/7;' ~ 2
Medicine in St. Augustine During
The Spanish Period
William M. Straight, M. D.
hen Don Pedro Menendez de
Aviles stepped ashore in September
1565 to found St. Augustine (Fig.
1), he brought with him two sur-
geons, five barbers and an apothecary with "a box
containing medicine for the curing of the sick."1
In the centuries that followed, however, St. Au-
gustine was to be without a physician or surgeon
for periods of time on several occasions. Thus; in
July of 1582, Governor Pedro Menendez Marques
wrote to the King that he had been ill for nine
months, having become paralyzed from going into
the swamps and woods after the Indians of Guale
(Coastal Georgia, particularly St. Catherines Is-
land) and Santa Elena (Port Royal, South Car-
olina)., and that since there was no physician or
medicine in the colony, he feared he would not
be cured "if the illness ripens."2
Before we go into the medical aspects of Span-
ish Florida, let us take a look at colonial St. Au-
gustine and the everyday life of the people.
The Men6ndez expedition was in answer to
France's challenge of the Spanish title to Florida,
whose limits eventually were Port Royal Sound
in the north and the Apalachicola River in the
west.3 Fort Caroline, established by the French
in 1564 near present-day Jacksonville, also endan-
gered the Spanish treasure fleets that sailed along
the east coast of Florida.
Dr. Straight is an instructor in the history of medicine, Uni-
versity of Miami School of Medicine, Miami.
-Presented April 19, 1968 at the University of Florida College
of Medicine, Gainesville.
Immediately upon landing, Menindez began
St. Augustine and its fortification, simultaneously
in a large dwelling of an Indian village on the
present site of Nombre de Dios Mission. He then
proceeded to destroy the French soldiers at Uort
Caroline and at Matanzas Inlet.
The location of St. Augustine in the Indian
village, and subsequently on Anastasia Island,
ended in 1570 when the town was moved to its
present site and the fort built separately nearby.
Menendez also established another fortified settle-
ment, Santa Elena, at Port Royal Sound. St.
Augustine developed exclusively as a military
outpost and almost all the settlers were soldiers,
their wives and children. It served also as a
rescue station for mariners shipwrecked along the
coast as far north as present South Carolina."
Fig. 1. Don Pedro Menendez de Avilks stepped ashore
to found St. Augustine, September 1565.
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
St. Augustine's layout followed the decree of
1573 for towns in Spanish America. By 1586, a
grid of four north-south streets and four east-
west streets clearly delineated nine city blocks
located south of the present plaza. To the north
the land was completely vacant. The inhabitants,,
150 soldiers and their families, lived in flimsy
wooden houses with palmetto-thatched roofs. No
wall surrounded the town to protect the people
but a wooden watchtower on Anastasia Island
was constantly manned to warn of approaching
It was the sighting of this watchtower that
led Sir Francis Drake to sack and burn St. Au-
gustine in 1586. The Spanish began rebuilding
immediately and concentrated the garrison wholly
in St. Augustine, evacuating Santa Elena.7
By the turn of the 17th Century, St. Augustine
was still a primitive settlement. The dirt streets
became muddy whenever it rained, and some were
flooded by high tides. Domestic animals roamed
the streets freely. In 1598 there were some 120
flimsy palmetto-thatched houses.8
Governor Gonzalo MWndez de Canzo improved
St. Augustine during .his administration (1597-
1603). He established the plaza, a public market,
weights and measures, a mill and a hospital. He
roofed the church with shingles and built a house
for himself facing the plaza. This house was
later purchased to serve as the governor's official
residence. More important was the firm decision
that the settlement would be maintained and
would not be moved to Port Royal Sound as
some had advocated.9
Almost everyone in St. Augustine was in gov-
ernment employ as a soldier or as a government
official. Their clothing was imported from Mexico
either as the finished product (hats, breeches and
stockings-the latter of English wool) or were
made (coats, shirts, underwear) from yard goods
also imported from Mexico. The diet of the peo-
ple consisted of corn, beans, flour, pumpkin, let-
luce, garlic, radishes, greens, peaches, pomegran-
ates and oranges. Meat was extremely scarce at
first and usually imported; later it became some-
Fig. 2.-St. Augustine as pictured by Arnoldus Moftanus, 1671.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
what easier to obtain as ranches developed in the
rich back country near present-day Tallahassee.
Meantime, the chief protein came from fish, which
could be had in abundance.10
St. Augustine was the base for the Franciscan
friars who consolidated Spanish rule by converting
the Indians to Christianity. In 1587 missions be-
gan dotting coastal Georgia and North Florida
and this was not halted,by Indian revolts in 1597,
1647 and 1655. Accompanied' by soldiers, the
missionary conveyed the impression of power.
This joint military and religious activity was a
most natural procedure since Spanish royal au-
thority comprised both secular and ecclesiastical
By 1668 England had become the chief rival
of the Spanish in Florida. That year pirate Cap-
tain John Davis (alias Robert Searles) sacked
St. Augustine but could not take the wooden fort,
the ninth since 1565. Since he did not burn the
city, the' Spanish believed he would return to hold
St. Augustine and raid their shipping along the
Florida coast. This spurred the authorization in
1669 to build an adequate stone fortification in
Florida. Another stimulus for this construction
was the English settlement of Charleston in 1670,
which lent credence to the Spanish suspicion of
an English design against Florida.12
As the building of present Castillo de San
Marcos (1672-1696) neared completion, stone was
made available for private construction in the
city. The poverty of the people, however, pre-
vented the widespread use of this material. Thus
in 1702 only 16 houses were made of stone and
one of these was the governor's residence. That
year the English, led by Governor James Moore,
besieged the Castillo unsuccessfully and upon
withdrawal set St. Augustine afire.13 Under this
Governor, the British ravaged the missions across
North Florida, destroying them during the early
years of the 18th century.
St. Augustine was slow to rise from the ashes.
By 1713 only the governor's residence had been
reconstructed, and ordinary residents used straw
and scorched boards to shelter themselves. New
and permanent houses did go up, however., and by
1740 there were 300 of them for the 2,062 people
residing in the city. When the Spanish turned
Florida over to Great Britain in 1763, the popu-
lation of St. Augustine numbered 3,000 and there
were 124 stone, 140 tabby and 78 wooden houses,
a total of 342.14
The British soldiers destroyed the flimsier
houses in St. Augustine to obtain scarce firewood,
but the good buildings were improved with the
addition of second stories, fireplaces, chimneys
and glazed windows. In addition, the Loyalist
refugees during the American Revolution built
many huts. In 1784, when Florida reverted to
Spain, 110 of some 277 houses were considered
A count in 1788 yielded 1,000 residents and
114 stone, 19 tabby and 133 wooden houses in
St. Augustine, a total of 266. About 100 wooden
structures were mere shacks, makeshifts during
the hectic Loyalist Migration.16
When Spain ceded Florida to the United
States in 1821, the population in St. Augustine
numbered 2,000 and the houses 300. There were
also 2,000 persons living in plantations in the
countryside. About half of the population were
The restless sea that pounds the sandy coast
was a chief source of food for the people of St.
