

H. L. McGee 

B. R. McKnight 

A. S. Moffett 
W. P. Moore 

(College Grove) 
Donald P. Morris 

M. B. Murfree, Sr. 


B. L. Ousley 


Area Physicians During the 1930s (continued) 




J. C. Overall 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. W. Rawlins 

(Murf reesboro ) 
T. Robison . 

(Murf reesboro) 
V. Sanford 

(Murf reesboro) 
A. Scott 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. M. Shipp 

( Smyrna ) 
S. B. Smith 

J. W. Sneed 

( Antioch) 
W. Summers 

(Walter Hill) 
J. P. Taylor 



W. K. Tilley 

( Murf reesboro ) 
J. R. Tyner 

(Murf reesboro) 
R. C. Van Hook, Jr. 

R. C. Van Hook, Sr, 

B. N. White, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. L. Whitehurst 

(Murf reesboro) 
S. L. Wiles 

(Halls Hill) 
E. L. Williams 

Dexter Woods 

(Murf reesboro) 
T. H. Woods 

(Bell Buckle) 

*Only those Veterans Administration Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 


and researchers, both American and foreign, to 
improve their qualifications, engage in research 
and writing and work with institutions in the 
United States and abroad. Between 1954 and 1961 
the Fund also made special grants to help nurses 
qualify for the masters or doctors degree. 

Since World War II Considerable fund support 
has gone for the education of physicians and other 
health personnel. Grants to medical schools allowed 
them to reexamine and reorganize premedical and 
medical education, integrate behavioral and social 
science courses in the medical school curriculum 
and educate more students from minority groups. 

Just as it had turned its attention to 
inequities between urban and rural health care in 
earlier decades, in the early 1970s the Fund began 
to address the fact that not all Americans had equal 
access to the great technological advances made in 
medicine. It supported programs in university 
medical centers to improve systems for providing 
health care for the poor. It also worked with 
community based organizations and agencies to expand 
health care in needy areas and in a few instances, 
with medical schools, to establish health maintenance 
organizations (HMO's). Research supported by the 
fund during this period helped identify child abuse 
as a problem involving the whole family and promoted 
a medical approach toward solving it. 

In the 1970s the Fund financed programs 
encouraging medical schools and arts and science 
facilities at major universities to collaborate in 
revising and linking more closely the premedical 
and preclinical phases of the physician's educa- 
tion. These programs have explored the role of the 
humanities in social and behavioral sciences in the 
education of physicians. They have also examined 
how the entire natural and basic medical sciences 
faculties of the university could be used most 
effectively in teaching future physicians at both 
the college and professional school levels. The 
final awards for these programs were made in 1981. ■*•" 

■'-^ The Commonwealth Fund (New York, N. Y. : Harkness 
House, 1981), pp. 13-14. 

Area Physicians During the 1940s 


C. E. Adams 

J . F . Adams 

J. L. Ames 

( Auburntown) 
W. E. Anison 

W. S. Barham 

( Mur f reesboro ) 
Wendell Bennett 

*William M. Bevis 

(Murf reesboro- -VA) 
J. B. Black 

(Murf reesboro) 
T. J. Bratton 

J. T. Boykin 

(Murf reesboro) 
V. S. Campbell 

(Murf reesboro) 
Harvey W. Carter 

(Murf reesboro) 
John F. Cason 

(Murf reesboro) 
M. L. Connell 


A. L. Cooper 
(Chapel Hill) 

B. S. Davison 
(Murf reesboro) 

C. W. Dickey 
(Nolensville ) 

Price H. Duff 

(Murf reesboro) 
V. K. Earthman 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Sam E. Estes 

(Walter Hill) 
J. K, Freeman 

(Bell Buckle) 
George Goodall 

( Smyrna ) 

Gilbert Gordon 

( Murf reesboro ) 
J. R. Gott 

(Murf reesboro) 
*Richard L. Harris 

(Murf reesboro — VA) 
G. A. Hatcher 

(College Grove) 
R. D. Hollowell 

(Murf reesboro) 
M. D. Ingram, Jr. 


A. J. Jamison 
(Murf reesboro) 

J. K. Kaufman 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. C. Kelton 

(Lascassas ) 
Lois Kennedy 

( Murf reesboro ) 
E. S. Leek 

(Bell Buckle) 
J. S. Lowry 

( Smyrna ) 
Dr. McCarthy 

(Murf reesboro) 
M. B. McCrary 

S. K. Molnar 

(Murf reesboro) 
*George B. Moore 

(Murf reesboro- -VA) 
M. B. Murfree, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
M. B. Murfree, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Walter Norem 

( Murf reesboro ) 
E . P . Odom 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. C. Overall 

(Murf reesboro ) 

B. W. Rawlins 
(Murf reesboro) 


Area Physicians During the 1940s (continued) 

W. T. Robison 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. V. Sanford 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. A, Scott 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. M. Shipp 

( Smyrna ) 
S. B. Smith 

(Overall ) 
John W, Sneed 

{ Antioch) 
R. E, Strain 

(Murf reesboro) 

J. W. Summers 

(Walter Hill) 
J. H. Tilley 

(Murf reesboro ) 
R. C. Van Hook, Jr, 

( Auburntown) 
R. C. Van Hook, Sr, 

( Norene) 
B. N. White III 

(Murf reesboro ) 
S. L. Wiles 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Wanda Willig 

(Murf reesboro) 

*Only those Veterans Administration Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 


Another educational innovation sponsored by the 
Commonwealth Fund was an annual medical institute held at 
Rutherford Hospital. The Commonwealth Fund would hold this 
institute for .two or three days, inviting the surrounding 
area doctors to come in for a post-graduate program. The 
Commonwealth Fund would have invited outstanding physicians 
from major medical centers in the country to conduct the 
program. This provided needed post-graduate education to 
the physicians in our county and surrounding counties. 

The Cannon County physicians have always been an 
integral part of the activities of our local medical 
society except for a very short time early in this century 
when they tried to establish their own Cannon County 
Medical Society, but it only lasted about two or three 
years and was not a viable organization. There has been 
great professional interchange between the physicians of 
Rutherford County and Cannon County. Dr. J. F. Adams, 
an outstanding physician in Cannon County and a member of 
the Rutherford County and Stones River Academy of Medicine, 
built the Good Samaritan Hospital in Woodbury which 
opened for patients in 1934. Initially it had twenty-five 
beds and six bassinets. 

Dr. Adams had been operating the well known Adam's 
Hospital in Woodbury since 1924. In that hospital he 


performed more than a thousand major operations, winning a 
wide reputation as a successful surgeon. In the new 
hospital. Dr. Adams had associated with him- his son. 
Dr. Ralph Adams. Miss Mary Riley Cook, who was connected 
with the Adams Hospital for ten years, was the head nurse. ■•■' 

It was learned in 1935 that the Veteran's Administra- 
tion planned to build a neuro-psychiatric hospital in the 
Middle Tennessee area. Murfreesboro worked hard to be 
selected as the site for this hospital. Headlines in the 
Daily News Journal , Thursday, November 19, 1936, were 
"Veteran's N-P Hospital To Be Located Here." President 
Roosevelt had given approval to the plan placing the 
structure in this city.-*-^ The hospital was to be a very 
large institution, initially with over 600 beds which 
would employ a great number of people in Rutherford County. 
The hospital buildings were completed in 1939 and the first 
patients arrived in February, 1940. ■'■^ At the time the 
hospital opened for patients, there were 249 employees . ^"^ 

■'-^ Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro Tennessee, October 8, 

■*-° Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
November 19, 19 36. 

-'•" Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
February 7, 1940. 

^" Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
February 8, 1940. 


This was an immense boost to the economy of Rutherford 
County. Also the Veteran's Regional Bureau was moved to 
the hospital January 3, 1940.21 The hospital brought 
personnel from other areas which enriched the professional, 
social, and cultural life of the city. Three of the local 
doctors aided the facility by part-time service in the 
hospital: Doctors Overall, W. T. Robison, J. A. Scott. 22 
By March 1940 the hospital had 389 patients. 23 The annual 
payroll was a half million dollars annually. 24 

Not long after the excitement of opening the Veteran's 
Hospital came the depressing news of Pearl Harbor and we 
were once again plunged into war. Selective service 
systems were set up across the land with local physicians 
usually heading them. Dr. M. B. Murfree, Sr. served as 
examining physician for the local selective service board. 25 
He handled the job impartially and effectively. None 

^-^ Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
January 2, 1940. 

^^ Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
February 4, 1940. 

o o 

^-^ Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
March 21, 1940. 

Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
March 28, 1940. 

2 5 

Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
August 29, 1941. 


of the doctors who were currently practicing in the county 
were taken into the service but the younger physicians 
who were in training and who would locate here after the 
war were medical officers in World War II. Included in 
this group were Doctors James T. Boykin, B. S. Davison, 
Gilbert Gordon, J. K. Kaufman, Matt B. Murfree, Jr., E. P. 
Odom, W. W. Shacklett, and B. N. White III. Major James 
Boykin was awarded the Bronze Star in France for meritori- 
ous service in connection with military operations against 
the enemy during the period of October 1 to December 31, 
1944. The text of the official award reads as follows: 

The Bronze Star is awarded to James T. Boykin, 
Major, Headquarters Special Troops who distin- 
guished himself by meritorious service in con- 
nection with military operations against the enemy 
during the period 1 October 1944 to 31 December 
1944 in the European Theatre of Operations. Through- 
out this period Major Boykin performed his duties 
as Special Troops Medical Officer in an excep- 
tionally meritorious manner. With complete dis- 
regard for personal safety, he repeatedly worked 
under enemy fire to administer medical treatment 
to wounded personnel. His expert judgment in 
treating minor ailments eliminated the necessity of 
evacuating many men to the clearing station. Major 
Boykin' s technical skill, aggressive initiative and 
devotion to duty have been at all times a credit to 
himself and to the armed forces of the United 

By Command of General Craig26 

26 Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee 
May 2, 1945. 


Dr. M. B. Murfree, Jr. was inducted into the army in 
1943. He was overseas for two years. He was in the 
Battle of the Bulge, Battle of the Ardennes, the Crossing 
of the Rhine and received three meritorious awards. ^^ 

Dr. Eugene Odom's unit, the 321st Medical Battalion 
with the 96th Infantry Division, received a Gold Star for 
its excellent work during the Okinawa campaign. Captain 
Odom served as a medical officer with the 321st Medical 
Battalion during both the Leyte and Okinawa campaigns. 28 

Dr. Shacklett served sixteen months in the U. S. Navy, 
He was chief medical officer on an LST while in the 
service. 29 

Dr. White served in the Middle East at Cairo, Egypt, 
in Palestine, in Eritrea and was for two years in Persia. 
During that period he served with the 113th General and 
the 21st Station Hospital. He was later transferred to 
the Mediterranean Theatre of operations and served in 
Italy with the 64th and the 24th General Hospitals. He 
returned to the United States in October, 1945.-^^ 

27interview with the late Dr. M. B. Murfree, Jr., 

2 8 

Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 

November 11, 1945. 


Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 

April 5, 1950. 

Daily News Journal , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
February 7, 1946. 


Dr. B. S. Davison served 5 years in the U. S. Army as 
a physician during World War II, 2| years of which were 
served in the Pacific Theater. He was on Guadalcanal and 
Bougainville. . 

Dr. Gordon served over two years in Trinidad, British 
West Indies . 

Sewart Air Force Base was built in 1942. To serve its 
personnel, the Air Force established hospital facilities 
on the base. The physicians serving the hospital were all 
Air Force officers. Only one. Dr. Richard Fenno, was ever 
a part of the local medical society. 

After the war there was an influx of new doctors into 
the county and city--three of whom already had family 
medical ties in the community. Dr. B. N. White III was a 
third generation physician. Dr. Matt B. Murfree, Jr. was a 
third generation physician, and Dr. Gilbert Gordon was a 
second generation physician. The post-war era brought a 
population expansion of large magnitude throughout the 
country. Rutherford County shared this growth. 

The ever increasing hospital patient load as a result 
of increases in the population created a crisis for Ruther- 
ford Hospital. Plans for an addition to the hospital were 
formulated. The new construction doubled the capacity of 
the hospital with the addition of 33 beds, 20 bassinets. 

Area Physicians During the 1950s 


Carl Adams 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. F. Adams 

W. S. Barham 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Bebe A. Bass 

(Wartrace ) 
Joseph D. Berkley 

(Murf reesboro) 
*William M. Bevis 

Murf reesboro--VA ) 
J, B. Black 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. T. Boykin 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Arthur L. Brooks 

(Murf reesboro ) 
W. A. Bryant 

John E. Carlton 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. F. Cason 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Edwin W. Cocke 

(Murf reesboro--VA) 
Amos L. Coffee 

M. L. Connell 

(Wartrace ) 
B. L. Davison 

(Murf reesboro) 
Wm. W. Douglas 

( Smyrna ) 
J. H. Dyer 

(Wartrace ) 
Paul Estes 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. K. Freeman 

(Bell Buckle 
R. James Garrison 

( Murf reesboro ) 
S. C. Garrison 

(Murf reesboro) 

George Goodall 

( Smyrna ) 
Gilbert Gordon 

(Murf reesboro ) 
H. E. Handley 

( Murf reesboro ) 
George Hatcher 

(College Grove) 
S. H. Hay 

(Murf reesboro ) 
R. D. HollovN/ell 

(Murf reesboro) 

A. J. Jamison 
(Murf reesboro) 

Ralph Jones 

J. K. Kaufman 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Lois Kennedy 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Alexander M. McLarty 

James Lee Moore 

( Smyrna ) 
M. B. Murfree, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Russell E. Myers 

(Woodbury ) 
Eugene Odom 

(Murf reesboro) 
James Payne 

(Murf reesboro) 

B. W. Rawlins 
(Murf reesboro ) 

Charles H. Robinson 

Charles K. Roth 

Murf reesboro) 

C. B. Roundtree, Jr. 

J. A. Scott 

( Murf reesboro ) 

W. W. Shacklett 
(Murf reesboro) 


Area Physicians During the 1950s (continued) 

J. M. Shipp Dr. Waldren 

(Smyrna) (Eagleville) 

James H. Smith J. G. Waldrop 

(Murf reesboro) (Eagleville) 

John W. Sneed B. N. White III 

(Antioch) (Murf reesboro) 

W. R. C. Stewart, Jr S. L. Wiles 

(Eagleville) (Murf reesboro) 

J. W. Tenpenny Robert Wooldridge 

(Murf reesboro) (Smyrna) 

*Only those Veterans Administration Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 


new nursery with quarters for premature and isolation 

cases, new heating plant, a laundry, new waiting and 

emergency room, larger and improved kitchen, new pediatric 

ward, and other improvements. The new wing was completed 

in 1952. The hospital's needs continued to grow and in 

1953, another addition was planned. 

