NOTES TAKEN FROM MEDICAL SENTINEL
A DECADE OF TURMOIL: PORTLAND MEDICINE DURING THE 1890S
By 1890 one-hundred fifty schools were established in the United States. Desires to build new schools and regain control of a profession seemingly out of control led to plans made to pass new state laws to reduce the chaos running through the American medical profession. New markets in patent medicines were making headway, in turn leading to cases of deaths, drug addiction and alcoholism. Meanwhile, the establishment of several new alternative healing professions was taking place. Portland was by then still fairly young in the medical profession. Well under fifty years of age, and lacking a state-sponsored health care law, Oregon was quickly becoming the place of final residence for many licensed, unlicensed and certified health care givers.
TROUBLES WITH LICENSURE
E.M. Clements, Sr. “Oregon’s Defective Law. A Case” Sentinel, 3(3), pp. 112 (March 1895). Letter to the Editor, dated Jan. 28, 1895.
According to E.M. Clements or New Bridge, Oregon, a Dr. Fuller was forced out of Boise City, Idaho, for lack of appropriate medical credentials. He next moved to Baker City where he at first received a warm reception from the community, and next removed to Eagle Valley where his practice was denounced by the Local Dr. Howard, Fossil, Oregon. His subsequent practice Clements describes as: “He continues and is now practicing on the following plan or basis: He will treat a case and charge nothing for his medicine or services, but the folks usually pay him the price for an old woman.” Clements used this case to request that a more proper legal bill be written up for the State of Oregon to prevent this kind of work…this unwarranted piracy on the regular medical student.”
Another case was cited in the Sentinel as an example of a midwife of Highland, Oregon, whose name was withheld, but her letter published in which she asked for as new bill be considered by members of the State Senate for the licensure of others in her profession. After forwarding her letter to Mr. Brownell, he in turn claimed “could do nothing for it” according to the midwife, who then goes on to state:
“In regards to the medicine I use is Tansy Tea and some Ergot and some times Castor oil for the afterburths I use almonds oil and Ergot the Almons oil I use for to bade out side. I write you this to let you know what way I treat the ladys and sometime I use the family syerings this is all the Insterments I use. I kindly beg of you to be kind enough to let me know after the board has meet.”
In July 1895, an article appeared in Sentinel about the Midwife bill in Washington. This bill made it illegal for a midwife to practice in the state, and had brought one of its victims to court, only to result in the court being unable to prove their claim, thus resulting in no lawsuit. “she is not doimg much harm to the profession” they concluded.”
TWO MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN PORTLAND: Better Schools Demanded.
Two advertisements appeared monthly in Medical Sentinel in the 1890s describing the two medical schools active in this city. The Medical Department of Willamette University advertised that it “Offers Thorough Training. Four Years’ Graduate Course.” Its supporting clinic was The Portland Hospital, where the college was also housed and held its regular lectures. Attending this school cost $5 for matriculation and $130 due their human anatomy-physiology demonstrator and cadaver dissector. For those who already completed the first two years of their science education, in the form of two complete courses at another accredited medical school, the attendance fee was reduced to $80. The Dean for this school, Dr. Richard Kelley, A.M., M.D., had his main office and clinic on Third and Morrison. [“Medical Department, Willamette University, Portland, Oregon” (advertisement). Sentinel, Oct. 3(10): xxiii.] The second medical school to locate in Portland was the Medical Department of the University of Oregon, housed in the hospital at the corner of Twenty-third Avenue and Lovejoy Street. According to its advertisement, it “Confers the diploma of the State University…Through Clinical and Didatic (sic) Instruction, High Standard…Exclusive control of Clinical work at St. Vincent’s and Good Samaritan Hospitals.” Dr. S.E. Joseph, M.D., served as the Dean, and had his own main office located at the New Dekum Building. [“Medical Department, University of Oregon” (Advertisement). Sentinel, Nov. 1895, 3(11): iii.]
Within five years, just one medical school remained active in Portland. The Portland Hospital threw out its regular healers and was taken over by the Homeopaths then active in its wards.
The 1890s represents to the American Medical profession a period dominated by political turmoil within the regular medical profession. This indecisiveness on behalf of the regular doctors opened the door for other healers to take advantage of these financial opportunities, which in turn changed entire communities.
The requirements of a medical student were given in an article by Thomas W. Musgrove of Puyallup, Washington, entitled “A Consideration of some Problems in the Study and Practice of Medicine.” His requirements were that as students one have “high mental, moral and physical qualities, which combine to produce greatness in man.” After graduating, the former students were to have “the powers of observation, quick comprehension, ready address, vast resources, deep sympathy, much affability, a good memory, great self control, a steady hand, and must be logical, honest and withal diplomatic.” Musgrove then asks the question “What is Medicine?” recalling the term Medico which he translated to “I Heal.” Relying on the use of philosophical overtones, Musgrove recalls the origin and meaning of life concept, a topic he notes is being well addressed by philosophers and physicists. The ongoing belief in electric cure at this time in local medical history enabled inferences to be made regarding electrotherapy. Recalling the belief just decades before that “spontaneous generation of animalcules” was the belief of doctors, he states conclusively “But now we know better.” Life, he believes, has revealed itself to be the result of an electric phenomenon known as vital force.
