DAVENPORT PAST AND PRESENT
SCOTT COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY.
Notice having been given through the public prints, that a meeting would be held for the purpose of organizing a Medical Society for the County of Scott, nine regular members of the profession met at the office of Drs. Witherwax and Carter, (Third street, west of Brady,) on the 18th of October, 1856. Dr. Jas. Thistle presided, and Dr. Tomson acted as Secretary. Committees were appointed to report upon the several subjects of Constitution and By-Laws, Code of Ethics, and Fee Bill, and the meeting adjourned to meet ten days subsequently. On the 28th of October, thirteen physicians met at the office of Drs. Fountain and Adler, (Second street, between Brady and Main,) received the reports of the respective Committees, adopted a Constitution and By-Laws, as well as the Cod of Ethics recommended by the American Medical Association, and preceeded to elect the following permanent officers, to serve for one year:
President, Dr. Egbert S. Barrows; Vice President, Dr. Lyman Carpenter; Secretary, Dr. J. J. Tomson; Treasurer, Dr. James Thistle, and Censors, Drs. T. J. Saunders, Jno. M. Adler, and J. W. H. Baker.
Although regular meetings four times a year had been agreed upon, calling this the Anniversary, yet the necessity seemed to exist for a special meeting, and the members agreed to meet again in two weeks. The Society convened in the Young Mens' Literary Association Hall, (Post Office Building,) on the 11th of November, Dr. Carpenter, Vice President, occupying the Chair. At this meeting a Fee Bill was adopted, and the members generally signed the Constitution. January 27th, 1857, the first regular quarterly meeting took place at the office of Drs. Fountain and Adler, the president taking the Chair. A resolution was adopted, and a committee appointed relative to forming a union with the Rock Island County Medical Society. Drs. Barrows and Saunders were elected delegates to the American Medical Association, to convene in Nashville, Tenn., the succeeding May. The second quarterly meeting took place in the Council Chamber, at the corner of Brady and Third streets, April 28th, the President filling the Chair. The members of the Rock Island Medical Society were admitted as Honorary members, and entitled to all privileges, save voting. Dr. Patrick Gregg, former and first President of that Association, read an eloquent and instructive address, by special invitation. Dr. Baker was appointed to deliver an essay at the next, or a future meeting. Drs. Fountain, Thistle, Carter, Pelton, and Barrows, were appointed delegates to the State Society, to meet at Iowa City the following June. The third quarterly meeting met at the Council Chamber, July 28th, the Vice President in the Chair. The annual meeting convened at the same place, October 27th, Dr. C. C. Parry presiding at the morning, and the Vice President at the afternoon session. Resolutions were adopted, making the annual meeting to occur the last Tuesday in January, and postponing the election of officers until that period, and continuing the existing organization. A committee, consisting of Drs. Carter, Thistle, and Adler, was appointed to revise the Constitution and By-Laws. The annual meeting assembled at the same place January 26th, 1858, Dr. Baker, the same gentleman in the Chair. Officers for the year were elected as follows:
President, Dr. Th. J. Saunders; Vice President, Dr. James Thistle; Secretary, Dr. A. H. Ames; Treasurer, Dr. J. J. Tomson; Censors, Drs. J. W. H. Baker, E. J. Fountian, and Jno. M. Adler. Dr. Baker read an Essay, agreeably to appointment. Dr. C. C. Parry was appointed Essaylist for the next meeting.
The number of members at the present time is about twenty, three-fourths of whom reside in the city of Davenport. The object of the Society is "to promote the diffusion of true Medical Science among its members, and to elevate the character of the profession in the community." At the various meetings many interesting cases have been brought forward and discussed, calculated to impart instruction, and a general basis of action has been instituted, the effect of which will be, to define the rights and duties of practitioners agreeably to the rules and regulations laid down by the highest medical authority of the country. Among a newly settled people, baneful irregularities are apt to be imputed to the profession generally, unless there is an organization, zealous in its guardianship of the portals of Medicine. Without there is a charmed line over which mere empiries cannot pass, and which is constantly kept visible to the public eye, the votaries of Science have to suffer depreciation by being classed with irresponsible practitioners, noted only for the excess of their ignorance, and the audacity of their pretensions. Already are the effects to be seen, of a close combination on the part of those properly qualified for taking upon themselves the responsibility for practising the healing art. Uniformity of action, courteous relations, and a keen desire to promote the general welfare, are apparent among the members, and the prospect now is, that the medical corps of Davenport and vicinity will stand at no distant day pre-eminent in the valley of the Upper Mississippi.