History of Neurology at the University of Minnesota

The first four heads of the Neurology Department

Photo: The first four heads of the Neurology Department at the University of Minnesota.

This information was compiled to relate the history of Neurology at the University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minneapolis and the surrounding communities. It is a tribute to the founders of Neurology in Minnesota and those who followed in their footsteps. The history of neurology is laid upon the background of the history of medicine in the Twin Cities and at the University of Minnesota. Following is an overview of the contents of each section.

The history pages are undergoing revision. Check back later or contact the lab for more information.

Section I: History of MEDICINE in the Twin City area and at the University of Minnesota. The section describes early education of physicians, formation of the first medical societies, founding dates of Twin Cities Hospitals, early medical schools in Minnesota.

Section II: History of MEDICINE at the University of Minnesota. This extension of Section I is specific to the University of Minnesota.

Section III: History of NEUROLOGY at the University of Minnesota, from 1888 to present. The section describes the beginnings of Neurology at the University, first four Heads 1888-1976 and subsequent Heads, faculty and others involved. It includes pictures of past residents (1945-2007), of earlier trainees and many faculty. 

Section IV: History of NEUROLOGY in the Twin Cities. This includes the early minutes of the Minnesota Neurological Society, history of some private practice clinics and neurology practices.

Section V: Neurology in the USA. This is a brief overview of the first years of the American Academy of Neurology and the beginning of the Journal Neurology.


  1. "Medical revolution in Minnesota: a history of the University of Minnesota Medical School" by Dr. Leonard G. Wilson. This was the main source and was freely quoted.
  2. J. Arthur Myers, 1968 "Masters of medicine". 1888-1966 (Anderson & Wangensteen Libraries)
  3. E. Bird Johnson "40 years of the University of Minnesota" (Anderson & Wangensteen Libraries)
  4. Minnesota Alumni Weekly Vol. XIII No. 8, Nov. 19, 1913. (Anderson Library)
  5. Minutes of the Executive committee of the medical Department. (Anderson Library)
  6. Some information about the early medical school is from "Ariel", the student publication that gave way to The Minnesota Daily in about 1905.
  7. 150 years of the MMA http://www.mmaonline.net/ Go to "about MMA" then find "about 150anniversary"
  8. American Neurological Association on line history, http://aneuroa.org Go to about the ANA, then to history.
  9. Minutes (original hand-written) of the Minnesota Neurological Society1909-1942 are in the MN Historical Society Museum, St. Paul. Ms Ruth Anderson at the historical Society copied the minutes for this history.
  10. Dr. Terrance Capistrant and Dr. James Allen contacted former residents to collect memories and bibliographic information.
  11. Resident pictures were mainly from files of the Department of Neurology and Dr. Kennedy's EMG laboratory.
  12. Dr. Joseph A. Resch was a major source of information about the early days of Department neurology training program at Minnesota.
  13. Minnesota Historical Society Museum (Ruth Anderson) for the Northwestern Lancet.
  14. Many present and former faculty, residents, nurses and others shared their time, memories and notes.
  15. Wangensteen History Library, Diehl Hall, University of Minnesota for early copies of Journal Lancet and Northwest Lancet.

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