Dr. Ephraim McDowell

taken from the
Lexington Kentucky Herald
February 4, 1906

Eight Physicians in the Legislature Will Urge His Name
~~~~~~~~~~
Known the world over as
"Father of Ovariotomy."
Prohibitionists Deluge Committee considering county unit bill with letters

Frankfort, Kentucky Feb. 3 - Kentucky physicians want a representative in the National Hall of Fame and will urge upon the Legislature the selection of one of their profession for this distinguished honor at the hands of the State.  There is only one name considered - Dr. Ephraim McDowell, known the world over as the "Father of Ovariotomy."

There are eight physicians in the General Assembly and all will be solid behind the movement to accord this honor to this pioneer of his profession.  The State Medical Association and every other similar organization in the State has endorsed the demand for recognition.

Dr. U. V. Williams, of this city, one of the oldest and most prominent physicians in this section of the State, says of the achievements of Dr. McDowell:

Civilization Owes Debt.

"In selecting the most deserving and to whom most of honor and gratitude is due from the people of the State of Kentucky, no name among all the illustrious sons of the proud old commonwealth stands above that of Dr. Ephraim McDowell of Danville, Kentucky.  To him is due the greatest honor, not only from Kentuckians, but from all mothers, wives and daughters in this broad land, for the benefit of his brilliant achievement has reached the entire habitable globe.  His brilliant mind, delicate touch, and steady nerve, his originality of conception and execution of a capital and hitherto unheard of operation restored a sufferer of an incurable (otherwise) malady, since which time thousands of thousands have been restored to health and happiness.  Wherever woman suffers, wherever her name is revered, wherever civilization reaches the name of McDowell is honored.

The Operation

"In 1809 Dr. McDowell successfully removed a tumor weighing 22 1/2 Lbs from Mrs. Crawford, of Green county, who lived for thirty years afterward.  Of course this was before the discovery of anesthetics. Chloroform nor ether were then known.  This operation was the first of the kind ever performed, and such was the prejudice and excitement awakened by news of Dr. McDowell's intentions, that a crowd assembled outside the house in Danville, and the wildest threats were made against Dr. McDowell's life in the event his exploration into the unknown field proved fatal.  Mrs. Crawford's son afterward became the Mayor of Louisville.

Dr. McDowell afterward performed the same operation thirteen times and all other capital operations of his day.  He was born in Rockbridge county Virginia November 11, 1771, and died at Danville, June 25, 1830, where his remains rest under a handsome monument erected by subscription from women all over the country.  Dr. McDowell married Sarah, a daughter of Isaac Shelby, Kentucky's first Governor.

There is no brighter name on the pages of medical history and none more deserving or homage and admiration than that of Dr. Ephraim McDowell.  The Legislature will honor itself and the whole State, indeed, all woman kind, by selecting Dr. McDowell as one of Kentucky's distinguished sons whose statue shall go in the Hall of Fame."

The physicians who are members of the General Assembly are:  Senators Grady, Hogan, Nell, Owens and Watson and Representatives Paynter, Scott and Smith.  All have pledged themselves to use their best efforts to obtain this recognition of Kentucky's greatest physician.


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