The doctors returning from World War II brought new 

and innovative methods to the practice of medicine in 

Rutherford County. They instituted changes in the hospital 

as well as in private practice. Many are unaware of 

. . . the radical change in the management of patients 
that occurred after World War II. Prior to the war, 
prolonged bed rest had been a very important feature 
of therapy. Patients undergoing the common types 
of surgical operations were kept at complete bed rest 
for long periods: appendectomy, 10 days; hernia 
repair, 14 days; gall bladder surgery, 14 to 18 
days; hysterectomy, 14 to 18 days. The long stay in 
bed necessitated a long period of hospitalization: 
about two weeks for appendectomies and three to four 
weeks for cholecystectomies (removal of gall bladder) 
and hysterectomies. After returning home the patient 
had to devote another three to six weeks getting into 
shape before resuming his usual activities. The 
routine of the obstetrician was similar to that of 
the surgeon. After delivery the mother remained 
at strict bed rest for two to three weeks and in the 
hospital for three to four weeks; after returning 
home activities were very slowly resumed over a period 
of six to eight weeks. Bed rest also was prescribed 
generously for medical patients after febrile ill- 
nesses and for those with tuberculosis, myocardial 
infarction, and many other conditions . ■^■'■ 

^^James Bordley, III. M. D., and A. McGehee Harvey, 
M . D . , Two Centuries of American M edicine 1776-1976 
(Philadelphia, Pa.: W. B. Saunders Company, 1976), 
p. 756. 


On June 15, 1944 at the annual session of the American 
Medical Association, the section on experimental medicine 
and therapeutics held a symposium on "the abuse of rest in 
the treatment of disease." The papers presented in this 
symposium were published in the Journal of the American 
Medical Association and attracted much attention. The 
studies indicated that early ambulation provided better or 
at least equal results to prolonged bed rest. Early con- 
trolled ambulation seemed to offer many advantages without 
imposing any disadvantages. The difficult problem was to 
convince patients that early ambulation was to their 
advantage. All of their lives they had been conditioned 
to the traditional doctrine that prolonged bed rest is 
necessary after surgery and they were hesitant about 
accepting any other point of view. Obstetrical patients 
exhibited an even stronger resistance to change. The 
change in attitude resulted in shorter hospital stays 
and therefore an increase in the availability of hospital 
beds for the sick to say nothing of the savings in the cost 
of medical care.-^^ 

With the advent of the newer techniques in medical 
care, the day of the country practitioner faded and 

^^Bordley and Harvey, pp. 759-761 


disappeared. The last country doctor in Rutherford County 
was Doctor Sidney B. Smith, for many years the county 
health doctor; he maintained an active country practice 
in and about Salem and Overall. He died in 1953. From 
the early thirties as each of the older physicians in the 
smaller country communities died, they were not replaced, 
and the gradual concentration of medical practice to the 
centers v/here hospitals were located was much in evidence. 
It became apparent that only in hospitals can one receive 
the full benefit of the massive technical facilities that 
are required for the application of the advances in medical 
science and technology. In the first three decades of the 
twentieth century, most of the babies were still being born 
at home in Rutherford County, but today almost all births 
take place in our hospital. 

Dr. Carl Adams had been trained in general and chest 
surgery, practiced for a few years with his father in 
Woodbury, then came to Murfreesboro in 1949 and opened an 
office initially in the Rawlings building. He practiced a 
few months there until he moved into a building at 105 North 
Spring Street. Dr. S. C. Garrison joined him later in 1949 
and together they brought the theory of group practice into 
Rutherford County. Group practice was becoming popularized 
in other sections of the country. Owing to the great 


progress that had been made in the prevention and treatment 
of disease during the past century, they felt that no single 
practitioner, and, in fact, no small group of practitioners 
could absorb all the information and master all of the 
techniques required to provide the best type of medical 
care that modern methods could afford. This was perhaps 
the most important reason for the growing popularity of 
group practice in which a number of physicians, surgeons 
and other personnel could work together for the preven- 
tion and treatment of disease. Doctors Adams and Garrison 
called their enterprise "The Murfreesboro Medical Clinic." 
In the ensuing years there was a regular procession of 
physicians who joined their practice. Dr. S. C. Garrison 
is an internist. They were joined by Dr. James Garrison, 
a pediatrician in 1957. They built a new building at 
420 North University across the street from the hospital 
and moved into that building in November, 1957. In the 
ensuing years the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology 
was added and the departments of pediatrics, internal 
medicine and surgery expanded. X-ray facilities and 
laboratory facilities were added. The clinic continued 
to grow and they moved to a newly constructed building on 
North Highland in 1976. The organization now has eighteen 
physicians including the specialties of internal medicine. 


Area Physicians During the 1960s 

Carl Adams 

(Murf reesboro) 
William T. Anderson 

( Smyrna ) 
Joseph C. Bailey 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. S. Barham 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. B. Black 

(Murf reesboro) 
Chester J, Boulris 

J. T. Boykin 

(Murf reesboro) 
John M. Bryan 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. A. Bryant 

J. F. Cason 

(Murf reesboro) 
William E. Coopwood 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. C. Corban 

( Smyrna ) 
John T. Cunningham 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. S. Davison 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Marvin E. Deck 

(Murf reesboro) 
David T. Dodd 

(Murf reesboro) 
Paul Estes 

(Murf reesboro ) 
*Richard Fenno 

(Sewart AFB) 
Francis M. Fesmire 

(Murf reesboro ) 
R. J. Garrison 

(Murf reesboro) 
S. C. Garrison 

(Murf reesboro) 
Gilbert Gordon 

(Murf reesboro) 

George Goodall 

( Smyrna ) 
R. E. Green 

(Murf reesboro) 
Stanley Greenberg 

( Smyrna ) 
Robert H. Hackman 

( Smyrna — Murf reesboro) 
James E. Hampton 

(Murf reesboro) 
A. E. Harvey 

(Murf reesboro) 
Sam Hay 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. C. Hibbett 

( Smyrna) 
R. D. Hollowell 

(Murf reesboro) 
Kenneth D. Hunt 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. Capers Jones 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. K. Kaufman 

(Murf reesboro) 
Lois Kennedy 

(Murf reesboro) 
Joseph E. J. King 

(Murf reesboro) 
Joseph C. Knight 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert T. Knight 

(Murf reesboro) 
Donald L. Le Quire 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles W. Lewis 

(Murf reesboro) 
Fred R. Lovelace 

(Murf reesboro) 
**John T. Mason 

(Murf reesboro- -VA) 
R. W. McMullen 

Ralph Moore 

(Woodbury ) 


Area Physicians During the 1960s (continued) 

M. B. Murfree, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Russell E. Myers 

E. P. Odom 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Sam H. Patterson 

(Murf reesboro ) 
James Payne 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Socrates Pinto 

( Smyrna ) 
Robert G. Ransom 

(Murf reesboro ) 

B. W. Rawlins 
(Murf reesboro ) 

Creighton Rhea 
(Murf reesboro) 

C. B. Roundtree, Jr, 

Robert S. Sanders 
(Murf reesboro ) 

W. B. Sanders 
( Smyrna ) 

William M. Savage 

(Murf reesboro) 
William Shacklett 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles Smith 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Theodore G. Smith 

(Murf reesboro) 
W. Radford Smith 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. W. Tenpenny 

(Murf reesboro) 
E. C. Tolbert 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Raymond E. Turek 

Leonard Victor 

(Murf reesboro) 
Olin Williams, Jr, 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. Howard Young 

(Murf reesboro) 

*Only those Sewart Air Force Base Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 

**Only those Veterans Administration Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 


pediatrics, ophthalmology, surgery, gastro-enterology , 
obstetrics and gynecology, and urology. The clinic has been 
and is a viable force in Rutherford County for the practice 
of modern medicine both in the practitioner's office and 
in the hospital. 

The independent practitioners flourished, too. In 
addition to the family practitioners, there were surgeons, 
radiologists, pathologists, ophthalmologists, specialists 
in ear, nose and throat, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, 
urologists, pediatricians, all adding to quality medicine 
in Murf reesboro . 

After World War II medical innovations rapidly 
increased. The Rutherford County and Stones River Academy 
of Medicine approved the Red Cross donor program in 1948 
and the local hospital has been fully participant in the 
blood program of the Red Cross since that date. The 
Academy approved the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in 
November 1951. In 1953 the Academy approved fluoridation 
of the city water supply. At its meeting of September, 
1962, the Academy voted unanimously to sponsor, direct, 
and support an immunization program against polio using 
the Sabin oral vaccine. In the fall of 1963 the mass 
immunization for polio was held. Over 22,000 people were 
given vaccine in Rutherford County and over 4,000 people 
in Cannon County. Many organizations assisted in making 


this such a successful mass immunization program, among 
which were: Association of Pharmacists, Nursing Associa- 
tion, Murfreesboro Secretarial Association, Lion's Club, 
Murfreesboro Kiwanis Club, Stones River Kiwanis Club, 
Exchange Club, J. C's, Bradley P. T. A., Eagleville P. T. 
A., Smyrna P. T. A. and the Rutherford Hospital Auxiliary. 
The South also experienced a new "industrial revolu- 
tion" after World War II. The southern states were rapidly 
industrialized. Rutherford County witnessed the develop- 
ment of many industries within its borders which brought 
new jobs to the county and an immigration of people from 
other areas of the country. As the population grew the 
demands for medical service also grew. The hospital has 
had several additions over the past few years, growing to 
meet the demand for medical care. Many new physicians 
have entered practice in the county and have brought more 
specialization to the area. By 1980 there were sixty-one 
physicians practicing in the area who were members of the 
Rutherford County Stones River Academy of Medicine. The 
hospital was a modern plant with modern facilities and 
many of the latest medical capabilities. Many new medical 
buildings had been built in Murfreesboro by the local 
physicians for the purpose of modern private practice. 
Most of these buildings were located in the general area 


of the hospital. In 1980 Murfreesboro and Rutherford 
County found themselves with a medical delivery system 
which in proportion to population was second to none in the 

Area Physicians During the 1970s 


J. P. Abernathy 

(Murf reesboro) 
Carl E. Adams 

(Murf reesboro) 
Harold T. Akin 

(Murf reesboro ) 
John H. Alexander 

(Murf reesboro) 
*James T. Allen 

(Murf reesboro--VA) 
W. S. Barham 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Joseph C. Bailey 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Richard B. Bell 

(Murf reesboro) 
Dominador C. Blanco, Jr. 

( Smyrna ) 
Floyd P. Bond 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. T. Boykin 

(Murf reesboro) 
James T. Box 

(Murf reesboro) 
Gary B. Bryant . 

(Woodbury ) 
•Rodney C. Bryant 

(Woodbury ) 
W. A. Bryant 

(Woodbury ) 
Henry K, Butler, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Jerry N. Campbell 

(Murf reesboro ) 
S. Frank Carter III 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. C. Corban 

John T. Cunningham 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. S. Davison 

(Murf reesboro) 
Marvin E. Deck 

( Smyrna) 
John H. Dixon 

(Murf reesboro) 

David T. Dodd 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Paul C. Estes 

(Murf reesboro) 
Francis M. Fesmire 

(Murf reesboro) 
Pedro Galvez 

( Smyrna ) 
James W. Garner, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
R. J. Garrison 

(Murf reesboro) 
S. C. Garrison, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Sidney L. Gilbert 

( Murf reesboro ) 
M. E. Glasscock 

(Murf reesboro ) 
George Goodall 

( Smyrna ) 
Charles E. Goodman, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
T. Gilbert Gordon, Sr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
R. E. Green 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Robert H. Hackman 

(Murf reesboro ) 
A. E. Harvey 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Sam H. Hay 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles A. Heffington, Jr, 

(Murf reesboro ) 
George S. Hester 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Joseph C. Hibbett, Jr. 

( Smyrna ) 
R. D. Hollowell 

(Murf reesboro) 
David L. Hudson 

(Murf reesboro) 
Kenneth D. Hunt 

(Murf reesboro) 
*Norton H. Hutchison 

( Murf reesboro--VA) 


Area Physicians During the 1970s (continued) 

Oscar T. Johns 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. Capers Jones 

(Murf reesboro ) 
J. K. Kaufman 

(Murf reesboro) 
Douglas W. Kendall 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert L. Kendall 

(Murf reesboro) 
Lois Kennedy 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Joseph C. Knight 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Robert T. Knight 

(Murf reesboro) 
Seung Hoo Lee 

(Murf reesboro) 
Charles W. Lewis 

(Murf reesboro) 
Fred R. Lovelace 

(Murf reesboro) 
Kenneth D. Macknet 

(Murf reesboro) 
M. B. Murfree, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Frederick J. Myers 
R. E, Myers 

(Woodbury ) 
James A. Nunnery 

( Murf reesboro ) 
E. P. Odom 

(Murf reesboro) 

Stephen G. Odom 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Karlanders Otterland 

( Smyrna ) 
Socrates Pinto 

( Smyrna ) 
Jerry E. Puckett 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Robert G. Ransom 

(Murf reesboro) 
L. L. Reuhland 

Creighton Rhea 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Robert S. Sanders 

(Murf reesboro) 
*Charles W. Sensenbach 

(Murf reesboro--VA) 
William W. Shacklett 

(Murf reesboro) 
Ben A. Shelton 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles D. Smith 

(Murf reesboro ) 
George W. Smith 

(Murf reesboro) 
H. Millard Smith 

W. R. Smith 

(Murf reesboro ) 
James A. Starrett 

( Murf reesboro ) 


Area Physicians During the 1970s (continued! 

J. W. Tenpenny 

(Murf reesboro ) 
E. C. Tolbert 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert P. Tuma 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Raymond E. Turek 

Tom A. Turner 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. P. Turpin, Jr , 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. Van Blaricum 


Leonard Victor 

(Murf reesboro) 
Barton W. Warner 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Olin Williams 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Terry James Witt 

(Murf reesboro) 
Herbert R. Wolf 

(Woodbury ) 

J. Howard Young 
(Murf reesboro) 

*Only those Veterans Administration Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 


The history of the black in the South is not a pretty 
story. He has been subjected to social, political, and 
legal oppressions with all the attending injustices and 
indignities. The strict caste system which prevailed in 
the South resulted in inferior educational opportunities, 
inferior housing, poor health care, and few jobs beyond 
those of a menial nature. In 1875 the General Assembly 
of Tennessee gave operators of hotels and eating places 
sanction to refuse service to anyone. Six years later 
it enacted the first "Jim Crow" law, requiring railroads 
to provide separate cars for black passengers. The poll 
tax, closed primaries, and other suffrage restrictions, 
discouraged thousands of black Tennesseans from voting. 
As their political influence declined blacks had no means 
for resisting further deterioration in their social and 
economic status. 

Such social ostracism prevailed that the white man 
looked at the color of the skin before evaluating a man's 
abilities. As the black physicians graduated, entered 
practice, emerged among the leaders in southern black 
communities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth 
centuries, their individual achievements were often 



considerable; however, like black Americans generally they 
faced the severest oppression since slavery. He was denied 
staff privileges at hospitals, denied admission to the 
local, state, and national medical societies, denied 
service at restaurants, hotels, and motels, was segregated 
in transportation facilities; the list goes on and on. 

