United States Marine Hospital
Next to the department of pensions, the United States Marine Hospital service is the most valuable and important of any of the Government beneficiary institutions. The thousands of sailors who are annually in need of medical treatment and hospital care have the satisfaction of knowing that they are not dependent upon bounty, but have paid for the service they require. The present hospital in the vicinity of Chicago is one of the largest, best appointed and most capably managed in the country.
In 1778, the first act was passed by Congress for the relief of sick and disabled seamen by the institution of hospitals expressly for them. In 1790, it was slightly modified and improved, and in 1843 it was made more comprehensive in its scope, by including as its beneficiaries seamen who were employed in the coasting trade, the designation coasting trade being construed so as to include those who * were navigating rivers and inland waters. The hospital fund, from which the expenses of the various marine hospitals are paid, is derived from a tax of forty cents per month levied upon all seamen employed "on board registered steamers and other vessels belonging to the United States, engaged in foreign trade; and all steamers, and other vessels, including boats, rafts and flats, licensed to carry on the coasting trade, except canal-boats without masts or steam power." The first Marine Hospital of Chicago was built upon the old parade-ground of Fort Dearborn reservation, the ground being set apart for this purpose about the year 1848, the building and enclosure being completed March 15, 1852, and first occupied in May of that year. Up to the fiscal year ending June 30, 1861, the total amount paid on account of the hospital was $57,712, and during the war the rule, that none but sailors should be received there, was impinged, for patriotic purposes, by the admission and treatment of soldiers. The boundaries of the old hospital lot were Michigan Avenue on the west, the Illinois Central Railroad on the east, a part of the Government reservation on the south, and the river and dockway on the north. Work on the building was delayed in the summer of 1849, owing to the prevalence of the cholera, but the basement was finished in the fall of that year. J. D. Webster, the harbor engineer, was the disbursing agent, and John H. Kinzie acted as banker for the Government.
On the Congressional appropriations for the year ending June 30, 1852, there was an item of $4,712 for the completion of the Marine Hospital at Chicago. The hospital was formally turned over to Jacob Russell, collector of the port, May 15, 1852. It was mainly due to the efforts of the Hon. John Wentworth in the Congress of 1848 that the first appropriation for the building of the hospital was secured. On September 5, 1864, the hospital and site was sold at auction to James F. Joy, for the Michigan Central Railroad, for $132,000.
On September, 1867, the present hospital at Lake View was commenced. The old hospital building was destroyed in the great fire of 1871. During the maintenance of the hospital, over seven thousand patients were treated. The hospital was organized by Dr. Ralph N. Isham, who had charge of it during General Grant's administration. The various physicians in charge were Drs. William B. Herrick, Charles A. Helmuth, Daniel Brainard, Brockholst McVickar, Daniel Brainard (2d term) and Ralph N. Isham. In 1868, Congress appointed a commission to select a site for a new hospital. An available site was secured at Lake View, on high ground overlooking the lake, and the Government purchased ten acres here. Work on the new building was begun in 1869, and it was completed in 1872, at a cost of $452,000. Competent judges say the building could not now be reproduced for the same money. The structure comprises a central building and two wings, all four stones and basement in height. The entire building is built of Lemont stone, and handsome stone porches grace the various fronts. The main building, which is 350 x 60 feet in area, contains the offices, executive departments, dispensary, and administrative department. The wings each contain three wards, accommodating twenty patients to each ward, and they are thirty feet wide, interior measurement. The building was re-fitted in 1879, under the supervision of Dr. Truman W. Miller, at a cost of $45,000.
