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The Montgomery County Medical Soceity
Part Two

H. GATCH CAREY, (1826-1895).


Dr. H. G. Carey came to Dayton in the spring of the year in which this society was born. He was one of the godfathers, a member of the first Board of Censors and for fifteen years an active member.

He was born near Sidney, Ohio, in 1826. At the age of seventeen he entered my father's office as a student of medicine and graduated with honors from the Ohio Medical College in 1848. After spending a year in the Old Commercial Hospital, which was quite famous in its day, he came to Dayton, just before the outbreak of the second epidemic of cholera. This epidemic, which prevailed over a large portion of the United States, was especially severe in Dayton. and taxed to the utmost its little band of doctors.

The latest comer soon found his services in demand.

Doctor Carey's affable manner, aggressiveness, business shrewdness as well as his high medical attainments speedily advanced him to the front of a profession at that time exceptionally strong.

After fifteen years of successful practice he left the city and the profession to engage in business with his father-in-law, the late Judge Newman, of Indianapolis.

In the city of his adoption he soon acquired prominence in church circles and in all benevolent and public movements.

For years he was an influential member of the Indianapolis school board and was largely instrumental in establishing that city's excellent public library.

Stricken with paralysis, after a lingering illness, he died late in 1895 in the 70th year of his age. While these lines were being written word came of the death of his wife at her Indianapolis home.


JOHN W. SHRIVER, (1812-1875).


Another of the band of founders was Dr. John W. Shriver, who was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1812. His preliminary medical reading was done in the office of Doctor Hays of Centerville, Pa., and his diploma, obtained from Jefferson Medical College. On the death of his preceptor he fell heir to his practice, and remained in Centerville until his removal to Dayton in 1849.

Doctor Shriver was a genial, kindly-hearted man of excellent character, upright and honorable in his professional life and for a quarter of the century was one of the busy and influential practitioners of the city. The records of this society would indicate that, in his early career, he fell into bad company. The minutes for November, 1851, record the receipt of a letter from Drs. John W. Skinner, Phil B. Hallanan, also a founder, and John W. Shriver, withdrawing from the society. At a subsequent meeting action was taken on the petition which resulted in the honorable discharge of Doctor Shriver, and the expulsion of Doctors Skinner and Hallanan. The counts in the indictment were the infraction of Acts 5 and 6 of the National Code. But later in life, like the prodigal who journeyed into a far country. Doctor Shriver returned to the society he helped to form, and was an active and loyal member from 1878 until his death in 1875.

Memorable in the history of this society is the decade 1850-1860, when were enrolled as members the "Big Five," John Davis, McDermont, Armor, Gundry, and Reeve.


JOHN DAVIS, (1818-1883).


Dr. John Davis, the first of the quintet to locate here, joined the society in 1850 when it was in swaddling clothes, and was its executive officer in 1867. Though, perhaps, less of a bookman than the others, he was second to none in natural abilities or force of character.

He was born in 1818 near Leesburg, Va., moved with his parents first to Columbiana County, and later to Marion, Ohio, where his youth was spent and his preliminary education acquired. One course of lectures was taken at Willoughby College, now non est, and his M. D. degree obtained from Starling Medical in 1847. Later, he took a special course in surgery under Valentine Mott, a noted surgeon of New York City. Doctor Davis's inclinations were at this time surgical, rather than medical, but in those days elective surgery was but little practiced. For years he had an official connection with some of the local railroads which gave him a full share of the emergency work.

My acquaintance with Doctor Davis dates from his appointment on the Board of Trustees of the Insane Hospital, to .succeed Doctor Jewett. As a member of the medical staff, I cheerfully testify to the efficiency and zealousness with which he guarded the interests of the institution and also to his uniform courtesy and kindness to the officers and patients.

As a physician he was conservative, sagacious, and resourceful, with a high appreciation of the dignity of his calling, and a keen sense of the responsibilities which it imposed. In recognition of the demands of the poor on his services lie accepted a position on the consultant staff of St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Doctor Davis not only built up a large and lucrative practice, but what is closer to the heart of the true physician, had in a singular degree the esteem and confidence of his patrons.

