History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Joseph C. Hughes
JOSEPH C. HUGHES was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, April 1, 1821. He completed his collegiate course at Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, and was a graduate in medicine of the University of Maryland. In 1845 he located at Mount Vernon, Ohio, and five years later became demonstrator in anatomy in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, then the Medical Department of the State University. In 1851 he was elected to fill the chair of anatomy and the following year became dean of the faculty. In 1853 he was elected to the chair of surgery which he held for many years. For three sessions he performed double duty, lecturing often three times a day and to him is largely due the upbuilding of the institution in early days. Dr. Hughes also founded a medical and surgical infirmary and an eye and ear institute in connection with the college and under his management. At the beginning of the Civil War, Dr. Hughes was appointed Surgeon-General for Iowa, a position he held until peace was established. He organized and had personal charge of the army hospitals at Keokuk which were among the largest in the west, having as many as 2,000 patients within the wards at one time. Dr. Hughes was also president of the Board of Medical Examiners during the war. In 1866 he was elected one of the vice-presidents of the American Medical Association and was its delegate to the British Association for the Promotion of Science, the Provincial Medical Association of Great Britain and the American Medical Society of Paris. He was twice president of the State Medical Society of Iowa and for a time editor of the Iowa Medical Journal.