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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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we have any records, was Dr. David Jameson.
He came from Scotland, where he was born
and received his medical education, and lo-
cated in York to practice his profession
among the first inhabitants of the town.
During the French and Indian wars in
1756, he offered his services in defense
of the colonies, and was commissioned a
captain, and left his profession to share the
dangers on the frontier. He was wounded in
an engagement with the Indians near Fort
Lyttleton, at Sideling Hill, on the road from
Carlisle to Pittsburg, and was left for dead
on the field. He afterward discharged the
duties of brigade major and lieutenant col-

During the Revolutionary war he held the
position of colonel. Notwithstanding his
position in battle was that of a warrior,
he also attended to the duties of surgeon, and
at the battle of Kitanning, he dressed the
wound of Gen. Armstrong, who was shot in
the shoulder. He was a man of some wealth
in those days and contributed liberally of his
means to the support of his country. He was
the father of Dr. Horatio Gates Jameson,
who was born in York, in 1778, and succeeded
his father in the practice of medicine at York,
for a short time, and afterward removed to
Baltimore, where he established himself per-
manently in practice, founded and became
president of theWashington Medical College,

and at one time health ofiBcer of the city.
Dr. Jameson was celebrated for his surgical
skill and knowledge, and also had a wide
reputation for his successful treatment of
cholera epidemic in Baltimore and Philadel-
phia, (1793-98) and 1832. In 1835 he ac-
cepted the presidency of the Ohio Medical
College, and held the position until 1836,
when he resigned and removed to Baltimore.
In 1854 he again returned to York, to spend
his last days among the scenes of his child-
hood. He died while on a visit to New York
City, to investigate cholera, which was rag-
in the city at that time, in July, 1855.

While Dr. Jameson resided at Baltimore
his brother, Dr. Thomas Jameson, practiced
medicine in York, and in all important cases,
especially those requiring surgical skill.
Prof. Jameson was called from Baltimore in
consultation. In 1850 he performed the first
operation for ovariotomy attempted in York
County on Mrs. Hoke, of Paradise now
Jackson Township. The lady died during
the operation. Dr. Jameson was a member
of the American Medical Association; mem-
ber of the philosophical societies of Berlin.
Moscow, etc., and editor of the Man/land
Medical Record, 1829-32. He was also the
author of several medical works. Among
these were two volumes on "American Domes-
tic Medicine," 1817. "A Treatise on Chol-
era," 1856, and "A Treatise on Yellow Fever,
intended to prove the necessity of blood-let-
ting in that disease," and "the non- contag-
iousness of yellow fever."

Dr. H. G. Jameson, no doubt one of the
ablest surgeons of his day. He took away
for the first time in the world nearly the en-
tire upper jaw (1830); in May, 1820, he
ligated the external iliac artery; in 1823 he
performed tracheotomy, the first in Baltimore;
in 1824 he excised the cervix uteri (the first
in Great Britain or America). He was the
fil'st in Baltimore to attempt ovariotomy. In
1831, while physician to the board of health,
he obtained vaccine virus by vaccinating a
cow. He was the preceptor of Profs. Smith
and Gross, and was on the most intimate
terms with these great surgeons. As he was
born, raised and died while his domicile was
in York County, practiced his profession
here for some time, aud claimed York as his
home, we claim especially his history as
part of the medical history of York County,
and therefore feel justified in giving this ex-
tended notice of perhaps the most eminent
man York County has yet produced.

Dr. Peter Hawk practiced medicine in York
about 1780, and died in 1790. Dr. Charles
Ludwig and Dr. Peter Lansing were also en-


in the practice of medicine in York
at the same time.