There was about him, at all times, an earnestness, a self-possession and quiet dignity which impressed one with confidence in his ability and honesty. His manner, though gentle and kindly at the bedside and in the circle of his friends, was inclined to repress rather than to court familiarity, and was often mistaken for coolness by those who knew only his outer self.

Though undemonstrative and not given to ostentatious charity, he was thoroughly loyal to those he liked, and was ever ready to assist with council, and, if need be, with more substantial aid. Like most positive men he had strong likes and dislikes, was, at times, a sharp critic, and always an opponent whom no rival could afford to ignore or forget.

He had an alert ear for news and the faintest whisperings of medical gossip did not long escape him, but once caught it was seldom repeated, and never with mean or mercenary intent.

Doctor Davis never married but his standing advice to young doctors was "to marry and do it quick." In his personal habits he was exact, even abstemious. He loved and practiced virtue for virtue's sake and detested intemperance, profanity, and vice in all of its protean forms. For long he was a member and officer in the Presbyterian Church and was rarely absent from his pew during Sunday morning services.  Doctor Davis died in the" harness. Taken sick while attending the meeting of the American Medical Association in Cleveland, in June, 1883, he died a few days after his return of cerebral meningitis.


CLARKE McDERMONT, (1823-1881).


On the old frame shack which for years stood on the ground over which we meet to-night there could be deciphered through the many-hued coats of wash, letters which covered the entire front and spelled C. McDermont, M. D.

Born in County Antrim, Ireland, he immigrated to this country in 1840. Having had a classical education he supported himself by teaching and eventually became principal of a private school in Lexington, Ky. Here he began the study of medicine under the tutorship of Doctor Dudley, professor of surgery in Transylvania University and the most famous lithotomist in America. In 1849 he graduated from the University of New York and immediately went to Edinburgh and Dublin for post-graduate work. Returning to this country he, for a while, assisted Doctor Detmold, professor of surgery in his alma mater, in teaching his private classes and in the management of his clinics.

In 1852 he came to Dayton and associated himself in practice with Doctor Green. He joined the society soon after and was its president in 1860.

Promptly on the beginning of the War for the Union, Doctor McDermont was appointed surgeon to the Second Ohio Infantry. In 1862-63 he served as medical director of the right wing of the Army of the Cumberland and still later was detailed to hospital service in Nashville and Louisville.

In the report of the battle of Murfreesboro, General Rosecrans commended him for gallantry on the battlefield and great humanity in the care of the wounded, and in recognition of his services he was brevetted lieutenant-colonel U. S. Volunteers.

At the close of the war Doctor McDermont was assigned as surgeon to Camp Denison, which position he held until appointed surgeon-general of the State under Governor Hayes. During this service an unfortunate episode occurred which embittered his life and led to his withdrawal from the State society. In his zeal for advancing the interests of the profession Doctor McDermont, in his official report for 1867, took occasion to sharply criticize the status of medicine in Ohio, basing his statements on the official reports of the State army examinations.

At the meeting of the State society in that year. Doctor Hamilton, of Columbus, a strong man and a hard fighter, introduced resolutions, which were unanimously passed, strongly censuring the surgeon-general and denouncing the report as untrue and "not fit to be put in circulation, or to be filed with the archives of the State."

The unseemly haste displayed and the injustice of condemning one on ex parts statements filled Doctor McDermont's friends with indignation, and they determined to undo the wrong.

The next June, on my way to the meeting of the State Society in Delaware, I stopped here, and at a luncheon given by Doctor Reeve, first heard of the trouble and formed the acquaintance of McDermont. In full paint and feather the Dayton contingent left for the seat of war. The fight came sharply on the reading of the minutes—Doctor McDermont moved to expunge the resolutions of censure which was ably seconded by Doctor Reeve; —but alas! the appeal was made to a jury, every member of which felt himself personally aggrieved and the motion was voted down by an overwhelming majority.

