Iowa History Project


History of Medicine in Iowa
by D.S. Fairchild, M.D., F.A.C.S.
reprinted from The Journal of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1927
transcribed from the original book for the Iowa History Project by S. Ferrall

page 1
page 2

P.J. MacMahon
(McMahon *)
pg 157, 158 & 160, mention
The Council Bluffs Medical Society met in Council Bluffs August 2, 1869. When the constitiution was presented and adopted by the society, eleven gentlemen, graduates of regular medical colleges, were present .... Dr. P.J. McMahon was elected president. The high character of the original membership of the Council Bluffs Medical Society is indicated by the names, which we take pleasure in inserting at this point ...... Dr. P.J. MacMahon, University of Louisville, 1846. A special meeting was called for March 15, 1875, to consider the resolutions commemorating the death of Dr. McMahon who had been secretary of the society for two years.
Donald Macrae, SR
pg 157, 158, 160 & 164 mention, and pg 287-289, full text
A preliminary meeting for the purpose of organizing a medical society in Council Bluffs, was held at Dr. P.B. MacKay's office July 26, 1869. The meeting was called to order by Dr. Donald Macrae. On motion, Dr. Macrae was elected secretary. A committee consisting of Drs. McKay, Macrae, Malcolm, Stein and Osborne, was appointed to draft a consitiution and by-laws. At a second meeting in Council Bluffs on August 2, 1869, eleven graduates of regular medical colleges, were present. The following officers were elected ... Dr. D. Macrae, secretary. (pg 157)
The high character of the original membership of the Council Bluffs Medical Society is indicated by the names, which we take pleasure in inserting at this point ...... Dr. Donald Macrae, University of Edinburgh, 1861. (pg 158)
Dr. Donald Macrae whose term of office as president expired with the August 5, 1872 meeting [of the Council Bluffs Medical Society], proved to be an efficient and active presiding officer. (pg 160)
A special session of the Council Bluffs Medical Society was called August 15, 1907 on the occasion of the death of Dr. Donald Macrae, Sr. (pg 164)

[Dr. Macrae is mentioned numerous times in the book regarding the Council Bluffs Medical Society, the reader is referred to the Table of Contents: Part Seventh - Local Medical Societies.]

Donald Macrae SR, M.D.
Donald Macrae, M.D.

Donald Macrae, Sr., M.D.
Dr. Donald Macrae of Council Bluffs, a son of Rev. Donald and Jessie (Russell) Macrae, was born in Ross-shire, Scotland, October 3, 1839, and died at his home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, August 14, 1907.
His father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland and his maternal grandfather, Rev. James Russell, was also a clergyman living at Gairlock, Ross-shire, Scotland.

Dr. Macrae graduated from the University of Edinburgh medical department in August, 1861. His first professional experience was gained in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for one and a half years. For four years he was surgeon with the Cunard Steamship Co. and during that time crossed the Atlantic seventy-five times. On his last trip in 1867, he married Miss Charlotte Bouchette, a native of Canada, a daughter of Joseph Bouchette, surveyor general of Canada. Mrs. Macrae died March 28, 1904.

Dr. Macrae came to Council Buffs in 1867, where he practiced medicine and surgery about forty years. He was the most influential practitioner in western Iowa. For several years Dr. Macrae was professor of the principles and practice of medicine in the Omaha Medical College, later the medical department of the Nebraska University and dean of the faculty. He became a member of the Iowa State Medical Society in 1883 and was president of the Society in 1888. He was a member of the American Medical Association and was the Iowa member of the last nominating committee preceding the reorganization. He was also a member of the International Medical Congress that met in Washington and also an original member of the Missouri Valley Medical Association and at one time its president.

Surviving Dr. Macrae are three brothers and one sister. James Macrae of Council Bluffs, Rev. John S. Macrae of Melbourne, Australia, F.A. Macrae of London, England and Mrs. Mary Stewart of Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Macrae never courted publicity, but on account of his high ideals was much respected by the people of Council Bluffs and by the profession of the state and nation. On reviewing the transactions of the Pottawattamie Conty Medical Society, Dr. Macrae's name appears at nearly every meeting and his voice was always raised in protest against any irregularity, shortcomings or derelictions of its members. Dr. Macrae inherited from his Scotch ancestors the uncompromising tendencies of his race, no personal advantage would lead him to swerve from the lines of right and justice, either in relation to his profession or in relation to his civic or social duties. He was also charitable to his brother physicians, but would never compromise with wrong doing or dishonest methods. These well known traits of character held a strong influence in keeping those who would go astray, inthe straight paths of duty. Council Bluffs had the good fortune to have a group of medical practitioners of like-minded men, who, with similar views, kept medical practice clean and honorable, a high position which is maintained to the present day. Dr. Macrae was succeeded in the practice of medicine by his son, Dr. Donald Macrae, Jr. (pg 287-289)