Augustine, and at times it brought other benefits.
Thus, the first physician to remain with the colony
for a considerable length of time, Juan de Le-
Conte, was cast on the beach at Santa Elena when
his ship, El Principe, was driven ashore in a
storm about 1579.
Initially, LeConte was a prisoner and served
as physician, surgeon and barber in return for his
lodging, rations and clothing. In 1586 he was of-
ficially allowed to occupy the position of surgeon
in the Florida garrison with a salary of four
ducats monthly. In 1602, having served "more
than 23 years" he approached the governor for
permission to return to Spain or an increase in
pay to 40 ducats as he was "old and tired and
cannot support himself with the four ducats
he received every month and the ration of an
ordinary private." The governor, being unable
to increase his salary and unwilling to permit his
only physician-surgeon to leave the colony, en-
couraged him to petition the king directly and
wrote a commendatory letter to the king on his be-
half. In the letter the governor notes that he had
a "wide knowledge in the art of medicine," and
that "if God, our Lord, had not sent him to this
garrison, men would die as animals." It is fur-
ther noted that he cared for the soldiers, slaves,
laborers, women and children. The governor
stated, "A more competent person could not be
secured for a thousand ducats."'s Having read
the letter from the governor to the king, LeConte
increased his salary request by ten fold. In 1603
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
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Fig. 3.- Page of Spanish manuscript dealing with Carlos Robson, April 30, 1685.
734 VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8"
the crown authorized the governor to increase
LeConte's salary-not ten fold as requested by
the surgeon, but only to 10 ducats.19
At other times in the history of St. Augustine,
the populace had to depend upon physicians and
surgeons of doubtful value. Thus, on April 30,
1685, Governor Cabrera writing to the Crown
states (Fig. 3), "When I took possession of this
governorship in 1680 the only physician or sur-
geon here was Carlos Robson, of English nation-
ality, who held the position of cirujano mayor
(chief surgeon) and who had been baptized in this
garrison. Not only is he not a physician or a
qualified surgeon, but also he is deprived of con-
sciousness most of the time by being drunk."o20
Again in August of 1739 another governor writes
to his superior in Habana, "Although we have also
great need for a physician, if there is not a com-
petent one to be found, we will manage with the
cirujano of the garrison who, were he not so taken
by aguardiente (rum), is not bad, but everybody
refrains from calling him."21 This same governor
two years prior had written his superior in Cuba
urging him to coerce a physician (medico) to
come to St. Augustine pointing out that previous
efforts had been unrewarding. He goes on to
state, "Although I consider that there will not be
a man of average intelligence who will consent
coming here, unless Your Lordship works his au-
thority toward this end.22 Twenty years later a
parish priest writing to the secretary of state for
the Indies states, "No less harmful is the damage
experienced by the lack in this garrison of a skill-
ed physician or surgeon, seemingly an irremedi-
able and most harmful omission for these poor
dwellers, due either to the unwillingness of indi-
viduals educated in this profession or to the limit-
ed salaries assigned to them, that they do not
overcome the horror that the mention of Florida
causes in everyone."23
Not only were the inhabitants of St. Augustine
injured by the incompetence or drunkenness of
their surgeons, but also on at least one occasion
a surgeon incited a pirate attack on the city. In
1668 Governor Francisco de la Guerra y de la
Vega "instigated by feminine gossip 'and med-
dling treated the French surgeon of the garrison,
Pedro Piques, badly and even slapped him." He
then discharged him and refused to give him 200
pesos in accrued pay for his services during the
previous two years. The governor put him on a
ship bound for Habana. The ship was captured
by the English pirate, John Davis, to whom
Piques, thirsting for revenge, revealed the condi-
tion of St. Augustine's defenses, prompting the
pirate to descend on the city at 1:00 A.M. on May
29, 1668. The pirates swarmed through the
streets, catching the residents asleep. Hearing
the commotion, the residents emerged from their
houses and some were shot or knifed to death as
they fled to the protection of the woods. The
pirates, however, were repulsed in their assault on
the fort. With the advent of daylight, the pirates
systematically looted the homes and churches and
boarded a ship in the harbor. On June 5th they
Another medical man who indirectly added to
the troubles of St. Augustine was Dr. Henry
Woodward. This young "chirurgeon" from North
Carolina had gone to live with the Indians at
Santa Elena and there was captured by the Span-
ish and taken to St. Augustine. In St. Augustine
as a "willing prisoner" he lived with the parish
priest., professed catholicism and served as sur-
geon for the presidio. He escaped with John
Davis during the same raid and later returned to
Charleston, S. C., where he was highly influential
in inducing the uncommited Indians from giving
their allegiance to the Spaniards.25
In addition to physicians and surgeons, the
medical needs of the people were met by barbers,
apothecaries., nurses and midwives. For example,
at the muster of the Florida garrison in St. Au-
gustine in 1578, "There was present Hernando
de Segovia, barber, a native of Merida, who ap-
peared with his sword, buckler and case of in-
struments for making cures."20 Apothecaries were
always present in the colony, but at times there
were no drugs available, as in November 1674.27
As early as 1537 the Spanish king had put out
an order that the physician could not dispense
his own medication, for this was the province of
the apothecary.28 A ruling of the Crown also
provided for a deduction from the soldier's pay
to cover the cost of drugs and medicines he might
require. Although the drugs were usually furnish-
ed by the Crown, apparently at times they were
obtainable from other sources. In June of 1813 a
resident of St. Augustine requested permission to
sell certain medicaments such as camphor, alum,
.cream of tartar, manna, cathartic salt and jallap
which he had in his possession and which were
scarce in the town.29
The nursing of the sick was carried out by
convicts or a soldier who served as nurse for the
hospital and sexton for the hermitage of La Sole-
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
dad, to which the hospital was initially attached.
At times a slave was assigned to make the beds,
cook for the patients and keep the hospital clean.