“The conclusion is, that a vital force does exist, and must be considered by the practical therapeutist. Believing the cells, tissues, and oprgans of the body to be simply the machine which is kept in motion by the vital force attached thereto, it is easy to understand how important it is to guard with jealous care the living body if we would prevent its destruction…. Organization is the result of life force, put into operation by the Creator…”
Musgrove looks at both the physical being and its life force when performing his healings. He criticized the Christian Scientists for the emphasis on the mind-cure and religion cure, and diminished respect for the value of the physical cure. Musgrove views the value of food for supporting life and accuses druggists and patent medicine agents of over-emphasizing the physical cure at the risk of leading to the genesis of “drug fiends” and various other unhealthy states. He judged these actions to be disrespectful to the “dignity and reputation of the medical profession,” concluding his criticisms by giving his own definition of health: “the state in which a living organism is able to perform all its functions properly.”
Such are the feelings of a regular doctor in the 1890s.
THE PHARMACAL DIGEST
In July 1895 Portland, Oregon’s pharmacists began publication of the region’s first Pharmacal trade journal. It editor H.D. Deitrich, claimed the circulation of this magazine would include states as far east as Minnesota and as far south as northern California. The only journals competing with them at the time were California’s drug industry journal…. and Chicago’s …..
The Pharmacal Digest was to be published monthly and sold at a cost of 50 cents. It address was No. 100 Second Street. This journal was printed in three parts. The Main body of the text, with articles, announcements, etc., was about twenty-four pages in length. This was followed by a section of pink sheets, about sixteen in number, on which advertising was placed. The end part of the Pharmacal Digest, about twelve pages in length, served as an advertising supplement and a reference for use by the store in purchasing and pricing the various medicines. This journal’s lifespan was just twenty-seven months.
About sixty advertisements were published each month of the average in each issue of Digest, with ranges as high as around 90 and as low as about 45. Only four of these advertisements were Oregonian, and were from S.B. Manufacturing Company, Dufur, Woodard, Clarke & Company, Blumauer-Frank Drug Company, and Goodyear Rubber Company. Eight advertisements came out of the San Francisco area, and another California advertisement came from a company in Stockton. Most of the advertisements were from New York, fourteen of which were from the New York City area and one from Buffalo. The neighboring state of New Jersey, with its industrial district, had just two companies place advertisements. Pennsylvania had the second largest number of advertisements, eight in number, followed by much less from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and the Tennessee-Virginia area.
Most of the advertisements (of which there were 24 out of 53 in the first issue) were for patent or proprietary medicines including remedies for piles, catarrh, corns, eye inflammation, indigestion, and general debility or weakness. There were for example soluble food products, fruit juices, pepsin chips, peruvian bitters, Hoff’s Malt Extract, and California Fig Syrup for ailing digestions. Business and office products being advertised included crude drug sources, tablet makers, plaster kits, suspensories, chamois jackets, rubber ware, antiseptics, show cases, glasswares, corks, tin and paper boxes, rat poison, fly paper and squirrel poison. Typical living and household commodities noted included Clear Havana and El Falcon cigars, skin creams and facial complexion products, musical merchandise, and bicycles.
The 1895 Graduation.
In early April, 1895, both medical schools held graduations for their students. The Medical Department of the University of the State of Oregon held its graduation at the Portland High School building. Parson’s Orchestra provided the music, and Mr. Rodney L. Glisan delivered the address for the evening entitled “The Medico-Legal Treatment of Hypnotism.” The six graduates from that school were all men. The Medical Department of the Willamette University held its 29th Annual graduation at the Taylor-Street Methodist Church on April 2nd. It commenced its ceremony with the music of an orchestra conducted by Ed. W. Miller. The main presentation, given by Prof. G.M. Irwin, was entitled “Moral Courage and Faith in One’s Self,” followed by a Valedictorian Speech from Dr. James H. Bristow. Six graduates received their M.D. degrees; three were women and three were men.
