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Outagamie County (Wis.) State Centennial Committee / Land of the fox, saga of Outagamie County

Mackesy, Lillian
Doctors, dentists and lawyers,   pp. 208-216 PDF (9.3 MB)

Page 208

                           By Lillian Mackesy
  Before Appleton was little more than a
cluster of pioneer homes the county's
first recorded doctor, dentist and lawyer
settled there. Dr. S. E. Beach, physician,
and lawyer George H. Meyers came in
1849, with Dr. Byron Douglas, dentist,
arriving a few years later in 1852.
  These were the days when a doctor
could "hang out his shingle" without a
license, dentists learned their "trade''
through apprenticeship and many lawyers
in new villages like Appleton often turned
to land sales for the greater part of their
  Perhaps the most famous professional
man produced by Outagamie County was
one of the nation's outstanding doctors,
John B. Murphy, Chicago surgeon.
  Born in 1859 on a farm near Appleton,
he was one of the six children of pioneers,
Michael and Ann Grimes Murphy, who
came from Ireland to Grand Chute Town-
ship. Young John Murphy attended coun-
try school and Appleton's Ryan High
School. He studied medicine at Rush
Medical College, Chicago, and in Austria
and Germany. During his medical career
he was head of the department of surgery
and clinical surgery at Northwestern Uni-
versity Medical College, chief surgeon at
Mercy Hospital and, in 1908, joined the
United States Medical Corps.
  Dr. Murphy is noted for his develop-
ment of simplified techniques in abdominal
operations and other surgery and he wrote
several books on surgery. He received
wide recognition for his service to medi-
cine including honorary degrees both
from American and foreign universities.
He was made a Fellow of the Royal
College of Surgeons in England, a life
member of the Societe de Chirirgie of
Paris and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur
Chirurgie of Berlin and was made a
Knight of St. Gregory by the Pope. He
edited General Surgery for the Practical
Medicine Series from 1901 until his death
in 1916.
  The story of medicine in the county,
however, concerns the men who spent
part or all of their professional lives with-
in the county caring for the health of its

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