Doctor McDermont keenly felt the humiliation. Like the eagle whose pangs were increased by the knowledge that the fatal arrow had been guided in its flight by a feather from its own wing, so McDermont's hurt was the greater because inflicted by the members of a profession which he loved and over-zealousness in the interests of which was his only offense, if any were given.

No man can question the honesty of the doctor's intentions, and reading between the lines it seems that his liking for a well-rounded sentence led him to overstate his case, and to cast reflections where none were deserved or intended.

On the establishment of the National Soldiers' Home in Dayton, he was appointed surgeon-in-chief, and served from 1867-74, excepting one year spent at the Southern Branch at Hampton Roads.

For years before his death Doctor McDermont was in bad health, which he attributed to poisoned food eaten at a rebel house after the battle of Carnifex Ferry. One of the' party, Doctor Kyle, of Xenia, died with the symptoms of arsenical poisoning.

However this may have been, he certainly had the most typical case of chronic gout that I have ever seen. The joints of his feet and hands were greatly deformed and later on ulceration exposed large deposits of sodium urate. The doctor did not evidently agree with Sydenham "that more wise men than fools" have gout for he always indignantly resented the suggestion. In his presence gout was a tabooed word.

Doctor McDermont was a large, square-shouldered blonde. His splendid physique, dignified countenance, and graceful carriage gave him a personality that was sure to command attention in any gathering of men. He was fond of good living and good fellowship. Though affable and courteous to every one, his sympathies and tastes drew him strongly to the patrician side of life. True to his lineage he was full of Irish wit and humor which bubbled to the surface at the most unexpected times and places. I never knew one who could give the retort courteous better than he.

To a large repertoire of good stories and an inimitable way of telling them he added the keen observation and information which comes from reading and travel and which made him a charming companion.

He was a staunch churchman and died April 7, 1881 an officer in the First Presbyterian Church.


SAMUEL G. ARMOR, (1818-1885).


Doctor Armor was born January 29, 1818, in Washington County, Pa., and soon after came to Ohio with his parents who were of Scotch-Irish descent.

He received his academic education at Franklin College, New Athens, Ohio, which institution in 1872 honored him with the degree of LL. D.

He read medicine in the office of Doctor Irvine, Millersburg, Ohio and graduated from the Missouri Medical College in 1844. Rockford, 111., was chosen for his life's work, but the turning point in his career came in 1847 when he accepted an invitation to deliver a short course of lectures on physiology in Rush Medical College. Later he was tendered the chair of physiology and pathology, but declined because of the previous acceptance of the same chair in the medical department, University of Iowa, at Keokuk. This position was soon exchanged for fie chair of natural sciences in the University of Cleveland (non-medical), in connection with which he also engaged in general practice.

In 1853 Doctor Armor was awarded a prize by the Ohio State Medical Society, which held its annual meeting in Dayton, for an essay "On the Zymotic Theory of the Essential Fevers." This paper focused the attention of the college men of southern Ohio on the talented young author and led to his accepting in the fall of that year, the chair of physiology and pathology in the Medical College of Ohio, where he soon fell heir to the chair of practice, made vacant by the death of the lamented Lawson.

In May, 1856, he married Miss Holcomb, of this, city. At her bidding the voice of ambition was for the time being stilled, professorship resigned and an urgent call, which came as a sort of wedding present, to the chair of practice in his alma mater, declined. He located here and soon gained the confidence of the profession and people.

Doctor Armor became a member of this society in 1857 was its presiding officer in 1859, and at all times was an active participant in its discussions.

Doctor Armor's tastes, however, better fitted him for the rostrum than for active practice. In 1861, having been tendered a professorship in the University of Michigan he transferred his residence to Detroit, becoming a member of the firm of Doctors Gunn & Armor. After a service of five years he accepted the chair of therapeutics, materia medica, and general pathology in the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, and in the following year succeeded to the professorship of practice and clinical medicine made vacant by the resignation of the elder Flint.