These graduates as well as graduates from other states obtained their work through the use of an agency known as Medical Exchange Bureau, which worked out of the Raleigh Building with David D. Lynch as it manager. The Medical Exchange Bureau offered special services to graduates and experienced health care professionals making their way into Oregon. The advertisement states: “Special attention given to locating physicians, disposing of practices, securing partners, physicians to fill temporary vacancies, physicians on salary, substitutes, and furnishing nurses.” Two pages wer devoted to the advertising and announcements provided by Medical Exchange Bureau. Such advertisements included open non-descript job offers for “Sanitarium practice,” “Office-Practice,” “Nurses for Private Service,”
Included in this event was a Lady Physician, who worked in a choice climatic section of California,” a Dentist, and a Homeopath. Requirements for hiring were also given. Typically doctors coming to Oregon needed to bring Cash with them to be hired; this cash paid for purchasing the business rights, paying part of their set-up costs and meeting the state and town’s fee requirements. For the Sanitarium practice $1,500 in cash was required. The Dentist for hire had to have $3000, and the Homeopathic position cost the applicant $5,000, and the added restriction: “Eastern man preferred.” The cheapest offer was for an office-practice position, which had no fees attached to it, but promised the doctor $500 to $750 per month as income. The requirements for Private Nurse applicants included a letter from a physician verifying her “efficiency.”
to erupt in a relatively uncontrolled community.
“Better Schools Demanded.” pp. 23-24. Sentinel, 2(1): 1894.
“It can be safely said at this time that any medical college which shall be originated within the borders of the United States within the next twenty years for the graduation of medical student will not be originated to further medical education, but will be the outcome of either jealousy, dissension of a desire upon the part of the organizers to further their personal ends at the expense of the profession.”
The two schools in Portland were in need of fairness, and their expenditures were not being equally shared.
A major difference between the two medical schools in Portland was the common acceptance of some of more radical treatment methods by members of the Medical Department of Willamette University. This school’s Professor of Mental and Nervous Diseases, Dr. Henry W. Coe, taught Electrotherapeutics at this medical school as the hospital’s neurologist.
In the advertising section of Sentinel, William Harvey King of Maiden Lane, New York, was advertising his new trade magazine, Journal of Electro-Therapeutics, “[t]he only journal in the English language devoted to electricity in medicine.” King had just written entitled Electro-Therapeutics; or Electricity in its Relation to Medicine and Surgery, in which he reviewed electrophysics, electrophysiology, “Electric current in nutrition,” electric diagnosis and therapeutics, the applications of galvanic and faradic currents to healing, methods of utilizing static electric cure machines, and the technique of performing electrolysis, and galvano-chemical caustic actions.
Dr. Coe had been utilizing such healing methods at a retreat he established called “Mindsease,” which in an advertisement he described as:
“An organization of Cottage Homes for the care of Nervous and Mental Diseases Portland, Oregon.
“Patients receive all the comforts of a quiet home removed from the annoyances of fellow patients. The rest cure, massage, electricity, etc. employed.”
Dr. Coe strongly advocated the Electric Cure phenomenon. In article he wrote for the Sentinel he discussed his usage and reliance upon Electricity as healing agent and the results of a recently held meeting by the American Electro-Therapeutic Association [A.E.A]. Coes notes that not everyone in the electric field favored this re-born healing fad. At a recent A.E.A. meeting, Coe notes Professor Dolbear’s statement that “Electricity is not life any more than heat is life.” Dolbear was then referring back to an early 1800s Thomsonian-based healing fad, which relied on restoring or maintaining body heat to facilitate and perfect a cure. Whereas Dolbear was critical of the many Electric Healers who were relying on electricity “until the patient squirms” to perform a cure, Dr. Coe felt that electricity could serve “an alterative and restorative tonic” when applied properly. Coe then discussed his use of it for relieving neuralgia and for treating inner organ problems.
At the April 3, 1895 Portland Medical Society meeting (location?), Dr. Belknap discussed more about the increasing reliance on the electric healing phenomenon. He discussed the “Incandescent Electric-Light Bath” and its indescribable vital force or energy. To support his view of this he cited the behavior of plant growth in light then recently documented, and the studies performed on the effects fo light on body temperature and the secretion of Carbon Dioxide by urea and perspiration, two human elimination products. He concluded this offered support to the notion that “electric light has the same properties as sunlight” and that “electric light is an excellent substitute for Sun baths.” Belknap felt other forms of light had power as well, although much weaker than healing lamps.
Belknap’s statements were subsequently disputed by E.N. Wilson, who claimed he could not see see the connection Belknap drew between light energy and urea nd carbon dioxide levls. Dr. Cauthorn then questioned Dr. Kellogg’s data gathering procuderes, a comment supported by another Society member Dr. Wheeler. Belknap’s view was that Incandescent Electric Light could be used to perform certain healing procedures which were being denounced by much of the Scietific and regular medical profession. He felt it could soon replace the growing reliance many people had on Russian and Turkish bath therapies and other alternative healing methods.