Donald Macrae, JR
pg 289, full text

Colonel Donald Macrae, JR
Colonel Donald Macrae, JR

Dr. Macrae [senior] was succeeded in the practice of medicine by his son, Dr. Donald Macrae, Jr., who has attained distinction in his profession and in the service of his country. Dr. Donald Macrae, Jr. was born at Council Bluffs, January 24, 1870, and after graduating in medicine, was associated with his father in the practice of his profession, until the death of Dr. Donald Macrae, Sr., in 1907. Like the father, the son has adhered strictly to high ideals of medical ethics and when the historian of the future shall review the work of the past and the present, the generations of Macraes will stand out in the honor list of Iowa physicians.

A.B. Malcolm
pg 157 & 158, mention
A preliminary meeting for the purpose of organizing a medical society in Council Bluffs, was held on July 26, 1869. A committee consisting of Drs. McKay, Macrae, Malcolm, Stein and Osborne, was appointed to draft a consitiution and by-laws. Dr. A.B. Malcolm was elected vice-president of the society. The high character of the original membership of the Council Bluffs Medical Society is indicated by the names, which we take pleasure in inserting at this point ...... Dr. A.B. Malcolm, Harvard University, 1834
M.B. Manesby
pg 164, mention
Dallas County Medical Society was organized in November, 1868. Dr. M.B. Manesby, president, who began practice in Dallas county in 1854.
W.S. Manson
pg 32, full text
In 1846 Centerville was laid out under the name of Chaldea but this name was not satisfactory to the citizens and at a large gathering, Dr. W.S. Manson who was an admirer of Governor Senter of Tennessee "in an eloquent address proposed the name of Senterville" This being satisfactory to the audience a petition was sent to the legislature and the name was changed, but by some mistake, the name was spelled Centerville. This is the only mention we are able to find of Dr. W.S. Manson who is said to be the first physician in Centerville, unless Dr. Manson was also a preacher for it is said that Rev. W.S. Manson preached the first sermon in a log cabin on the west side of the river (Chariton River).
Dr. Martin
pg 137, mention
Of Keokuk. Member of the Lee Co. Medical Society in 1858.
H.C. Martin
pg 156, mention
Dr. Martin was elected secretary of the North Iowa Medical Society at it's first meeting June 22, 1859. Physicians from the counties of Fayette, Allamakee, Clayton , Howard & Winneshiek; the book does not give where Dr. H.C. Martin was from.
H.M. Mathews
pg 105, mention
Of Burlington, was a charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, and it's first recording secretary, 1850.
M.B. Maulsby
pg 237, full text
Dr. M.B. Maulsby, the first president of Dallas County Medical Society, was born in Wayne county, Indiana, in 1817; attended one course of lectures at Ohio Medical College in 1842, practiced in his native county until 1854 when he removed to Dallas county.
Archibold Stephens Maxwell
pg 230-232, full text
Dr. Archibold Stephens Maxwell located in Davenport in 1852. We are in part indebted to Dr. A.W. Cantwell for the following biographical sketch of Dr. Maxwell, who in accordance with resolutions adopted by the Scott County Medical Society April 3, 1884, prepared and published in the Iowa State Medical Reporter, Volume 1, page 137, an account of Dr. Maxwell's work.

Dr. A.S. Maxwell was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, June 22, 1818. As a boy, he worked on a farm, but in 1834 he gave up farming and entered the printing office of the "Findley Whig." Three years later became foreman. In 1839 entered into partnership with Colonel John Meredith in publishing the "Richland Shield and Banner" Mansfield, Ohio.

During his leisure hours Maxwell read law in the office of Judge Brinkerhoff. He now realized that the education obtained in the country district school was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the life set before him and entered the Ashland Academy from which he graduated with honor. In the political campaign of 1842, he was attacked with laryngitis which so affected is voice that he abandoned the practice of law and entered the office of Dr. John M. Cook of Berlin, Ohio, to study medicine and graduated from the medical department of Hudson College at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1847.