The first such "housekeeper" of record was a
royal slave, Maria Joijo.30
Midwives are mentioned in St. Augustine first
on April 8, 1744,31 and the note is made that they
were permitted to administer baptism if the need
were urgent and a priest not immediately avail-
able. The names of a number of midwives appear
in the registry of baptisms of the St. Augustine
Parish. As we have previously noted, the doctors
of St. Augustine cared for women, but it is not
known whether they performed deliveries.
As early as 1541, Emperor Don Carlos issued
an order that in all Spanish and all Indian villages
under the control of Spain. hospitals were to be
opened where the sick poor could obtain medical
attention. This edict was followed in 1573 by
another put forth by Phillip II that hospitals for
poor and noncontagious patients were to be built
near the churches and managed by the church
and another hospital for contagious diseases was
to be built away from the village in the highest
Prior to the advent of the official hospital in
St. Augustine, the sister of Governor Pedro
Menendez Marqu6s, D6na Catalina Men6ndez,
cared for the ill soldiers in her home and "spent
from her estate in providing treatment to ill sol-
The first record we have of a hospital in St.
Augustine (Figs. 5 and 6) is a letter from Gover-
nor Gonzalo M6ndez de Canzo to the Crown dated
Feb. 23, 1598, in which he states that when he
arrived in -1597 a hospital was being formed in
conjunction with the Hermita de Nuestra Sefiora
de La Soledad (the Church of Our Lady of Soli-
tude). Canzo states that had the hospital not been
in operation during the summer of 1597 many sol-
diers, Indians and Negro royal slaves would have
died of the -epidemic fever. He then tells the
Crown that the cost of founding the hospital had
exceeded the amount of contributions by more
than 500 ducats (a familiar story even in this
day) and he petitioned the Crown for financial
support and for the assignment of a female Negro
royal slave to make the beds, cook for the pa-
tients and keep the place clean. To cover the cost
of operation, the king was asked to supply 500
ducats annually.34 There is little description of
this hospital but it is presumed that it was of
thatch construction and that the beds consisted of
Fig. 4. -The sea brought tragedies and blessings as
pallets on the floor (wooden bedsteads were intro-
duced in the 18th century).
This, the first hospital within the present
limits of the continental United States, served
until 1599 when a fire destroyed the Franciscan
convent and it became necessary to house the
missionary priests in the Church of Our Lady of
Solitude, where the hospital was located.35
There now being no place where the sick sol-
diers and citizenry could be cared for, in January
1600 Governor Canzo "Founded at my expense
a house of boards for use as a hospital . with
its rooms in the attic and having beds with their
mattresses, blankets, sheets, and pillows for the
stated purpose that all poor and sick people may
seek shelter by going to it." This palmetto-
thatched hospital of six beds (so arranged about
an altar in the center of the room that the pa-
tients might observe mass without leaving their
beds) was dedicated to "The Lady Santa Bar-
bara." To cover the cost of operation of the
hospital, the king supplied 500 ducats an-
nually, and each soldier had deducted from his
pay 12 reales annually; the 2Y reales daily ration
of the soldier was turned over to the hospital for
each day' spent in confinement. In addition to
this, alms were solicited and farmers were re-
quested to donate foodstuffs. The physicians and
surgeons of the garrison were instructed to attend
the patients and the medicines were provided by
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
In 1605, the Franciscan convent having been
rebuilt and the Church of Our Lady of Solitude
having *been repaired, enlarged and freed from
the danger of fire, Governor Pedro de Ibarra,
Canzo's successor, moved the hospital of Santa
Barbara and the patients back to the original
hospital. He also had some unpleasant things to
say about the location of the Santa Barbara Hos-
pital. He stated that of six patients who had been
there three had died and the other three would
never recover due to the unhealthy site chosen by
In 1657 there were apparently two hospitals
in operation to care for the 300 Spanish residents
and an unstated number of Indians. These are
described as "a royal hospital dedicated to
Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, . another hos-
pital for curing the poor who are sick, . ."as
The pirate John Davis (1668) sacked the hospital
and shortly after his attack the governor sent an
urgent request to Mexico for quantities of cloth
for sheets and mattresses and other small items
for the hospital.39
In May of 1682, Governor Cabrera, feeling
that the Parish of St. Augustine had not managed
Fig. 5. -The first hospital, a lean-to against the wall
of the Hermita de Nuestra Sefiora de La Soledad, 1597.
the hospital well, decided to ask the Order of
San Juan de Dios40 to take over the administra-
tion of the royal hospital. This lead to conflicts
with the parish and the Franciscans., both of
whom feared that more priests would move in to
share the meager alms. Being unable to resolve
the conflict, Cabrera provided that a hospital be
built on another site which would be supported
with a share of his income and with the deduc-
tions from the soldiers. This left the parish with
a hospital but no revenues. Until the new hospital
was opened, the priests of San Juan de Dios would
serve as both surgeons and apothecaries proceed-
ing in the manner as previous surgeons and apoth-
ecaries had proceeded. The temporary arrange-
ment seems to have provided for the surgeon and
apothecary to prescribe treatment outside the hos-
pital for sick soldiers, which treatment would be
administered in the hospital in the Church of Our
Lady of Solitude by the parish-controlled nurse.41
Fig. 6. -A palmetto-thatched "house of boards" with
six beds about an altar.
In the siege of 1702 the forces of Governor
James Moore of South Carolina burned all of St.
Augustine except the church of Our Lady of
Solitude, the adjacent hospital and some 20
houses.42 In the years that followed the hospital
continued to be supported by deductions from the
salary of the garrison and even one peso monthly
from the meager remuneration given to convicts
and slaves for their work.43
The parish priest, Juan Jose Solana, describes
the St. Augustine Hospital in April of 1759 as the
"newly rebuilt" former residence of Francisco
Menendez Marques, deceased accountant of Flor-
ida. He states, "It has two large rooms, one on
the ground level, the other upstairs, each with
a capacity of twelve beds. There are two interior
rooms downstairs, reserved for elderly persons.
There is a masonry kitchen roofed with boards.
In a room in the kitchen live two convicts who
care for the sick. The hospital has a lot so spa-
cious that medicinal herbs could be planted in it."
