History of Medicine in the Twin City Area


History of Medicine

in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Metropolitan area
Compiled by William R. Kennedy MD

This history has been gathered from several places, but Leonard G. Wilson’s “Medical revolution in Minnesota: a history of the University of Minnesota Medical School” was the main source. Other books that contain important facts of the early history of medicine and neurology at the University are:

1. J. Arthur Myers, 1968 “Masters of medicine”. 1888-1966 (Anderson & Wangensteen libraries)

2. E. Bird Johnson “40 years of the University of Minnesota” (Anderson & Wangensteen libraries)

3. Minnesota Alumni Weekly Vol. XIII No. 8, Nov. 19, 1913. (Anderson library)

4. Minutes of the Executive committee of the medical Department. (Anderson Library)

5. Some information about the early medical school is from “Ariel”, the student publication that gave way to The Minnesota Daily in about 1905.

6. 150 years of the MMA http://www.mmaonline.net/ Go to “about MMA” then find “about/150anniversary”

7. American Neurological Association on line history, http://aneuroa.org Select “about the ANA”, then to history.

8. Minutes of the Minnesota Neurological Society 1909-1940. These are kept in the MN Historical Society Museum, St. Paul. A copy for these minutes is kept in the Neurology Department of the University of Minnesota.


      The history of medical practice and education in the Minnesota territory began during the mid-19th century as physicians began to form groups to educate each other and succeeding generations in the art and practice of medicine. The national population and the number of physicians of most eastern states and in some midwestern states had grown sufficiently that practitioners and educators were forming local and national associations for scientific communication and to discuss common problems of practice. Formation of the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1847 in Philadelphia gave physicians a central site where they could share common concerns and medical experiences.

      Many American physicians were traveling to Europe for more advanced medical education. The neuropathology of several neurological diseases was being studied in several centers, most notably at Hopital Salpêtrière in Paris by Dr. Jean Martin Charcot. Although neurology was in its infancy in the United States the multitude of battle injuries to the central nervous system and peripheral nerves of soldiers fighting the Civil War was a stimulus to the study of the neurological consequences of trauma. (See the American Neurological Association’s history of neurology and Drs. S. Weir Mitchell and William A. Hammond in the appendix)

      In the Minnesota territory the organization of medical practice and education was just beginning. Dr. Christopher Carli, a graduate of the University of Heidelberg, may have been the first physician in the territory. Dr. Carli began practice in 1841 in a log house on the St. Croix on the site now called Stillwater. In late 1847 Dr. John Jay Dewey, a recent graduate of Albany Medical College, came to the little village of St. Paul to set up practice and open the town’s first drugstore (offering tasteless castor oil, among other remedies). Two years later when St. Paul became the capital of the new Minnesota territory, its’ population of 250 to 300 included 5 physicians, one of whom was a root and herb doctor. (from Dr. Wilson’s & Dr. Meyer’s books).

      In 1851 the Minnesota territorial legislature enacted a bill to establish a University. The plan called for five departments; law, literature and arts, agriculture, elementary education and medicine, although at the time there were only an approximate one dozen trained civilian physicians in the territory. The University opened in the fall of 1851 but the course through the first years was precarious to the point of near extinction by 1858 because of a financial crash in1857, and lack of funds to complete the main building. A teaching medical school was not established until 30 years later.

      Meanwhile physicians began to organize into groups with the principal goal of providing educational opportunities for themselves and prospective future physicians. In July 1853 eleven physicians, 9 with diplomas, met in the St. Paul courthouse to form a medical society, the forerunner of the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA). Five others with diplomas soon joined. They elected Douglas Hand president, Alfred Wharton, VP, William Banks, sec. and Charles Boardman as treasurer. The Medical Society sent a delegation to the 1854 AMA meeting in St. Louis. (see MMA web site www.mnmed.org/ for historical information gathered during the 150 anniversary in 2003) Local medical societies played an important role in the new territory. In 1855, the Union Medical Society, the precursor of the Hennepin County Medical Society, was the first county medical society in the territory with Dr. A. E. Ames as president. In 1860, the second county medical society, the St. Paul Academy of Medicine and Surgery was organized, with Dr. Thomas R. Potts as president. Minnesota became a state in 1858.

