Thursday, November 02, 2006

William Cardwell

So, who was William Cardwell? The Biographical Files have information on J.R. Cardwell (dentist), and the Historical Image Collection has a picture of H.W. Cardwell (alumnus). Nothing on William.

Let us turn to a History of Medicine Librarian's best friend, Olof Larsell (who undoubtedly would have recognized the man in our painting yesterday). The index to The Doctor in Oregon not only lists William Cardwell, but shows that he appears on six of its pages.


William B. Cardwell was born in Illinois in 1841, and began his medical practice here in Portland in 1869. He had come here with his parents in 1849, and after schooling at the Portland Academy, he went on to study with J.C. Hawthorne, director of the Oregon Hospital for the Insane. Cardwell went away to medical school (Bellevue Hospital Medical College) and then returned to Portland after a stint as government surgeon on an Indian reservation. In addition to his private practice, he taught physiology and hygiene at Willamette University Medical School from 1878 until his death in 1883. Cardwell was also a member of the Oregon State Medical Society from 1875 to 1883 and held several offices in it.

Of Cardwell, Larsell writes: "While he died at the early age of forty-two, he left an impress on the medical life of Portland in his period that was of permanent value."

His portrait, a visible sign of the high esteem in which he was held, also has permanent value; perhaps some day funds can be found to repair and clean the canvas. Until then, we'll keep him safe and dry in the archives awaiting his return to glory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am looking for any information that I can get on J.R. Cardwell, especially his signature to authenticate one that I have on an item. Any help would be apprciated.

Thanks,
david.w.gibson@earthlink.net