In the same letter Solana gives us an insight into
the operation of the hospital. He states, "The al-
most complete destitution experienced by the poor
patients deserves no little attention from the
pious concern of Your Most Illustrious Lordship
(Bishop of Cuba). This hospital receives every
month 500 reales deducted from the soldiers, and
one real a day from the hospitalized patients. Yet
due to the lack of an individual employed ex-
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
clusively to take care of the patients there is ex-
perienced so much carelessness in temporal and
spiritual matters that it would cause compassion
in the least compassionate heart and even in the
most tyrannical. I propose that the governor and
the Bishop, or his vicar, elect a major-domo who
has demonstrated inclination toward compassion,
with a salary equivalent to that of a gunner, a
lieutenant, and a fusilier combined, and that one,
two or as many convicts as necessary, be subject
to the major-domo to attend to the urgencies and
needs of the patients."'4
In the remainder of this paper we will discuss
the various illnesses recorded as occurring in St.
Augustine and some of the therapies used. Seldom
in the archival material thus far studied is there
mention of specific remedies, therefore we will cite
from the writings of the contemporary physicians,
Monardes and Francisco Hernandez, treatments
used during this period.
The accounts of Florida in the 16th and 17th
Centuries are glowing in the best Chamber of
Commerce tradition. Thus a geography book of
1688 states, "The area of Florida and Carolina
is so temperate that men live to the age of 250
years, while the children of five generations are
all alive at the same time." 5
Earlier we have mentioned the first specific
illness noted, the paralysis suffered by Governor
Pedro Men6ndez Marqu6s. He stated at that time
that he had been paralyzed for the previous nine
months but was gradually recovering. The next
specifically recorded instance of illness was Gov-
ernor Domingo Martinez who, when returning
from an inspection trip, began to vomit blood and,
on Nov. 24, 1595, apparently had an exsanguinat-
Chills and fever are frequently noted but it is
not possible to diagnose the causative illness.
Ashburn, a student of epidemic diseases,47 be-
lieves there was no malaria among the Huguenots
or the Spanish in the early days of settlement,
but that malaria came later with the introduction
of slaves. The first mention of quinine appears
in a religious book which was published in Spain
in 1639 and written by an Augustinian monk by
the name of Calancha. We have found no rec-
ord of quinine being used at St. Augustine during
the first or second Spanish period.
A severe epidemic of smallpox was present in
the town in 1655. Governor Diego de Rebolledo
notes that it has been present for ten months,
the Indians and inhabitants had suffered greatly,
and that work on the fort was at a standstill.48
Still other epidemics of smallpox are recorded.49
We have thus far discovered no evidence that
inoculation was used in St. Augustine to fight
this disease. On Nov. 10, 1803, the King of
Spain dispatched an expedition to bring smallpox
vaccination to the new world. In order that they
would have fresh vaccine on their arrival they
brought along 22 children whom they inoculated
at intervals during the trip.50 There is no record
that this expedition visited St. Augustine.
As in other colonial areas., epidemic measles
was at least once a highly fatal disease in Spanish
Florida. Thus, in 1659 epidemic measles killed
10,000 Indians and many soldiers of the garrison
at St. Augustine.51
There are many reports of syphilis (gdlico)
and on one occasion this disease incapacitated
the mason in charge of the work at Castillo de San
Marcos.52 The specific remedy for this disease
according to Monardes was the "holie woodde"
now known as guaiacum, a tree found in tropical
America. Monardes tells us about the discovery
of this medicine: "A Spanyarde that did suffer
great paines of the Poxe, which he had by the
companies of an indian woman, but his servaunte
beyng one of the phisitions of that countries, gave
unto hym the water of Guaiacan, wherewith not
only his greevous paines were taken awaie, that
he did suffer, but healed verie well of the evill,
and most certainlie . it health most perfect-
ly, without turnyng to fall again, except the
sicke man doe return to tumble in the same
bosome, where he tooke the firste."53
Because of a custom of continuing a man after
he was crippled or ill as a member of the garrison
on a "dead pay" status, we have from time to
time lists of soldiers specifying their disabilities.
A review of these lists reveals such diagnoses as
"absolutely blind and deaf; old and habitually ill;
habitually indisposed; asthmatic; disuse of a
limb due to disease or accident; bent or crooked
due to an accident; blind and demented; blind
and ruptured; hobbled and ruptured; gouty;
palsied (paralysis with a tremor); leg broken by
gun shot; paralyzed and short sighted due to or-
ganic defect." In the case of an 83-year-old Cap-
tain Sebastian L6pez de Toledo the diagnosis is
"very exhausted" (Muy postrado).54 In some in-
stances the diagnosis is easily recognized, as in the
case of Sublieutenant Luis Garcia de Mena who
was "threatened by tisis (pulmonary tubercu-
losis), the beginning of which is indicated by the
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
Fig. 7.-Tobacco, the Timucan remedy for afflictions
of the lungs.
blood which he spits when he coughs."55 On an-
other occasion we are told, "When he dropped an-
chor in.this port Patrdn (skipper) Matamoros ex-
perienced his last hardship, a sofocacidn (suffoca-
tion) which followed the labored respiration from
which he was suffering, so sudden that he did not
have time to receive any sacraments."56 Possibly
this was acute pulmonary edema due to congestive
The wonder drug of the day was sassafras
which was found in Florida. We are told that it
was given to the Huguenots at Fort Caroline by
the Indians and the knowledge of it conveyed to
the Spanish by survivors of the Huguenot mas-
sacre. Barcia tells us it was brought to Seville in
1,567. He states that it was a sovereign remedy
against "killing oppilation." It also was soothing
to the liver and stomach, it would take away the
tertian ague and cause long fevers to desist, re-
stored the appetite, cured headaches, chest aches
and pains in the side; it caused stones to be
passed, induced micturation and menstruation; it
cured paralysis, relieved the toothache, cured gout
quickly and made the hands benumbed by illness
agile. It also soothed the abdomen and relieved
motherhood sickness. It promoted fecundity.,
preserved from plagues and was most useful in
all cold humors, protracted illnesses and flatu-
lence.57 Monardes adds that it was useful in "any
maner of Reumes or Runnynges or Wind-
inesse . .5S
Another remedy to be' found in Florida was
tobacco. This was useful for many things in-
cluding headaches, shortness of breath and the
treatment of chronic ulcers. The cough and ex-
pectoration produced by the tobacco smoke was
thought to clear out the lungs and thus help
shortness of breath. This remedy, it is said, was
learned from the Indians and, indeed, LeMoyne,
the Huguenot artist, in one of his drawings shows
the Indians inhaling tobacco smoke.59 (Fig. 7)
Monardes also states that it is very useful for the
treatment of "olde rotten shares although thei bee
cankered." He advises. "Let the sicke man bee
pourged with -the counsaill of a phisition, and let
hym bloud if it bee needful and then take this
herbe and piunde it in a Morter, and take out the
Joice and put it into the Soare, and then after the
maner of a Plaister put the stamped leaves upon
it. . and this doe once every daie, eatyng good
meates, and not exceedyng in any disorder for
otherwise it will not profite."0
Thus far we have uncovered very little specific
information about the practice of surgery in St.