After graduation Dr. Maxwell entered into partnership with is preceptor, Dr. John M. Cook, married his step-daughter and remained with him five years. The duties of a country practitioner were too exacting for Dr. Maxwell and in consequence of failing health, he prepared himself for the treatment of diseases of the eye, nose and throat, and located in Davenport, Iowa, in 1855.

When Dr. Maxwell located in Davenport, he invested in real estate at boom prices, and when the financial crisis of 1856-1857 came, nearly all his property was swept away, and he was forced to resume general practice, with much success.

Soon after the beginning of the Civil War, Dr. Maxwell was appointed by his early friend, Gov. Kirkwood, surgeon-in-chief of Hospitals No. 6 and 8 at Keokuk. During this service, he filled the chair of physiology and pathology in the Keokuk Medical College. Later, Dr. Maxwell was ordered to New Orleans for hospital work.

In 1864 Dr. Maxwell resigned his commission and returned to Davenport to resume general practice. The exactions of a large practice at last so impaired his health, that he was led to seek a warmer climate and he purchased a fruit farm in southern California and combined fruit farming with the practice of medicine. He suffered an exposure while visiting patients that resulted in an attack of pleurisy from which he died March 13, 1884.

D. McCaughn
pg 151, mention
Dr. D. McCaughn of Morning Sun was admitted to membership in the Louisa County Medical Society on May 28, 1856.
Wm McClelland
pg 46, full text
Dr. Wm. McClelland came to Washington in 1845. Dr. McClelland is said to have introduced Fowler's solution in the treatment of malarial fever on account of the high price of quinine.
Andrew Wilson McClure
289-291, full text

Dr. Andrew Wilson McClure
Dr. Andrew Wilson McClure

Doctor Andrew Wilson McClure occupied a leading position in the medical life and development of the state of Iowa, having practiced in Henry county for forty-eight years, from 1856 until 1905.

The early years of his practice were full of vicissitude and sacrifice as the state was new, and the country undeveloped. Many visits were made on foot or horseback as roads were often impassable. Streams were forded, roads broken through snow drifts and dangers encountered in order to reach the bedside of the sick. Hospital facilities and nurses were unavailable so the attending physician must often personally supervise the care of the patient.

Dr. McClure was born near Lebanon, Warren county, Ohio, June 10, 1828, and died in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, May 20, 1905. His early education was acquired in the district and academic schools of his native place. He was graduated from the Ohio Medical College in 1853 and after practicing three years in Paris, Illinois, he located in Iowa, forming a partnership with Dr. Wellington Bird of Mount Pleasant, one of the old established physicians of the place. In 1859 and 1860 Dr. McClure took a post-graduate course at the University of Pennsylvania and in later years he returned to the school for further study.

The call for troops in 1861 carried the doctor into the army as surgeon of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and he was promoted to brigade surgeon in the Vicksburg campaign at which time his health failed and he was obliged to resign.

In 1860 Dr. McClure married Emily C. Porter, a native of Iowa and a daughter of Col. Asbury B. Porter, a pioneer of the state and a gallant soldier of the Civil War. Two daughters of this union are living, May M., widow of Wm. F. Kelley, United States counsel general at Rome in 1916, and Martha, who retains the old family home in Mount Pleasant.

A busy professional life did not prevent the doctor from taking an active part in the political and business life of the state. He served the school interests as a member of the school board, was for many years a trustee for the Iowa State Hospital for the Insane at Mount Pleasant. He was president at different times of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1886, district and local organizations, and a leader in the work of the American Medical Association.

Throughout his practice he was a frequent contributor to medical and other journals; the address he delivered before the State Medical Society in 1887 was copied in the leading journals of the country and his last article on "Mental Theraphy" attracted wide attention on account of the advanced ideas and practical suggestions. His counsel and sympathy to the members of the profession, especially to the yonger members, was most dependable and valuable. He was an inspiration to such by his pure professional character as well as through his genial sympathetic mind. His example as a Christian, the breadth of his mind and the benevolence of his heart, the simplicity and purity of his life, his especial interest in the young, his respect for the aged and tenderness for the unfortunate, and above all his true friendship made him a useful citizen and a successful physician.