Dr. Thomas Jameson, son of Dr. David
Jameson and brother to Prof. Jameson, prac-
tised medicine in York until 1838, when he
died while on a visit to his brother. Dr. H.
G. Jameson, in Baltimore. Dr. Thomas
Jameson resided in Paradise, now Jackson
Township, at a place known as Spangler's
tavern on the Gettysburc; turnpike, about
nine miles from York, from 1S3"2 to 1837.
He had an extensive practice among the
country people, and was elected coroner in
1808, and held that office until 1818. He
was also elected sheriff in October, 1821, and
held office until 1824, and was more exten-
sively known throughout York County in his
time than any physician before, or after him.

Dr. Thomas Jameson was excessively fond
of sport, and was one of the greatest cock-
fighters in the county.

His second wife was a widow named
McClellan with two children, one named
Henry M. McClellan, afterwai'd the well-
known Dr. Henry M. McClellan, who read
medicine with his step-fatlier, Dr. Thomas
Jameson, and upon the death of Dr. Jame-
son in 1838, he acquired the greater part of
his practice, and retained it and the confi-
dence of the people, until he died August 7,
1869, aged sixty years. The other physicians
who practiced in York in the early part of
the eighteenth century, and are now deceased,
were Dr. William !McIlvain. Dr. John Fisher;
Dr. John F. Spangler, grandfather of Hon.
John F. Spangler, was a prominent physi-
cian previous to 1800. He died in 1825.
Dr. John Morris, Dr. L. Martin, Dr. John
Bentz. Dr. Michael Hay, Dr. T. N. Holt.
Dr. Jacob Fisher, Dr. John Rouse, Dr.
Luke Rouse, Dr. Theodore N. Haller,
Dr. William F. Johnston, Dr. Jacob Hay,
Sr.. Dr. Benjamin Johnston, Dr. Alex.
Small, Dr. Alexander Banitz, Dr. Andrew
Patterson, Dr. Beard, Dr. John Hay, Dr.
David S. Peffer. Dr. Thomas Cathcart, Dr.
William Eisenhart, Dr. J. F. Holohan and
Dr. E. H. Pentz, who died in 1872. Dr.
Pentz was physician to the York County
alms- house twenty-two years.

The physicians of the early period of the
county took an active part in everything that
tended to the welfare of the county, and
several participated in the political affairs of
the State and nation. They had the confidence
of the people, and frequently were elected
to important positions of trust and honor.
Dr. Henry Nes, father of Dr. C. M. Nes,
was elected to the Twenty-eighth Congress,
and twice re-elected. He served on import-

ant committees, and was an influential mem-
ber of that body. Dr. Nes was one of the
attending physicians of ex-President John
Quiney Adams in his last illness, and the
following letter was received by Dr. Nes
from the ex President's widow:

Washington, 39tli, May, '48.
Dear Sir:— A.Q oflfering of a small memento con-
taining tliB hair of my late and ever venerated hus-
band, as a token of gratitude to Dr. Nes. for his
kind attention to the venerated deceased, during
his illness, although delayed, will, I trust prove ac-
ceptable as a giftl'rom the widow of J. Q. Adams.


Dr. Charles M. Nes was born in York,
Penn., June 20, 1<827. He received his
early education in the public schools of the
borough and the York County Academy. He
studied medicine with his father Dr. Henry
Nes, and attended lectures at the Columbian
Medical College. Washington, D. C, during
theyears 1844 and 1845, and since which time
has been in active practice in York. A num-
ber of physicians now practicing in York and
elsewhere, have been students in his office.

Dr. Nes was one of three commissioners
appointed from this State, by President
Grant, to the Vienna Exposition in 1873, the
other two being Daniel J. Morrell and J.
Dawson Coleman. He is also the inventor
of the Nes Silicon Steel, for which he was
granted "letters patent" for the United
Stales, Great Britain, France and Belgium.

Dr. John Rouse practiced medicine in York
up to the time of his death in 1843. His
son, Dr. Luke Rouse, graduated at the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania in 1817, and prac-
ticed in York until 1863, and was succeeded
by his son. Dr. S. J. Rouse, who graduated
at Pennsylvania Medical College in 1861, and
has been in practice to the present time, and
held the position of coroner eight years,
physician to the county alms-house and hos-
pital two years, physician to the country
prison twenty-five years, and assistant sur-
geon in the United States hospital at York,
during the late war, for eighteen months.