In May 1895, Dr. W.W. Potter of Spokane gave a speech to the Washington State Medical Society as the Society’s president. He titled that presentation “Diagnosing Opium Habitues by Snap-Shot” and discussed the growing problems due to Opium abuse.
Part of the reason for this increased popularity in electric cure was the worsening problem with due to technology and its effects on the proprietary and Patent Medicine industries. The alcoholic beverage had finally developed it first peak in the marketplace in Oregon, with the Hops industry fully established by the 1890s. The drug manufacturing industry was accelerating its production rates, leading to the formation of mergers by national and Northwestern pharmacal industries. This increased the production of alcoholic beverages and patent and proprietary medicines which had alcohol as one of their major ingredients. On the east coast, due to the establishment of major drug industries at the New York-New Jersey, the Hartford Connecticut area initiated the Quarterly Journal of Inebriety, “the only journal published devoted to the medical study of inebriety, alcoholism and opium mania,” and which served as “the organ of the American Association for the Cure of Inebriates.”
A similar advertisement delving into the drug and alcohol problem was produced by the editor of that trade magazine, T.D. Crotter. In 1878 he established “a private asylum” to help treat the victims of this then-popular patent and proprietary pharmaceutical agent. At his asylum, Crotter offered several unique healing methods to help inebriates recover, including the application of Russian, Turkish, Saline and Medicated Baths to which herbs and essential oils were added.
Similar places were established in Portland by the 1890s. During the early part of this decade, there were four bath houses in Portland. Two of them, Hamman Baths and The Imperial, were well established bathing facilities, the other two bathing facilities advertised by Mrs. Emlie Wemme, 86 Park Avenue, and Mrs. Mary Kuml, 361 1/2 3d, were smaller scaled operations, with Mrs. Emlie specializing in Electric bathing.
Hamman Baths offered the standard forms of bathing facilities for that time: Turkish, Russian, Electric and Medicated baths. Whereas in 1893, there were only four such bathing facilities in the city of Portland, in just four years this number had more than doubled. Several more entrepreneurial women set up bathing establishments, namely Mrs. Lorna Darwin, 351 1/2 Morrison, Mrs. Psyche Snowden, 4 Raleigh Bldg., Mrs. M.E. Stratton, 208 Aliskey Bldg, Mrs. Victoria Kemp, 334 Burnside, Mrs. M.E. McCoy, 181 1/2 1st, and Mrs. M.E. Welch, 716 Dekum Bldg. This prevalence of women in this profession led the other facilities directed by men to make some accomodations to remain in contention with their competitors. John Compton of Hamman baths offered “Ladies Hours” extending from 8 to 12 noon, the rest of the day until midnight were intended to serve just men. One of the more successful of these Matron-directed bathing facilities was than owned by Mrs. Stratton, whose facilities attended to the needs of “Ladies Only” and included Thermal Electric baths and the use of “Ruppert Preparations.” On the side, she also sold cosmetics.
Between 1893 and 1898, several other short-lived bathing facilities were established in Portland. For about one year Professor Carrie Howe-Wheatley operated an Indian Herbal bathing facility. Those bathing facilities operated by Matrons were managed by Mrs. S.J. Stewart, 81 Dekum Building (1894) and Mrs. Emma Nelson, 234 1/2 Morrison (1897). This transition in the direction of bathing facilities from being masculine to both masculine and feminine in nature had accelerated by 1897, when for the first time the majority (five out of seven) of the facility operators noted in the Directories were women, presumably with facilities intended mostly for feminine use.
Exercise and Climate
The popularity of bicycling was reaching a peak. In a brief article published by Sentinel, “It is surprising to see how few doctors in this city use the wheel, although several now converts are to be noticed upon their wheels upon the streets of Portland.” Just the month before in fact, Dr. A.B. Gillis of Portland was noted as having joined
“Grand Army of Bicyclers.”
Bicycling didn’t receive the full support of the profession. Complaint of “kyphosis bicyclistorum” or “bicycle hump” was humorously discussed in the October Sentinel.
Along with exercise and bicycling, Climatology had again peaked in interest. The World’s Congress of Medico-Climatology had been established and made contact with Dr. E.F. Tucker of the Marquam Building. In the letter they sents to him, which was reprinted in the Sentinel, they as Dr. Tucker to establish a committee of three to five physicians who would “visit and report upon the various health resorts of this country.”
Another healing profession dominated by women during the late nineteenth century consisted of “Mediums” whose roles as seancers and mesmerists peaked at the end of this past century. The concept of “Mediums” was accepted locally and so appeared as advertisements in the local newspapers by the mid-1890s. From 1895 to 1910, they are listed as a profession in the Portland business directories. The activities of channelers, seancers, mesmerists, and past life believers appear repeatedly in the Oregon newspapers during this period of rapidly changing medical professions. During this time, thirty-six mediums appeared in the Portland directories.