As in the large society, racial separation was the rule 
in health care. Black people were excluded from public 
hospitals, admitted only to separate inferior wards or 
served through dispensaries. The most terrible effect of 
this racial caste system in medicine was seen in the 
differential morbidity and mortality between whites and 
blacks. The death rate for blacks in some communities was 
50 percent greater than that for whites and for children 
under five years, the difference was as much as 90 percent 
greater in some communities. 

Rutherford County and its medical community supported 
the segregation system. Black physicians were specifically 
denied admission to the Rutherford County Medical Society 
by the by-laws of that organization which limited admis- 
sion to the white race. The latter phrase was eliminated 
in the by-laws of the Stones River Academy of Medicine in 
1927. The board of censors of the society, nonetheless, 
could and did limit admission to the white physician. 


Rutherford Hospital did not allow black physicians on 
its staff. The black physician was required to refer his 
patients to a white physician for treatment in the hospital. 
Such patients were segregated from the whites, and placed 
usually in a large ward with other black patients. 

Yet, the black physicians who have practiced here were 
mostly well-trained physicians who certainly deserved the 
professional respect of the medical community. Virtually 
all the black physicians were graduates of Meharry Medical 
College in Nashville. Meharry has always enjoyed a fine 
reputation. The Meharry Medical College was organized in 
1876 as the medical department of Central Tennessee 
College. A dental building was added in 1886 and a phar- 
maceutical building in 1889. 

During the first years of the operation of 
the medical school applicants for admission were 
required "to be 18 years of age and to pass 
written examinations in the common English 
branches." The scholastic year was five months in 
length and the course of study was arranged to be 
completed in two years. An additional term was 
added to the course in 1882, but provision was made 
that the first year of the three now required 
might be spent under the supervision of some 
practicing physician and the other two spent in 
the medical college. At this time the student was 
first required to have some knowledge of Latin 
and the natural sciences. 

The medical course at the beginning of the 
nineties was arranged to cover three sessions of 
twenty weeks each and students were to enjoy the 
clinical privileges of the city hospital on the 


same terms as the students of other medical schools 
in Nashville. Applicants for admission were 
required to be at least 18 years of age, of good 
moral character and they must pass examinations in 
arithmetic, geography, grammar, reading, writing, 
spelling and elementary physics. Candidates for 
graduation were required to be 21 years of age, must 
have attended three courses of lectures of not less 
than twenty weeks each in a regular medical college, 
the last of which must have been at Meharry, must 
have passed satisfactorily examinations in all 
branches laid down in the course, including outlines 
of Bible history and doctrine and must have pre- 
sented an acceptable original thesis on some medical 
subject. By 1892 the student body had increased 
until it exceeded 100 and the faculty had been 
sufficiently augmented to meet the increased demands. 
At this time the fourth year was added to the course 
of study and requirements became generally more 
stringent. In 1902 two years of high school work 
were required for admittance into the medical school 
and three years later, a full four year course became 
a prerequisite. Ten years later in 1915, a pre- 
medical course in a college of acceptable rating was 
first required for entrance and at that time the 
length of the school term was extended to eight 
months. Since then the college has been recognized 
and is now recognized as a class A college. It has 
been coeducational from the beginning. 1 

Abraham Flexner's survey of medical colleges published 
in 1910 recommended Meharry as one of the three medical 
schools in the state of Tennessee which was worth saving. 

Like their white colleagues black practitioners 
sought the fraternity, fellowship, and recognition that 
medical society membership offered. As diseases ravaged 

^Philip M. Hamer, The Centennial History of the 
Tennessee State Medical Association 1830-1930 (Nashville, 
Tennessee: Tennessee State Medical Association, 1930), 
pp. 401-402. 


black communities, black physicians especially needed the 
exchange of scientific information available at society 
gatherings and in society journals. Black doctors believed 
that through organization they could raise public con- 
fidence in their abilities. Creation of institutions 
managed by and serving black people exclusively was part 
of the resistance by black practitioners to segregation. 
They built and then directed their own medical schools, 
hospitals, and professional organizations, often with the 
support of white benefactors and friends. One of these 
undertakings, of course, was the Meharry Medical College.^ 

In 1880 three years after he became Meharry 's first 
graduate. Dr. James Monroe Jamison and others among the 
eighteen black physicians practicing in the state, founded 
the Tennessee Colored Medical Association. The first black 
medical journal in the United States was published at 
Jackson from 1892 to 1894. The black physician sustained 
the hope of an alternative for them to the American 
Medical Association since its doors was closed to their 
admission. At the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta 
in 1895 this was accomplished. It was originally called 

^James Summerville, "Formation of a Black Medical 
Profession in Tennessee, 1880-1920," Journal of the 
Tennessee Medical Association, V. 76 (1983), 644. 


the American Medical Association of Colored Physicians, 
Surgeons, Dentists and Pharmacists, and subsequently became 
the National Medical Association. Many of the officers of 
the NMA including its first president, Dr. Robert Fulton 
Boyd of Nashville, were Meharry alumni. 

Like the AMA the NMA encouraged the spread of local 
and state societies. On August 20, 1903, thirty-four 
physicians, dentists, and pharmacists convened in Nashville 
and founded the Negro Medical Congress of Tennessee. Its 
purposes described in the constitution were to "discuss, 
advise and adopt the best means to disseminate hygienic 
measures for our people and for mutual help for our fellow 
laborers." By 1915 this state association of black 
practitioners was known by its permanent name. The Volunteer 
State Medical Association. This organization remains in 
existence to this day as does the National Medical 
Association . ^ 

Medical societies offered black physicians from rural 
Tennessee the only opportunity to obtain continuing post- 
graduate training. By 1920 daily clinics were a part of 
every annual meeting of the state society.^ 

-"Summerville, p. 645 
'^Summerville, p. 646 


The Volunteer State Medical Association met in 

Murfreesboro for its annual meeting sometime in the early 

thirties. The following news item appeared in the Daily 

News Journal . . 

The Volunteer State Medical Association con- 
sisting of the colored physicians, dentists, and 
pharmacists of the state will meet here Thursday, 
June 18. Dr. S. A. Curren of Knoxville, a 
Murfreesboro boy and son of John Curren, local Negro 
business man, is the president of this body. 

The highlight of this meeting will be a Public 
Health program which will be held at Holloway High 
School at 8 P.M. The public is cordially invited to 
attend this meeting which will be featured by health 
talks by Doctors J. B. Black and J. E. Jones, 
reading by Mrs. Maggie Cheers and music by local 
talent under the direction of Mrs. J. E. Jones. 

The local committee is composed of Doctors 
E. A. Davis, G. C. Hardin, J. E. Jones, T. C. Wynee, 

and J. R. Patterson.^ 

Dr. Eugene A. Davis, a black practitioner in Murfrees- 
boro for many years, graduated from Meharry in 1918, 
initially practiced in Charleston, West Virginia, then 
came to Murfreesboro and started practicing in 1925. He 
was president of the Volunteer State Medical Association 
one year in the middle thirties and was a member of its 
executive committee. From 1936 to 1939, he was president 
of the Meharry Alumni Association, was on its executive 

^ Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, ca . 1934 


Dr. Eugene A. Davis 
Volunteer State Medical Association 
(ca. 1936) 


committee, and was the associate director for southeastern 

Tennessee . 

Dr. John A. Alexander graduated from Meharry in 1931 

and located in Murfreesboro in 1932. 

Dr. J. A. Alexander, colored physician and 
surgeon of Nashville, will locate in Murfreesboro 
in Dr. G. C. Hardin's building. 

Dr. Alexander is a graduate of Meharry Medical 
School in Nashville. He has completed twelve months 
internship at City Hospital No. 2 at St. Louis, 
Missouri. He is well prepared to give service.^ 

Dr. Alexander obviously realized the limitations on his 

practice in Murfreesboro. He must have felt the need to 

take care of his own patients in a hospital setting. 

Since he was barred from admission to the staff of 

Rutherford Hospital, he started a movement to build a 

hospital for blacks in Murfreesboro. 

Work will begin soon on the new Negro hospital 
which is being built by Dr. J. A. Alexander, Negro 
doctor of this city who will practice in the new 

The hospital which will be on High Street across 
from Holloway High School will give the appearance 
of a residence from the outside being constructed 
of Tennessee stone. 

The inside will have four private rooms, two 
four bed wards, four clinic rooms, laundry, a 

" Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
Thursday, July 28, 1932. 


recreation room, administration offices, and 

operating room. Near the building will be a home 

for the doctors' families and nurses. The rooms 

will be equipped with the most modern equipment? 

But the hospital was never built. 

Dr. A. T. Wood, graduate of Cambridge University, 
England, came to Murfreesboro in 1867 and established his 
practice at the corner of Lytle and Academy Streets. In 
addition to his medical practice he was active in politics 
and was a delegate to the State Republican Convention in 
1868. Wood recommended legal aid services for the newly 
freed slaves but the idea failed to met the endorsement of 
others. He was, at one time, a missionary to Africa. 
When he was practicing in Nashville, in the year after the 
Civil War, he placed advertisements in the newspaper 
urging blacks to "patronize (their) own physicians" and 
identified himself as "a graduate of Cambridge University, 
late missionary to Africa, and a member of the Indiana 
Conference." His name does not appear in Venn's Alumni 
Canterbriqienses or on supplementary lists in the uni- 
versity archives. It is not known how long he remained in 
Murfreesboro . ^ 

^ Daily News Journal , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
Thursday, February 28, 1935. 

Sjames Summerville, Educating Black Doctors: A 
History of Meharry Medical College (University, Alabama: 
The University of Alabama Press, 1983), p. 12. 


Dr. John Silas Bass graduated at Meharry in 1878, the 
second commencement that Meharry held. Its first commence- 
ment was in 1877 when they graduated one student. Dr. Bass 
was one of three students graduated at the second com- 
mencement. At the commencement he delivered an address on 
"Our Aim as Physicians." 

The question is often asked: "Why do more colored 
people die in a given period than whites?" Simply 
because they more frequently violate the laws of 
health. "Why are they more liable to violate these 
laws?" Because they have been deprived of men of 
their race capable of teaching these laws and urging 
the necessity of observing them. I know that there 
is a class who say that we will gradually die out, 
but the medical department of Central Tennessee 
College is engaged in preparing physicians who in a 
few years will prove that assertion to be false by 
decreasing the mortality which is now so great among 
our people." 

He came to Murfreesboro to practice and established himself 

a hero in the same year by volunteering to fight the 

yellow fever epidemic in Chattanooga. 

It is not known how long Dr. Bass practiced in 
Murfreesboro but he was here during the 1900 census. 

Dr. John B. McClellan graduated from Meharry in 1880 
and set up his practice in Murfreesboro where he remained 
during his entire professional career. In 1928 an article 
appeared in the Murfreesboro Union : 

^summerville. Educating Black Doctors: A History of 
Meharry Medical College , p. 22. 


Dr. John Baptist McClellan, one of the pioneer 
physicians of the South, of the Meharry College in 
the year 1880, having been engaged in and around 
Murfreesboro in his chosen profession 48 years. 
There are but fev/ doctors living who were here 48 
years ago. When Dr. McClellan first engaged in the 
practice of medicine colored people were as afraid of 
Negro doctor's medicine as they were of rattlesnakes. 

Long since that time a vast difference exists 
among the colored race. The doctor lives peacefully 
at his home 460 East State Street, yet engaged in 
his chosen profession. 

He states that he is "not miserably rich, but 
happily poor."-^^ 

Another article appeared in the Murfreesboro Union in 1950 

On February 22, 1878, when Meharry 's first 
commencement exercises were held, Dr. McClellan as 
a senior student at Central Tennessee College was 
planning to enter the medical school in September. 
He did and two years later (the time required then 
to get a medical degree at Meharry) he was John 
Baptist McClellan, M. D. Since that momentous day 
Dr. McClellan has practiced medicine in the Murfrees- 
boro community. 

It is a tribute to his service, to the people 
of Murfreesboro, and his profession that the adminis- 
trative committee of Meharry on Commencement day 
presented Dr. McClellan with a citation that reads: 

"To John Baptist McClellan, M. D., as a testimony 
of the esteem in which he is generally held and 
because of his contribution to the betterment of the 
health of his fellow man. "■'■•'- 


The Murfreesboro Union, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 

Saturday, October 13, 1928. 

■*-^ The Murfreesboro Union , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
Saturday, October 14, 1950. 


Dr. McClellan collaborated with another graduate of 
Meharry in writing a history of Meharry entitled "Holman's 
Historical Highlights." Dr. Holman was also a graduate of 
Meharry and was on the teaching staff there for many years. 
Dr. McClellan retired at the age of 80 and died at age 96 
in Murf reesboro. 

Dr. George C, Hardin graduated from Meharry in 1900 
and came to Murf reesboro to open his practice. He practiced 
in Murf reesboro until his death in 1932. He was one of the 
leaders of the black community. He built a medical building 
on Vine Street which still stands. 

Dr. J. C. Waddy, a graduate of Meharry in 1904, came 
to Murf reesboro and practiced for about two years, then 
moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Dr. John Paschal Hickman graduated from Meharry in 
1908, came to Murf reesboro after graduation, and practiced 
here until about 1927 when he moved back to Nashville and 
practiced there until his death. 

There was a Dr. I. H. King practicing in Murf reesboro 
in 1909, having graduated from Meharry in 1908. He stayed 
only a short time. 

Dr. Luther R. Johnson graduated from Meharry in 1908 
and practiced in Murf reesboro for about two years. He was 
a classmate of Dr. J. P. Hickman and Dr. I. H. King. They 
probably came to Murf reesboro together. All three were 


practicing here in 1909. He did not stay long and was not 
listed in Murfreesboro when the AMA Directory of 1912 was 

Dr. John .Henry Hamilton practiced in Smyrna. He 
graduated from Meharry in 1909 and was listed in the AMA 
Directory as practicing in Smyrna in 1912. He remained in 
the Smyrna area practicing until about 1925 when he moved to 
Louisville, Kentucky. 

Dr. J. V. Lemore had an office at 215| Vine Street in 

1921. It is not known what year he came to Murfreesboro to 

practice. He is not listed as a graduate of Meharry. This 

research revealed no information regarding his educational 

background. He apparently had an extensive practice. 

Several prescriptions are on record written by him during 

the early twenties. In 1923 he was convicted of manslaughter 

charged with performing an abortion, and was sentenced to 

serve for a term in the penitentiary. An article appeared 

in the state medical society journal as follows: 

A Negro physician of Murfreesboro, Tennessee 
was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 
five years in the penitentiary for the alleged offense 
of performing a criminal abortion on a v;hite woman. 
If all the talk that is heard concerning the white 
physicians performing the same operation is half true 
there should be other doctors answering to a number 
instead of a name . '^ 

1 T 

-^•^ Journal of the Tennessee State Medical Association , 
V. 16 (1923), 271. 


Dr. Lemore served his term in the penitentiary and practiced 
medicine in Nashville after his release. 