      By 1860 an electric telegraph line was completed to St. Paul and the state population had risen to 172,000, distributed mainly along the Mississippi river and its two tributaries, the St. Croix and the Minnesota. The Sioux uprising of 1862 and the civil war between states severely hindered progress of medical organizations and medical education. Two Minnesota physicians, Drs. Stewart and Le Boutellier, mustered in with the First Minnesota in April 1861 at the onset of the civil war. Both became early prisoners of war at the first battle of Bull Run when they refused to cease administering to their fallen comrades on the battlefield and were captured. Later, when Dr. Steward was exchanged and paroled at Richmond General Beauregard returned his sword to him in respect for his bravery in remaining with his men. Their replacement was Dr. Daniel W. Hand (St. Paul) who rose to Lt. Commander. Dr. Hand’s war experiences gave him an intensive education about conditions that produce disease and measures to promote public health that he taught others when he returned to Minnesota. Several Minnesota physicians served during the civil war. Upon their return they were eager to improve upon the medical training that they had received. See L. Wilson book P8-11.

      Following the civil war the Minnesota State Medical Society (founded in 1853) was reorganized (1860) and the St. Paul Society became the Ramsey County Medical Society. That same year Dakota, Goodhue and Winona counties established their local county medical societies. By 1872, there were six county medical societies in the state and by 1900, 15 local and county societies were recognized. Although the American Medical Association held their national meeting in St. Paul in 1882, the ties between state and component societies were loose until 1902 when the American Medical Association adopted a new constitution and bylaws that forged a strong working relationship among the county, state, and national associations. Minnesota was an important part of the reorganization.


      The below account of the history of medical education in Minnesota is from a review by Dr. Richard Olding Beard which was published in the J MN State Med Association and Northwestern Lancet, 1909. Dr, Beard and several others addressed the celebration of the union of the University of Minnesota and Hamline University medical schools.

      Three general periods of medical education took place in all newly settled territories; the period of the preceptor, period of private medical schools and formation of university medical schools. The periods were progressively shorter in younger states compared to the duration in older states.

      The Preceptor Period was the first means of teaching in new territories. The preceptor was often the only physician in the community and the answer to purely local needs. His was a time of great distances and poor communication. His pupil and successor apparent was his servant, assistant and apothecary with instruction received as opportunity offered. His dictum was unchallenged.

      The Period of the Private Medical College followed the expansion of the railroads and the opening up of new land areas that were followed by great increases in population, growth of towns and larger cities and subsequently growth in number of physicians. The first private medical school was the Philadelphia Medical College in 1765. Others that followed were: The University of Pennsylvania (1772) and King’s College in NY (1771). Queen’s College was created and merged with King’s College into the University of Syracuse in 1872; then followed Harvard (1772), New York College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University (1792); Dartmouth Medical College (1797); medical teaching at the University of Maryland in (1797);Yale (1813); University of Transylvania (1817) (later the U of Louisville); Medical College of Georgia (1829); Rush Medical College (1843), now part of the U of Chicago. The person mainly responsible for the passing of the preceptor period was probably Dr. Nathan S. Davis. He and his associates founded a medical school, now Northwestern University Department of Medicine, in 1864.

      Minnesota physicians acted in accordance with resolutions adopted by the AMA in 1854 that cordially approved establishment of private schools as successors to preceptors. The first “medical school” in Minnesota was formed in 1860 as the Saint Paul Academy of Medicine and Surgery. This languished during “the rebellion”  (civil war). The St. Paul Medical School (preparatory) was formed in 1871 by Drs. Alexander J. Stone, D.W. Hand, Charles E. Wheaton, E. Herman Smith and one or two others, with Dr. Stone as dean. There were eight teachers. The purpose of the four month course was to prepare students to succeed when they enrolled in established medical colleges in Chicago and other cities. Notification of the opening was published in the Northwestern Medical & Surgical Journal (which was founded by Dr. Stone in 1870 as the first medical journal north and west of Milwaukee, reviewed in the celebration of 1908 and reminiscences by Dr. Stone and others). Even earlier, beginning in 1868, students were “reading medicine” in doctors offices in St. Paul and were meeting in the little stone death house next to St. Joseph hospital with irregular instruction from, among others, Dr. D.W. Hand.

      In Dec. 1872 a second preparatory school, the Winona Medical School opened with Dr. Franklin Staples as president. It closed in 1877-8.

