Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/210

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MONROE


1S4


MONROE


Monroe, Hollis (17S9-1S(')1). Monroe, Nahum Parker (,1808-1873).

Of Dr. Philip Monroe, father of HoUis, I know only tliat ho practised in Surry, Now Ilampshiro, not far from Koono. lie must have l)eon a man of some moans for his son HolUs, born in 1789, graduated at the Yale Medical School in 1819, probably attracted by the fame of Dr. Nathan Smith, one of the groat minds of American medicine. Hollis went early to Belfast as assistant to a physician who during an epidemic of small-i)()x had more than he could properl}' attend to. Arriving there and doing his share as assistant Dr. Hollis Munroe found suffi- cient patronage to hold him firmly to Belfast the rest of his life. He was fond of botany, first as a study allied to medi- cine and later on as something interesting for children. From this point of view he lectured often on botany to the schools of Belfast. He was also much inclined to natural history and spoke publicly thereon at the local lyceums, then the center of New England cultivation. He was very fond of talking, but he would not tell stories. You had to talk of something profitable or it had no interest for him.

He was rather of an ascetic cast of mind. He was careless about money in the extreme. Paying his own bills he never seemed to have money beyond. At times he would carry his love of silver to the extreme, bearing about with him pocketsful of the heavy stuff. " You could see it" he said. Once he went to the bank to borrow money and they asked him why he did not spend what he had on deposit in the bank. He rephed that he was actually not aware that he had any there. He was a member of the Maine Medical Society and of its succes- sor, the Maine Medical Association, but did not often appear at their pubUc meet- ing. He rarely wrote medical papers. He devoted himself to his practice and his patients, riding thousands of miles to care for them in all sorts of weather.

He and his brother lived alongside of one another very amicably for several


years. In fact it was by Pliilip's advice that tlio younger brother settled in Bel- fast. As for Dr. Hollis he worked hard and late, grew old, caught lung fovor aft(M' exposure amidst his outlying cases, and died from congestion of the lungs Juno 21, 1801, aged sixty-one, leaving behind the remembrance of a worthy life in medicine, and a good image of his medical father in New Hampshire.

If Dr. Hollis were reserved and avoid- ing publicity, his brother Nahum Parker was the reverse; for he shone in the light of publicity and politics all his life. Bom January 4, 1808, nineteen years after his brother, the youngest and well beloved child of Philip Monroe, Nahum Parker studied medicine in Belfast with his brother, and graduated at the Albany Medical School in 1839. Moving to Belfast, he was soon helped into abund- ance of medical work by his brother who had been twenty years in the same field and knew everybody. While Hollis was purely a medical practitioner, Nahum Parker devoted himself as much as he could to surgery, and soon became well known in that branch of medicine. He is said to have been able to do all the operations of the day. In 1848 he married Miss Sarah Ann Johnson, of Belfast, and had two children.

From that time on to the breaking out of the Civil War he was held in high esteem by a large clientele and by his associates in medicine. With the on- coming of the war he was made surgeon of the Twentieth Maine Regiment, and was present at many battles, including Fredericksburg. After a year of active service, during which he had a serious attack of erysipelas, he was compelled to resign. On returning home he was called to the capital where for a long time he was of the greatest service medi- cally to the troops. He was made sur- geon-general of Maine, and among other public offices was a representative to the Legislature, doing good service for medi- cine there. He was a very distinguished member of the Maine Medical Association. Although naturally of great strength