Augustine. LeConte, the French barber surgeon
who served the colony from about 1579 to about
1630, was certified by the sergeant major of Flor-
ida as skillful in "curing effectively all kinds of
diseases and wounds . from arrows, pikes, hal-
berds, and arquebuses, and broken legs, arms and
In a battle between the Spanish and the In-
dians on Sept. 3, 1705, Ensign Francisco Ponce de
Le6n was shot in the arm, shattering the bone.
It was. necessary to amputate the arm, but im-
mediately after the amputation Don Francisco
In September 1727. Juan Frisonou, chief sur-
geon of the Florida garrison, certifies that the
Governor, Don Antonio de Benavides, had devel-
oped "an abscess which has appeared between the
two cheeks which fall from the lower part of the
coccyx, from which he has acquired some impedi-
ment in urinating, some continuous evacuations,
fever, and other troubles . ." The surgeon fur-
ther states that the governor "cannot be cured
in this said garrison for the total lack of medica-
ments and the necessary instruments."63
The governor went to Habana where the phy-
sician and surgeon, Carlos del Rey, "found him
with a great inflammation in the rectum with a
fistula in the rectum four dedos deep (72 milli-
meters), originated from an abscess, which illness
was accompanied by other illnesses (such as) ob-
structions in the glands of the mesentery, . the
operation on said fistula was performed on him.
opening it from the beginning to the end."64
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
Finally, we have uncovered one instance in
which the history of St. Augustine may have been
changed by the advent of disease. In 1680 Ser-
geant Major Juan Mdrquez Cabrera, about whom
we have spoken before, became governor. Cabrera
was apparently a testy character with a facility
for alienating people. This personality trait was
aggravated by an illness which is described by a
Dr. Francisco Moreno de Alba as "some arthritic
pains complicated with a trace of gdlico (syphilis).
The pains are felt in his soft and spermatic parts,
which are naturally cold, and a paralytic affection
is beginning in the nerves and ligaments, threat-
ening the deadening of a leg, which has a mature
and inflammed chronic cutaneous infection, result-
ing from crusty, well-developed carbuncles, and
from his extreme weakness."65
In the several years that Cabrera had been
governor he had succeeded in alienating the sol-
diers and officers of the garrison, the Indians, the
citizens of the town and the clergy. During the
Holy Week of 1687 he went to one of the priests
for his annual confession. The priest refused to
confess him as did other priests whom he con-
sulted. He boarded a ship ready to sail for Ha-
bana ostensibly to inspect the ship but actually
intending to go to that city to find a priest who
would confess him. As it was considered near trea-
son for a governor to leave his province without
the permission of the king, the royal treasurer,
who had gone aboard the ship with the governor,
exhorted him to change his mind and return to
shore. The treasurer pointed out that the colony
would be without a governor and, indeed, St. Au-
gustine was direly in need of a governor. He also
pointed out that the king and queen would not
look favorably upon this breach of his respon-
sibilities. In a fit of anger the governor, it was
quoted, replied, "S-t on St. Augustine; the king
and queen can go to hell."66 Perhaps had he
not been ill, in addition to having a testy person-
ality, Governor Cabrera would have continued as
governor of Florida and the course of history
would have been different.
The search and translation of the Spanish documents, which
are the major source of the information herein presented, was
performed by Mr. Luis R. Arana of St. Augustine. This search
was supported by U.S. i'ublic Health Service Grant No. 1-ROl-
LM-00074-01 awarded to the University of Miami, Miami.
The illustrations. with the exception of Fig. 2. were drawn
by Mr. Newton Randum.
1. Eugenio Ruidiaz y Caravia: La Florida. su Conquista y
Colonizaci6n por Pedro Menendez de Avil6s. 2 vols. (Ma-
drid: 1893), II, 558. 560. 565.
2. Stetson Collection (hereafter SC): Archive General de
Indias (hereafter .\GI) 54-5-16/27, Governor Pedro Mlenen-
dez Marques of Florida to the crown. St. Augustine, July
6. 1582, folio 2.
3. SC: AGI 58-1-26/38, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, August 24, 1675.
folios 4. 6.
4. Woodbury Lowery: The Spanish Settlements Within the
Present Limits of the United States. Florida 1562-1574
(New York: 1905). 103, 108. 158, 168-177, 189-199.
5 Verne E. Chatelain: The Defenses of Spanish Florida
1565-1763 (washington: 1941), 15. 21, 44. 46-47; Charles
W. .\rnade: Florida on Trial 1593-1602 (Miami: 1959),
6. Chatelain: The Defenses .. 30, 129 note 4; the Boazio
map of St. Augustine and key in Julian S. Corbett, Drake
and the Tudor Navy, 2 vols. (London: 1912), II. 56.
7. Chatelain: The Defenses .. 50. 51.
8. Arnade: Florida on Trial .., 8, 9.
9. Arnade: Florida on Trial . .. 8. 9, 90; SC: AGI 54-5-9/47,
Governor ,Pedro de Ibarra of Florida to the crown. St. Au-
gustine, Jan. 8, 1604.
10. .\rnade: Florida on Trial .. 9; Charles W. Arnade:
"Cattle Raising in .--ni-h Florida 1513-1763," Agricultural
History, XXXV, july 1961); SC: AGI 58-2-3/58.
The royal officials of Florida to the crown, Florida, Sep-
temher 14. 1713, f. 4.
II. Michael V. Gamnon: The Cross in the Sand-The Earlv
Catholic Church in Florida 1513-1870 (Gainesville: 1965).
38-43, 47. 54, 56-58. 61-64; C. 1H TT-rn--. The Spanish
Empire in A.merica (New York: ,-. i- I .