The first Mediums to advertise in the Oregon Business Directory in 1895 were Mrs. C.C. Chambers (1895-7), Mrs. Baxter Reynolds (1895-1902), several members of the Schmidt or Smith family (1895-1898), Mrs. Jennie M. Wallace (1895-1905), and Mrs. J. Rhoda Zwemer (1895). The next year, the number of Mediums advertising in the directory doubled and nearly all lived on 1st, 3d and 5th Avenues or Washington. In 1897, two Mediums departed from the Directory list, to be replaced by three others. In 1898 there were three departures and no newcomers. A second surge in newcomers came between 1900 and 1902.
Most important to this period of time is the hidden underlying message portrayed by these Medium’s behavior which they channeled through their use of the business directories. The addresses many chose had related numerologies which give reason for them, and thus the ever changing room or apartment number during their residency in Portland has reasons which depict a part of their belief system. From 1897 to 1899, a three year period, Mrs. Teresa Ordway chose to live at 303 1/2 Washington. In 1900, a year with a numerology of ten, she removed to a building numbered 343 1/2 Morrison. Mrs. Minnie/Minerva Smith had a liking for the number eight, and lived at 251 5th from 1896-7, and then removed to 251 1/2 1st where she stayed from 1900 to 1902, and again removed to 224 Market for the rest of her Medium career, 1903-7. This same octaphilic numerology is seen for both apartments inhabited by E.E./E.C. Collins in 1896 and 1900. From 1895 to 1910, the numbers 3, 5 and 8 appear repeatedly in the apartments, street addresses and their related numerologies for residences and/or businesses managed by Portland’s Mediums.
Supporting the cause of the Mediums was the Association of United Workmen [AOUW], which in 1894 had a Temple at “2nd sw cor Taylor.” At this location were offices, lecture halls and various other facilities for accomodating the wants and needs of alternative thinkers. The Swedenborgians held their sessions for the New Church Society, under direction of Rev. J.S. David, at this location. The Sons of Herman and other “Secret and Benevolent Societies” met or were housed at this location. The A.O. United Workers Building is also where Mediums performed their professional skills. Mrs. M.E. Adward had an office there beginning 1902, after removing from 311 Stark. Portland’s last advertised Mediums are Mrs. Carrie Cornelius and Mrs. Virginia Rowe who were listed in the 1910 business directory.
Spirits and Animal Magnetism
In the Friday Supplement of the May 8, 1896, Oregon Weekly Stateman, an advertisement appeared for Hermann the Healer, claiming “All who are sick, deaf, blind and lame will be treated free upon the public stage.” Hermann the Healer was to perform at hte Reed’s Opera House in Slem for “Two Nights Only…May 18 and 19.” He performed this form of health care “as the strongest Magnetic Healer,” with a “laying on of Hands” he could treat such ailments as deafness, blindness, those with paralysis and rheumatism, and many others taken sick or lame. Admission to the Opera house cost 25 cents, 50 cents for reserved seats. The tickets were sold at Patton Brother’s Bookstore.
That same day, Monday May 18th, Hermann the Healer swung through Portland, and set up his healing facility by the rooms where he would stay most of his days in Oregon. From May 18 to May 28 he remained at Willamette Hotel, “with private parlors secured where all those who deisred private treatment may call.” On May 18th in the afternoon, he gave a lecture entitled “The Power of Vital Magnetism as a Curative Agent.” On Tuesday his first lecture was entitled “Vital Magnetism; its Past, Present and Future,” followed by a Matinee just for women entitled “Suffering Woman and her Heroic Fortitude to Endure.” For the next ten days Hermann the Healer provided healing consultation for one dollar, which one had to purchase a ticket for at the Reception Room of the Willamette Hotel. The “Lady’s entrance” was on Ferry Street.
A half week later, the Statesman gave an account of his Hermann’s endeavors. In an article entitled “He Heals Humanity by the Simple Laying on of Hands. Hermann the Healer has Effected many Miraculous Cures in Salem.” it is noted that Hermann turned away a number of clients who he felt he could not heal. These included “92 people with afflictions which Dr. Vance, the physician in charge, has pronounced incurable.” The remaining “100s to rejoice over their marvelous restoration” included those once suffered lameness, paralysis, rheumatic joint diseases, epilepsy, catarrh, incipient consumption, chronic bronchitis, tumors of all kinds, Bright’s Disease, neuralgia, menstrual irregularities, sciatica, hemorrhoids, and obstinate constipation, “nearly all chronic diseases yield to animal magnetism in the hands of this famous magnetist.”