      In 1878-9 The St. Paul Medical College (no longer a preparatory school) was organized and the next year became the medical department of Hamline University. Among the faculty were teachers, Drs Chas A. Wheaton (anatomy & Surgery), Prof of surgery F.A. Dunsmoor, Professor of Nervous diseases C. Eugene Riggs and George Franklin French. It required 2 years to diploma but shortly after changed to three, then four years of 26 weeks plus a 1 year preceptorship. Physician-teachers from Minneapolis traveled by train via Fort Snelling to below the bluff in St. Paul, then climbed the steep bluffs to teach during the hours of 3:30 To 9 PM (perhaps later if cadavers were needed!). The school disbanded in 1881 with the opening of the Minnesota College Hospital in Minneapolis with a faculty of physicians from Minneapolis who were joined by faculty of the dissolved St. Paul Medical College. Dr. Frederick A. Dunsmoor was dean for all 8 years of the new school’s existence. The opening was a grand social affair in the old Winslow House, capacity 300 rooms, with Gov. Pillsbury and several socially prominent people in attendance.

      It was only in 1882 that the initial steps were taken to form the medical department at the University of Minnesota. Credit is given to Regent Charles N. Hewitt of Red Wing (Secretary of the state board of health) who fostered the idea and eventually was on the committee with University President Wm W. Folwell, Drs. Parry Millard (Stillwater) acting with Dr. William H. Leonard, a homeopathic physician, (St.Paul) that moved to create a medical college at the University. Dr. Leonard presented the plan to the Board of Regents (Dec. 1882) and it was accomplished in 1883. The charge was to form a non-teaching, purely examining body. The five faculty were Dr. Charles H. Hewitt (Red Wing), Daniel W. Hand (StP), Wm H Leonard (Mpls), Parry Millard (Secretary)(Stillwater) and Franklin Staples (Winona)(see picture). They soon set out the requirements for medical education in the state but did not have a teaching school that gave diplomas.    The experiment of the University Medical Department as an examining faculty only lasted from 1883 to 1886-7. A total of about 30 applicants had been awarded M.B. degrees and the vast majority of physicians in the state had been granted a license to practice in accordance with the “diploma law” of 1883, either under the diploma clause or the five years practice law. Physicians generally considered this to be intolerable law that provided unfit “physicians” and they sought change.

      Yet another private medical school was formed in 1883, the Minneapolis College of Physicians and Surgeons. Twelve years later, in 1895, it became the second medical school adopted by Hamline University. At first it did not give degrees but sent graduates to the University for examination. In 1885 the Minnesota College Hospital and Minneapolis College of P & S were both accorded recognition by the University as satisfactory schools of medicine. This same year St. Paul physicians resigned from the Minnesota College Hospital and reorganized the St. Paul Medical College. The Minnesota College hospital found that although the medical school was self supporting, the building used as a dispensary and hospital was too expensive to maintain. The school was renamed the Minnesota Hospital College and a new building was built next to St. Barnabas hospital. Soon after, Dr. Dunsmoor and others gave funds to build a lecture hall and operating room in St. Barbabas hospital. In 1886 yet another medical school, the Minnesota Homeopathic Medical College was formed.

      In 1887 Dr. Millard resigned from the University faculty as a prelude to perhaps the most important period of MN medicine. That year the Minnesota legislature passed an act, drafted by Dr. Millard, that established a State Board of Medical Examiners. This Board did not accept diplomas as a right to practice. Minnesota was the first state to create an independent State Board of Medical Examiners (although So. Carolina had a curious one). This made the state a model for other states to follow. (Page 34 Wilson book)

      The same year Drs. Parry Millard, Daniel W. Hand and Charles N. Hewitt presented a proposal to the Regents to establish a teaching medical school to replace the former examining faculty. They were persuasive and University President Cyrus O. Northrup moved to carry the argument to the legislature. Dr. Hewitt argued that the goals of medical education should be within a strong department of public health to direct the curriculum according to public health principles. Dr. Millard strongly disagreed to the dominant influence planned for public health. He foresaw that the treatment successes of surgery and medical therapy would soon overshadow the successes of public health.  With the support of the physicians of the area Dr. Millard won out. The department of medicine (medical school) of the U of MN was established in 1888 with Dr. Parry Millard as dean. The Minneapolis Hospital College, St. Paul Medical College surrendered their charters and offered use of their buildings for 5 years to the new University medical school Two months later the Minnesota Homeopathic Medical College did the same. It was at this same time (1883) that the American Neurological Association was founded.