After years of wandering this peripatetic teacher found himself at last permanently anchored and retained this position until his death in 1885.

My acquaintance with Doctor Armor began in the winter of 1866-67, while attending lectures at the University of Michigan, nominally as his private student.

Doctor Armor was tall and well-formed, in complexion dark, with hair straight and black as an Indian's. His manner was cordial, sometimes effusive, and for this reason the various faculties to which he belonged were accustomed to place him on reception committees to welcome back the old students and to cheer up the new.

He was immensely popular in college. Students on the benches and young doctors who had gone forth to battle, alike looked upon him as an elder brother, who was their strength and defense, their wise counselor, and faithful friend.

He was one of the finest lecturers to whom I have ever listened. His graceful delivery and modulated voice, the rounded sentences of pure English, and a wealth of illustration enabled him to breathe life and beauty into the dryest of medical themes and to enthuse the dullest of students. "The country student, fresh from the plow, and the college graduate, fresh from the halls of learning, sat with equal pleasure and profit at his feet." In truth, he was so much of a lecturer that in later years even his private conversation smacked strongly of the platform.

Doctor Armor was not a voluminous writer, although his contributions covered a wide range of subjects and were valuable. Neither was he an original thinker. For years he held a position well to the fore among the medical celebrities, and yet he left behind him no lasting imprint upon the doctrines of his day, and lives now largely in the memories of those who sat spellbound under his eloquence.

Doctor Armor died from cancer of the abdominal viscera and sleeps to-night by the side of his first wife in Woodland Cemetery.


RICHARD GUNDRY, (1829-1891).


Doctor Gundry was born in Hampstead, England, in 1829. His classical education was obtained at the famous private school of Doctor Shingleton in his birth town. He came to this country in 1845 and began the study of medicine under the tutelage of Doctor Covernton, of Simcoe, Canada, graduating M. D. from Harvard Medical College in 1851. He opened an office in Rochester, N Y but soon removed to Columbus, Ohio, and in 1855 accepted the position of assistant physician to the Ohio Lunatic Asylum.

Two years later he became assistant physician in the Asylum here, and its medical superintendent in 1862, replacing Doctor Mcllhenny, who failed of reflection. After ten years of service he went to Athens, Ohio, as superintendent of construction of the State Hospital for the Insane, opening the institution for patients in 1874. His efficiency in this new field led to his transfer to Columbus to do a similar work for the Central Hospital then in process of construction (1877).

The building finished. Doctor Gundry acted as its chief medical officer until May, 1878, when he fell a victim to that pernicious political practice which prostitutes for party purposes the benevolent institutions of the State. Happily his reputation as an alienist was not measured by the metes and bounds of partisan Ohio, and Democratic Maryland promptly tendered him the superintendency of the asylum at Catonsville, at a largely increased salary. The regret of Doctor Gundry's friends at his banishment from Ohio took tangible shape in the presentation of an elaborate silver tea-service, a free-will offering to an officer who had fulfilled the many trusts committed to his care with fidelity and ability. Doctor Gundry's removal proved to be disastrous only to the State which lost his skilled services. In his new home he speedily acquired prominence in the profession, became a popular consultant on nervous diseases and filled a professorship in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in Baltimore.

Unlike many alienist physicians he held it to be his duty to keep in touch with the general profession, and was therefore always an enthusiastic medical society man.

Doctor Gundry joined this society in 1857 and was its president and secretary for several terms. He was a regular attendant, a good debater, and fond of a friendly tilt over a knotty problem in diagnosis or ethics.

The three years which I spent as a member of Doctor Gundry's medical staff were years of pleasure and profit. To be associated with him was in itself an inspiration. I felt then, as I now feel, that he was one of the brainiest men whom it has been my privilege to know intimately.  And then, to round out our household there were Doctors Bell, of Logansport, Ind., cast out of sound metal, and Nunemaker, the best of fellows, and the fussiest, now at the head of the male department of the Philadelphia Insane Asylum, and Rutter, the able superintendent of the Epileptic Hospital at Gallipolis.