Dr. Eugene A. Davis graduated from Meharry in 1918. 
He originally practiced in Charleston, VJest Virginia, then 
came to Murfreesboro in about 1925 where he practiced until 
his death in 1942. He was very active in the organizations 
for black physicians. He also was active in scouting and 
was chairman of the "Murfreesboro Negro Division of the 
Boy Scout Council of America." 

Dr. James Edward Jones graduated from Meharry in 1926, 
and started practicing in Murfreesboro the same year. His 
office was on Maple Street and his residence was on 
Academy Street. He served on the executive committee of 
the Meharry Alumni Association from 1937 tD 1939. He 
practiced here for many years, and, in the early forties 
moved to Texas. 

Lennora Smallwood Carter graduated from Meharry in 1928 
and opened her office in Murfreesboro for the practice of 
medicine after graduation. She had the distinction of 
being the first female practitioner of medicine in Ruther- 
ford County. An article appeared in the Murfreesboro 
Union : 

Dr. L. S. Carter, the first woman physician 
to locate in Murfreesboro, is doing a noble practice. 


Dr. Lennora S. Carter 
First Female Physician in Rutherford County 


She has made a number of friends who wish for her 
continued success in the medical field. ■'-■^ 

The article was a front page article with a photograph of 
Dr. Carter. 

Dr. Vernal W. Cambridge graduated from Meharry in 
1940, came to Murfreesboro and practiced a few years, then 
moved to Michigan. 

Dr. Clarence N. Copeland, Jr. graduated from Meharry 
in 1952 and practiced here for a short time. 

The Civil Rights Movement which began in the fifties 
was beginning to be felt throughout the South. It was in 
the height of this movement that Dr. William E. Coopwood 
made a decision to come to Murfreesboro and open his 
practice. He had been doing general practice in Nashville 
and assisted in the care of Dr. Patterson, a Murfreesboro 
dentist, who was recuperating from an illness at a black 
hospital in Nashville. Dr. Patterson influenced Dr. Coop- 
wood to consider coming to Murfreesboro to practice. He 
made the decision to come to Murfreesboro and moved here 
in July, 1961. He applied for staff privileges at Rutherford 
Hospital which were granted and confirmed by a letter to 
him from Mr. James R. Arnhart dated July 21, 1961. He had 

-*--^ The Murfreesboro Union , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 
Saturday, October 13, 1928. 


Dr. William E. Coopwood 

First Black Physician on the Rutherford 

Hospital Medical Staff 


First Black Physician Admitted to the Rutherford 

County and Stones River Academy of Medicine 



been approved by the recommendation of the credentials 
committee and the executive committe of the medical staff 
and was officially appointed to the active staff with 
privileges in general practice, effective July 20, 1961. 
Dr. Coopwood is the first black physician to ever be 
accepted on the staff of the local hospital. In September, 
1961, he received a letter of invitation from the hospital 
to join the hospital's executive board at a luncheon at 
Sullivan's Restaurant, the purpose of which was to provide 
an opportunity for the new doctors, who had become medical 
staff members during the past year, to meet with the 
hospital executive board. Dr. Coopwood attended the 
luncheon and was accepted graciously and cordially at a 
time when the local restaurants were still segregated. 
Dr. Coopwood applied for admission to the Rutherford County 
Stones River Academy of Medicine and he was elected to 
membership at the meeting of January, 1962. He v/as the 
first black physician to ever be elected to the local 
academy of medicine. Dr. Coopwood practiced in Murfreesboro 
from 1961 to 1966. During this time he was received with 
respect from the local physicians. They recognized his 
training and accepted him as a peer. 

Each doctor on the staff of the hospital is required 
to take emergency room duty in rotation. Dr. Coopwood 


chose to take emergency room duty on the medical service. 
He was asked by the medical service to see only black 
patients when he was on duty. This was one of only a few 
episodes of a racist nature which he experienced while 
practicing here. 

The black population in Murfreesboro and throughout 
the South were mainly people who had menial jobs and 
little income, who therefore found it difficult to pay a 
physician for office visits. Although Dr. Coopwood had a 
reasonable income through his practice, he realized that he 
could not possibly educate his children as he wanted them 
educated on the kind of income he was receiving in 
Murfreesboro from his practice. He therefore elected to 
leave general practice and join the staff at Veteran's 
Administration Hospital in Murfreesboro where he was 
guaranteed a salary which was better than he was receiving 
in medical practice. He remained at the Veteran's Admis- 
tration Hospital from 1966 to 1967. He then entered a 
residency at Vanderbilt University in psychiatry in July, 
1967, and finished that residency in 1970. Today he 
practices in Nashville as a Board Certified Psychiatrist.-'-^ 


■'-'* Interview with Dr. William E. Coopwood, October, 


It would seem logical that many of the black physicians 
who came to Murfreesboro and stayed such a short while had 
the same experience financially that Dr. Coopwood did. The 
Civil Rights Law of 1964 guaranteed equal rights for blacks 
in the fields of voting, public accommodations, public 
facilities, public education, programs receiving federal 
aid, and employment. After 1964 the industries began to 
hire the local blacks as required by law. Their income at 
that time was increased and they could better afford to 
pay their bills but prior to that time much of the black 
practitioner's practice in Murfreesboro would have been 
charitable . 

When Dr. Coopwood left Murfreesboro there were no black 
physicians here until Dr. George W. Smith came in 1979. He 
was trained at Meharry, graduating in 1975; he did a 
preventive medicine and family practice residency at George 
Hubbard Hospital of Meharry Medical College from 1975 to 
1979. He received staff privileges and was also accepted 
into the county organization the same year. He was joined 
in practice by Dr. Dennis Carter in 1983. Dr. Carter also 
completed a residency in family medicine at Meharry. 

Dr. Donald Bruce and Dr. Alvin Singh, each of whom 
finished a residency in obstretrics and gynecology at 
Meharry, joined the medical staff in 1981. In 1984 


Dr. Robert J. Smith became a member of the medical staff at 
the hospital as a board certified surgeon. 

Although it has taken many years for the black 
physician to take his rightful place of respect by his peers 
in medicine, he today enjoys the same privileges and rights 
in his pursuit of medical practice as do all the other 
physicians . 


The overwhelming crescendo of progress in all aspects 
of medicine has not been lost in Rutherford County. A 
rapid spread of specialization has touched our community 
and we now are fortunate to have practitioners in general , 
vascular, and thoracic surgery; internal medicine; obstet- 
rics and gynecology; pediatrics; radiology; nuclear medicine; 
pathology; oncology; dermatology; orthopedic surgery; 
ophthalmology; otology, rhinology, and laryngology; gastro- 
enterology; urology; cardiology; emergency medicine; and 
family practice. All practice their art in an exceptionally 
modern 289 bed hospital staffed by 560 employees under the 
capable leadership of James R. Arnhart, the administrator. 
The doctors make every effort to keep abreast in the 
modern developments in their field by attending post- 
graduate meetings and developing continuing education 
programs within the confines of the departmental meetings 
at the hospital, the hospital staff meetings, and the 
county medical society. 

The Middle Tennessee Medical Center (formerly Ruther- 
ford Hospital ) provides a complete x-ray department under 
the direction of radiologists. The x-ray department 



encompasses ultrasound and nuclear medicine facilities, a 
vascular digital computer, and computerized axial tomography 
(CAT Scan). Its pathology department and laboratory is 
under the direction of two full time pathologists. A very 
complete laboratory facility functions. A pharmacy is 
maintained under the direction of a licensed pharmacist. 
There is an intensive care unit and a coronary care unit; 
these units are equipped and staffed so as to insure 
efficient care in critical phases of illness. Nurses in 
these units have received post-graduate training in critical 
care, and the patients are constantly monitored visually 
and many on a computerized monitor. There is a physical 
therapy department under the direction of a registered 
physical therapist. The hospital provides an emergency 
room with twenty-four hour coverage by physicians special- 
izing in emergency medicine. The gastrointestinal laboratory 
provides instruments for the accurate study and diagnosis 
of gastrointestinal disease. The echocardiographic 
laboratory utilizes sound waves to provide images of the 
heart and its function through the use of the ultrasound 
technique. The hospital is approved by the Joint Commis- 
sion on Accreditation of Hospitals and is a member of the 
American Hospital Association, Tennessee Hospital 
Association, Middle Tennessee Hospital Council. 


Middle Tennessee Medical Center 

(Formerly Rutherford Hospital) 


"For the Welfare of Mankind" — these are the words which 
are engraven in stone over the front doors of the hospital . 
How well this inscription has been lived up to by the 
institution since its establishment in 1927 by the Common- 
wealth Fund of New York. It is written into a record of 
fifty seven years service that all may read. Much local 
history is woven into this record, the history of thousands 
of Rutherford countians , both the sick and the well, who 
have passed through the doors beneath the stone inscription. 
The dedication of the medical staff, the nursing staff, 
the employees and the administration has meshed to produce 
an outstanding institution of which all Rutherford countains 
can be proud. 

The county has an excellent Public Health Department 
run by the capable expertise of Dr. Robert Sanders. They 
have a large staff of full time nurses, health officers, 
and assistants, and provide in-home service as well as 
clinic service. 

Five licensed nursing homes are operating in the 
county to provide the ever increasing geriatric care for 
the elderly. One of these homes provides a skilled care 
wing and a wing in rehabilitative therapy. 

Smyrna has a hospital which was opened to the public 
in June, 1966, originally a 25 bed institution. In 1977 


an addition was built expanding the hospital by 30 beds, 
making a total of 55. They do no obstetrics at Smyrna 
Hospital but they do general acute care and they are 
equipped to dci major surgery. An emergency room is 
maintained in which a doctor is on call twenty-four hours 
a day. The hospital is not accredited by the Joint 
Commission on Hospital Accreditation but has made applica- 
tion for their accreditation. The hospital is approved 
for medicare and medicaid. 

A new dialysis center has just opened in Murfreesboro 
which can provide dialysis for the kidney patients who 
previously were required to travel to Nashville three times 
a week for their dialysis therapy. This center operates 
on an out-patient basis but cooperates with the hospital 
who may send in-patients for dialysis if such becomes 
necessary. A nephrologist from Nashville is in charge but 
a local internist has been delegated to oversee the day 
by day operation. This center is a valuable addition to 
medical care in our county. 

An oncology center was opened in November, 1984, by 
Dr. Al-Abdullah, a radiation oncologist; the center has 
the capability of radiation therapy for cancer. Heretofore 
patients could only obtain this service in Nashville. 

Area Physicians 1980 — 1984 


J. Paul Abernathy 

(Murf reesboro) 
Carl E. Adams 

(Murf reesboro) 
Harold T. Akin 

(Murf reesboro) 
Al-Abdullah, M. Sahib A, 

(Murf reesboro) 
James T. Allen 

(Murf reesboro ) 
John H. Alexander 

(Murf reesboro) 
Susan T. Andrews 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Joseph C. Bailey 

(Murf reesboro ) 
W. Stanley Barham 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Timothy J. Beasley 

(Murf reesboro) 
R. Bryan Bell 

(Murf reesboro ) 
James L. Boerner 

(Murf reesboro ) 
F. P. Bond 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Joseph E. Boone, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
James T. Box 

(Murf reesboro) 
Donald Bruce 

(Murf reesboro ) 
W. Arthur Bryant 

(Woodbury ) 
Rodney C. Bryant 

(Woodbury ) 
Sally H. Bullock 

(Murf reesboro) 
Henry K. Butler, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Jerry N. Campbell 

(Murf reesboro) 
Dennis C. Carter 

(Murf reesboro) 
S. Frank Carter III 

(Murf reesboro) 

John T. Cunningham 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Bernard S. Davison 

(Murf reesboro ) 
John H. Dixon 

(Murf reesboro ) 
David T. Dodd 

(Murf reesboro ) 
*Paul C. Estes 

(Murf reesboro- -VA) 
James W. Garner, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Sidney C. Garrison, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
R. James Garrison 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Sidney L. Gilbert 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles E. Goodman, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 
*Richard E. Green 

( Murf reesboro--VA) 
Robert H. Hackman 

(Murf reesboro ) 
A. E. Harvey 

(Murf reesboro) 
Samuel H. Hay 

(Murf reesboro) 
Charles A. Heffington, Jr , 

(Murf reesboro) 
George S. Hester 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Robert D. Hollov/ell 

(Murf reesboro) 
David L. Hudson 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Kenneth D. Hunt 

(Murf reesboro) 
*Norton H. Hutchison 

(Murf reesboro- -VA) 
William J. Jekot 

( Murf reesboro ) 
0. Thomas Johns 

(Murf reesboro) 
J. Kenneth Kaufman 

(Murf reesboro) 


Area Physicians 1980 — 1984 (continued) 

Douglas W. Kendall 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert L. Kendall 

(Murf reesboro) 
Joseph C. Knight 

(Murf reesboro) 
Robert T. Knight 

(Murf reesboro) 
Elizabeth LaRoche 

(Murf reesboro) 
Seung H. Lee 

(Murf reesboro) 
Charles W. Lewis 

(Murf reesboro) 
Fred R. Lovelace 

(Murf reesboro) 
E. Ray Lowery, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Matt B. Murfree, Jr , 

(Murf reesboro) 
David T. McKnight 

(Murf reesboro) 
Russell E. Myers 

Frederick J. Myers 

(Woodbury ) 
James A. Nunnery 

(Murf reesboro) 
Eugene P. Odom 

(Murf reesboro) 
Stephen G. Odom 

( Murf reesboro ) 
Socrates Pinto 

Jerry E. Puckett 

( Smyrna ) 
Robert G. Ransom 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Richard A. Rogers 

(Murf reesboro) 
Leon L, Reuhland 

Randall C. Rickard 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Daniel Rudd 

(Murf reesboro ) 

Robert S. Sanders 

(Murf reesboro) 
Sudha Saraswat 

( Smyrna ) 
Suresh C. Saraswat 

(Murf reesboro) 
William W. Shacklett 

(Murf reesboro) 
Alvin R. Singh 

(Murf reesboro ) 
W. Radford Smith 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Charles D. Smith 

(Murf reesboro) 
George W. Smith 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Robert T. Smith 

(Murf reesboro) 
James A. Starrett 

(Murf reesboro ) 
W. Wade Sutton 

(Murf reesboro ) 
E. C. Tolbert 

(Murf reesboro) 
*James W. Tenpenny 

(Murf reesboro--VA) 
Robert P. Tuma 

(Murf reesboro) 
Raymond E. Turek 

( Smyrna) 
Thomas D. Turner 

(Murf reesboro) 
B. Paul Turpin, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro) 
Barton W. Warner 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Wayne Westmoreland 

(Murf reesboro) 
Olin 0. Williams 

(Murf reesboro ) 
Terry J. Witt 

(Murf reesboro) 
Herbert R. Wolf 

J. Howard Young, Jr. 

(Murf reesboro ) 

*Only those Veterans Administration Hospital physicians 
who affiliated with the Rutherford County Stones River 
Academy of Medicine are listed. 