Incidents and discoveries which made such a belief system erupt in Portland are made evident by reading the numerous news articles appearing in the Stateman during this same period in local history. The May 15th Statesman on page 5 reported Edison’s “Vitascope” discovery and noted “it showed life.” On page 6 there was an article on the theory of the Sun’s power entitled “Fed by Electricity. A New Theory on Solar Light. Former Ideas are now Exploded–Modern Science. A Theory by Adam Miller, M.D. makes Old Sol a Big Incandescent Lamp–Magnetic. Repulsion and Attraction.” On May 1, a Medium out of Salem advertised her ability to communicate with a past Indian maiden:
The Angel of Light is Speaking.
An Indian Legend of Long Ago
As Told by a Spirit through the Lips of a Medium at Salem. One Day.
Salem, Ore. Mar. 13th.”
Niackawanna was described as “a lonely maiden, beautiful and fair.”
Elsewhere in the contemporary issues of Statesman appear an account of a man who cured his cancer by applying frogs to his tumor. Dr. R.V. Pierce, the author of one of this country’s most widely circulated book, People’s Common Sense Medical Advisor, advertised his book and patent medicines using an advertisement in which “The Indian Medicine Man Cures by Charming and incantations. He frightens away the ‘evil spirit’ who causes the sickness…” and then goes on to explain “9-10th of human sicknesses is this one simple and appalling problem…constipation.”
Throughout all of these years of certainty on behalf of medical writers, Patent Medicine agents, lecturers, demonstrators and performers, the regular medical school in Portland was experiencing severe trauma due to internal politics. Since 1884 there had been a medical school in Portland, the Wallamett Medical College, which in 1888 was matched by the School of Medicine in Northwest Portland, its newborn competitor. Many criticism of Oregon’s State Medical Law erupted during this time, by the regular doctors still working to define their relatively young education program in Oregon. In January 1894, opinions about this lack of control of the healing profession led to the publication of a editorial entitled “Oregon, The Dumping Ground,” in the Sentinel, in which the following criticism was published:
“It is left to Oregon, at the end of the great northern lines of travel over the Northern Pacific, Great Northern and Canadian Pacific to furnish a resting place for the sole of every medical itinerant who may possess a diploma from some recognized school, but who has become weary at the exactions of the boards of the vast expanse of country travelled by the lines of railroads mentioned. Here all “recognized” graduates find peace and comfort so far as being made legal practitioners is concerned.”
British Columbia and all the northernmost states extending westward from Minnesota had laws passed regulating medicine except for Oregon and Idaho.
The result of this openness in Oregon was an increase in the doctor to patient ratio to a number higher than all the otehr states in the country. Oregon only required that its doctors register their diplomas in order to practice. In the eyes of the Sentinel editor, “we therefore get more good doctors and more poor doctors than we are entitled to.” He claimed the increase in competition which resulted led to the need to increase office fees per patient visit in order to meet the financial demands required of medical practice. The editor blamed “incompetent physicians for this financial problem the profession was suffering, and so turned to the legislature with hopes of alleviating this problem. In his editorial he drew the conclusion: “So that the price of the condition falls upon both the doctor and the public in a monetary way, and upon the public in having to support a vast horde of incompetent doctors who are taking advantage of our laws to get in here while they can.”
In a discussion at a late 1893 Portland Medical Society meeting, the Society had decided to drop this issue for the time being, at least until the present governor was replaced since he was responsible for appointing the State Board of Medical Examiners.
[Legal History of first and second law]
The Board should be privately managed, and carry out processes in accordance with those within the medical profession. The establishment of a Board based upon a single belief system….
1895. VOLUME 3.
“The Midwife Nuisance.” p. 20-1.
(Letter from Puget Sound by a Washington Doctor)
There was an ongoing dilemma regarding the practice of midwifery. The writer of this letter, a regular doctor, called his comrades “a most patient lot of men,” noting the cost for their education, accrediting exam, and the accompanying personal and professional library, amounted $5000, which in spite of this financial input, still resulted in up to one-third failing these entrance exams required before practicing in his state. It was the impression of this writer that midwives were poorly trained, and since they often required the assistance of a regular doctor due to the complications of delivery and post-delivery, such as infection and the onset of puerpural eclampsia, regular physicians were critical of the midwifery practice and its underlying preparatory education system. In his criticism of the midwifes, this Washington doctor wrote “In face of all this, we must compete with the most ignorant midwife who attends a case of confinement for $5 or $10, and nurses the patient a week in the bargain.” This letter’s author was critical of the “filthy methods” then in use for engaging in these deliveries, and therefore asked that the profession of midwifery be reviewed and included in the next discussions of the law by the State Legislature. He asked that the State Medical Board require midwives to be tested on three topics: hygiene, diseases of newborns, and obstetrics. He asked that the state consider making it a misdemeanor to practice Midwifery without a license.
THE NEED FOR ONE MEDICAL SCHOOL
In 1894, Rush Medical College began requiring their students to attend school for four years before allowing them to graduate with an M.D. degree in 1898.