As an alienist, Doctor Gundry had a national reputation and was the exponent of the most advanced thought in asylum affairs. No man did more than he to inaugurate the present humane and rational treatment of the insane which has resulted in replacing the very name of lunatic asylum with the title of insane hospital.

As a physician he was broad-minded and cultured, and stood for what was perennial and best in medicine. In-capable of the petty jealousy which so often mars professional intercourse and large-hearted, he was charitable in opinion and conduct towards all.

As a man he was self-reliant, optimistic, and versatile; in truth, his strength lay largely in his wonderful versatility. As physician, specialist, college professor, superintendent of construction, executive officer, or landscape gardener he was equally efficient.

He was a lover of books, owned a splendid library, and was the most rapid reader I ever knew. With a glance over the page he seemed to absorb its contents. Apparently be read down the page and not across it. Above ordinary men, too, he was gifted with a memory which made a fact once acquired permanently his and ever ready for use. His reading covered a wide range, but history, especially English history, and economics claimed most of his attention. It was no unusual thing for him to spend the whole night over a new book and a lot of good cigars, seeking his bed only when the fragrance of both had been exhausted.

His immense fund of information on widely different subjects, his genial disposition and excellent conversational powers, always at the command of a friend, made him the most agreeable of companions.

He died in 1891 in the prime of life.




The last of the "Big Five" is still with us, and promises fair to round out his full half-century of active practice in this city. Of him, the limitations of this paper forbid us to speak in detail, but in scientific attainments, in general scholarship, in sweep of reputation, in everything that goes to make the man and the physician, Doctor Reeve is the peer of any who has gone before.

May the professional afterglow, now about him and which perpetuates the brilliant success of his noonday, linger long to brighten the evening of life and to fill it with peace and happiness.


Let us turn next to some of the shadows in the picture. Quackery is not a plant of recent growth. In the early days of which we write Thompsonianism and its par-boiling practice was in vogue and had many followers in tills valley.

Then came the Botanic or Reform system. The public prints were full of the advertisements of Indian and root doctors sustained as now by the affidavits of the immaculate G. P.'s,—grateful patients, and gullible preachers. Their shibboleth was "no mercury, no knife, no lancet."

Boneset tea, lobelia, and cayenne pepper, with drenching sweats were relied upon to drive out the mercury deposit in patients bones by the old school practitioners. Doctors Jordan and Terry, who came early in the twenties, seem to have been the most progressive, at least in printers' ink, of the so-called new schoolmen.

Doctor Parker, a fair sample of his kind, announced in 1836 that he was able to remove most of the diseases incident to this climate by the blessing of heaven, medicated and electric fluids and vegetable medicines, and kindly offered to receive patients from any section of the United States. He also with unspeakable generosity waived his fee from those who died of an acute disease while under his treatment.

Even the golden decade had its shadow and a dark one. With the "Big Five" came likewise Abel Ford, alias Dr J. S. Rose, unquestionably the most unique specimen who ever masqueraded under the pseudonym, "Doc" I can see him now leaning on his staff in the doorway of the old frame shanty on South Jefferson Street.   Thin and wrinkled, and wizzen-faced, body bent to a quarter circle, eyes deep-set under shaggy brows, and small and piercing like a serpent's, beard, gray and long, covering the upper chest, a dressing-gown, red-figured and greasy, dangling from his misshapen shoulders, and an antique silk hat pushed far back over a bald and shining occiput – all in all, his appearance was uncanny enough to hurry school-children to their mothers' knees and to give rise to the story of a haunted house.

The passer-by who chanced to peer through the grimy window-panes at the crooked little man brewing his elixir over a sputtering fire, which filled the room with weird shadows, could scarce keep from fancying that he heard the low crooning of the witch's song:


" Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire barn, and cauldron bubble.'''