The in-home health services which are available now 
allow nurses to evaluate and treat patients in their homes 
who otherwise would need to travel to the physician's 
office via ambulance for treatment. This also allows closer 
monitoring of the patient's progress which they report to 
the patient's physician. The nurses are professionally 
trained and can recognize problems which might need the 
attention of the physician. 

With the new concept of hospice care more active in 
Rutherford County, the terminal patients can remain at 
home and receive support and therapy through this organiza- 
tion; this allows the patient to receive the comfort and 
support of his family in familiar surroundings during the 
terminal stages of his disease. 

The Rutherford County Ambulance Service, with its 
professionally trained people in emergency care and cardio- 
pulmonary resuscitation, works in tandem with the modern 
emergency room capabilities of the Middle Tennessee Medical 
Center where a physician specializing in emergency medicine 
can relay advice to the ambulance personnel via two way 
radio while the ambulance is in route to the hospital. 

There are still some areas of medicine and surgery in 
which the physician in Rutherford County must still refer 
the patient to a larger center in Nashville but Rutherford 


County's medical community has been so progressive in 
developing and applying modern medical techniques that the 
vast majority of medical problems can receive proper 
treatment in their own community. 

The modern health care delivery system enjoyed today 
in Rutherford County has been the result of cooperation 
and dedication on the part of hundreds of medically oriented 
people; the doctors, the hospital administration, the 
nursing service, the public health department, the 
ancillary medical services, and social service workers have 
all cooperated over the years to produce an outstanding 
system. This system will not be static. It must, by its 
very nature, constantly change as the knowledge in medicine 
changes, and adapt itself to new concepts, advancing 
technical capabilities, and will be driven continually to 
keep abreast of the advancements in medicine. With such 
direction Rutherford County's medical community will con- 
tinue to advance as the field of medicine advances. 

American scientists and clinical investigators are at 
the forefront in the advances in medicine, occupying a 
position of major importance in education and training for 
both practice and research. The American public health 
workers and medical practitioners successfully apply the 
discoveries of such researchers for the prevention and 
treatment of disease. 


So what lies ahead? 

Soon this century's ideas and activities will 
be reviewed by the next century's historians and 
scientists — with occasional admiration, we hope ; 
with amused tolerance, perhaps; with astonished 
dismay, in all likelihood. But we need feel no 
embarrassment, because each period will take its turn 
being evaluated by its successors. We enter the 
future facing backward, seeing all the road on which 
we have just traveled. We would do well to view 
today's medicine as merely a marker from the past and 
future. ■'■ 

^Albert S. Lyons, M. D. , and R. Joseph Petrucelli II, 
M. D., Medicine — An Illustrated History (New York, N. Y. : 
Harry N. Abrams , Inc., 1978). 


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1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900. 

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1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900. 

Marshall County, Tennessee, United States Census Records, 
1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900. 

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Saturday, October 13, 1928. 

The Murfreesboro Union , Murf reesboro, Tennessee, 
Saturday, October 14, 1950. 

News Banner , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, April, 1927 to 
February, 1931. 


Numbers following names refer to pages 

22 3 

Abernathy , 

91, 104, 

116, 117 

38, 39, 

49, 50, 

62, 67, 
Abernathy , 

242, 272 
Acuff, Dr. 

ISl, 152 
Adams , Dr . 

231, 235 

Adams ' 
Adams , 


Adams , Dr . 
Akins, Dr. 

Alabama, 1 

A., 271, 
Alexander , 

220, 253 
Alexander , 

242, 272 
Allen, Dr. 

211, 220 
Allen, Dr. 

211, 220 
Allen, Dr. 

Al lisona, 

167, 195 
Alsup, Dr. 

48, 68 
Ames, Dr. 
Anderson , 

Dr.- C. C. , 68 
108, 109, 

Dr. J. J., 37, 
40, 41, 43, 48, 
53, 54, 55, 58, 
68, 111, 127, 128 

Dr. J. Paul, 

John W. , 134, . 
, 159 

Carl E. , 223, 
, 236, 237, 242, 

pital , 225 , 226 
J. F. , 166, 171, 
, 194, 210, 211, 
, 225, 226, 231 
Ralph, 220, 226 
Harold T. , 242, 


h. Dr. M. Sahib 


Dr . John A. , 

Dr. John H. , 

E. B., 166, 194, 

J. S., 166, 194, 

James T. , 242, 

1, 2 
2, 160, 161, 

G. M., 39, 43, 

J. L., 223 
Major, 90 

Anderson, Dr. William T. , 

Andersonville Prison, 101, 

102, 103 
Andrews, Dr. Susan T., 272 
Anison, Dr. W. E., 223 
Antioch, 1, 111, 134, 141, 

152, 161, 166, 167, 195, 

221, 224, 232 
Armstrong (George), 110 
Armstrong, Dr , J. B., 39, 43, 

48, 49, 52, 68 
Armstrong, Dr. James Loudon, 

23, 24 
Armstrong, Dr. Martin W. , 37, 

Arnette, Dr. James E., Ill, 134, 

Arnhart, James R. , 267 
Arrington, 2, 195 
Ashley, Dr, H. , 194 
Atlanta (GA, ) , 249 
Auburntown, 1, 2, 91, 111, 112, 

143, 153, 160, 161, 167, 194, 

195, 211, 220, 221, 223, 224 
Austin, Edward, 111 
Avent, Dr. Benjamin Ward, 24, 

37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 

44, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 54, 

55, 56, 58, 62, 63, 64, 66, 
89, 91, 93, 106, 
129, 130, 132, 

68, 87, ! 
108, 111, 12i 

Bailey, Dr. Joseph C, 237, 242, 

Baird, Dr. John, 68, 111 
Baltimore, 80 
Barham, Dr. W. S,, 223, 231, 

237, 242, 272 
Barksdale, Dr. J. G. , 41, 43 



Barnard, Dr. Christiaan, 

176, 185 
Barnett, Dr. E. T., 68 
Barton, Dr. James, 134, 

141, 152 
Baskette, Dr. William T., 

37, 38, 49, -50, 52, 53, 

55, 56, 61, 62, 68, 

96, 111 
Bass, Dr. Bebe A., 231 
Bass, Dr. J. S., 131, 141, 

152, 159, 255 
Bateman, Dr. Robert Parker, 

Battle Lake (Minn.), 151 
Beasley, Dr. Timothy J., 

Beaumont, Dr. William, 

18, 177 
Becton, Dr. Frederick 

Edward, 23, 28, 30, 31 
Bedford County, 1, 2, 34, 

40, 135, 136, 142, 143 
Bedford, Dr. J. K. , 111 
Beech Grove, 1, 2, 65, 

90, 91, 111, 112, 131, 
135, 136, 141, 142, 143, 
152, 153, 159, 160, 166, 

167, 171, 194, 195, 196 
Bell Buckle, 1, 2, 91, 111, 

112, 134, 141, 151, 152, 
159, 160, 161, 166, 167, 

168, 171, 194, 195, 196, 
220, 221, 223, 231 

Bell, Dr. James M. , 68 

Bell, John, 87 

Bell, Dr. Richard B., 242, 

Bella, Dr. John, 68 
Bennett, Dr. Thomas J., 

91, 125, 134, 141, 152, 

Bennett, Dr. Wendell, 22 3 
Berkley, Dr. Joseph 0., 

Beirs, Dr. William M, , 

223, 231 

148, 152, 159, 162, 166 
Bishop, Dr. E. L., 198, 20 
Bivins, Dr. Jesse, 111 
Black, Dr. J. B., 194, 206 

220, 223, 231, 237, 251 
Black, Dr. Samuel P., 68, 

111, 134 
Black, Dr. Thomas Crutcher 

38, 39, 48, 50, 53, 55, 

97, 111, 118, 134 
Blackman, 112, 135, 142 
Blair, Dr. Robert, 68 


, 37, 


Boone, Dr. Joseph E. , Jr., 
Bostick, Dr. Jonathan, III 

37, 38, 68 
Boston, 18 
Bougainville, 230 
Boulris, Dr. Chester J., 2 
Bowlin, Dr. Smith, 40, 68, 

134, 141 
Box, Dr. James T., 242, 27; 
Boyd, Dr. Robert F., 250 
Boykin, Dr. J. T. , 223, 22i 

231, 237, 242 


189, 190, 194 
Bragg, Gen. Braxton, 94 
Brand(t), Dr. Ernst, 15 

Rra1-1-rin. Dr. T_ .T . IQd 

tsranairj, ur . trnst, i54 
Bratton, Dr. T. J., 194, 

Breckenridge , 87 
Bridges, Dr. James N. , 

121, 134, 141, 152 
Brooks, Dr. Arthur L., 
Brothers, Dr. L. A 

194, 220 



, 143, 




Brown, Dr. Isaac C, 23 
Brown, Dr. Samuel, 27, 28 
Bruce, Dr. Donald, 265, 

Bryan, Dr. J. H., 141 
Bryan, Dr. John M. , 237 
Bryan, Dr. 0. N. , 163 
Bryant, Dr. Rodney C. , 

242, 272 
Bryant, Dr. W. A., 231, 

237, 242, 272 
Buchanan, Dr., 43, 6 2 
Buchanan, Dr. Alexander B., 

68, 111 
Buchanan, Dr. Robert 

Bullock, Dr. Sally H., 272 
Bumpus Mills, 194 
Burger, Dr. Joshua M. C. 

Burke, Dr. G. W. , 55, 

59, 68 
Burkitt, Dr. Andrew J., 141 
Burlington (Vt.), 151 
Burnett, Dr. T. J., 134 
Burrows, Dr. William G. , 

111, 134, 141 
Burrus (see Burrows) 
Burton, Dr. G. W. , 39, 41, 

43, 44, 48, 49, 68 
Butler, Dr. Henry K., Jr., 

242, 272 
Butler, John M. , 215 
Butler, Dr. Thomas R., 68 
Butler, Dr. W. E., 23 
Byrn, Dr. J. F., 121, 134, 

141, 152, 159 

Cain, Dr. (John S. ) , 139 
Cainsville, 1 , 2 
Cairo (Egypt), 229 
Caldwell, Dr., 40, 43 
Cambridge University, 254 
Cambridge, Dr. Vernal W. , 

Campbell, Dr. Jerry, 242, 


Campbell, Dr. V. S., 166, 189, 

194, 210, 211, 218, 220, 223 
Camp Forest, 169 
Cannon County, 1, 2, 38, 111, 

126, 134, 141, 143, 152, 159, 

171, 209, 225, 239 
Carlton, Dr. John E., 231 
Carnegie Foundation, 83, 84, 

Cams, Dr. Alexander, 141 
Carter, Dr. Dennis C, 265, 

Carter, Dr. Harvey W. , 223 
Carter, Dr. Lennora S., 194, 

220, 259, 260, 261 
Carter, Dr. S. Frank III, 242, 

Cartwright, Dr. J. W. , 194 
Cason, Or. John F., 220, 223, 

231, 237 
Central Tennessee College, 247, 

255, 256 
Chadwick, Dr. James M. , 141, 

152, 159 
Chamberlain, Dr., Ill 
Chandler, Dr. Marion, 111, 134 
Chapel Hill, 1, 2, 135, 143, 

144, 152, 153, 160, 161, 167, 
171, 194, 195, 220, 223 

Chapman (Nathaniel), 110 
Charleston (W. Va . ) , 251, 259 
Charlton, Dr. Andrew Jackson, 68 
Charlton, Dr. Ephraim, 68, 111, 

134, 141, 152, 159 
Charlton, Dr. George Washington, 

Sr., 68, 111 
Charlton, Dr. G. W. Ill, 166 
Charlton, Dr. James Hamilton, 38, 

39, 68, 111, 134, 141 
Charlton, Dr. John R. , 166 
Charlton, Dr. Joseph, 68, 111, 

Chattanooga (Tenn.), 130, 131, 

145, 147, 255 
Cheatham, Dr . , 43 
Cheers, Mrs. Maggie, 251 


Childress, Dr. Edwin, 

68, 111, 134 
Chrisman, Dr. W. F., Ill 
Christiana, 2, 142, 152, 

159, 166, 194, 195, 211, 

Christy, S. B. Jr., 192, 

197, 198, 206, 208, 213, 

Cincinnati (Ohio), 41, 49, 

Clark, Dr. Elisha B., 23 
Clark, Dr. William J., 68, 

Clary, Dr. John W. , 111, 

134, 141 
Clary, Dr. William F., 141, 

151, 152, 159, 166 
Clayton, Dr. C. C, 141 
Clayton, Dr. H. H., 55, 

62, 64, 68, 91, 101, 104, 

111, 121, 132, 134, 141, 

Cobb, Dr. S. B. , 141 
Cocke, Dr. Edwin W. , 231 
Coffee, Dr. Amos L., 231 
Coffee County, 1, 2, 135, 

142, 143 
Coleman, Dr. P. C, 118, 

126, 134, 141 
Coleman, Dr. Walter P., 

Ill, 134 
College Grove, 1, 2, 91, 

111, 135, 136, 141, 143, 

152, 153, 159, 160, 166, 
167, 171, 194, 195, 220, 
223, 231 

College of Philadelphia, 6 
Collett, Dr. Williarr, "159 
Commonwealth Fund of New 
York, 193, 197, 199, 202, 
2o5, 206, 207, 208, 212, 
213, 217, 218, 219, 222, 
225, 270 
Connell, Dr. M. L. , 194, 
220, 223, 231 

Cook, Mary Riley, 226 
Cook, Dr. William C, 111, 134 
Cooper, Dr. A. L. , 223 
Coopwood, Dr. William E., 2 37, 

261, 262, 263, 264, 265 
Copeland, Dr. Clarence N., Jr, 

Copeland, Dr. John B., Ill 
Corban, Dr. J. C, 237, 242 
Couch, Dr. Robert W. , 91 
Covington, Dr. John James, 91, 

141, 152, 159, 166 
Covington, Dr. W. J. M. , 166, 

194, 220 
Craig, General, 228 
Craig, Dr. S. C. , 166 
Crichlow, Collier, 208 
Crockett, Dr. F. P., 141 
Cross, Dr. Albert M. , 194 
Crosthwait (e) , Dr. George D., 

38, 39, 43, 49, 52, 68, 122, 

125, 134, 141 
Crosthwait, Dr. G. W. , 125, 

133, 141, 152,, 159, 166, _ 194 
Crow, Dr. Charles R. , 194 
Crumbine, Dr. S. J., 197, 198, 

Cuba, 82 

Culbertson, Dr. N. H., 194, 220 
Cullen, William, 6 
Cunningham, Dr. John T., 237, 

242, 272 
Curlee, 1, 2 
Curlee, Dr. James P., 141, 152, 

159, 166 
Curren, John, 251 
Curren, Dr. S. A. , 251 
Gushing, Dr. Harvey, 175, 181 

