Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/356

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at the ago of sevonty-two, of clironic bowel trouble, complicated with nephri- tis, the foundation for which was doubt- less laid dnring army service, and aggra- vated l\y unremitting toil.

He contributed little to the medical press, but during eighteen years of work as secretary of the State Board of Health he wrote thousands of letters to physi- cians and members of local boards of health, urging and directing organization for intelligent sanitation, and aiding in mitigating and preventing the spread of epidemics. These, and the editing and writing for the annual reports of the board, constituted no small contribution to the progress of the highest branch of medical science.

J. S. R.

J. Am, M. Assoc, Chicago, 1906, xlvii.

Reiter, William Charles (1817-1882).

William Charles Reiter was a classical family physician but his activity was not confined to the practice of medicine; natural history, and especially botany, in which science he held a foremost position in his locality, were to him an avocation of great interest and enjoyment.

His father, of French Huguenot ances- try, was born in Hessia. His mother was of Hanoverian extraction. Married in Baltimore, Maryland, they removed to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, about 1812, where William Charles was born March 24, 1817. He attended lectures at Jefferson Medical College during the session of 1834-5 after which he engaged in practice at Pleasant Unity and Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and in 1836, on the death of his preceptor. Dr. A. Tor- rence, succeeded to his practice. At this time he was married and after four years of professional work he returned to Jefferson Medical College, where he grad- uated in the sjiring of 1839. Of a philosophic bent of mind, he took much pleasure in the study of natural history, and was looked upon as a local authority in botany.

On the establishment of the Pittsburg College of Pharmacy in 1880, he was


elected to the chair of materia medica and botany, which office he filled for several years till the infirmities of age necessi- tated his resignation. Previous to this time he also delivered lectures at the Western University of Pennsylvania at Pittsl)urg on chemistry, geology and ])hysiology.

Ht; was married on November 8, 1836, to Eliza Reynolds, daughter of Capt. William Reynolds, of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and had four children, three daughters and one son.

Reiter died at Edgewood Park, Penn- sylvania, a suburb of Pittsburg, on No- vember 20, 1882, of general arterio- sclero.sis.

At the time of his earlier life the cause of most diseases was purely a matter of speculation and to a man of Reiter's strong convictions and force of mind the need of forming a theoretical etiology based upon experience and observation became almost mandatory. Thus he believed that diphtheria was due to an excess of fibrin in the blood, and in sup- port of this hypothesis and the treatment of the disease with enormous doses of calomel (as much as three or four drams during the course of the attack), he pub- lished, in 1878, a booklet on "The Treat- ment of Diphtheria Based upon a New Etiology and Pathology," which at- tracted wide attention.

His portrait was in the possession of his daughter. Miss Mary Reiter, at Edgewood Park, Pennsylvania.

A. K.

Rex, George (1845-1895).

Born at Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, he graduated at the University of Pennsyl- vania, and during his earlier life was assistant demonstrator of anatomy there. He was also a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and became a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1881, serving as conservator from 1890 until his death.

Dr. Rex was considered the highest authority of the myxomycetes in the United States. It was his enthusiastic