BROCKHOLST McVICKAR, M.D., was born at New York City in the year 1810, son of Archibald McVickar. His early education was obtained from private tutors under direction of his father, a man of learning; his academical tuition at Columbia College (Reverend and Professor John McVickar, of this college, was his uncle), and his medical training and diploma as doctor of medicine from Fairfield Medical College. After receiving his degree as Doctor of Medicine, he commenced practice at Trenton, N. J., entering the office of Dr. Guiteau, and while there married Miss Anna Sophia Mappa, the descendant of an old Knickerbocker family. After practicing in various eastern cities for some time, he came to Chicago in 1848, and entered into partnership with Dr. Philip Maxwell, and subsequently, in the year 1850, was associated with Dr. Levi D. Boone. Dr. McVickar was the first city physician under the primitive board of health, was surgeon of the Marine Hospital, surgeon of the Army Hospital, at Chicago, in 1863, surgeon of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, and member of the board of health for a number of years. He died at Buffalo, N. Y., the birthplace of his son, Brockholst L. McVickar, on October 14, 1883.
WILLIAM J. MAYNARD, M.D., was born at Ann Arbor, Mich., August 16, 1844. He received his primary education in the public schools adjacent to his birthplace, and subsequently entered the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and graduated from its classical department in 1865. He then entered the Department of Medicine of that University, from which he was graduated in 1867; supplementing this with a year's study in Rush Medical College, from which institution he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1869. He then engaged in general practice in this city, giving special attention to diseases of the skin. From 1869 to 1871 he was resident physician to the Marine Hospital. He is now Professor of Dermatology in the Woman's Medical College; attending physician to the Central Free Dispensary; a member of the Chicago Medical Society, of the Illinois State Medical Society, and of the West Side Pathological Society. He was married in December, 1873, to Miss Maria Wicker, daughter of Joel C. Wicker, of Chicago, by whom he had one child--John Wicker Maynard. Mrs. Maynard died in August, 1875. In September, 1883, Dr. Maynard married Miss Nettie Hadley, of Albany, N. Y.
TRUMAN WASHINGTON MILLER, M.D., surgeon of the Marine Hospital Service, is a native of Seneca, N. Y., and was born on March 2, 1840. He received his early education in the preparatory and high schools of Waterloo, N. Y. In 1857, he matriculated at Hobart College, at Geneva, N. Y., remaining through the junior year, and then attending two full courses in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City, and in 1862 he graduated as M.D. from the Geneva Medical College, New York. At the breaking out of the civil war, he entered the regular army as a medical cadet from New York State. He occupied this position for one year. In 1862, was appointed Acting Assistant Surgeon, U.S.A., and assigned to duty with the Army of the Potomac, with which he remained until after the battle of the Wilderness, when he was transferred to Chicago on account of ill-health, and assigned to duty as post-surgeon and examining surgeon, which offices he filled until the close of the war. He was then (1865) re-appointed examining surgeon for the recruiting service of the army, which position he held for four years. During this period he also was physician for Cook County, for two years medical inspector of the Board of Health of Chicago, and medical director of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Chicago. In 1873, he was appointed assistant surgeon of the United States Marine Hospital Service, and in 1877, was promoted surgeon and assigned to duty as surgeon-in-charge of the Marine Hospital at this city. In 1878, he was made medical director for the northwest of the Continental Life Insurance Company, of Hartford, Conn , and consulting surgeon of this district for the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York. From 1873 to 1878, he was surgeon of the 1st Regiment, Illinois National Guards. Dr. Miller is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and in 1880-81 was surgeon-general of the same for the Northwest Encampments. He now fills the positions of surgeon for the Western Indiana Railroad, Chicago & Grand Trunk Railroad, North Chicago City Railroad, one of the surgeons of the Cook County Hospital, surgeon-in-chief of the Maurice Porter Memorial Hospital for Children, and surgeon-in-chief of the Augustana General Hospital. He is also a member of different City, State and American medical associations, and one of the judicial council of the latter. Dr. Miller came to Chicago in 1866, and has resided in Lake View since that date. On April 15, 1864, he married Miss Leonora Edson, daughter of Robert Edson, one of the early settlers of Lake View, and has two children-- Emily E. and Flora E.
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A selection of marine information and illustrations from this magnificent three volume history of Chicago.