Danville (Kentucky), 17 
Darrow, George M. , 215 
Dartmouth, 7 

Davidson County, 1, 2, 29, 
111, 112, 113, 131, 134, 

136, 141, 143, 152, 159 
Davis, Dr. E. A., 194, 220, 

251, 252, 259 


Davis, Jefferson, 93, 
Davis, Dr. Joseph W. , 

111, 119, 125, 133, 

137, 138, 141, 152 
Davis, Dr. Preston K., 

Davison, Dr. B. S., 22 

228, 230, 231, 237, 

Dawson, Dr. William N. 
Deason, 1, 2, 91, 144, 

153, 161, 168 
DeBakey, Dr. Michael, 
De Saussure, Dr., 198 
Deck, Dr. Marvin E., 2 








, 220 



, 220 


, 220, 



Dedman, Dr. William M. 
Denny, Dr . , 159 
Dickens, Dr. James H., 

Ill, 121, 127, 134, 

Dickey, Dr. C. W. , 194 

Dill, Dr. James M. , 13 

141, 152, 159, 166 
Dilton, 159, 166 
Dismukes, Dr. John F., 

159, 166, 194 
Dixon (Tenn. ) , 150 
Dixon, Dr. John H., 24 
Dodd, Dr. David T., 2 3 

242, 272 
Donoho, Dr. Charles, 134, 

Donoho, Dr. Edward, 68 
Donahue, Dr. B. P., 171 
Douglas, Dr. William W. , 

Drake, Daniel, 18 
Drennan, Dr. George T. 
Drennan, Dr. J. C, 15 
Duff, Dr. Price H. , 22 
Duggan, Dr. Benjamin F 

91, 134, 141, 152 
Duggan, Dr. S. B., 162 
Duggan, Dr. Solon S., 

158, 159, 166 

2, 272 

, 159 



, 171 

Duke, Dr. F. M. , 134, 141, 152 
Dunn, Dr. Thomas C. , 166 
Dyer, Dr. J. H., 194, 231 
Dykes, Dr. John N. , 91, 141, 
152, 159, 166 

Eagleville, 2, 38, 91, 112, 134, 
135, 142, 150, 151, 152, 153, 
158, 159, 160, 162, 166, 167, 
171, 194, 195, 196, 220, 221, 
231, 232, 238 

Earthman, Dr. V. K., 159, 166, 
171, 194, 220, 223 

Eaton, Dr. E. M. , 152 

Eatherly, Dr. W. T., 194 

Eberle (John), 110 

Edinburgh, 6, 18 

Eggleston, Dr. W. C, 220 

Einthoven, Dr. Wilhelm, 176, 183 

Elam, Dr. J. E., 152 

Elam, Dr. Thomas J., 91, 111, 
134, 141, 152, 159 

Elmore, A. T. , 208 

Emory and Henry College, 100 

England, 6, 176 

Engles, Dr. W. J., 194 

Eritrea, 229 

Estes, Dr. Paul, 231, 237, 242, 

Estes, Dr. Sam E. , 159, 166, 
194, 220, 223 

Estes, Dr. W. R. , 194 

Evans, Dr . , 159 

Everett, Dr. John, 141 

Ewell, Dr. Dabney, 68 

Ewing, Dr. John A., 152, 159, 
166, 194 

Ezel, Dr. LaFayette, 31, 68 

Ezell, Dr. Uberdwell, 68 

Fain, Dr. Richard W..-. 134 
Fairfield, 1, 2, 111, 112, 113, 

134, 135, 141, 142, 143, 152, 

Fenno, Dr. Richard, 230, 237 
Ferguson, Champ, 100, 101 


Ferguson, Dr. Clarence N., 

152, 194 
Ferguson, Miss Maude, 192, 

193, 198, 200 
Fesmire, Dr. Francis M. , 

237, 242 
Fisher, Dr. George C, 159, 

Fisher, Dr. Robert J., 159, 

Fitch, John, 94 
Fleming, Dr. Alexander, 

Fletcher, Dr. John R., Ill, 

134, 141, 152 
Flexner, Abraham, 83, 172, 

Flint, Austin, 110, 114 
Florence, 38, 134, 141, 

142, 152, 153, 159, 160, 

166, 194 
Flowers, Dr. George, 141 
Ford, Dr . , 43 
Forrest, General, 94, 97 
Fort Donelson, 94 
Fort Henry, 94 
Fort McHenry, 97 
Fort Sumter, 87, 89, 90 
Fosterville, 2, 92, 112, 

113, 135, 141, 142, 152, 

159, 161, 166, 167, 171, 

194, 211, 220 
Fox Camp, 3 8 

Fozrar, Dr. James, 134 
France, 19, 165, 228 
Frazar, Dr. William W. , 68 
Freas, Dr. Edgar C, 159 
Freeman, Dr. J. K., 194, 

220, 223, 231 
Freeman, Dr. W. R., Ill, 

133, 134, 141, 152, 159 
Frizzell, Dr. T. J., 134, 

Fryar, Dr. J. F. , 114, 

115, 134 

Gassaway, 196 

Gaines, Dr. John Wesley, 68, 111, 

134, 141, 152 
Galvez, Dr. Pedro, 242 
Gannaway, Dr. John, 68, 

141, 152, 159 

Garner, Dr. 

Garner, Dr. 
Garrett, Dr. 
Garrett, Dr, 

James W. , J 

W. H., 194, 
John J. , 1 
R. C, 166 
Garrison, Fielding, 8 
Garrison, Dr. R. James, 

237, 242, 272 
Garrison, Dr. S. C, Jr 

235, 236, 237, 242, 2 
Gentry, Dr. Joseph S., 
Gentry, Dr. R. A. , 141 
Gentry, Dr. Watson M. , 
George Hubbard Hospital 
Georgia, 97, 101, 103, 
Germany, 71, 154, 172, 
Gilbert, Dr. Lemuel B., 
Gilbert, Dr. Sidney L. , 
Giles County, 109 
Glasscock, Dr. M. E., 2 
Gooch, Dr. David R., 15 

Gooch, Dr , 

38, 39, 
Gooch, Dr 
Gooch, Dr , 

111, 134, 
r., 242, 

John Claibor 
Nathaniel, 9 
Samuel R. , 3 
Goodall, Dr. George, 22 

237, 242 
Goodloe, Dr. A. E., 163 

Good Samaritan Hospital 
Goodman, Dr. Charles E. 

242, 272 
Gordon, Dr. A. 

215, 220 
Gordon, Dr. F. 

42, 43 
Gordon, J. P. , 
Gordon, Dr. T. 

N., 194, 

H., 39, 


66, 194 

, 194, 220 

231, 236, 

., 231, 



91, 111 
, 265 
145, 169 


242, 272 


9, 166, 

ne , 31 , 

3, 231, 

, 166, 

, 225 
, Jr. , 


40, 41, 

228, 230, 231, 237, 242 


Graham, Dr , 
Graham, Dr. 
Graves, Dr , 

Gorgas, William Crawford, 

Gossburg, 1 
Gott, Dr. J. R., 194, 210, 

211, 218, 220, 223 
Gowen, Dr. James W. , 38, 

68, 91, 111 
Gowen, Dr. William D., 31, 

Gracy, Dr. B. B. , 124, 

125, 133, 134, 141, 147, 
149, 152, 159, 166, 194 

Charles R. , 159 
W. W. , 194 
Thomas, 6 8 
Gray, Dr. Elias T. , 111, 

134, 141, 152, 159, 166 
Gray, Dr. Isaac H., 68, 

lllr 134, 141 
Green, Dr. Madison G. , 141 
Green, Dr. Richard E., 237, 

242, 272 
Greenberg, Dr. Stanley, 237 
Greensboro (N. C-), 257 
Grigg, Dr. Samuel C, 141, 

152, 159, 166 
Grimmett, Dr. M. H., 159 
Grinstead, Dr. Addison P., 

68, 111, 134, 142 
Griswell, Dr. Moses T., 142, 

152, 159 
Guadalcanal, 230 
Guill, Dr. B. F., 125, 134, 

142, 152 
Gum, 2 
Gunn, 21 
Guthrie, samuel, 17 

Hackman, Dr. Robert H., 

237, 242, 272 
Haggard, Dr. D. C, 165, 

Hagley, Dr. Leon, 159 
Hale, Dr. C. W. , 111 
Hall, Dr. Allen, 68 
Hall, Dr. John W. , 69, 111, 

134, 142 

Hall, Dr. Joseph D., 142, 15 

159, 166, 194, 220 
Hall, Dr. Robert R. , 135, 1< 
Hal 1 ' ?5 Hi 1 1 . 111. 1 ^d 1 ^19 

80, 83, 

142, 152, 

__. .., .42 

Hall's Hill, 111, 134, 142 

196, 221 
Halstead, Dr. William S., 


Hamilton, Dr. James R. , 194 
Hamilton, Dr. John Henry, 166, 

194, 258 
Hampton, Dr. James E. , 2 37 
Handley, Dr. H. E. , 194, 231 
Hardin, Dr. G. C, 159, 166, 

220, 251, 253, 257 
Hargis, Dr. F. C, 166, 


Harkness, Anna, 218 
Harkness, Edward S., 218 
Harkness, Stephen V., 218 
Harris, Dr. C. C, 166 
Harris, Dr. G. W. , 91 
Harris, Governor, 89, 93 
Harris, Dr. J. T. , 159, 194 


Harris, Dr. Richard L. , 220, 22; 
Harris, Dr. Robert B., 91, 111, 

119, 135, 142, 152 
Hartwell, Dr. Alfred, 23, 31, 31 
Harvard, 7, 83, 218 
Harvey, Dr. A. E., 237, 242, 27: 

ncjiuweii, UL . Rirrea, ^j, Ji 
Harvard, 7, 83, 218 
Harvey, Dr. A. E., 237, 242, 
Hase, Dr. Joseph, 111 
Hatcher, Dr. G. A., 223, 231 
Hay, Dr. S. H., 231, 237, 242, 
Haynes, C. M. , 208 



Mrs. Jim, 215 

91, 135 


Haynes, C. M. , 208 
Haynes, Mrs. Jim, ^. 
Hearn, Dr. Henry M. , 

142, 152 
Heffington, Dr. Charles A., Jr., 

242, 272 
Heimark, Dr. C. B., 150, 151, 152 
Henderson, Dr. Eugene, 111 
Henderson, Howard, 215 
Henderson, Dr. W. T., 23 
Hendrix, Dr. A. A., Ill 
Hester, Dr. George S., 242, 
Hibbett, Dr. J. C, 237, 242 

Hihh(^-t-1-. Dr- W P 152 

Hibbett, Dr. J. C, 237, 242 

Hibbett, Dr. W. E., 152 

Hickman, Dr. J. P., 159, 166, 
194. 257 


Hickman, Dr. J. P., 159, 166, 
194, 257 
Lcks, Dr. John B., 130, 133, 135 


Hill, J. T., 131 

Hogg, Dr. Samuel, 27, 38 

Hollowell, Dr. R. D., 

223, 231, 237, 242, 272 
Holman, :Dr . , "257 
Holmes, Dr. E. M. , 159, 

Holmes, Dr. Henry, 31 
Holtland, 1 
Holt's Corner, 142 
Hood, General, 97 
Hoover, Dr. John L., 159, 

166, 194 
Hoover, Dr. Samuel, 142 
Hoover, Walter King, 

124, 125 
Hoover, Dr. William M. , 

91, 111, 135, 142, 152 
Hord, T. E., 208 
Horton, Dr. George E. , 

Hough, Dr. De Witt, T., 

Houston, S. F. , 215 
Hubbard, Reuben D. , 38, 

39, 69, 111 
Hudson, Dr. David L. , 



Hudson, Dr 

. H. H 

., 220 

Hudson, Dr 

. J. R 

., 159, 



Dr. 1 





, 159, 





Dr. . 

J. D. , 



Dr. Wiley, 


Huggins, C 

. B., ! 

3r . , 



;, Dr 

. Will: 




Dr. ] 

Kenneth D. , 



, 272 


Dr. N 

. H. , 



Hutton, Dr 

. Will: 

lam M. , 



135, : 



Dr. 1 




Ingram, Dr. M. 

Italy, 229 

Ivie, Dr. John H 

D., Jr., 223 

Jackson (Tenn.), 249 
Jackson, Dr. M. H., 68 
Jamison, Dr. A. J., 159 

195, 210, 211, 218, 2 

Jamison, Dr. James M. , 
January, Dr. R. W. , Sr. 
Jefferson, 111, 112, 13 

Jekot, Dr. William J., 
Jenkins, Dr. Edward 0., 
Jernigan, Dr. J. H., 15 
Johns Hopkins Hospital, 

83, 173 
Johns, Dr. 0. T., 243, 
Johnson, Dr. Daniel H., 

39, 48, 69 
Johnson, Dr 
Johnson, Dr 

Johnston, Gen. A. S., 9 
Jones, Dr. Enoch H., 15 

157, 158, 160, 162, 1 
Jones, Dr. J. Capers, 2 
Jones, Dr. J. E. , 195 , 

, 166, 
20, 223, 

, 112 
5, 142, 





J. T., 195 
Luther R. , 


2, 154, 


37, 243 


Jones , 


Joseph, 103 

Jones, Dr. Ralph, 231 
Jones, Dr. W. P. , 41 
Jordan, Dr. Clement, 69, 112 
Jordan, Dr. Garner M. , 135, 

142, 152, 160 
Jordan's Valley, 143, 144, 153 

Kaufman, Dr. J. K., 223, 228, 

231, 237, 243, 272 
Kelley, Dr., 41, 43 
Kelton, Dr. J. C, 160, 166, 

195, 210, 211, 218, 220, 223 
Kendall, Dr. Douglas W. , 243, 273 
Kendall, Dr. Robert L., 243, 273 


Kendle, Dr. James E. , 69 
Kennedy, Dr. Lois M. , 

220, 223, 231, 237, 243 
Kentucky, 105 
Keyes, Dr. Robert F., 62, 

Kimbro, 1 

King, Dr. I. H. , 160, 257 
King, Dr. J. W. , 42, 43, 

King, Dr. Joseph E. J., 237 
King's College, 7 
Kinnard, Dr. George Currin, 

Kirkland, 1, 2 
Kirkland, Dr. W. C, 195 
Kirkpatrick, Dr. John C, 

Kirkpatrick, Dr. John 0., 

Kirkpatrick, Dr. Samuel 

T. P., 135, 142 
Kittrell, 152, 159, 166 
Knight, Dr. Joseph C, 

237, 243, 273 
Knight, Dr. L. W. , 39, 

43, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 

55, 58, 69, 112, 135, 

Knight, Dr. Robert T., 

237, 243, 273 
Knox, Dr. Robert N. , 91, 

142, 153, 160 
Knoxville (Tenn.), 251 
Koch, Robert, 76, 77 

Laennec, R. T. H., 17, 

Landis, Dr. George L. , 

142, 153, 160, 166, 

La Roche, Dr. Elizabeth, 

Lascassas, 2, 159, 160, 

162, 166, 194, 195, 

211, 220, 223 

La Vergne, 2, 38, 1 
126, 134, 135, 13 

152, 153, 159, 16 
Lebanon, 39, 41, 4 2 
Ledbetter, S. L. , 1 
Lee, Dr. Harry, 195 
Lee, Dr. Henry, 166 
Lee, Dr. Seung Hoo, 
Leech, Dr. P. G. , 6 
Leek, Dr. E. S., 22 
Lemore, Dr . J. H. , 