A friend and neighbor at the time of his death paid this tribute to Dr. McClure: "As a physician he excelled in many lines but most of all his aympathy with those who suffered nervously; his quiet presence, his firm belief in his Creator, his apt and ready quotations from the Bible, have soothed and comforted when relief could not be obtained from materia medica, and housrs of blissful repose have followed in the wake of his visit. A song of joy and thankfulness should rise for his beautiful and useful life which benefited humanity for nearly half a century." F.C. Mehler.

William McCormick
pg 31, mention
Dr. Wm. McCormick was an early settler in Johnson Co., practicing in Iowa City for a few years and about 1850 removed to California.
C.C. McGovern
pg 158, mention
An original member of the Council Bluffs Medical Society, 1869, he attended the University of Dublin, 1848.
D.L. McGugin
(J.L. McGugin *)
pg 51-55, full text; and pg 104,135,136, 140 & 169, mention

Dr. McGugin was born in West Middleton, Washington county, Pennsylvania, in the A.D. 1807. Acquired his literary education under Alexander Campbell, after the completion of which he commenced the study of his profession, under the supervision of Dr. Andrews, an ancient medical gentleman of Steubenville, Ohio, and graduated at one of the oldest medical schools of the country -- the medical department of the University of Maryland, at Baltimore. In western Pennsylvania he entered upon the practice of his profession about the year 1829.

Was married to the daughter of William Welsh, esq. of Washington co, Pennsylvania. In the fall of 1837 with his wife and daughter, he emigrated to Knox county, Ohio, where in consequence of feeble health, he located on a farm in the vicinity of Mount Vernon. In 1840, 1841, he represented the county in the legislature. He afterwards removed to the town of Mount Vernon, devoting his energies to the practice of his profession until the Mexican War broke out, when he was appointed surgeon in the army, in which capacity he served with marked ability.

At the close of the campaign, he returned to Ohio, and with others, emigrated to Keokuk, Iowa, at the time the medical department of the State University was being organized. He was selected as one of its professors, and continued his association with the institution as professor and as president of the faculty up to the date of his death. As one of the editors of the Iowa Medical Journal, he labored unceasingly for the promotion of the profession. He was a member of the board of directors of the insane hospital of Ohio, and afterwards in our own state. Served several years as president of the board of health of the City of Keokuk. Politicaly, the Doctor was a great enthusiast, a faithful follower of the teaching of Jefferson, and an admirer of Jackson. In the presidential contest of 1860, he was one of six who voted for John C. Breckenridge, who was his beau ideal of a statesman.

When the tocsin of war resounded throughout the land, the voice of Dr. McGuin was heard in favor of conciliation and compromise. Many months after the inception of the Rebellion, his conviction underwent a radical change, and he veered to the opposite side, keeping step to the music of the Union. In 1862, he accepted the appointment of surgeon to the 3d Iowa Cavalry, and after the battle of Pea Ridge was transferred to the military hospitals in St. Louis, in consequence of failing health. At the urgent solicitation of a host of friends, he resigned his position, and returned to Keokuk to recover his lost energies. Having regained his health, he reluctantly consented to assume charge of the Leighton House Hospital, which he conducted with marked skill, and ability until his system became thoroughly impregnated with mephitic poison from wounds and other sources. When his vitality was fast ebbing away, he consented, at the instance of his medical friends, to relinquish his charge and devote a few hours to the resuscitation of his failing powers. A condition of asthenia supervened however, before plans were perfected for a short travel, from which he never rallied. It was the pleasure of his biographer to see him often in his last hours, and render to him what comfort he could to smooth his way to the grave, for which he was more than grateful. Naturally of a delicate, nervous organization, it was a matter of surprise to his friends to observe his remarkable equanimity of temper; amid all his sufferings his mind remained clear to the last. He conversed freely about the future; he believed in the Bible, and calmly submitted to the Divine will. A few days before his death, he asked the writer to open the window, exclaiming: "That I may once more gaze upon the blue sky, and contemplate the beauties beyond." On the 23rd of June, 1865, at 11:30 o'clock, he died. His place in the profession which he adorned, in the literary and social circle, cannot readily be supplied. His ability was universally acknowledged. His reputation by no means circumscribed. His usefulness and activity as a contributor to the literature of the profession will be disputed by none, indeed, he loved to discuss the intricate parts of medicine and with geat skill in the adaptation of his inexhaustible vocabulary, would expound the most abstruse theories, and render them so clear that controversy was, in fact, ridiculous.