In Hanover we find Dr. John Baker en-
gaged in his profession before and during
the Revolutionary war. Dr. Peter Miller, a
native of Germany, a graduate of the medi-
cal department of the University of France,
and an eminent classical scholar, commenced
the practice of medicine in Hanover in 1803,
and was for many years the leading physician
of the town. Contemporaneous with him
was Dr. Wampler, born November 7, 1781,
graduated at the University of Pennsylvania,
and recognized as the most skillful physician
of Hanover. He died February 5, 1836.
Dr. Culbertson, who was educated in Ireland,


died a few years ago at the advanced age of
ninety -three. He was for a long time the
leading j^hysician in the town and surround-
ing county. His son was also a physician,
and practiced medicine in Hanover. Drs.
Eckert, George W. Hinkle and Smith prac-
ticed at Hanover at a later period; they were
all successful in their profession, and were
well and extensively known in the country
districts aroiuid the town. Dr. George W.
Hinkle died in 1868, aged sixty-four years.
He was a son of Judge Hinkle.

Dr. J. P. Smith was born in Conewago
Township, Adams County, graduated at St.
Mary's College at Emmittsburg, and medical
department of University of Pennsylvania;
located at Hanover, and practiced his pro-
fession there until his death several years
ago. He was president of the Hanover
National Bank, and a director of the Hano-
ver & York Railroad. Dr. Smith was an ac-
tive politician and an influential citizen oE
the town of Hanover, and enjoyed the con-
fidence of a large circle of friends. The
physicians practicing at Hanover now are
Dr. H. C. Alleman, ex-president of the York
County Medical Society, and an active phy-
sician and surgeon for many years; Dr. A.
J.Snively,who has been practicing at Hanover
for about eighteen years, and has quite an
extensive practice; Dr. A. F. Koch, former-
ly from York, and Dr. J. H Bittenger, Dr.
A. C. Wentz, Dr. G. P. Weaver and Dr.
Buchen, all men of ability in their profes-
sion and of good standing in the community.
Among the early physicians in the county
outside the towns of York and Hanover we
have Dr. Montgomery, of Peach Bottom,
three- fourths of a century ago. He was a
noted physician of the vicinity of Slate
Ridge and Peach Bottom, and afterward
became a celebrated physician of Baltimore.
Dr. Bryan, of Peach Bottom, was a pupil
of Dr. McClellan, of Philadelphia, father of
Gen. George B. McClellan; Dr. Bryan had an
entensive practice in Peach Bottom. Fawn
and Chanceford Townships: Dr. Thomas
McDonald was a prominent physician of
Fawn Township fifty years ago; Dr. DeLas-
sel, a highly educated and skillful physician,
practiced at Day's Landing about 1800. He
moved to York and thence to Dover. His
peculiarities prevented him from getting a
large practice. Dr. Armstrong Dill, son of
Col. Mather Dill, was a prominent physician
of Dillsburgh vicinity immediately after the

Dr. Webster Lewis, who died at Lewisberry
in 1830, and his son, Dr. Robert Nebinger
Lewis, for many years followed the medical

! profession at Lewisberry and Dover. Dr.

' Webster Lewis cultivated the opium that he
used in his practice.

Dr. Roland Nebinger was an eminent sehol-

I ar and physician at Lewisberry a half centuiy
ago. His son. Dr. Nebinger, is now a noted'
politician and physician in Philadelphia.
Dr. Kennedy practiced medicine among the
Quakers of Newberry and Fairview Town
ships before 1760.

Dr. Shearer, and his son, James Shearer,
both deceased over half a century, attended
the sick at Dillsburgh and vicinity, and had
a large practice. They were both members
of the State Medical Association.

