Aesculapian Society of the
Accession Number: OV 32
Description: One oversized volume
In 1846, a few local physicians met in Lawrenceville, Illinois to organize a medical society for the purpose of "exchanging views, sharpening their professional wits and bringing about closer professional relations." (Proceedings, Volume 1, page 1) The original founders were Dr. David Adams, Dr. J. M. Boyle, Dr. Elisha C. Banks, and Dr. Charles M. Hamilton. Although first incorporated as the Lawrenceville Aesculapian Medical Society, the organization gradually grew in membership and influence and its name changed (circa 1893-94) to the Aesculapian Society of the Wabash Valley to more aptly describe its geographic representation.
During the Civil War, many members of the Aesculapian Society served as surgeons in the Union Army. In the late nineteenth century, the organization worked with the Illinois State Legislature to enact a State Board of Health to regulate the practice of medicine and to provide for the registration of births and deaths.
By 1903, the Society had 241 members which included the following counties: Crawford, Clark, Edgar, Vermillion, Champaign, Douglas, Coles, Cumberland, Jasper, Effingham, Shelby and Moultrie in Illinois; Sullivan, Vigo, Vermillion and Parke in Indiana. The Society held two formal meetings each year - the Annual meeting in Paris, Illinois in October and the Semi-Annual Meeting in different designated cities in May. Members presented papers on physicians' daily practice and on current issues in medicine. As of May 28, 1903, the publications committee decided to publish the papers delivered at the Society's annual and semi-annual meetings.
Some Terre Haute/Vigo County doctors represented in the collection include: Benjamin F. Swafford, J. B. Armstrong, W.C. Eichelberger, W. W. Haworth, J. H. Walts, W. T. Moorhead, Joseph H. Weinstein, F. E. Weidemann, Charles N. Combs, Byron M. Hutchings, O.O. Alexander, E. L. Larkins, W.E. Bell, T.W. Moorehead, J. Rudolph Young, L. J. Willien, L. P. Luckett, M. R. Combs, August F. Knoefel, B. V. Caffee, A. H. Caffee, J. P. Worrell, J. H. Cook, Ott Casey, R. T. Leavitt, O. R. Spigler, M. A. Boor, Hugh M. Mullikan, John R. Gillum, F. G. McCarthy, H. J. Pierce, George T. Johnson, Orris T. Allen.
In the year 2000, the Aesculapian Society of the Wabash Valley continues to be an active professional organization for area physicians.
Content and Scope of Collection