      During the 90 years following the appointment of the University medical school first teaching facility in 1888 there were four heads of the department of nervous and mental diseases, now the department of Neurology. In the succeeding years 1978 to 2004 there have been four permanent and five interim heads. The section of History of Neurology at the University contains short biographies of the first four heads, Drs C. Eugene Riggs, Arthur S. Hamilton, John Charney McKinley and Abe Bert Baker. (cf Masters of medicine,1888-1966 author J. Arthur Myers, euology of Dr. McKinley by Professor Maurice Visscher and of Dr. Baker by Dr. Sidney Shapiro.

      Dean Millard organized 3 colleges in the new university medical department; medicine and surgery, homeopathic medicine and surgery and dentistry and later (1904) a college of pharmacy. Lecture, classes and an outpatient dispensary were at the MN Hospital College building at 6th St. and 9th Ave in Minneapolis. Another outpatient dispensary was at the former St. Paul Med College Hospital. Hospitals were urged to build amphitheaters for teaching medical students. The Board of Regents wrote to thank Archbishop Ireland of the archdioceses of St. Paul for his generosity in building the amphitheater at St. Joseph.

      Medical school was 3 years in length, each year having one 6 month term, by 1894 this was extended to 8 month terms over four years. Entrance examinations were either former matriculation in a college of science, literature and arts; a high school or normal school diploma; a first-class teacher’s certificate; or the certificate of the State High School Board. In lieu of the above, an examination was given that required an English composition of 200 words legibly written, the translation of easy Latin, German, French or Scandinavian prose: elementary algebra or plane geometry or botany; and elementary physics.

      The first faculty was appointed in April 1888. The 29 members were strategically drawn equally from physicians in St. Paul and Minneapolis. They included two professors of nervous and mental diseases, Dr. C. Eugene Riggs in the college of medicine and surgery and Dr. S.M. Spalding in the college of homeopathic medicine and surgery.


Foot note: Homeopathy had strong support among Minnesota citizens, many of whom were suspicious about the practices of regular physicians. Homeopathy was developed by Dr. Samuel C. Hahnemann, a medical graduate of the University of Erlangen. He proposed two general “laws” in his book Organon of homeopathic medicine published in 1810. The first was ‘similia similibus curantur’ or likes are cured by likes. Thus a medicine that cause symptoms like malaria might be used to cure malaria. The second law was ‘law of infinitesimals’ based upon Dr. Hahnemann’s belief that large doses of drugs served to aggravate illnesses and that small doses supported the “vital spirit” of the body in its effort to overcome disease.

      Physician teachers in the new medical school were in practice in the Twin Cities; they did not have a University salary. Basic science professors (chemistry etc.) obtained salary support, presumably from tuition. In May 1888 the Regents appointed Charles J. Bell professor of chemistry in the department of medicine at $1,200 yearly. He was from Massachusetts, educated at Harvard and for 6 years in Munich with Adolph von Baeyer and in Berlin with August Hofmann. He had taught chemistry for several years at Penn State College, then as a fellow at Johns Hopkins University before arriving in MN at age 35. The same salary was probably applied to Dr. Arthur Ritchie from Duluth (Professor of anatomy), Dr. Richard Beard (Professor of physiology) and Professor Burnside Foster (demonstrator in anatomy).

      The University of Minnesota and Hamline University Medical School (the only other remaining private Med School in state) adopted uniform entrance requirements in 1898-90 and a 7 year course was adopted that led to the degrees B.A. and M.D.

      In 1892 the legislature appropriated $55,000 to build a medical building (Medical Hall) to house the 4 departments of the medical school. The chosen site was on the main campus on the east bank of the Mississippi. Parry Millard loaned $20,000 interest free to assure an early start. It was decided to put the dispensary in the new medical building to replace the dispensaries in the old buildings of the St. Paul Medical College and Minnesota Hospital College, which were subsequently destroyed. At the 1892 dedication of Medical Hall (renamed Millard Hall in 1908) Governor Merriam presented the building and John Sargent Pillsbury accepted for the Board of Regents. President Northrup introduced the invited speaker, Dr. William Osler from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Osler shared (at some length) his ideas of how a medical school should be organized with clinical and basic sciences, although Dr. Osler would not work in an equivalent building in Baltimore for another year. When Johns Hopkins did build, the location of their University Hospital next to a proposed new basic science building presented a great advantage.

