Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/467

This page needs to be proofread.




University of Vermont, at Burlington. He had made assiduous preparation for such a position by a long course of phy- siological study and investigation during his residence in Paris, and entered upon his course of instruction with a great promise, which was abundantly fulfilled. [n 185S he accepted the chair of physi- ology in the Berkshire Medical Institu- tion, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In these positions his life was eminently to his taste. He was a student, and his time was constantly devoted to study and instruction. His microscope and his laboratory had a large part of his heart. In 1859 he settled in Pittsfield, and in 1860 established, in conjunction with Dr. W. H. Thayer, the " Berkshire Med- ical Journal," a monthly publication, which was issued for one year. The presence of war made it an unfavorable time for a new literary enterprise, and it was discontinued at the close of the first volume. In 1862 he was impelled by patriotism to enter the United States service. His desire for service in the field was gratified early in 1863 by his being transferred to the Army of the Potomac as surgeon-in-chief of Cald- well's Division of Hancock's Corps. He left the service in 1864 and, going to Brooklyn, received the appointment of resident physician at King's County Hospital. Dr. Stiles resigned his office after about a year's service, and went to Brooklyn to practice medicine; he was, however, made one of the Consulting Board of the hospital, and retained that position during life.

His lectures at Burlington were con- tinued with the interruption of his two years' service in the army, until 1865. In Brooklyn he took an active part in the operations of the County Medical Society and was twice elected president. It was on his suggestion that the Pathological Section was formed in 1870, and until his sickness he was a constant attendant upon its semi-monthly meetings. He had a succession of private classes in histology during his residence in Brook- lyn, which were attended by young

physicians who were drawn to him by his high reputation in the Society. He was a fluent writer, but the papers which he left were produced in the latter period of his life. They include several mono- graphs on physiological and pathological subjects, a memoir of Haller, which was the oration for 1868 before the Medical Society of the County of Kings, and very valuable contributions to the Annual Reports of the Metropolitan Board of Health, especially those for 1868 and 1869. That for 1868 contains an elabo- rate report on the "Texas Cattle Dis- ease," then prevailing to an alarming extent in New York, to which he contrbi- uted the results of his careful microscop- ic examinations. In the course of them he discovered in the bile of the infected animals a vegetable parasite which be- came further developed there, and which was in his opinion the cause of the disease. His enthusiasm over what promised, in its wide suggestions, to be a discovery of great value to medical science will be remembered by all his friends. He says, "The fungus origin of zymotic disease is now conceded by the highest authorities in mycological research, and the Texas fever is one which points with unusual clearness to this mode of propagation." His conclusions were confirmed by Prof. Hallier, of Jena, to whom Dr. Harris sent specimens of the infected bile. He pro- nounced the parasite a new discovery, and named it in honor of the discoverer, Coniothecium Stilesianum.

He never was idle, and his labors con- tinued long past the hours that belong to sleep. This was his ruin. Early and late he labored at his engrossing science, until his mental powers began to give in- dications of disorder, and in the summer of 1870 a grave form of insanity was developed, from which he never re- covered. His general health, however, was good, and he attended more or less to practice at different times. In 1872 he travelled again in Europe. During the latter part of winter and early spring his mental disease grew more serious; and early in Ajiril, 1873, he went home