The increasing self-reliance many alternative healers were feeling in Portland during the late 1800s led to increased turmoil within the regular medical profession. This led to the publication of a brief editorial in the Sentinel in August 1895 entitled “One Medical School for Portland.” The public opinion was that too many students were graduating out of the two medical schools each year, leaving them with little professional opportunity due to the saturation of the Portland are with regular and alternative healers. The editor makes the claim to his readers “One school is enough for Portland”
“With but one school in Portland, a large enthusiastic faculty, the clinical facilities of St. Vincent’s, Portland, Good Samaritan and other hospitals, and the Portland Free Dispensary, students would enjoy the best possible advertisings, and membership upon the faculty would be of much greater honor that it has ever been before.”
He then asked for a “united profession” to be established, “by which the number of medical colleges in Portland may be reduced to one.” This issue had for some time been burning in the minds of academicians at both schools, who were in competition with each other, when they were not disputing longevity and superiority as education programs. The Willamette College’s claim was that it had “Thirty years of honorable career and a present united, active faculty…” The State School’s claim was: “With our well known faculty, and being an institution of the very stable state itself, for anyone to hint our retirement from the field is the rankest sense.”
Unknowingly, this dissident behavior on behalf of the Willamette College had seriously jeopardized its economic future, as a rather succinct change in its history was about to take place. About this same time, members subscribing to the Sentinel who worked at the Portland Hospital voiced their differences in opinion with the regular staff members of this health care facility. This ultimately led to the resignation of a significant number of medical school professors from their location, who were subsequently replaced by homeopaths. In an Editorial, the Sentinel responded to this:
“We must say that we regret very much the changes that have taken place in the Staff of the Portland Hospital, although we heartily commend the action of the former staff in resigning in a body from the institution in order to uphold one of their colleagues, who they evidently thought was in the right. The board of trustee, in accepting their resignations and appointing a homoeopathic staff, certainly made a complete change, and although they have announced the fact that any physician of the school can send patients to that hospital and treat them there, they certainly cannot expect to have the support of the profession at large. We respectfully wish them good luck.”
This editorial comment was immediately followed by an article on the past and recent arguments which had taken place between the two regular schools. Previously, meetings were being held by the faculty members of the two schools to determine if concessions could be made to allow not only faculty sharing but also an agreement that each would respect the other’s students’ medical degree. What had previously prevented such concessions from being made was the insistence by members of Willamette University that the State School undergo the name change in order for the merger to take place, a concession the State University would not agree to. Willamette School also attempted to make an offer to share their cadaver study facilities with the State School, but the Oregon State faculty insisted that since they survived their previous years without the help of the Portland Hospital, where Willamette housed its teaching facilities and cadaver laboratory, that they had no need to make any such changes in their faculty size stemming from the Portland Hospital. Despite this loss of the teaching hospital by Willamette University, plans were in the works to enroll medical students in the fall, but the following month, no such advertisement for classes to be offered beginning that month appeared in the Sentinel.
The Establishment of State Law
Governor Lord signed the second version of Oregon State Medical Bill during the 1894-5 Winter session. This law, its writing overseen by the Senate Committee on Medicine and Pharmacy, reformed the state Medical Board to include one Eclectic physician and one Homeopath. The initiators of it were Drs. J.M. Pruett or Pendleton and Dr. J.C. Smith. Its speakers in the State Senate were Senators Raley and Galbraith. Four allopaths, Drs. G.H. Wells, W.H. Saylor, F. Cauthorn and J.D. Fenton, went to Salem to support its passage.
The Homeopaths were setting up an academic environment of their own. In 1893 they made up the core staff for the hospital located in downtown Portland. This later transferred its care to the Northeast section or Portland, where it remained active into the 1930s.
The previous laws passed in Oregon had left the homeopaths and eclectic somewhat disturbed at the unfair allotment of duties of each member of the board. The alternative doctors on this board were only given the position of Board Secretary in both Oregon and Washington, which perturbed some of the alternative healers.
“Castor Oil for the After Births. An Oregon Midwife’s Demand for Recognition.” Sentinel, Jan. 1895, 3(4) (April 1895), p. _____. Letter, republished innom., dated Mar. 7, 1895.
“Recent Medical Legislation in the State of Washington.” Sentinel , July 1895, 3(7): pp259-260.
Thos. W. Musgrove. A Consideration of some Problems in the Study and Practice of Medicine.” Sentinel, Aug 1895, 3(8): pp. 297-306.
The first edition was marked at $1.00, but by the next month the editor agreed to a much reduced subscription cost.
Drs. George E. Watts, William H. Trimble, Frederick Gullette, Geo. H. Himmers, Sein Oishi, and James H. Cook. “Medical Department of the University of the State of Oregon.” Sentinel, 3(5): 197. (May 1895).