      After two fires and almost 110 years of service the twice rebuilt Millard hall was replaced in 2002 by the Molecular and Cellular Biology building. Dean Millard died in February 1897 and Dr. Parks Ritchie, who had come to the University in 1895-6, was named dean. Medicine now required 4 years and raised entrance requirements. By 1903-4 an optional six year plan had been instituted and deemed successful. The 1902 entrance requirement was 1 year of college and the 1st yr. students fell from 132 to 40. Soon after 1905 2 yrs of college would be required.

      During this period a forerunner of the present day technology transfer was developing in St. Paul where Dr. Eduardo Boeckmann was beginning to manufacture and market a new type of surgical suture made of absorbable gut manufactured in the Ramsey County Medical Society laboratories and later for 59 years in the Lowry building. The profits supported the growth of a medical library, called the Boeckmann library, now housed in United Hospitals. (See articles in the St. Paul Medical Journal 1899 & 1907, a journal that lived from approximately 1899-1918 then folded to support the new Minnesota Medicine in 1935. (see J. Coleman’s “Of History and a Few Good Men” in this web site.))

      In Dec. 1905 the University received a gift of $113,000.00 from Mrs. A.F. Elliott to build a badly needed clinical facility for clinical practice, to be called Elliott memorial hospital. The purpose was to allow focus on the clinical as well as laboratory studies on the new University campus. In 1906 Dr. Parks Ritchie resigned (read Wilson’s book for details of unrest) and Dr. Frank Fairchild Wesbrook was made dean. Dean Wesbrook reorganized the medical school faculty into Executive and General faculties with12 departments, 6 basic and 6 clinical (including nervous and mental diseases). C. Eugene Riggs remained head of Nervous and Mental Diseases The same year a group of prominent citizens in Minneapolis gave the University $44,000 to purchase land for the Elliott memorial building (the plaque remains on the 1st floor corridor wall of Elliott) and the legislature appropriated $23,000/yr for maintenance.

      The merger of the Hamline University and the University of Minnesota medical colleges and faculties in 1908 marked the end of formal private medical education in Minnesota. The event was celebrated in the University Chapel by speeches that reviewed the histories of the several private medical schools and medical journals (J MN State Med Association and Northwestern Lancet, 1909). The era of the private medical school in the USA was fast waning. Of the 526 medical schools formed between 1800 and 1908, 396 were extinct. Of the 150 that remained, 67 were already affiliated with Universities.

      1908 was the twentieth anniversary of medical teaching at the University and also the termination of the college of homeopathic medicine, for lack of student interest. In the first 20 years of University medical school existence there were 1468 entering students and 934 doctors graduated (63.8%). Most non-graduates left for a more suitable calling or for financial reasons; failures were rare. Medical school was now 4 years with two years college required for admission. The Minnesota State Board examinations were difficult. The failure rate was 16.8% for Minnesota graduates and 28.5% for those educated elsewhere. Only 5% of Minnesota graduates examined in other states failed. The high quality of education and difficult examinations discouraged unqualified practitioners but may have been the reason for the low ratio of physicians to population (1:943) compared to the average for all other states (1:636). A main concern in 1909 was the distance medical students traveled to see patients in several hospitals throughout the Twin Cities. None of the hospitals were obliged to allow students to examine patients. The U of MN still did not have its own hospital. Elliott was finally built in 1911-12.

           A significant event for Neurology occurred in 1909 when a group of physicians with interest in the nervous system gathered to form the Minnesota Neurological Society with Dr. C. Eugene Riggs as president and Dr. Arthur S. Hamilton as recording secretary. Meetings were held regularly at the Town and Country Club of St. Paul, which is equidistant between the two cities, or occasionally at the Mayo Clinic. The hand written minutes of the society from 1909 to 1940 were deposited in the Minnesota History museum (These were copied and are kept in the Department of Neurology) when the name was changed to Minnesota Society of Neurology and Psychiatry. Minutes from 1940 to 1962 are missing. Minutes from 1962 to present are in the offices of the successor organization, The Minnesota Society of Neuroscience.