The environment tended to confirm the delusion. His apothecary shop contained the miser's accumulation of debris and plunder for a third of a century.

Like the shop so eagerly sought by Romeo:


" A beggarly account of empty boxes,

Green earthen pots, bladders and musty seeds,

Remnants of pack thread and old cakes of roses,

Were thinly scattered to make a show."


But unlike Romeo’s apothecary our Rose, did not rely on "stuffed alligators and other skins of ill-shaped fishes" for shop decorations, but on the more attractive human embryo. After his death, there was found, packed like sardines in boxes, or floating in alcohol, a ghastly collection of fetuses ranging in age from two to five months. The Psalmist said truthfully, "The fruit of the womb is his reward."

The formula of the black medicine with which he wrought such miraculous cures, (?) is now in the possession of his administrator, Mr. William Young. In composition it resembles closely a mixture of comp. tinct. cinchona and Orleans molasses. Evidently its popularity, if it had any, came from the personality of the compounder, so suggestive of the alchymist and his black art. The public is very apt to associate curative powers with uncanniness.

Doctor Rose was never crowned laureate, but unquestionably he had the poet's imagination and power of expression. In proof, let me quote one stanza from a religious poem found among his post-mortem effects:


" God's chief delight in making man

Was to torture him the best he can.

God well knew before he made him

How ho would act in the face of sin;

So God made man and then made sin,

And then made hell to burn him in."


His opinion of our throat specialists may be worthy of record:


" To cut out tonsils from the throat

Placed there by God's design,

To butcher man as the brute,

Takes harder hearts than mine."


But the grim humor of the man is best shown in the placards displayed on the outer wall of his shop. One read: "No poisoning or torturing, no burning and dissecting the living done here,—Slaughter-pens farther up," referring to the offices of doctors on the same street.

Another sign, for convenience fastened on hinges, was only shown when a funeral procession passed his door: "Not my patient, for no one in Dayton has died under my treatment, now twenty-five years. 1882”

These examples are sufficient to emphasize our thought that quackery is indigenous and perennial. Since the days of the Master, tares have grown with the wheat and doubtless will continue to grow and to flourish until the end of time.

After this long and perhaps unprofitable digression I have next to sketch the life and work of


DR. THOMAS L. NEAL, (1830-1885).


Doctor Neal was born September 9, 1830 in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. He removed with his parents to Sidney, and at the close of his school days became an apprenticed tailor. As a boy he had a local reputation as a mimic and dialect story-teller. At the age of sixteen he entered my father's office as a student of medicine, graduated in cursu at the Miami Medical College, and spent one year as intern in old St. Johns, the famous predecessor of the Cincinnati Hospital. On his return to Sidney he formed a partnership with my father which lasted until his removal five years later to Cincinnati.

At the outbreak of the war he promptly offered his services to Governor Dennison, and passed the examination for a surgeoncy, but on account of not having been in practice the ten years required by law, he was only eligible for an assistant's commission, which he received.


He went to the front with the Eighteenth 0. V. I., a three-month's regiment but was soon detailed in charge of the hospitals at Charleston, W. Va., and was mustered out with the regiment on expiration of the term of enlistment.

Immediately after his discharge on unanimous petition of the officers. Doctor Neal was appointed surgeon of the Second Virginia Cavalry. While serving with the troops after the memorable defeat at Gauley Bridge, he contracted bronchitis, which eventually led to his retirement from the army and partially invalided him for the rest of life.

While in the army Doctor Neal married Miss Achey of this city, and after his resignation in 1863 came to Dayton to resume private practice. He did not gain membership in this society until January, 1866, for the reason that no meetings were held from July, 1861, to October, 1865. He was its presiding officer in 1875.

On the organization of the present Board of Health in 1868, Doctor Neal became its executive officer and ably and efficiently served the city in that capacity for sixteen years. He was an active member and officer in the American Public Health Association where he won for himself a wide reputation as a broad-minded sanitarian.