Dr. Connor practiced at Manchester bor-
ough in the early period of that place, and
Dr. Charles Bishop at a later period.

Dr. Andrew R. Prowell, a graduate of Jef-
ferson Medical College and Bellevue College,
N. Y., had a large practice at Manchester.

I He died in 1870.

Dr. C. S. Picking had a large practice iii

! Paradise Township from 1850 to 1877, when

j he died.

Dr. William Albaugh for many years fol-
lowed his profession in Codortts Township.
He died in 1884. At Jefferson, Dr. Ham-
baugh practiced medicine from about 1800.
He was succeeded by his son, who afterward
moved to Adams County. Dr. F. E. Mels-
heimer, at Davidsburgh,who died in 1872, at
the advanced age of ninety- two years, for

! many years attended to the practice of med-
icine in the vicinity of Davidsburgh, until he
was succeeded by his son. Dr. E. W. Mels-
heimer, who continues the practice to this
writing. Dr. F. E. Melsheimer was born in
1780; was the son of a clergyman. He early
became noted throughout the "United States
and Europe as the most eminent entomolo-
gist of his time. He was a member and a
coutributor of the Academy of Natural Sci-
ences of Philadelphia; a contributor of the
Smithsonian Institute at Washington, and

' contributed specimens of insects to various
scientific schools in New England. He was
also an excellent Latin scholar, as well as a
botanist of some note. In visiting his pa-
tients he carried along his little net, and fre-

I quently he would tie his horse, take to the
fields and catch insects, and forget all about

' his patients. He lived and died a short dis-

i tance from Davidsburgh on a small farm, in a

; neat but small and unassuming weather-
boarded house.

The York County alms-house and hospital
is attended by a physician who is ap-
pointed by the director of the poor. He
generally makes one visit a day. The writer


has not been able to obtain the records previ- '
ous to 1845. The appointments from that
time have been as follows: Dr. T. N. Haller,
1845-46-47; Drs. Haller and Pentz, 1848;
Dr. H. M. McClellan, 1849: Dr. E. H. Pentz,
1850-51; Drs. Pentz and C. M. Nes, 1852-
53; Drs. C. M. Nes and S. J. Rouse, 1854;
Dr. E. H. Pentz, 1855 to 1872; Dr. M. J.
McKinnon, 1873 to 1876; Drs. McKinnon
and Brickly, lSn-78; Drs. John Ahl and J.
T. Perkins, 1880; Dr. John Ahl, 1881-82;
Drs. John Ahl and Z. C. Meyers, 1883; Drs.
Meyers and Brickly, 1884. Dr. Z. C. Meyers
is the attending physician at the present ,
time (1885). I

A large part of the treatment of the sick, |
especially in the country districts, was in the
hands of self made physicians, or irregular
practitioners — most noted among them was
the Eisenhart family, living a few miles west
of York. Previous to 1800 Mr. Eisenhart
attended to wounds, sores, etc., prescribed
charms and salves, and had quite a reputa-
tion over a large part of York County. He
was succeeded by his sons, Adam Eisenhart,
who died in 1874, and Dr. Jacob Eisenhart,
who died in 1878. The latter had acquired a
large practice in his line, and was well and
favorably known through the county. Dr.
Georges, an irregular practitioner, lived
in Yocumtown; he led the followers of the
Millerite doctrine in 1843, which predicted
the end of the world that year. Dr. Dady,
in the earlyjpart of the century, created quite
an excitement for a while by curing diseases
by charms and incantations, and fleeced his
unfortunate victims of large sums of money.
Many of these self-made healers were women;
some of them had large and extensive prac-
tices, especially as midwives; among these we
might mention Mrs. Gladfelter, of West
Manchester Township. She died in 1860,
after practicing midwifery for about forty
years. She visited her patients hoi'seback,
on a fleet-footed animal, and never refused a
call day or night.

