Page:A cyclopedia of American medical biography vol. 2.djvu/62

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JOHNSO>f


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JOHNSON


the country along the Missouri river was full of malaria and a doctor's services in constant demand.

In 1S55 he married Mary Jane Limber- lake and had four children, three daught- ers and one son. About this time mut- terings of war were heard and Johnson became a surgeon under Gen. SterUng Price. When Lee surrendered, and not till then, did Dr. Johnson return to his desolated home. Penniless, he again started out to retrieve home and fortune, removing to the little town of Piatt City where he soon had a good jDractice. His wife died, and in 1870 he married Julia M. Tillery of Liberty, Missouri. Never having been very robust, he determined to go to a city where work would be easier, so on his fiftieth birthday he went to Kansas City where he remained until his death, January 25, 1893.

Johnson was a thinker and logical reasoner and evolved many ideas which at the time were looked upon as heretical by some of his fellow practitioners. In 1872 he read a paper before the Kansas City District Medical Society in which he maintained a theory of the infectiousness of pneumonia, but met with no endorse- ment. The wide experience in obstetrics gained in an extensive country practice led him to devote especial attention to that important branch of work and he was elected dean of the college and chosen for the chair of obstetrics in the Kansas City Medical College in 1880, which professor- ship he held until his death. The clinical obstetrical department which was started during Dr. Johnson's incumbency aver- aged over eight cases of labor to the student, an unusual record at that date in the West.

Dr. Johnson had a pecuUar physiog- nomy which was masked by a long beard gi\ang him an expression of fierceness which much belied his gentle nature and benevolence.

Shortly before his death Dr. Johnson de\-ised an obstetrical forceps which in- cluded the "third curve" of the Tarnier axis traction principle in connection with the long graceful Hodge forceps, which


supplied a principle ingenious and prac- tical. Used with the patient drawn well over the edge of bed or table so that grasp could be effected with only slight en- gagement, the delivery is facilitated with but slight danger of traumatism as no tension is put upon the perineum.

G. C. M.

Johnson, Hosmer Allen (1822-1891).

Allen Hosmer Johnson, a scientist who helped to found in Chicago the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Chicago Med- ical College, was born in the village of Wales, Buffalo, October 22, 1822, and a boyhood spent among wild natural surroundings inclined him afterwards to travel circumspectly through Switz- erland, California and Colorado, sleeping frequently" under the blue blanket," and learning to love the starlit sky.

WTien twelve he was at Almont, Michigan, helping to cut a farm out of the woods when Indians and wolves were far more abundant than civilized be- ings. At nineteen he was at the Univer- sity of Michigan and showed remarkable talent for languages, not excluding the O jib way tongue. From this university he held his A. B. A. M. and LL. D., grad- uating M. D. from Rush Medical College in 1852, and remaining there as professor of materia medica until 1859 when, with others, he founded the North Western Medical School and was a popular mem- ber of the faculty until his death, of pneumonia, in the winter of 1891. He married Miss Margaret Ann Seward and had two children, one of whom, Frank Seward, became professor of pathology in the Chicago Medical College.

Dr. Johnson did not contribute much to medical hterature though for some years he edited " The Northwestern Med- ical Journal." The Astronomical Society and the Historical Society which he also helped to found and the Academy of Natural Sciences furnish the best record of his work.

D. W.

Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, J. M. Sperr>-, Chic, 1904.