      In 1909 Dr. Abraham Flexner visited the University of Minnesota. Dr. Flexner had been appointed by the Carnegie foundation to survey U.S. medical schools and propose improvements to medical education. His recommendations appeared in the famous Flexner report, perhaps the most influential document on US medicine. The Flexner survey of the University of Minnesota’s basic education was favorable. The lack of convenient clinical facilities was a negative feature that was counterbalanced by the proposed Elliott hospital (built in 1911). The report of Dr. Flexner’s second visit in 1923 cited the lack of progress during the 12 years elapsed since 1909 (Wilson p. 262). Some reasons for lack of progress follow.

      The chapter in Leonard Wilson’s book that describes the reorganization of the medical school by Dr. Vincent the new University president and the loss of Dean Wesbrook is most interesting, especially the ignored conflict of interest position held by Regent Dr. William W. Mayo. The minutes of the College of Medicine and Surgery Executive Faculty meeting Jan 11, 1913 (vol. 19) provides a picture of the needs of the school and the frustration of the faculty. President Vincent’s term was a disaster. It resulted in rifts between the University and physician-teachers in the Twin Cities, and loss of growth momentum for clinical care and research of the medical school. Dean Wesbrook, whose education had been in several European centers, was bypassed in the reorganization. He resigned to accept the position as first president of the new University of British Columbia in Vancouver and Dr. Lyon was appointed dean in 1913. Several other physician leaders resigned, including Dr. C. Eugene Riggs first head of nervous and mental diseases and Dr. A. Jones editor of The Lancet. The only salaried clinical positions were those of the heads of medicine and surgery. Others who contributed considerable time for teaching or patient care were promised a stipend but this was impossible during the Vincent times. No expansion occurred and Elliott remained the sole clinical care building. The nurses remained in housing that had poor sanitation. All of this benefited the Mayo Clinic where, by caring for many indigent patients, physicians grew skilled and in demand for those who could afford to pay for medical services.

      The chapter of Leonard Wilson’s book about the proposed affiliation with the Mayo Clinic, which was being discussed during 1913-1915, is enlightening and distressing (to me a Mayo trainee) but I suspect correct. The medical school faculty, and former faculty were embittered by the arbitrary and unjust treatment that they had received in the reorganization of 1913. They distrusted President Vincent and suspected that Dr. Mayo was using his position as University Regent to retard the development of the clinical departments of the medical school and of the University hospital. The faculty and alumni were against an affiliation with the Mayo Clinic because it favored a private entity to the disadvantage of all others in the state. One reason for distrust stems from a meeting of faculty members and Dr. William Mayo where he told them that he supported their request to the legislature for $400,000 for a contagious disease infirmary, nurse’s quarters and enlargement of Elliott. When the Regents approved only $100,000 solely for the contagious disease infirmary the faculty were angry because they could not believe that the Regents would not approve the request if Dr. Mayo had backed it strongly. Several surgeons in the country who had been written to and asked for their opinion of the proposed Mayo affiliation agreed that it was a logical step; all had worked closely with Dr. Mayo on formation of the American College of Surgeons. As part of the affiliation the Mayo Clinic was to place $1,000,000 in an endowment fund to help support the education of clinical fellows who benefited from the union. It was later learned that the money was to be spent in Rochester and would not directly benefit the medical school. A petition to drop the proposed merger signed by over 200 leading physicians of the Twin Cities, the negative stance by the alumni association, of Hennepin and Ramsey county and the Minnesota medical societies were ignored. The Regents approved the affiliation and issued the statement that the affiliation should not be opposed by any member of the faculty. The Regent’s action with the associated suppression of free speech was followed by several resignations. The conflict of interest of Dr. William Mayo as Regent of the University and control of the Mayo clinic was never resolved. The result of the affair was deterioration of the University medical school and its faculty, delayed advancement of the University and increased strength and wealth of the Mayo Clinic.

      The ill feeling between town physicians (many former faculty) and the University created by the faculty reorganization and Mayo affiliation was increased by the proposal that University hospital would benefit by admission of paying patients. Dr. W.A. Jones, editor of the Journal Lancet, and former faculty member in the division of nervous and mental diseases, and most twin city physicians in practice, were opposed to admission of paying patients.