When a person was taken sick one of these
healers was sent for and some domestic remedy
or often some magic was used, the patient
was bled and purged, and if no improvement
followed a physician was sent for who exam-
ined the patient, diagnosed the case, and then
required some one of the family or neighbor-
hood to call at his oiBce for medicine. After
the first visit some one of the fa:nily would
report the patient's condition to the doctor
every few days, and unless something extraor-
dinary happened, no more visits were made
by the medical attendant to that patient, con-
sequently one physician could attend to a

great many families living over a large scope
of country. The doctors all traveled on
horseback, mounted on fleet-footed horses,
and such a thing as a physician traveling ill
a buggy or wheeled vehicle was unknown.

At this time the principal diseases were
malarial intermittent and remittent fever, or
ague and fever as it was termed, and was
prevalent all over the county until about 1840.
From about that time until the present,thi8 dis-
ease has existed mostly along the Susquehanna
River,Conewago Creek, and a few other places.
The treatment in the early period of the
county for this disease, then sometimes called
the "shakes," was Peruvian bark in the form
of powder, and was known by the people as

One of the most fatal scourges and a dis-
ease that carried off more of the early citizens
of York County than all other diseases
together was small-pox. Previous to 1830 it
was almost as rare to meet with an adult, in
the county, who had not at some time or
other had small-pox, as it is now to meet one
who has not had measles or whooping-cough.

Scarlatina and dysentery were frequently
epidemic in the county previous to 1850, and
often carried off the children of entire fam-

In 1859 diphtheria first made its appearance
in the county and from that time to the pres-
ent it has made its appearance at irregular
intervals in various parts of the count)', until
at present there is not a village or hamlet
in the county that has not been visited by
this disease so fatal among children.

A great part of the time of physicians, up
to 1840, was taken up in venesection or bleed-
ing; every person taken sick had to be bled
several times, and nearly the entire adult
population had to be bled every change of
the seasons.

The first medical society organized in the
county met at Hanover, in March, 1868.
The members were Drs. Smith, Plowman,
Koch, Alleman, Wiest, Jones and Culbertson.
Its object was to advance the medial profession.
The society met every week during the spring
and summer, and during the winter ceased to
exist. In 1870, a number of physicians met
at East Prospect, among them Drs. Porter,
Bigler, Rewalt, Weist, Bryan and others, for
the purpose of forming a county medical
society. Constitution and by-laws were
adopted and several meetings were held at
Brogueville, Prospect, Shrewsbury, Wrights-
ville and York.

Through the exertions of Dr. John F.
Holohan, now deceased, a number of phy-
sicians met in the office of Dr. Kerr, in York,

a><£.C^.^^^/A /V-^


May 11, 1873, and there and then organized
the present York County Medical Society.
Dr. James W. Kerr was elected the first pres-
ident and Dr. John F. Holohan the tirst
secretary. In a few months the members of
the old York County Medical Society were
mero-ed in the new society. The meetings
have been held in York monthly ever since
with but few exceptions. The meetings
have been well attended and the membership
gradually increased so that at present forty-
eight members, including all the prominent
physicians of the county, have signed their
names to the constitution and by-laws.
Through it the physicians of the county are
acting in harmony.

The following is a list of physicians, niem-
bers of the York County Medical Society,
July, 1885: Drs. F. X. Weile, J. S. Miller,
John Wiest, E. L. Melsheimer, W. I. Ickes,

A. C. Wentz, E. T. Rohrbaugh, G. E. Holtz-
apple, E. F. Wagner, J. A. Melsheimer, H.

B. King, Martin Hoke, G. W. Bahn, C. F.
Overmiller, A. P. T. Grove, C. G. Hilder-
brand, W. W. Bailey, Wilson A. Long, 'L. C.
Myers, W. J. McCurdy, J. B. Kain, G. A.
Eebman, J. T. Perkins, G. P. Weaver, W.

