American Medical Biographies/Hutchinson, Edwin

Hutchinson, Edwin (1840–1887).

There is a piece of very concrete biography embodied in St. Elizabeth's Hospital at Utica, New York, a biography, in short, of one who, in spite of personal ill-health and short years, was long remembered for his ability as an ophthalmologist and as a founder of the hospital mentioned.

The son of Holmes Hutchinson of Utica, he was educated in James Lombard's School, the Utica Academy, and at Yale, afterwards studying medicine in the Long Island College Hospital Medical School, and graduating M. D. from the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons, in 1866.

Like most young men at that time he went to the war and was successively surgeon to the third Maryland Volunteer Infantry and the one hundred and thirty-seventh New York Volunteers, taking charge in the latter of Gen. Geary's hospital, under Gen. Sherman, in his famous march through Georgia.

At the close of the war he settled down in New York, and became known for his surgery, especially in eye disease, though his right forearm, through an early accident, was almost immovably fixed.

He recognized the need of a hospital for the proper treatment of those who could pay, and those who could not, so, with his friend, Dr. J. E. West, an embryo hospital was established, to grow gradually larger and attract students because of its founder's skill.

In 1886 he married Miss Christine Rosswog, and found time to write valuable articles on his specialities to the American Journal of Insanity and the New York State Medical Transactions. But during the last four years of his life he had to go south every winter, and succumbed at last to kidney disease, in the hospital he had founded. Only a few days before his death he joined the Roman Catholic church, though reared as a Protestant. "I loved him dearly," writes his biographer, "for he had an amiability, a tenderness, a love of all things beautiful—rare among men."

Trans. Med. Soc. of New York, 1888, Dr. T. H. Pooley.