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Dr. Stephen Smith

Born: Feb. 19, 1823 in Onondaga County, N

Died: Aug. 26, 1922 in Montour Falls, NY



Dr. Stephen Smith was the second doctor to examine the exhumed skull of Charles Collins one year after his death.  He too concluded that Collins was murdered and did not commit suicide. 


Dr. Smith was educated in the public schools and at Cortland academy, Homer, New York. After attending lectures at the Medical College at Geneva and Buffalo, New York, he graduated at the New York college of physicians and surgeons in 1850 and became a resident physician at Bellevue hospital. Afterward he settled in New York city. He became an attending surgeon to Bellevue in 1854, was professor of surgery there in 1861-'5, and was then transferred to the chair of anatomy. Since 1874 he has been professor of clinical surgery in the medical department of the University of New York. He became joint editor with Dr. Samuel S. Purple of the "New York Medical Journal" in 1853. Its sole editor in 1857, he changed it into a weekly and published it under the name of the " Medical Times." In 1860 he continued in its charge until 1863 when the paper was discontinued. He was among the first to propose the organization of Bellevue medical college and was a member of its faculty for ten years. It was mainly due to his efforts that the Medical journal library was established. He made a thorough examination of the sanitary condition of New York in 1865, and presented to the legislature an official report of his investigations, which was published (New York, 1865). He was appointed by the governor a health commissioner in 1868 and reappointed by the mayor in 1870 and in 1872. He was chiefly instrumental in founding the American health association in that year, and was its president for four terms. He was also active in organizing a National board of health, of which he was appointed a member by the president in 1879. In 1882-'8 he was state commissioner of lunacy, during which service he published six voluminous reports on the condition of the insane and of the institutions for their cure. Since 1880 he has been a member of the State board of charities. He has tied the common iliac artery for aneurysm, and was the second in this country to perform Symes's amputation at the ankle-joint. He is a member of various medical societies, and has published "Monograph of Seventy-five Cases of Rupture of the Urinary Bladder," which was highly commended in this country and abroad (1851), "Hand-Book of Surgical Operations" (1863), and " Principles of Operative Surgery" (1879).


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