Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thomas Winslow Gordon M.D.
GORDON, Thomas Winslow M.D.
was born at Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio, September 23d, 1819. He was the oldest child in a family of thirteen children, whose parents were Robert Gordon and Susanna Bacon (Winslow) Gordon. Robert Gordon was a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and came with his father's family, when in his fourth year, to the "Northwestern Territory." He was partially educated as a physician, but followed mechanical pursuits through life, and became prominent as a master mechanic. His demise occurred February 12th, 1872. Thomas Gordon, the grandfather of Dr. Gordon, was a native of Scotland, was an early pioneer in the West, and settled in the "Northwestern Territory," in November, 1799, in the township of Poland, Trumbull (now Mahoning) county, Ohio. The mother of the subject of our sketch, Susanna Bacon Winslow, was a native of the town of Naples, New York, her father, Seth Winslow, having removed from Massachusetts just before her birth. She was descended in a direct line from Edward Winslow, one of the immortal Pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic in the famous ship "Mayflower." The various members of her family were intimately identified with the revolutionary struggle, and active and useful participants therein. She died in 1849 in Warren, Trumbull county, Ohio. His early education was received in the common schools and at the Warren Academy. His more advanced literary and scientific education was obtained by his own untiring individual efforts and from private tutors noted for their scholastic attainments. During vacations he assisted his father in the manufacture of bricks and in building. In his fourteenth year he began the study of anatomy and physiology under the guidance of Dr. Sylvanus Seely, of Warren, Ohio. Subsequently, for a period of almost ten years, he pursued the study of the various departments of medicine conjointly with science and languages. In this time he travelled through the West, investigating the nature and peculiarities of diseases prevalent in the regions visited. He frequently found difficulty (being quite young) in obtaining the permission of physicians to visit their patients. He therefore commenced operating for "club foot," "strabismus," removal of tumors, etc., etc., and from that time forward had all the opportunities he desired to carry on his self-imposed investigations. The last two years of his student life was spent in the office of D. B. Woods, M. D., of Warren, Ohio. When almost exhausted with the more severe or abstruse studies of his profession, he used to take his botany and proceed to the forests, and there investigate the laws of that science as a recreation. In the summer and autumn of 1844 he attended a preliminary course of lectures at the Willoughby University, and during the regular sessions of 1844, 1845 and 1846, attended lectures at the Cleveland Medical College, where he graduated with honors in 1846 (having passed an examination by the faculty the year previous), and received from it a certificate of qualification to practise his profession. He began the active practice of medicine in Bazetta, Trumbull county, Ohio, where he remained until 1850, when he removed to Georgetown, Brown county, where he has since resided, continuously engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery, when not absent fulfilling the various duties devolving on him as a professor in a medical college and as surgeon in the army. He took an irregular course of law reading under the supervision of Hon. John J. Crowell, of Warren--now of Cleveland, Ohio--before leaving the North. After his removal to Georgetown he read law regularly for more than two years, devoting all his spare time to its study, under instructions from John G. Marshall, Esq., of Georgetown, and holds a certificate of qualification, dated January 7th, 1854. Not intending to practise law as a profession, he never applied for "admission to the bar." In 1853 he became a member of the American Medical Association, and in 1856 was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Etiology and Pathology of Epidemic Cholera by that association. In the autumn of 1854 and the following winter and spring, he edited the Independent American, a weekly literary and political newspaper, published at Georgetown. In 1857-58 he was Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, and in 1858-59-60 Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy, in the "Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery." In the war of the rebellion he was Surgeon of the 97th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and served in that capacity and as Brigade Surgeon from August, 1862, until June, 1864, when he was obliged to resign his commission on account of disability arising from a wound received in the memorable battle of Missionary Ridge, fought November 25th, 1863. He was appointed United States Examining Surgeon for Pensions in November, 1862, which position he continues to hold. He has delivered several popular lectures, which have been highly extolled; especially his lecture on the "Miracles of Man." He has written many articles on literary and scientific subjects, which have been published in various papers and magazines. Over various nom de plumes (chiefly that of Orion), he has published many poems. He was for several years the President of a literary club formed by writers of Brown and Clermont counties, bearing the name "Poetical Union." He was a member of the first meterorological society formed in the West--if not the first in the United States--and was made its temporary chairman. He was the first President of the Brown County Academy of Medicine. He has contributed many articles of acknowledged ability to prominent medical journals. His essays, read before the Ohio State Medical Society, on "Cholera," "Scarlatina," etc., deserve special mention as reports of very careful investigation and value. In 1874 he was a candidate for Congress on the Republican ticket in the district composed of the counties of Ross, Pike, Highland, Adams and Brown, one of the strongest Democratic districts in the State, making a gain on the Republican State ticket, when all other districts lost ground. He has always evinced an earnest interest in the political questions and movements of the day, and cast his first vote in favor of General Harrison. Religiously, his views are liberal, and not hedged about by the doctrines of any particular creed, though a firm believer in an All-wise Supreme Being. He was married, November 14th, 1836, to Minerva Elvira Scoville, a native of Trumbull county, whose decease occurred December 20th, 1869. By her he had eight children, six of whom are living. His eldest son, S. C. Gordon, M. D., was an assistant surgeon and surgeon during the war. He was again married, November 14th, 1872, to Elizabeth Norman Dugan, a native of Brown county, Ohio.
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Ohio of the Nineteenth Century.
Columbus, OH: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1876
Ross County, Biographies
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