Le Quire, Dr. Donal 
Lester, Dr. Bailey 

153, 160, 166 
Lewis, Dr. Charles 

Lewis , 

Dr. Nathanie 
160, 166 
Lexington (Ky.), 7 
Leyte, 229 
Lillard, Dr. J. H. , 
Lincoln, President, 
Lind University, 82 
Lindsley, Dr. J., 4 
Lipscomb, Dr. Thoma 
Lister, Dr. Joseph, 
London, 6 

Louisville ( Ky . ) , 3 
Lovelace, Dr. Fred 

243, 273 
Lowery, Dr. E. Ray, 
Lowry , Dr . J . S . , 1 

Lyon, Dr. James P., 
Lytle, Julian, 208 
Lytle, Dr. William 


11, 112, 113, 

6, 141, 143, 

6, 194, 203 

, 105 


, 220 

243, 273 
195, 258, 

d L. , 237 
P., 142, 

W., 237, 243, 

1 M. , 142, 

40, 43, 135 
87, 89 

s, 41, 43, lOi 

9, 130, 258 
R., 237, 

Jr., 273 
95, 220, 

142, 160 

H., 69, 112, 

Macknet, Dr. K. D., 243 
Malone, Dr. Eva Lin, 220 
Major, 159 
Maney, Dr. James, 23, 28, 29, 

30, 38, 39, 69, 112, 135 
Manier, Dr. Phillip H., 112, 142 
Manier, Dr. V-J. H., 125, 142 


Manire, Dr. Amasa W. , 91, 

112, 135, 142, 153, 160, 

Mankin, Dr. John W. , 135, 

142, 153 
Manning, Dr. Francis J., 

38, 39, 69 
Manson, Dr. James Edward, 

69, 112, 135, 142 
Marshall County, 1, 2, 

112, 113, 136, 143, 144 
Marshall, J. K., 199 
Marshall, Mary E. , 215 
Martin, Dr. J. D., 142 
Martin, Dr. J. H. , 112 
Martin, Dr. R. , 43 
Martin, Dr. R. C. K., 43 
Martin, Dr. Robert W. , 

69, 112, 135, 142, 

153, 160 
Martin, Dr. W. C. , 55, 

69, 112 
Martin, Dr. W. D., 167 
Mason, Dr. James L, 160 
Mason, Dr. John T., 237 
Massachusetts General 

Hospital , 18 
Mayes, Dr. James E., 

160, 167 
Mayfield, Dr. G. A., 

Mayfield, Dr. S., 41, 43 
McAdoo, Mrs. Edgar, 198 
McBride, Dr. Pleasant H. , 

91, 142, 153 
McCarthey, Dr., 223 
McCleary, Dr. J. W. , 135 
McClellan, Dr. J. B. , 

142, 153, 160, 167, 

195, 220, 255, 256, 

McCord, Dr. William A., 142 
McCord, Dr. William H. , 

91, 112, 135, 142 
McCrary, Dr. Lyman B., 91, 

112, 135, 142, 153, 160, 

McCrary, Dr. M. B., 190, 

195, 211, 220, 223 

McCrary, Dr. Thomas C, 91, 112, 

135, 142 
McCullough, Dr. Allen P., 91, 

112, 135, 142, 153, 160 
McCullough, Dr. P. D., 39, 43, 

48, 49, 50, 53, 69 
McDowell, Ephriam, 17 
McElroy, S. E. , 208 
McGahey, Dr. Thomas, 142 
McGee, Dr. Henry L., 167, 195, 

McKnight, A. D., 215 
McKnight, Dr. Armstrong E. , 

91, 112, 140, 142, 153, 160 
McKnight, Dr. Bennett R., 153, 

160, 167, 195, 211, 220 
McKnight, Dr. David T., 273 
McKnight, Dr. John L., 69 
McKnight, Dr. Samuel A., 69 
McLarty, Dr. A. M. , 231 
McLean, Dr. Joseph M. , 112, 

135, 142 
McMinn, Dr. Samuel N., 69, 135 
McMullen, Dr. R. W. , 237 
McMurray, Dr. Thomas M. , 142, 

153, 160 
McWhirter, Dr. Samuel Caldwell, 

69, 112 
Meharry Medical College, 173, 

247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 253, 

255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 

261, 265 
Memphis, 41, 116, 128, 129, 

130, 133, 170, 209 
Memphis Medical College, 128 
Mickle, Dr. J. G. , 135 
Middle Tennessee Medical Center, 

267, 269, 274 
Middleton, 112 
Midland, 2, 134, 141, 142, 152, 

153, 160, 161, 167 
Miller, Dr. Elbert S., 135, 142 
Miller, Dr. E. S., Jr., 135 
Miller, Dr. Lorenzo D., 142, 

153, 160, 167 
Miller, Dr. W. J., 14 2 
Millersburg, 111 
Milton, 2, 37, 38, 91, 111, 112, 

135, 140, 142, 143, 153, 159, 
160, 166, 167, 194, 195, 220 


Milton, Dr. E, S., 112 
Mitchell, Dr. P. H., 

23, 31 
Mitchell, Dr. Thomas A., 

Mobile, 129 

Moffett, Dr. A. S. , 220 
Molnar, Dr. S. K., 223 
Moncrief, Dr. D. D. , 

167, 171, 195 
Moon, Dr. James P., 

167, 195 
Moon, Dr. J. Robert, 

142, 153, 160, 167, 

Moon, Dr. Orville B., 171 
Moon, Richard, 199 
Moon, Dr. W. A. , 160, 

167, 195 
Moore, Dr. George B., 223 
Moore, Dr. James L. , 231 
Moore, Dr. Jennings, 69 
Moore, Dr. Ralph, 237 
Moore, Dr. W. P., 220 
Morgan, Dr. C. H., 167 
Morgan, John, 6 
Morgan, Dr. John H., 69, 

Morris, Dr. 
Morton, Dr. 

153, 160, 
Morton, Dr. 
Morton, Dr. 
Morton, William T 
Mosely, Dr. H. A. 

Donald P. , 220 
James W. , 

John H. , 135 
Solomon G. , 69 

Moses , Dr . , 96 
Mosley, Dr. Thomas B., 142 
Mulky, Dr. William A., 135 
Mullins, Dr. George W. , 69 
Murfree, Dr. James B., Jr. 

153, 160 

Murfree, Dr. James B., Sr., 
91, 100, 101, 112, 119, 
120, 121, 122, 124, 132, 
133, 135, 137, 140, 143, 
145, 146, 148, 150, 153, 

154, 157, 160, 167 

Murfree, Dr. Matt B. 

228, 229, 230, 231 


Murfree, Dr. Matt B. 

165, 167, 171, 189 

210, 211, 220, 223 

Murf reesboro, 1, 2, 2 

30, 31, 33, 34, 35 

41, 43, 44, 48, 49 

55, 63, 87, 90, 91 

95, 96, 106, 109, 

113, 116, 118, 126 

132, 133, 134, 135 

141, 142, 143, 151 

159, 160, 161, 163 

171, 189, 190, 191 

194, 195, 196, 197 

205, 211, 212, 213 

221, 223, 224, 226 

235, 237, 238, 240 

243, 244, 251, 253 

256, 257, 258, 259 

264, 265, 271, 272 

Murfreesboro Medical 

Murray, Dr. John W. , 

Muse, Dr. Joseph B., 

Mustard, Dr. H. S. , 1 

205, 206, 208, 212 
Myers, Dr. Charles E. 
Myers, Dr. Chester E. 
Myers, Dr. F. J., 243 
Myers, Dr. Russell E. 
237, 243, 273 

Jr., 223, 
238, 243, 


2, 24 

11, 1 




95, 1 


, 28, 


52, 53, 














c, 236 



Nashville, 30, 35, 41, 43, 50, 
53, 54, 90, 106, 108, 116, 
118, 130, 150, 156, 190, 191, 
197, 247, 248, 250, 253, 254, 
259, 261, 264, 271 

Neal, Dr. C. C, 135 

Neal, Dr. Richard, 160 

Nealy, Dr. M. Edward, 118, 135, 
143, 153, 160, 167 

Neilson, Dr. Patrick D. , 23 

Nelson, Dr. Abner W. , 69 


Nelson, Dr. Bristol, 195 
Nelson, Dr. Joseph H., 

69 , 112 
Nelson, Dr. 0. G., 195 
Nelson, Dr. Samuel B., 

112, 135, 143 
Nesbitt, Dr. Simon, 143 
Nevins, Allan, 105 
New, Dr. C. T., 40, 69, 

112, 135 

New London (Conn.), 17 
New Orleans, 130 
New York, 129, 215 
Newson, Dr . M. W. , 

135, 143 
Noah, 1, 142, 153, 194 
Nobbitt, Dr. Boone E., 

Nolensville, 1, 2, 111, 

113, 134, 136, 141, 

142, 144, 153, 160, 
166, 194, 220, 223 

Norem, Dr. Walter, 223 
Norene, 1, 2, 195, 221, 

North, Elisha, 17 
Norvell, Dr. Andrew, 135 
Norvell, Dr. James K., 

143, 153, 160, 167 
Northwestern University, 

Norton, Dr. James K., 6 9 
Nunn, Dr. J. A., 171 
Nunnery, Dr. James A., 

243, 273 

Oakland, 2 9 

Odom, Dr. E. P., 22 3, 

228, 229, 231, 237, 

243, 273 
Odom, Dr. Houston, 160 
Odom, Dr. Stephen G., 

243, 273 
Okinawa, 229 
Oneyville, 1 
Orr, Dr. D. F., 153 
Orr, Dr. W. M. , 153, 160 

Osborn, Dr. G. , Jr., 112 
Osier, Sir William, 81, 83 
Otterland, Dr. Karlanders, 243 
Otto, John C. , 16 

Ousley, Dr. B. L. , 195, 211, 220 
Overall, 2, 195, 211, 221, 224, 

Overall, Dr. George W. , 132, 135 
Overall, Dr. J. C, 160, 162, 

167, 195, 210, 211, 218, 221, 

223, 227 
Owen, Dr. Benjamin R. , 42 
Owen, Dr. James B., 69, 143 
Owen, Dr. Robert, 91 
Owen, Dr. Urban G. , 135, 143, 

153, 160 
Owen, Dr. W. T. , 160, 167 

Palmer, J. B. , 157 
Palestine, 229 
Panama, 8 2 

Paris, 13 
Parker, Arthur 0., 167 
Parks, Dr. J. S., 41, 43 
Paschall, Dr. Benjamin H., 

69, 135, 143 
Paschall, Dr. George C, 153, 

160, 195 
Pasteur, 73, 74, 75, 76, 78 
Pate, Dr. D., 69 
Patterson, Dr. C. W. , 125, 

133, 143 
Patterson, Dr 
Patterson, Dr 

135, 143 
Patterson, Dr. Sam H., 238 
Patton, Dr, Ernest W. , 167 
Patton, Dr. Jason H., 143 
Paty, Dr. James A., 195 
Payne, Dr. James, 231, 237 
Pensacola (Fla.), 130 
Percy, Dr. J. W. , 41, 43 


R., 251, 261 
, 91, 112, 

Pensacola (Fla.), 130 

Percy, Dr. J. W. , 41, 43 

Perkins, Dr. Jack F., 167 
Persia, 229 

Petitte, Mary F. , 215 

Philadelphia, 16, 129 

Physick (Philip), 110 


Pinkard, Dr. George, 135 
Pinkston, Dr. Alex R. , 69, 

143, 160 
Pinto, Dr. Socrates, 238, 

243, 273 
Pitts, Dr. Rufus, 160, 167 
Poplin, Dr. Green L., 69 
Poplin, Dr. Thomas I., 

153, 160, 167 
Porter, Dr. R. M., 41, 43 
Porterfield, 1, 91, 140, 

152, 159, 166 
Posey, Dr. William S., 112 
Powell, Dr. R. J., 5 5 
Poynor, Dr. J. S. , 135 
Preston, Dr. T. W. , 143 
Price, Dr. Robert C, 

38, 39, 69 
Puckett, 161, 167 
Puckett, Dr. Jerry E., 

243, 273 
Pulaski, 41 

Ransom, Dr. J. , 112 
Ransom, Dr. Medicus, 54, 

55, 58, 60, 69, 112, 

121, 135, 143, 153, 157 
Ransom, Dr. Robert G., 

238, 243, 273 
Ratcliff, Dr. M. D., 160 
Rawlins, Dr. B. W. , 

221, 223, 231, 237 
Read, Dr. Robert W. , 143, 

153, 160, 167 
Read, Thomas H. , 31 
Readyville, 1, 2, 91, 

111, 121, 134, 136, 

141, 143, 152, 153, 161, 

167, 189, 194, 195, 196, 

Reams, Dr. Absalom H., 143 
Rees, Dr. H. C, 160 
Reid, Dr. John Nash, 23 
Reid, William, 18 
Reuhland, Dr. L. L., 

243, 273 

Rhea, Dr. Creighton, 238, 243 
Richardson, Judge John E. , 

198, 215 
Richardson, Dr. John W. , 35, 36, 

38, 39, 41, 44, 47, 48, 49, 
50, 53, 54, 55, 57, 62, 69, 
106, 107, 108, 112, 115, 135 

Richardson, Dr. Thomas S., 112 
Richardson, Dr. William T. , 112 
Rickard, Dr. Randell C, 273 
Rickman, Dr. John R. , 112, 160 
Rives , Dr. T. L. , 38 
Roane, Governor Archibald, 30 
Roane, Dr. James, 23, 24, 30, 

31, 35 
Robards, Dr. H. R. , 41 
Robertson, Dr. G. L., 40, 43 
Robertson, Dr. George Whitfield, 

69, 105 
Robertson, Dr. Higdon J., 112, 

135, 143 
Robertson, Dr. Samuel B., 38, 

39, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 61, 
62, 69, 108, 112 

Robinson, Dr. Aaron B., 143 

Robinson, Dr. Charles H., 231 

Robinson, Dr. George W. , 91, 

Robinson, Dr. J. G., 195 

Robinson, Dr. Jefferson, 160 

Robinson, Dr. John H., 69, 135 

Robinson, W. B., 157 

Robinson, Dr. W. D., 143 

Robinson, Wiley H., 215 

Robison, Mary Alice, 217 

Robison, Dr. W. T., 165, 167, 
189, 190, 195, 198, 210, 211, 
213, 215, 217, 221, 224, 227 

Rochester (N. Y. ) , 18 

Rockefeller Foundation, 172 

Rockvale, 2, 166, 194 

Rogers, Dr . , 38 

Rogers, Dr. Richard A., 273 

Rokitansky (Carl), 114 

Rosecrans, General, 94 

Ross, Sir Ronald, 79, 82 


Roth, Dr. Charles K., 231 
Roundtree, Dr. C. B. , Jr., 

231, 238 
Rover, 1, 2, 135 
Rucker, 161, 167 
Rucker, Dr. James Joshua, 

135, 143, 15-3, 160, 167, 

Rucker, Dr , 

143, 167 
Rucker, Dr , 

153, 160 
Rucker, Dr 

John J . , 136, 
Minus L. , 143, 

William R, 


38, 39, 69, 112 

Rudd, Dr. J. Daniel, 273 

Rush, Benjamin, 6, 7, 8, 
12, 14 

Russell, Dr. Charles H., 

Russell, Dr. Leonidas, D., 

Rutherford County, 1, 2, 5, 
21, 27, 28, 31, 33, 35, 
40, 41, 43, 49, 50, 58, 
63, 87, 89, 90, 93, 105, 
116, 121, 156, 158, 189, 
192, 193, 197, 198, 199, 
206, 207, 209, 212, 213, 
215, 217, 218, 225, 226, 
227, 230, 233, 235, 239, 
240, 241, 245, 246, 259, 
267, 270, 274, 275 

Rutherford County Health 
Department, 201, 205, 
206, 207, 208 

Rutherford Hospital, 190, 
213, 214, 215, 217, 225, 
230, 247, 253, 261, 262, 
267, 269 

St. Louis (Mo. ) , 130, 253 

Salem, 143, 153, 160, 161, 

167, 235 

Saltville (Va.), 100 



Sanders, Dr. E. M. , 163 
Sanders, Dr. Leonard N., 91, 

Sanders, Dr. Robert S. 