C. Stick. W. J. McClure, J. R. Spangler,
G. P. Yost, J. A. Armstrong, A. R. Blair,
Levi Frey, J. A. Gladfelter, J. M. Hyson, J.
W. Hickman. W. S. Roland, L. M. Lochman.
B. F. Spangler, H. C. Alleman, W. H, Wag-
ner, J. Deisinger, I. C. Gable, D. K. Got-
walt, W. F. Bacon, J. W. Kerr, A. J.
Snively, M. J. McKennon, J. H. Bittinger,
and S. J. Rouse. They often make their influ-
ence felt, and frequently accomplish changes
for the benefit of the people of the county.

Ever since the organization of this so-
ciety delegates have represented it in the
meetings of the State and national medical
societies. The tirst delegates representing
the York County Medical Society in the
State association were Drs. Holohan, Bailey
and Wiltbank at Carlisle, June 11, 1873.
At a regular meeting of the York County
MedicarSociety, held at York, February 1,
1879, Dr. Roland submitted the following,
prefaced by a few general remarks:

" A hospital in York for the reception and
care of the sick and injured:


"A gentleman of York Borough, well known
to all our citizens as a true philanthropist,
had suggested the necessity of a hospital in
the borough of York for the alleviation of
the sufferings of the needy and those who
may require medical attendance with home
comforts; and for the purpose he had very

kindly volunteered to donate a plat of ground
eligibly located about '200 feet front by 230
feet deep, and he further says that he be-
lieves the York County Medical Society
should take the initiatory steps toward the
accomplishment of so praiseworthy and noble
a purpose. Among the many and various
means used to enlarge the circle of human
happiness perhaps there are none rank
higher than those which have been directed
to the discovei-y and application of means cal-
culated to ameliorate human suffering. In a
man deserving of fame no investment is surer
than the hospital. Lands and houses last
scarce three generations; funeral monu-
ments endure not the temper of the elements,
the fury of war, nor the greed of men. But
the hospital, giving life and health, goes on
forever; therefore

ResoU-ed, " Approving of the object as one
eminently calculated to awaken compassion
and invigorate exertions for the alleviation
of the suffering: We, the members of the
York County Medical Society, do recommend
the establishment of such an institution to
be known as the hospital for the recep-
tion and care of the sick and injured.

Resolved, "That this society will at all
times furnish a competent medical staff, who
will give gratuitously their service for the
benefit of said hospital, provided all the
medical and surgical cases admitted into
said hospital shall be under the immediate
control and direction of this society.

Resolved, "That a committee of five be ap-
pointed to call on Mr. , the gentleman

referred to in this paper, to consult with him
on the subject, and report the result of that
conference to this society."

The resolutions were adopted and the com-
mittee appointed.

Monday, December 8, 1879, a meeting of
citizens favorable to the establishment of a
hospital and dispensary was held in Tem-
perance Hall.

Hon. Thomas E. Cochrane was called to
the chair, and Jere Carl, Esq., was elected
as secretary. The subject was discussed by
Dr. Roland, Dr. Kerr, Capt. Frank Geise,
Dr. John Wiest, Hon. Thomas E. Cochrane,
James Latimer, Esq., Jere Carl, Esq., and
William Smith.

Dr. Roland then read the resolutions read
at the medical society on February l,and stated
that the person referred to in the resolution
was Mr. Samuel Small, Sr., of York. He
further stated that this benevolent gentleman
had purchased the Busser (formerly the A\' ebel)
property on College Avenue, on which was
erected a large and conveniently arrf"— ''


three story brick building, conveniently ar-
ranged, of dimensions of over fifty feet
square, and standing on a plot of ground
about 250 feet square, having a garden, fruit
and shade trees, and other buildings thereon.
Mr. Latimer offered the following resolution,
which was unanimously adopted:

Resolved, "That a committee of five be ap-
pointed to prepare a charter of incorporation

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 94 of 218)