Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/179

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MEACHAM


157


MEACHEM


M.D., at the University of Virginia in 1889 and settled to practice in Salt Lalce City. But his bent was towards bacteriology and in 1894 he earnestly studied this and surgical pathology at Johns Hopkins University, publish- ing a number of articles, and on return was made chief-surgeon of the Holy Cross Hospital, Utah.

In April, 1900 (?) he went to Manila and was assigned chief of the health department and afterwards chief med- ical inspector.

He instituted the campaign against bubonic plague, the extermination of rats, the fungus treatment for the extermination of locusts, the virus in- oculation for plague prevention and many other projects.

In the report of the Honorable the Secretary of the Interior for 1902, in connection with the epidemic of bubonic plague in Manila, it was stated: "Especial credit is due to chief Health Inspector Meacham for the ingenuity which he displayed in devising means for the destruction of rats and for the tireless energy with which he devoted himself to se- curing the adoption of such means."

On March 20, 1902, Asiatic cholera appeared in Manila and Maj. Meacham's efforts from this time up to the date of his death were largely expended in its suppression. He was taken to the hospital, sick, some time in April, although he had been ailing for several weeks before. He was supposed at the hospital to be suffering from gas- tritis.

I did not see Maj. Meacham when he was sick. It is stated that he had been in bed at the hospital for several days, had got out of bed to walk a- cross the floor and had dropped back dead. This was on April 14. I perform- ed the autopsy and found advanced fatty degeneration of the heart muscle and coronary artery disease. His heart is now preserved in the Patholo- gical Museum of our Laboratory.

He had borne the brunt of the fight


against bubonic plague, and from the beginning of cholera had displayed tireless energy in his efforts to combat the new epidemic. Although suffering from a high fever, he had for several days con- tinued to expose himself to the intense heat of the sun by day and had worked in his office until late at night, keeping his colleagues in ignorance as to his true con- dition. He gave up only when unable to rise from his bed, and died three days later of heart failure, the result of utter exhaustion from long continued overwork. Dr. Meacham was an able administrator, and was endowed with the faculty, as valuable as it was unusual, of discharging disagreeable duties in such a way as to win not only the.respect but the regard of those most injuriously affected. He sac- rificed his life in the discharge of duty, and his death was an irreparable loss. I quote from the ministerial report.

Dr. Meacham was married, but his wife was not in the PhiUppines at the time of his death. She was on her way to the Islands at the time he died and arriv- ed in Manila a few days after, only to learn she was too late.

He was buried in the National Ceme- tery, Arlington, Virginia, and the class of '87 (Yale) erected a tablet to his memory in the Memorial Vestibule of the University.

Personal Communications from Dr. Richard P. Strong. Department of the Interior, Manila.

Meacham, John Goldsborongh (1823-

1896). The son of the Rev. Thomas and Eliza- beth Meachem of Axbridge, Somerset, England, he was born there May 27, 182.3. In 1831 his parents came to the United States and the boy was educated at Richmond Academy New York. In 1840, he began to study under Dr. Harvey Jewett at Richmond New York and attended lectures at Geneva Medical Col- lege one year, and the following year at Castleton Medical College, from which he graduated in 1843, and began to practice the same year at Weathersfield Springs,