American Medical Biographies/Hall, Randolph N.

Hall, Randolph N. (1844–1900).

Randolph N. Hall, the first to operate on the vermiform appendix in the United States, was born at Eagleville, Ashtabula County, Ohio, on April 2, 1844, graduated at Rush Medical College in 1882, and died of apoplexy on December 30, 1900.

He took his M. D. at the medical college of Keokuk, Iowa, and after practising in Iowa and Kansas came to Chicago, where he practised for twenty years. During the Civil War he acted first as drummer boy in the battle of Shiloh, but was captured and spent eight months in prison. When exchanged he fought through the Mississippi campaign and afterwards in the Veteran Corps of the Army of the Tennessee and underwent a second imprisonment. In Chicago he was president of the Pathological Society; lecturer in the College of Physicians and Surgeons on anatomy and surgery and professor and president of the Illinois Medical College.

He performed the first operation on the appendix in the United States (the third on record), in May, 1886, and published it the following month in the New York Medical Journal. The patient, a boy of seventeen, had had a reducible inguinal hernia since childhood.

This claim, if the qualifications are borne in mind, seems to be fully justified, for Krönlein's case, it will be remembered, did not recover, and that of Symonds was not performed for perforative peritonitis, nor did he resect the appendix. Hall's operation was undertaken for the relief of an incarcerated strangulated hernia, and the lesion of the appendix was discovered incidentally, so that while the first to succeed in extirpating a perforated appendix, it yet remains for us to discover who executed with intention the first successful operation for disease in that organ.

Chicago Med. Recorder, 1901, vol. xx, p. 202.