12. Chatclain: The Defenses ... 62, 151 note 18.
13. Albert C. Manucy: The -, A,,. of Castillo de San Marcos
(Washington: 1942); C. i .'.. Arnade: The i
St. Augustine in 1702 (Gainesville: 1959): Mark r i
Hale G Smith, and John W. Griffin: Here They Once
Stood-The Tragic End of the Apalachee rMissions (Gaines-
ville: 1951); SC: AGI 54.-5-12/102. Governor Diego de
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
TABLE 1.-GROWTH OF ST. AUGUSTINE DURING THE SPANISH PERIOD
Total Population Number of Houses Reference
625 120 8
(Present Castillo de San Marcos built 1672-1696)
1,500 172 13
2,062 300 14
3,000 342' 14
(Florida belonged to Britain 1763-1784)
1,000 266 16
2,000 300 17
(Florida belonged to the United States after 1821)
Luis Rafael Arana
of Rights, Luis Arana ob-
tained a B.A. degree in
history at the Interameri-
can University, San Ger-
man, in his native Puerto
Rico. He attended law
school briefly but dropped
o ut to go to work for the
SNational Park Service in
San Juan. Having been
S., transferred to St. Augus-
tine, he obtained an M.A.
degree in Latin American
history from the Univer-
sity of Florida.
He has become widely
known in historical circles
as a skilled Spanish paleographer. During the past 18
months, he has diligently searched the available archival
material uncovering (much of it for the first time since
its inscription) the material recounted in this article and
is now Chief Park Historian at Castillo de San Marcos,
Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 8, 1690; SC: AGI 58-1-28/66, Governor Francisco de
C6rcoles y Martinez of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
Aug. 13, 1709.
14. Albert Manucy: The Houses of St. Augustine (Notes on the
Architecture from 1565 to 1821, (St. Augustine: The His-
torical Society, 1962), 25-28, 33; East Florida Papers
(hereafter EFP) : series 37, letter No. 197, Governor Manuel
de Montiano of Florida to Governor Juan Francisco de
Gilemes of Habana, St. Augustine, May 9, 1740.
15. Manucy: The Houses 34, 35, 38-39. 41.
16. Manucy: The Houses ., 43, 46.
17. Manucy: The Houses ., 10, 45.
18. SC: AGI 54-5-17/68, Master Juan de Laconte to the crown,
St. Augustine, May 4, 1611, ff. 4, 5, 12, 14; Woodbury
Lowery: Florida Manuscript, (hereafter WL), vol. 4: AGI
54-5-9, Governor Gonzalo Mendez de Canzo of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, May 22, 1602, f. 2.
19. SC: AGI 86-5-19 (SD 2528), Crown to the governor of
Florida, Valladolid, March 22, 1603, ff. 278-278v.
20. SC: AGI 54-5-15/17, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, April 30, 1685, f. 1.
21. EFP: series 37, letter No. 154, Governor Manuel de
Montiano of Florida to Governor Juan Francisco de Gilemes
of Habana, Florida, Aug. 16, 1739, f. 178.
22. EFP: series 37, letter No. 24, Montiano to Gilemes, Feb.
15, 1738, f. 63v.
23. SC: AGI 86-7-21/41, Parish priest- Juan Jos6 Solana of
St. Augustine to the Secretary of State for the Indies,
JuliAn de Arriaga, St. Augustine, April 9, 1760, f. 33.
24. North Carolina Collection 682 (hereafter NC): AGI 54-5-
18/73, Sergeant Major Nicholas Ponce de Le6n of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, Aug. 6, 1668; SC: AGI 54-5.
18/70, Accountant Juan Menfndez Marquis of Florida to
the crown, Florida, July 4, 1668.
25. Medical Men and Medical Events in Early St. Augustine,
J. Florida M. A., 39:116 (August) 1952.
26. Jeanette T. Connor: Colonial Records of Spanish Florida.
2 vols. (DeLand: 1925, 1930), II, 137.
27. SC: AGI 54-5-19/19, Captain Francisco de Reina of Flor-
ida to the crown, St. Augustine, Nov. 17, 1676, f. 1.
28. Francisco Guerra: Historiografi'a de la Medicina Colonial
Hispanoamericana, (Mexico !'-' 32.
29. EFP: series 412. Cabildo f:... 1. f. 51.
30. SC: AGI 54-5-16/106, Ensign Bartolom6 L6pez Gavira to
the governor of Florida, St:,Augustine, [Sept. 12, 1600],
f. 3; SC: AGI 54-5-15/17, f.1,1; SC: AGI 86-7-21/41, f. 34.
31.. St. Augustine Parish Regist&s: Group IV, Baptisms 1735-
32. Guerra: Historiografia, 30.
33. SC: AGI 53-1-6/42, Council of the Indies to the crown,
Madrid, Nov. 3, 1629, f. 1.
34. WL 4: AGI 54-5-9; Governor Gonzalo Mendez de Canzo of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, Feb. 23, 1598, ff. 10-11.
SC: AGI 53-1-6/8, Council of the Indies to the crown, Ma-
drid, Aug. 16, 1598, f. 4.
35. SC: AGI 54-5-9/32, Governor Gonzalo Mendez de Canzo
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, Feb. 28, 1600, f. Iv.
36. SC: AGI 54-5-9/32; SC: AGI 54-5-15/17, ff. 17-23; SC:
AGI 54-5-9/64, Governor Pedro de Ibarra of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, Dec. 26, 1605, f. 6.
37. SC: AGI 54-5-9/64, ff. 5-6.
38. WL 8: Juan Diez de la Calle, Noticias Sacras y Reales
de los Dos Imperios de las Indias Occidentales de la Nueva
Espafia, 2 vols. (1659), f. 4.
39. NC: AGI 58:2-2/14,; Marquis de Mancera, Viceroy of New
Spain, to the crown, Mexico, April 20, 1669, ff. 50, 73.
40. The Order of San Juan de Dios was founded in Grdnada
in 1540. Initially, its members provided for the care of the
poor sick, but during the 17th and 18th Centuries they
A native of Washington,
D. C., Newton Randum
could draw before he could
talk. He obtained his first
formal instruction in art
at the Corcoran Gallery in
Washington. This was fol-
lowed_ by a sojourn in
Paris as an impecunious
art student who "looked
at a franc like a French-
man did." During this
period he studied medical
illustration at the Sorbon-
ne and poster art with the
celebrated Jean Carlu.
He returned to this
-country and worked for a
number of years with the Smithsonian Institution and
the Department of the Interior preparing displays, models
and dioramas. Mr. Randum is the artist who drew the
cover illustration and all but one of the illustrations for
became the medical corps of the Spanish armies and were
appointed to administer hospitals throughout Spain and
Spanish America. At the close of the 18th Century they
numbered 2,915 religiosi serving in 281 hospitals (Spanish
Influence on Progress of Medical Science, London, Wel
come Foundation, 1935, p. 43). Members of this Order
served as physicians, surgeons, apothecaries and nurses
(Francisco Barado, Museo Militar--Historia del ej6rcito
espafiol, 3 vols. [Barcelona: c. 1883], III, 578).
