American Medical Biographies/Hyde, Frederick

Hyde, Frederick (1807–1887).

Frederick Hyde, surgeon, was born at Whitney's Point, New York, January 27, 1807. His ancestors came from England and settled in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1660; his grandfather, Caleb Hyde, and greatuncles, Elijah, Eliphalet and Ebenezer, took an active part in the Revolution and Caleb Hyde, who had moved to Lenox, Massachusetts, went to live in central New York, where he became major-general of the militia and later a member of the state senate. Caleb Hyde's thirteenth child was Ebby Hyde, at different times farmer, merchant and keeper of a tavern; he was father of the subject of our sketch.

Frederick Hyde got what education he could from such facilities as his neighborhood afforded, and before he was fifteen was teaching school, and acquiring knowledge to enable him to study medicine. He began with Dr. Hiram Moe, of Lansing, New York, and continued with Dr. Horace Bronson of Virgil, New York, then, after a course of lectures at the College of Physicians of Western New York, he was able, in 1833, to take out a county license to practise; two further courses gave him a diploma in 1836. He began to practise in partnership with Dr. Miles Goodyear of Cortland, New York, who had graduated with the first medical class of Yale University, and was a man of large influence in his community; his daughter, Elvira, became the wife of Dr. Hyde, in 1838.

In 1845 the two physicians opened a private school of anatomy and surgery, and conducted dissections and gave demonstrationes before the students. In 1853 Hyde was appointed professor of obstetrics and diseases of children and medical jurisprudence, in Geneva Medical College, and in 1855 he made the agreeable change to the chair of surgery. When Geneva Medical College was transferred to the University of Syracuse, which created a Medical Department, Hyde became dean of the new faculty, and continued his services as professor. He was instrumental in bringing about a graded form of instruction in medicine, and "in securing for medical students primarily, and for the protection of the people as a consequence, a higher scale of education and a better type of practitioners" (Wey). His interest in the advancement of medical education was further shown in an address as president of the State Medical Society (1865), when he laid stress on the accountability of physicians to their pupils. He was a member of the American Medical Association, from its organization in 1849; was elected twice to the presidency of the Medical Society of the County of Cortland, and was president of the Medical Association of Central New York.

In 1884 he was delegate to the British Medical Association. He was one of the vice-presidents of the section of Military and Naval Surgery at the International Medical Congress, held at Washington in 1887, and read a paper on "Treatment of Gunshot Wounds in Joints" —he was appointed to the same position in the meeting of the Congress to be held in Berlin in 1890. He was president of the State Normal School at Cortland, and president of the Cortland Savings Bank.

His papers include "Fractures of the Cranium"; "Hernia and Its Complications"; "The Taxis in Strangulated Hernia"; "Embolism and Thrombosis"; "Treatment of Wounds with or without Antiseptics"; "Some notes of 267 Cases of Dislocated Hip, occurring in the State of New York."

Dr. Hyde's death was caused by devotion to professional duties; he performed a surgical operation after a railroad accident and remained with his patient several hours, exposed to cold and without food, and returning home, he was immediately called to attend a neighbor. An illness followed from which he failed to rally; he died on October 15, 1887.

A son was Dr. Miles Goodyear Hyde, physician and author (1842– ), of Cortland, A. B. and A. M. of Yale University, and M. D. Geneva Medical College.

Trans. Med. Soc., New York, Philadelphia, 1889, 365–373.