      Recovery of the medical school was further delayed by World War I. Numerous faculty members were lost because of low income and poor outlook for the school. Dr. Vincent’s replacement, President Burton, left almost immediately after arrival for the University of Michigan. Several faculty, who were spending part time at the Mayo clinic, as part of the new affiliation, were offered more money by the Mayo clinic and subsequently resigned from the University and moved to Rochester full time.

      The Rockefeller Foundation had granted funds to several of the country’s Universities. University efforts to obtain matching money for the possible Rockefeller Foundation grant are distressful, particularly the Mayo refusal to help. Several attempts made by the University to obtain money from the Rockefeller Foundation to increase the clinical facilities were unsuccessful (former President Vincent was now at the Rockefeller Foundation). The attempts of University Dean Lyon and the new President Coffman to gather funding were ineffectual. The saving of medical education at the University came about mainly through monetary gifts from the widow of Dr. Todd, from the George Chase Christian family for a cancer hospital (one son died of cancer) and especially the generosity of the Flour industrialist, William Henry Eustis, who gave $1,000,000, later followed by $500,000, and still later by more. The Todd cornerstone reads 1923, but apparently construction began the following year and the building opened in 1925. The Eustis cornerstone reads 1928, Elliott reads 1911. The “anatomy building”, now Jackson Hall, was named after the first anatomist.New” Millard Hall was destroyed to make room for the new Molecular and Cellular Biology building in about 2000.


Other events of interest:

      During the next quarter century Dr. Owen Wangensteen became one of America’s most prominent surgeons. In April, 1933, when Dr. Wangensteen, was a rising surgical star at the University he was accused of poor patient care by Dr. Halbert Dunn, the new director of U of MN hospitals (who replaced the remarkable Mr. Paul Fesler, who had gone to Northwestern U in Chicago). Dr. Dunn apparently had the support of Dean Scammon. Dr. J. Charnley McKinley, professor of Neurology and the acting chief of the department of Medicine, agreed to defend Dr. Wangensteen at a meeting with Dr. Scammon. Dr. Wangensteen was cleared but the records of this affair are sparse. This may have been one of the underlying reasons for the history of strong department heads at the U of MN. It is interesting that succeeding hospital administrators have not been physicians.

      Sister Elizabeth Kenny began to work at General Hospital in 1940. In 1942 the Lymanhurst School-Hospital (a branch of General Hospital) became the first Sister Kenny Institute building.

      In 1963 General Hospital was transferred to the control of Hennepin County. It became Hennepin County General Hospital in 1964. The current new Hennepin County Hospital was built in 1976. The history of Neurology in the hospital, written by Dr. Milton Ettinger and David Anderson, is included in this collection.


The Mayo Building

Following the death of Drs. Charles Horace and William Worrell Mayo in 1939, Dean Howard Diehl proposed that a memorial devoted to education and research be created on the campus of the medical school “to which the brothers had given millions of dollars and years of unselfish service”, Dr. Will as Regent and Dr. Charley as Professor of surgery. He argued that it would be superfluous to place a memorial in Rochester where the several Mayo buildings already constituted a memorial. The building was placed in the central quadrangle between basic science (Jackson and Millard halls) and the hospital buildings (Elliott and Todd). (Dean Diehl’s argument was ironic, but pragmatic, because he was well aware that the Mayo brothers had done their utmost to prevent the development of the University as a leading research and clinical center and that the “millions of dollars” were spent in Rochester and did not benefit the medical school).


Diehl Hall

Dean Diehl also spearheaded construction of the medical library. After his retirement in1958 it was decided to name the library Diehl Hall. Construction was planned to include underground surgical research laboratories. Drs Wangensteen, Baker, Hastings and many others raised money from private sources to match federal funds and complete the building. The 5th floor houses the Wangensteen History of Medicine Library and the 6th floor contains research laboratories for neurology, psychiatry and pediatrics. 


The Mayo Clinic

The history of the Mayo Clinic has been well documented and will not be attempted here. The first specialists in neurology at the Mayo Clinic were from the Twin Cities. Dr. Shelton left Minneapolis in about 1913-1914. Drs. Henry Woltman and Herman Moersch were students of Dr. Hamilton. (See history of the first four heads of neurological diseases in the appendix. Dr. John Doyle and Harry Lee Parker from Dublin (author of “Clinical Studies in Neurology”), as the first trainees in Neurology, made up the first group of Mayo staff neurologists


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