Drs. Ella Hill Chambers, Corilla G. French, Lulu M.M. Marquam, Henry F. McKay, John D. Shaw, and James H. Bristow. From “29th Annual Announcement of Medical Department of the Willamette State University” Sentinel, 3(5): 195-6. (May 1895).
“Medical Exchange Bureau” (Advertisement). Sentinel, 3(5) (May 1895), xxvii.
“Journal of Electro-Therapeutics…” (Advertisement). Sentinel, Jan. 1895, 3(1): xxxvi.
According to the ad, Dr. Coe’s regular office space consisted of “Rooms 711-174, The Marquam Building.”
“Mindsease.” (Advertisement). Sentinel, Jan. 1895, 3(1): inner end cover.
Thomsonianism is a healing fad born from the writings of an Englishman learned in native American and Christian healing faiths, Rev. Townsend, who wrote out healing methods in a book entitled…… This book had subsequent editions published in Boston about 1802 and 1807. Thomson apparently read this book, for a large part of his healing faith are presented as copies of Townsend’s ideologies, used by Thomson to develop his own healing faith. Thomsonians made use of Vapor baths, enemas, Cayenne Pepper to heat outwardly, Myrrh to heat inwardly, and Lobelia to cause a vomit and rid the body of ill-causing agents.
W.W. Potter. “Diagnosing Opiun Habitues by Snap-Shot” Sentinel (October 1895), 3(1): 382-5. Given as a lecture in May 1895 to the Washington State Medical Society at their regular meeting.
“Special Medical Care and Treatment of Alcoholic and Opium Inebriates, at Walnut Lodge, Hartford, Conn.” (Advertisement). Sentinel, Jan. 1895, 3(1): xxxvi.
Hammand Baths, 43 2d  was noted as “Hamman Baths” in the Business Directories from 1894 to 1897—-?. In 1895, its proprietor according to the Business Directory was John Compton.
1895 Business Directory advertisement.
Address of her facilities: 208 Aliskey Building (1897), 485 Alder (1898).
Whether Ayurvedic or Native American is uncertain.
Other operators of bathing facilities for 1893-1896 not mentioned in text: F.P. Hunt, 209 1/2 3d (1894), C.F. Kloh, 304 1st (1894), Jubitz & Saling, 324 Morrison (1895), Rudolph Marsch, 301 Washington (1895), Mergens & Company, 393 1/2 Flanders (1896), Portland Hotel Turkish baths, 6th nw cor Yamhill (1896). In 1896, the Olympic Swimming Baths, 435 Morrison, was listed separately under “Natatorium.”
“The Bicycle.” Sentinel, 3(9), Sept. 1895, 363-364.
“Personals Column.” Sentinel, 3(8), August 1895, 334.
“Bicycle is King.” Sentinel, 3(10), October 1895, 402.
“World’s Congress of Climatology.” Sentinel. Sept. 1895, vol. 3(10), p. 372.
Departures: Mrs. Syra and Mrs. J. Rhoda Zwemer; Newcomers: Miss Clara Ellis (283 1/2 Morrison), Mrs. Teresa Ordway (303 1/2 Washington, removed to 343 1/2 Morrison in 1900), and Mrs. Margaret Orewiler (1897–353 East Couch; 1899–3 Union Ave. North).
Departed: Mrs. C.C. Chambers, Miss Clara Ellis, and Mrs. Carrie Ray.
She may have even felt her year of retirement, 1907, was so selected since it had the numerology of eight as well.
“Morrison” would have been respected for bearing eight letters, “Washington” for its 10 letters and the related “sense of completeness.” The probability of a place bearing any trinity number, statistically, is ca. 30%.
Her 1900 address: 170 1/2 3rd. “Mrs. Adward-Cramer” was noted to be at “A.O.U.N. Building” in 1903, and as “Minnie Adward” at “4 Lewis Building” for 1907-8.
Numerology of their “trinity” names: 15 [=6] letters and 12 [=3] letters, respectively. Notice that Carrie Cornelius’s names started with the letter ‘C.’
(Advertisement.) “He Heals Humanity by the Simple Laying on of Hands. Hermann the Healer has Effected many Miraculous Cures in Salem.” Statesman, Friday May 22, 1896. p. 5.
Ibid. p. 7.
Ibid. May 15, 1896, p. 5.
“Oregon, The Dumping Ground.” Sentinel, 2(1) (January 1894), p. 24-26.
“One Medical School for Portland.” Sentinel, August 1895, 3(8): 297-306.
“The Portland Hospital.” Sentinel (October 1895) 3(10): 408.
Ibid. May 15, 1896, p. 5.
“Oregon, The Dumping Ground!