243, 270, 273 
Sanders, Dr. Robley, E 

160, 167, 195 
Sanders, Dr. W. B., 238 
Sanders, Dr. W. J., 161, 167 
Sanford, Dr. W. V., 221, 224 
Saraswat, Dr. Sudha, 273 
Saraswat, Dr. Suresh C, 273 

C^.r^rrc^ Hr- W. M. , 238 

Absalom W. , 69 
Hardin N. , 143 
James Turner, 69 
J. W. , 69 
Mark Hardin, 69 
Samuel W. , 91 

Savage , Dr 

Scales, Dr , 

Scales, Dr , 

Scales, Dr , 

Scales, Dr. 

Scales, Dr. 

Scales, Dr. Samuel W. , 91 

Scott, Dr. J. A., 167, 189, 

195, 209, 210, 211, 215, 218, 

221, 224, 227, 231 
Searcy, Dr. James, 69, 112, 

Sedgewick, Dr. William H., 161 

- , , _ /-■ V.7 1/1-3 

Sensenbach, Dr. C. W. , 243 
Sewanee (Tenn.), 148 
Sewart Air Force Base, 230, 

Shacklet, Dr. Henry, 112 
Shacklett, Dr. W. W. , 228, 22' 

231, 238, 243, 273 
Shannon, Dr. Thomas G. , 136 
Sharber, Dr. J. 0., 59, 69, i: 
Sharp, Dr. Asa D., 167, 171 
Shaw, Dr. Robert G., 112 
Sheffield, Dr. Jason B., 70 
Shegog, Dr. D. , 70 
Shelbyville, 33, 35, 40, 41, 
Shelton, Dr. Ben A., 243 
Sherrill, Dr. J. E., 125, 143 

oK-;..^^ r-i-v- T K/i 1 a 1 TOO 


41, 43 

M., 167, 189, 

221, 224, 232 

1 o 

195, 210, 218, 221, 
impson, James, 18 
impson. Dr. John, 160 
ims, J. M. , 80 


Sims, Dr. Swepson, 23, 

24, 38, 39 
Sims, Dr. Walter H., 70, 

112, 143 
Singh, Dr. Alvin R. , 

265, 273 
Singleton, Dr ,■ Robert L., 

Smalling, Dr. Forsyth, 

Smith, A. L. , 208 
Smith, Barry C, 208, 

Smith, Dr. Charles D., 

238, 243, 273 
Smith County, 40, 43 
Smith, Dr. George W. , 

243, 265, 273 
Smith, Dr. H. M. , 243 
Smith, Lt., 100, 101 
Smith, Dr. J. H. , 195, 

Smith, Dr. Robert, 112, 

Smith, Dr. Robert J., 

Smith, Dr. S. B. , 161, 
167, 195, 198, 211, 
221, 224, 235 
Smith, Dr. Taswell S., 

59, 63, 64, 112 
Smith, Dr. Theodore G., 

Smith, Dr. W. A., 39, 43, 
48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 
54, 58, 70 
Smith, Dr. W. Radford, 

238, 243, 273 
Smoot, Dr. T. M. , 195 
Smyrna, 2, 27, 38, 91, 

111, 113, 119, 122, 124, 
126, 134, 135, 136, 137, 
138, 141, 143, 147, 152, 
153, 159, 160, 166, 167, 
194, 195, 218, 220, 221, 
223, 224, 231, 232, 237, 
238, 242, 243, 244, 258, 
270, 273 

Smyrna Hospital, 271 
Sneed, Dr. D. H. , 195 
Sneed, Dr. J. S. , 125 
Sneed, Dr. John W. , 161, 167, 

195, 221, 224, 232 
Snellings, Dr. John B. , 112 
South Carolina, 87 
Spain, Dr. Stephen, 70 
Sparkman, Dr. William, 143 
Speer, Dr. Ephriam A. , 91, 136, 

143, 153, 161 
Speer, Dr. James A., 153 
Spickard, Dr. J. B., 143 
Starns, John, 16 

Starrett, Dr. James A., 243, 273 
Steele, Dr. John W. , 70, 91 
Stenson, Dr. John M. , 112 
Stewart, Dr. W. R. C, Jr., 232 
Stickney, Richard, 199 
Stokes (William), 110 
Stone, Dr. William D., 70 
Stout, Dr. S. H., 41 
Stoville, Dr. A., 112 
Strader, Dr. D. L. , 161 
Strain, Dr. R. E., 224 
Summers, Dr. J. W. , 195, 221, 

Summers, Dr. James T., 161, 167 
Sutton, Dr. Charles P., 112 
Sutton, Dr. W. Wade, 273 
Swann, Dr . , 143 
Swanson, Dr. Ed, 143 

Tatum, Dr. Robert F. , Sr., 91, 

113, 136, 143, 153 
Taylor, Dr. Edmund J., 113 
Taylor, Dr. G. W. , 161 
Taylor, Dr. J. P., 195, 209, 

210, 221 
Taylor, Dr. John S., 136, 161, 

167, 195 
Thompson, Dr. Elizah D., 136 
Taylor, Dr. W. , 42 
Temple, Dr. James P., 161, 167 
Templeton, Dr. John, 143, 161 
Tenpenny, Dr. J. W. , 232, 238, 

244, 273 


Wil liam L, , 

. H., 224 
K., 221 
xoaa , Aiiux ew u. , 213/ 215 
Todd, Dr. George W. , 161 
"^""■^""^ ^- ^ ^ 238, 

Thach, Dr. W. T. , 161 
Thompson, Dr. Elijah D. , 

Thompson, Dr. George W. , 

24, 31, 35, 38, 39, 41, 

43f 49i^ -52;.-700 
Thompson, Dr. Leland A., 

Thompson, Dr. Nimrod 

Whitefield, 38, 39, 

113, 136, 143, 153 
Thompson, Dr. Sam W. , 

Thompson, Dr. 

Tilley, Dr. J 
Tilley, Dr. W. 
Todd, Andrew L 
Todd, Dr. George W 
Tolbert, Dr. E. C 

244, 273 
Transylvania University 

Medical School, 7 
Treadway, Dr. Henry Holmes, 

24, 31, 35 
Treppardsville, 1, 111, 

134, 142 
Trinidad (B. W. I.), 230 
Triune, 1, 2, 37, 38, 91, 

111, 112, 134, 135, 

141, 142, 143, 152, 159, 

Tubb, Dr. C. E. , 167, 195 
Tuma, Dr. Robert P., 24 4, 

Turek, Dr. Raymond E. , 238, 

244, 273 
Turner, Dr. James R., 113 
Turner, Dr. Robert J., 136 
Turner, Dr. Thomas A., 

244, 273 
Turner, Dr. William M. , 136 
Turney, Dr. James T., 143, 

153, 161 
Turpin, Dr. B. P., Jr., 

244, 273 
Tyner, Dr. J. R. , 221 











7, 8 






1, 2, 91, 111, 134, 
152, 153, 159, 160, 
167, 171, 195 

of Edinburgh, 6 

of Louisville, 7 

of Maryland, 7 

of Michigan, 83 

of Nashville, 7, 140, 

of Pennsylvania, 6, 

of the South, 148 
of Syracuse, 83 
of Tennessee, 173 

Van Blaricum, Dr. J., 244 

Van Hook, Dr. R. C, Jr., 221, 

Van Hook, Dr. R. C, Sr . , 161, 

195, 221, 224 
Vanderbilt University, 145, 

173, 264 
Vaughn, Dr. E. B., 161, 167 
Vaughan, Dr. Parks, 161 
Vaughn, Dr. R. D. , 167 
Vernon, Dr. T. , 23 
Versailles, 59, 111, 112, 134, 

141, 143, 152, 159, 160, 166 
Vesta, 1 
Veterans Administration Hospital, 

221, 224, 226, 227, 232, 238, 

244, 264 
Victor, Dr. 
Vienna, 13, 
Vine, 1, 2 
Virginia, 24, 100 

Leonard, 2 38, 244 

Waddy, Dr. J. C, 161, 257 
Wade, Dr. James, 38, 3 9 
Wade, Dr. John W. , 143 
Wade, Dr. Samuel, 70, 143 
Walden, Dr. John, 143 
Waldren, Dr., 232 
Waldron, Dr. J. S., 125, 136, 

Waldrop, Dr. J. G. , 232 
Walker, Dr. Charles E. , 161 


Walker, Dr. John L. , 

161, 167, 195 
Walter Hill, 2, 37, 38, 91, 

111, 134, 135, 153, 159, 

160, 161, 166, 167, 194, 

195, 220, 221, 223, 224 
Ward, Dr. William, 2 3 
Waring, Dr. J. I., 195, 

202, 210 
Warmuth, Dr. H. Joseph, 91, 

113, 122, 125, 133, 136, 

137, 143, 147, 149, 153 
Warner, Dr. Barton W. , 

244, 273 
Warren, Dr. L. V., 113 
Wartrace, 1, 2, 91, 112, 

113, 134, 141, 142, 143, 

152, 159, 160, 161, 167, 

171, 194, 195, 209, 220, 

221, 223, 231 
Washington, D. C, 
Washington, Dr. J. 

133, 143 
Wasson, Dr. L. M. , 

65, 66, 70, 113 
Waters, Dr. T. F. , 
Watkins, Dr. Samuel, 24, 28 
Watson, Dr. John M. , 38, 

39, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 

55, 57, 58, 70 
Weakley, Dr. , 119 
Weaver, Francis L. , 143 
Webb, Dr. J. L., 113, 136 
Webb, Dr. Sam, 70, 113 
Welch, William H., 77, 83 
Wendel, Dr. James, 38, 48, 

55, 70, 113, 136, 143, 

Wendel, Dr. Robert S., 39, 

42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 50, 

53, 55, 65, 70, 91, 113, 

136, 143, 153, 157 
Wesley, Dr. J., 136 
Westmoreland, Dr. Wayne, 

Wheeler, Dr. E. D., 49, 50, 
53, 55, 58, 70, 113 







Whitaker, Dr. T. D. , 113, 136, 

White, Dr. Augustus H., 70 
White, Dr. B. N. Ill, 224, 

229, 230, 232 
White, Dr. B. N. , Jr., 163, 

169, 171, 195, 198, 210, 

218, 221 
White, Dr. B. N. , Sr., 92, 

143, 153, 161 
White, Dr. Garrett, 161, 16 

White, Dr. John Rowland, 14 

153, 161 
White, Dr. John J., 113, 13 
White, Dr. R. G., 41 
Whitehurst, Dr. W. L. , 221 
Whitson, Dr. Samuel K., 113 

143, 161 
Whitson, Dr. William, 92, 1 

Whitus, T. R., 215 
Wiles, Dr. S. L. , 196, 211, 

218, 221, 224, 232 
Williams, Dr. E. L., 167, 1 







H. R. , 113, 1 
James, 144 
Olin, Jr., 23 

Williams, Dr 
Williams, Dr 
Williams, Dr 

244, 273 
Williams, Dr 

Williamson County, 1, 2, 11 

134, 135, 136, 141, 142, 

153, 160, 161 
Willig, Dr. Wanda, 224 
Wilson County, 1, 2, 27, 29 

40, 43, 112, 135, 136, 14 

143, 152, 153, 159, 160 
Wilson, Dr. John Robertson, 

31, 35 
Wilson, Dr. William H., 70 
Winstead, Dr. H. W. , 65, 11 

136, 144, 153, 161 
Winston, Dr . , 4 3 
Winston, Sam, 96 
Witt, Dr. Terry J., 244, 27 



S. W., 171, 196, 






Wolf, Dr. Herbert R. , 

244, 273 
Womack, Dr. Charles W. , 

Wood, Dr. A. T., 113, 

Wood, (Alexander), 110 
Wood, Dr. John A., 70, 136 
Wood, Dr. T. H., 168 
Wood, Dr. Thomas W. , 92, 

136, 144, 153, 161, 168 
Woodbury, 1, 2, 40, 91, 92, 

111, 112, 113, 135, 136, 

142, 143, 152, 153, 159, 

160, 166, 167, 190, 194, 

195, 211, 220, 223, 225, 

231, 235, 237, 238, 242, 

243, 244, 272, 273 
Woodruff, Dr. J. B. , 168, 

Woods, Dr. Dexter, 196, 221 
Woods, John, 157 
Woods, Dr. Stephen H., 39, 

48, 70, 113, 144, 153, 161 
Woods, Dr. T. H., 196, 221 
Woodson, Dr . , 161 
Wooldridge, Dr. Robert, 232 
Word, Dr. G. W. , 143 
Work, Dr. William C, 70, 

Wynee, Dr. T. C. , 251 
Wysong, Dr. H. C, 171, 


Young, Dr. John S., 70 
Young, Dr. L. V., 40, 43, 48, 

49, 50, 52, 70 
Youree, George, 215 
Youree, Dr. William E. , 144, 

153, 161, 168, 196 

Zackery, Dr. Ridley, 136 

Yandell, Dr. Henry, 33, 34 
Yandell, Dr. Lunsford Pitts, 

24, 25, 28, 30, 31, 33, 35, 

39, 41, 43, 49 
Yandell, Dr. William M. , 31 
Yandell, Dr. Wilson, 23, 24 
Yeargan, Dr. Hillary H. , 70, 

113, 136, 144 
Young, Dr. J. Howard, 2 38, 

244, 273 







h a mi 


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