41. SC: AGI 54-5-15/17, ff. 6-9, 25-26, 30-38. 45-49, 50-59.
42. Arnade: The Siege ., 57.
the Tribunal of Accounts in Cuba to the crown, Habana,
Jan. 10-14, 1752, if. 154-155.
44. SC: AGI 86-7-21/41, f. 34, 35.
45. Morden: Geography Rectified or a Description of the World,
(London, 1688): p. 588.
46. WL 3: AGI 54-5-16, Factor Alonso de las Alas of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, Jan. 11, 1596, ff. 1, 2-3.
47. P. M. Ashburn: Ranks of Death: A Medical olistory of the
Conquest of America (New York, 1947), p. 117.
48. SC: AGI 58-2-2/2, Governor Diego de Rebolledo of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, Oct. 24, 1655, f. 1,
49. In 1732, 1740, 1758 and 1814.
50. Arturo P. Prats: Contribution of Spanish Physicians to
the Culture and Colonization Effort of Spain in America,
Annals Royal National Academy of Medicine 82 (1965),
51. SC: AGI 58-2-2/4, Governor Alonso de Aranguiz y Cotes
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, Nov. 1, 1659, f. 2.
52. EFP: series 37, letter No. 74, Montiano to Giiemes, Aug.
8, 1738, ff. 107v-108.
53. Nicholas Monardes: Joyfull Newes Out of the Newe Founde
World, 2 vols. (Sevilla: 1574), translated into English by
John Frampton, 1577, reprinted Constable and Co., Ltd.
(London: 1925), 1p. 28.
54. SC: AGI 87-3-12/70, Governor Manuel de Montiano of
Florida to the Secretary of State for the Indies, Marqu6s
de la Ensenada, St. Augustine, Jan. 21, 1745, f. 33.
55. EFP: series 37, letter No. 221, Montiano to Giiemes, Aug.
30, 1740, f. 302.
56. EFP: series 37, letter No. 255, Montiano to Giiemes, Jan.
31, 1741, f. 336v.
57. Andr6s Gonzilez Barcia: Chronological History of the
Continent of Florida, Translated by Anthony Kerrigan,
(Gainesville: 1951), 145-146.
58. Monardes: Joyfull Newes (Frampton translation), pp. 38-44.
59. Plate XX, Aegros curandi ratio (Method of treating the
sick), by Jacques LeMoyne de Morgues in Brevis Narratio
eorum quae in Florida Americae provincial Gallis aeciderunt,
which is part II of Theodor de Bry's Collectiones Peregri-
nationum in Indian Orientation (Frankfurt: 1941). Brevis
Narratio was translated into English by Fred B. Perkins as
the Narrative of LeMoyne (Boston: 1875).
60. Monardes: Joyfull Newes. (Frampton translation). 83.
61. SC: AGI 54-5-17/68, f. 14.
62. SC: AGI 58-1-28/12, Governor Francisco de C6rcoles y
Martinez of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, Nov. 16,
1706, f. 5.
63. SC: AGI 58-1-31/14, Governor Antonio de Benavides of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, Sept. 28, 1727, ff. 6-7.
64. SC: AGI 58-1-31/14, ff. 15-16.
65. SC: AGI 54-2-19/2, Lieutenant Governor Francisco Manuel
de Roa of Habana to Secretary Antonio Ortiz de Otalora
of the Council of the Indies, Habana, March 22, 1690, ff.
66. Luis Rafael Arana: The Day Governor Cabrera I.eft Flor-
ida, Florida Historical Quarterly, 40:154-163 (October) 1961.
Dr. Straight, 550 Brickell Avenue, Miami 33131.
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
Dr. Howell Tyson Lykes
Founder of an Empire
James M. Ingram, M.D.
[U: Among the physicians of pioneer
Florida were several whose greatest
[.NA W] and most lasting achievements lay
far outside the field of medicine. Dr.
John Gorrie of Apalachicola invented the ice-
making machine. His fellow townsman, Dr. Al-
len W. Chapman, wrote the classic textbook in
botany. "Flowers of the Southern United States."
Dr. John P. Wall planned Florida's present ma-
jor highway system, served as mayor of Tampa
and excelled as a meteorologist. Dr. Henry Per-
rine imported to southern Florida from Yucatan
many of the plants now considered to be "native"
to this state. Dr. Abel S. Baldwin designed
Jacksonville's harbor and was elected president of
the first railroad connecting Jacksonville and
Pensacola. Of these talented Floridians, the phy-
sician who practiced the shortest length of time
and left the most enduring material accomplish-
ments was Dr. Howell Tyson Lykes of Brooksville
Dr. Lykes was born in Columbia, S. C. on
Aug. 25, 1846, the son of Frederick and Margaret
Howell (Tyson) Lykes. Frederick's family had
immigrated from the German-speaking cantons of
Switzerland in the mid-18th Century. Their family
estate "Lykesland" in Congaree Township, S. C.,
was a portion of the land they obtained by
royal Bounty Grant from King George II in
1750. The family name was spelled as Liks, Lix,
Lyks and in other forms.1
In the belief that Margaret Lykes had tuber-
culosis, the family moved to Florida in 1851,
purchasing 500 acres of land at "Spring Hill"
west of Pierceville,, now called Brooksville.'
Frederick Lykes, already educated as a teacher.,
established and built the first school in Hernando
County. With foresight, he had brought along
orange seeds imported from China, and planted
the early seedling orange groves in that area.2
Howell Tyson, the third of four children, was
five years old when the family moved to Florida.
He studied first at home, then in the school at
Pierceville. He was an "energetic, quiet and som-
ber" lad, who was by far the best student in
his father's school. At an early age he took
interest in his father's activities in cotton, timber
Barely old enough to serve in the Civil War,
he joined the Confederate company commanded
by his brother-in-law, Judge Wall. He was cap-
tured by Union forces and released in 1865 at
Bay Port, Fla.3 After the war, by unknown
impetus, he decided to study medicine. He was
graduated from Charleston Medical College in the
Returning to Brooksville,, he engaged in an
arduous country practice, traveling by horseback
over the sparsely settled country to visit patients.
Money was not plentiful and bills were more
often paid in oranges, potatoes and corn. There
was no hospital. Surgery was limited and crude.