He was never better pleased than when expatiating upon the beautiful theory of the capillary circulation upon the blood. Whether in the presence of the august national society, or in the halls of the university, he labored purely for the advancement of science, and the overthrow of everything pertaining to irregular medicine. On the ethics and dignity of the profession he was truely eloquent, and be it said to his honor, that he practiced religiously what he preached. If he excelled, in any particular, his professional brethren, it was in that of a correct disgnosis of disease, securing to him a wide fame as consulting physician; this power was not intuitive, but due to the thorough manner with which he was accustomed to investigate disease. HIs scholastic attainments wer eof the finest order. His modes of thought full of originality. As a practitioner, conscientious and skilled. As a teacher, versatile, earnest and enthusiastic. As a man, sincere, and full of benevolence; sacrificing his own comfort in this desire to benefit his fellow men.

The last solemn services were conducted in the Methodist Church, of which, Mrs. McGugin was a member. His brethren laid his remains quietly beneath the sod, while the multitudes stood around to witness the last honors paid to a man whose memory will not rot in the tomb. (pg 51-55)

He was a charter member of the Iowa State Medical Society, 1850 and served on the committee to prepare and present a constitution. He was also elected second vice-president. The Burlington Tri-Weekly Telegraph reported on the meeting, mentioning Dr. McGugin: "...particularly active upon the floor, Dr. McGugin, an old practitioner and formerly a politician of some prominence in Ohio, but more recently a surgeon in the army and at present a resident of Keokuk ... " (pg 104)

Present at the first meeting of Keokuk physicians for the purpose of organizing a medical society, September 26, 1850. The physicians of Keokuk under the lead of Dr. John F. Sanford, met at Dr. Bond's office October 3, 1850, to sign the constitution forming the first local medical society in Iowa. Dr. J.L. McGugin was elected a censor at this meeting. It was the beginning of the Lee County Medical Society. (referred to as J.L. McGugin in one sentence and D.L. McGugin in another, pg 135 & 136)

The geographic location of Keokuk made of it a point of strategic importance at the very beginning of the Civil War, and here was established the first military camp in the state, Camp Ellsworth, in May, 1861. Dr. D.L. McGugin, M.D., professor of physiology, pathology and clinical medicine, in October, 1861, went to the front as surgeon of the Third Iowa Cavalry, and remained in active service until 1863, when he resigned on account of ill health. It is said of him, that a "kinder heart never ministered to sick and weary soldier's needs." He had served as a surgeon in the Mexican War, and hence was fitted by experience for the position he filled so well. On his resignation from the service of his country, he resumed his position as a teacher in the college, and, although in greatly impaired health, continued, until shortly before his death, which occurred in 1865. Possessed of an accurate scientific mind, his fifteen years of medical teaching, leaves a memory undimmed as time goes on. (pg 140)

He wrote a paper on the treatment of cholera for a medical journal in Oct. 1850, when the people of the Mississippi Valley were hard hit by this pestilence. It does not appear that the remedies used had much effect, although Dr. Mcugin said, "in his opinion, Calomel was the sheet anchor; not given as a specific, but as a remedy which more frquently than any other, would excite the secretion of the liver, diminish the congestion of the viscera, determine the circulation to the surface and extremities and thus cure the patient." (pg 169)

P.B. McKay
(MacKay * )
pg 158, mention
The preliminary meeting for the purpose of organizing a medical society in Council Bluffs, was held at Dr. P.B. MacKay's office July 26, 1869. A committee consisting of Dr. McKay, Macrae, Malcolm, Stein and Osborne, was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws. At a second meeting August 2, 1869 Dr. P.B. MacKay was elected treasurer. A listing of original members includes Dr. P.B. MacKay, Rush Medical College, 1849.
A.B. McKune
pg 159 & 160, mention
At the February 5, 1872 meeting of the Council Bluffs Medical Society, Dr. A.B. McKune was appointed to serve on a committee on improving the relationship between druggists & physicians. At the August 3, 1874 meeting, Dr. A.B. McKine was elected president.

*Transcribers note: throughout the book there were instances of a physician's name being given slightly differently from one mention to another; whenever I was positive they denoted the same man, I have included the alternate name or spelling, not knowing which is the 'correct' one.

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