From 1870 to 1873 he was associated in practice with Dr. E. Jennings and in 1872 was a member of the Board of Pension Examiners. From its formation he was identified with the consultant staff of St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Doctor Neal was slender in build and of medium size. He was a courteous gentleman with Chesterfieldian manners, punctilious in the observance of the social amenities, dignified almost to stiffness, and hugely enjoyed a joke on the other fellow. Free from malice and all uncharitableness, he was with chosen friends the most charming of companions.

He was an excellent clinician, carrying to the bedside the keenness and alertness which is born of enthusiasm and close study. No one could have a higher sense of professional or personal honor, nor be more considerate of the feelings of brother practitioners. He was the first and only Dayton physician thus far regularly to use a coupe for making his daily visitations.

He died February 12, 1885, from malignant disease of the sigmoid. For weeks before the final summons came there was a fistulous connection between the bowel and bladder which caused excruciating torture. His last illness, long and painful, was borne with the courage and fortitude characteristic of the man.


E. PILATE, (1804-1890).


Perhaps no member of this society has had a more eventful career than Doctor Pilate, who came here from Louisiana soon after the closing of the War of the Rebellion. The century had barely passed its third year when Eugene Pilate was born in Tourcoing, France. He acquired his literary and medical education in Lille and Paris. Be-coming involved in the political intrigues which ended in the overthrow of Charles X., and the enthronement of Louis Phillipe, he was forced to leave France to save his life. He fled to England, the home of his wife, and with her sailed for the United States in 1833. After spending two years in New York City he removed to Alabama. Here his wife opened a school for girls, and he, sympathizing with the Texans in their rebellion against Mexico, accepted the position of surgeon on General Houston's staff and served until the flag of a single star waved over the free republic of Texas. After the war he located in Galveston. This venture ended in disaster, and his health failing he forsook the paths of civilization and spent several years living, practicing, and trading with the Indians. Tiring of this roving life, he finally gathered his family about him in Opelousas, La., where he speedily acquired a large and lucrative practice, and where he remained until his removal here in 1866.

Doctor Pilate was modest and retiring in disposition and of wide and varied information. His professional attainments are sufficiently attested in the fact that he twice performed Caesarian section successfully on the same woman. He was a naturalist of exceptional ability. His life on the frontier gave him large opportunity to gratify his love for the wild, both in nature and life. When far past the allotted three score and ten, with net and collecting-box he often joined us in an outing to the woods, the most enthusiastic member of the party. A new bird, or plant, or insect, never failed to awaken his liveliest curiosity.

Before coming here he had almost ready for publication a MSS. illustrated in color, on the fauna and flora of Louisiana, which was unfortunately destroyed by fire. The larger part of the valuable collection of birds in the Dayton Public Museum came out of his private collection. During the twenty-four years spent in Dayton he was a valuable member of this society and died at the ripe age of 86 years, admired and respected most by those who knew him best.

The good mentor at my side kindly admonishes me to close this retrospect. I accept the hint, and reluctantly pass by others of our forbears who richly deserve mention to-night and an honorable place in this society's hall of fame.

It seems wise to spend an occasional hour with the fathers, if for no other reason than to impress on the younger men that there were giants in those days. Distance plays freaks with the landscape and levels mountains to hills. There is no occasion for pessimism, no more is there cause to wrap ourselves in the mantle of self-conceit and complacently claim everything for the present. Environment and opportunity count for much, but they count as well for the present and future as for the past. Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. It would be unfair to measure the founders and early members by modern standards. There is no procrustean bed in science.

The status of medicine has changed marvelously since their day and the end is not yet. Through the gloaming of the old century we can even now faintly discern the sunburst of progress and development which awaits us in the new, and by which future generations will measure our character and achievements. There is danger that the society's historian, fifty years hence, may look upon us, who constitute the society of to-day, as medical pigmies. Let us guard ourselves carefully that such judgment may not be justified.


The End


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