Friday, January 13, 2012

A Sad Ending to a Remarkable Story

The last installment of the tale of Simeon Josephi. In his own words:


The history of a number of institutions devoted to the art of healing is told by Dr. Josephi in the second of the two installments of his narration, he is speaking from first-hand knowledge of the inception and growth.

"When I came to Portland on February 4, 1867, I had no intention of staying here more than six months," said Dr. Josephi, when I interviewd him recently...

"I came as a bookkeeper and clerk for Dss. Hawthorne and Loryea, who were operationg the Oregon hospital for the insane on Asylum avenue, now Hawthorne avenue, in East Portland. Before I had been there long I began reading medical works, and almost before I knew it I changed my life plans and in place of being a merchant or a businessnam I decided to be a physician. I graduated from what is now the medical department of the University of California, in 1877 and became assistant physician at the hospital for the insane in East Portland. When Dr. Hawthone died, in February, 1881, I became medical superintendent, and continued in this position till 1882, when the superintendent and continued in this position until 1883 when the patients were moved to Salem and Dr. Carpenter became superintendent of the state insane asylum. He resigned in 1886 and I was appointed by the board, consisting of Govenor Z. F. moody, Ed Hirsch, treasurer, and Rocky P. Earhart, secretary of state, as his successor. I married Miss Hannah M. Stone on April 27, 1871. I resigned in July, 1887, to resume my medical practice in Portland.

For several years prior to taking up the practice of medicine I was engaged in business. I studied commercial law, was an expert bookkeeper, and was familiar with business practice. I found that this commericail training was invaluable to me in many ways. For example, I have served as treasurer of the Good Samaritan hospital for the past 36 years, and you can readily understand how useful the knowledge of business I acquired has been in this position. Some day you must get a story from Miss Loveridge. I believe she is the only woman at the head of a Protestant hospital as large as the Good Samaritan in the United States. She came here from Bellevue training school to be head of the nurses'training school. When Miss Wakefield, the superintendent of Good Samaritan hospital died, Miss Loveridge succeeded her.

I was the first dean of the school of medicine of the University of Oregon and I have served as dean for 25 years. Here is a letter that I value greatly from President P. L. Campbell of the University of Oregon, in which he notifies me that on June 16, 1924, the degree of doctor of laws was to be conferred on me.

For many years I was a member and secretary of the Port of Portland, I resigned on February 14,1896. I was president of the Medical College association when it was started here in Portland. The faculy of the school organized a corporation to erect a building. We borrowed on our personal note $1000.00 from the First National bank with which to put up a building on the grounds now occupied by the Good Samaritan hopsital. The lecture room was below, and on the upper floor we had a dissection laboratory. Matthew P. Deady was president of the board of regents and professor of medical jurisprudence. I was the dean of the faculty, and among the other members of the faculty were Dr. Curtis Strong who was secretary; Dr. Holt C. Wilson, Dr. Otto S. Binswanger, Dr. K. A. J. MacKenzie, Dr. A. C. Panton, Dr. J. F. Bell, Dr. M. A. Flinn, Dr. G. M. Wells, Dr. Henry E. Jones, Dr. A. J. Geisy, Dr. G. B. Eaton, Dr. W. H. Saylor, Dr. Richard Nunn, Dr. Thomas B. Carey and Dr. Arthur D. Bevan, who is now the head of the department of surgery of the Rush Medical college. Before becoming dean of the medical department of the University of Oregon, I was on the faculty of the medical college of Willamette University. In 1878, shortly before I started practice in Portland, I became professor of genito-urinary and surgical anatomy. The medical college at Willamette University moved from Salem to Portland in 1878. They were located on Fourth street between Morrison and Yamhill, but in 1885 they erected a building on the corner of 14th and C streets. when I became a member of the faculty, Drs. L. L. Rowland, Sharlpes, Peyton, Watkins, Glisan, Harvey, Puummer, (who, by the by was dean of the faculty), Rex, Framer, Wilson, Alden and Deady were members of the faculty.

In 1891 we organized a corporation, of which I was a member, to erect a building for the University of Oregon medical school at the corner of Lovejoy and 23rd streets. When the school burned, we sold the ground and moved the school to Marquam Hill. I have served as treasurer of the Good Samaritan hospital since 1890.

Mayor George H. Williams appointed me a member of the water commission of Portland, Govenor Moody appointed me a member of the state board of pardons, and right here is a good place to say that I believe the pardoning power should be in the hands of the board of control in place of being vested in the governor. I served two terms in the state senate, 1889 and 1901. I also served as a first lieutenant in the medical reserve corps of the United States army. After lecturing on various medical subjects for 40 years in the Willamette University and later in the University of Oregon, I finally retired and became emeritus dean and professor of nervous and mental diseases of the University of Oregon.

For many years I have been senior warden at St. David's church. I am a member and ex-president of the Portland Medical society. In fact, I was one of the organizers and served as the first president. I also helped organize the Portland Academy of Medicine and am a fellow of the American Medical association and a member of the American Protestant Hospital association.

Three of our five children are living. Our daughter Hannah Louise Josephi, for the past ten years head of the social service department of the New York hospital, is spending her vacation with us now. Our daughter Mary Ellen married George C. Durham. They live in Portland. Our daughter Rachel Frances married Colonel George William Helms. He is ececutive officer of the infantry school at Fort Benning, Ga. Our son, Hawthorne M. Josephi, while a student at Standord, was working during his vacation for the Portland General Electric Company. He was 18 years old. On August 16, 1899, he rode his bicycle home and was caught in a hard rain. He went to the bathroom to take a bath and found the electric light was not working properly. Standing on an iron register in his wet clothes, he attempted to fix the light, and was instantly killed. We have never recovered from the grief of his death."

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