Few specific drugs were known. As few physi-
cians in that era were willing to do, Dr. Lykes
faced honestly the limitations of available therapy
and shared the same question as his kinsman,
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
Fig. 1.- The 109 foot motor schooner Dr. Lykes was built in 1899 for Dr. Lykes and Captain W. H. Towles of
Dr. John P. Wall: "Is there any evidence that
the average duration of life has been lengthened
by our superior skill in the treatment of disease?
On the other hand, is there not considerable
ground for the belief that thousands of lives have
been sacrificed by the exhibition of our reme-
After two years of practice, he turned his
patients over to another kinsman-by-marriage, Dr.
Sheldon Stringer Sr., and channeled his energy
and ambition into other pursuits. He first turned
to the cedar logging industry, as cedar was
much in demand for pencils in America and
Europe. Huge cedar logs were cut from the
swamps and Indian mounds of coastal Hernando
and Citrus counties, and were floated down the
Chassahowitzka and Weekiwachee Rivers to the
head of Crystal River for milling. Additional
tracts of land were acquired along the coast
and were converted to pasture after logging was
In 1874, Dr. Lykes, then age 28, married
Almeria Belle McKay, daughter of Tampa ship-
master and exporter, Captain James McKay. Two
years later, in 1876, on the death of his father,
Dr. Lykes inherited Spring Hill and other prop-
erty. All of the eight Lykes children, a daughter
and seven sons, were born at Spring Hill be-
tween 1877 and 1888. Their names, in order of
birth, were: Matilda McKay; Frederick Eugene;
Howell Tyson Jr.; James McKay; Lipscomb
Goodwin (Dick); Thompson Mayo; John Wall,
and Joseph Taliaferro.
During the decade between 1868 and 1878,
the Cuban insurrection against Spain was setting
the stage for a boom of the cattle industry in
South Florida, and for the good fortune of Dr.
Lykes and other cattlemen. Most of the cattle in
Cuba were destroyed in the fighting and there
was constant demand for restocking of the herds.
Dr. Lykes' interests in cattle and land grew. His
cattle soon ranged in an area from present Citrus
County, over the western part of Hernando, Pas-
co, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and as far
south as Largo.2
It is of incidental interest that the birth of
Florida's only set of quintuplets occurred on Lykes
property, the "Lykes Lemon Grove," just north of
Bay Port in 1860. The mother, Mrs. Joe Goethe,
described as "less than average size., and not very
robust," was attended by Dr. Sheldon Stringer
Sr. The quintuplets, all boys, "were perfectly
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
formed at birth, but all died in infancy."6
Beginning in 1874, Dr. Lykes served two
terms in the Florida legislature as senator repre-
senting Hernando, Citrus and Pasco counties. Leg-
islative process was evidently more leisurely in
that day. The Sunland Tribune of March 1, 1879
reported that the legislature adjourned for three
days in order that the members could attend
the State Fair at Gainesville. Dr. Lykes was
listed as having won three "diplomas" and cash
prizes for his "Brahmin cattle" at the fair,
proving the presence of Brahma cattle in Florida
at that early date.
Until 1880, Dr. Lykes was largely a pro-
ducer of cattle, which he sold at Tampa or
Punta Rassa. Later, in partnership with Captain
W. H. Towles of Punta Rassa, he began to ex-
port cattle to Havana for sale. Their first two
boats were the 109 foot motor schooner, Dr.
Lykes (Fig. 1) and the little steamer Fanita.
The Fanita had been built by the Vanderbilt
family as a private yacht. The bones of her
hull can still be found rusting on a sandspit
east of Tampa's Seddon Island.7 Inr addition to
the Lykes cattle, other herds were purchased as
far south as Lee County and the Kissimmee
River for export.
In 1886 Dr. Lykes built Tampa's first three-
story brick building, the Almeria Hotel (Fig. 2).
It was built on his wife's birthplace and was
named for her. This building, on the northeast
corner of Franklin and Washington Streets, is
now remodeled and serves as the modern office
of Lykes Bros., Inc.
Dr. Lykes was 40 years old at this time, of
medium height, slender of build, restlessly ener-
getic, solemn, taciturn and sometimes stern. His
eldest son, Fred, recalls, "My father, if anything,.
was an efficient disciplinarian. Each of us from
the time we were five years old had our regular
duties to perform that no one else was permit-
ted to do for us. As we grew older our responsi-
bility was increased. He taught us early to act
on our own judgement and initiative. If we erred
in our judgement there was no fuss or criticism
from him. When he was in the house, peace,
quiet and harmony reigned." He describes his
mother as having "personal charm, sympathetic
understanding, patience and spiritual beauty. This
home life, inspiration, and business training
that we got from our parents at this age has
been invaluable to us."8
After the disastrous freeze of 1894-1895,
which killed most of the citrus groves in the
state, the Lykes family acquired an entire sec-
tion of land and built a new home at Ballast
Point, overlooking Hillsborough Bay just south of
Tampa. This home now is occupied by a grand-
Fig. 2.- Franklin. Street, looking north at Washington Street, about 1890. Dr. Lykes' Almeria Hotel, (right)
named for his wife, was Tampa's first three-story brick structure. Sand streets and wooden sidewalks served
the center of town.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
, ( 1. -, 'r-
daughter,, Mrs. Chester H. Ferguson, and her fam-
ily. Just north of the house, where Tampa Yacht
and Country Club now stands, Dr. Lykes built
a long dock "three steers wide" for the loading
of cattle upon ships. Thus he became the only
cattle exporter who shipped virtually from his
The Tampa Interbay Peninsula in those
days was still much in its primitive state. Na-
ture had not been gentle to this land. The en-
tire peninsula, up to present-day Kennedy Boule-
vard, had been inundated by bay water during
Tampa's worst hurricane, Sept. 25, 1848.9 The
devastating drought of 1860 so parched the area
that only 3,500 of the 8,000 cattle in pasture
there survived.10 Later a hand-hewn rail fence
was built across the peninsula from Hillsborough
Bay to Old Tampa Bay, to contain the cattle.
The present Bay-to-Bay Boulevard follows the
route of this fence.11 By the time the Lykes
family moved to Ballast Point in 1895, H. B.
Plant had built his rickety railroad spur to an
embryo Port Tampa. There was little else on the
Interbay Peninsula except a few cracker shacks,
varying numbers of range cows and astronomic
numbers of rattlesnakes.
Cattle business was the big business on the
West Coast. The Savannah News of Oct. 25,,
1879 listed the following shipments of cattle to
Cuba: "Ziba King, 6,000 head; Jake Summerlin,
7,000 head; Dr. Lykes, 10,000 head." This trade
had a profound effect on the money in use
in the area. Both Cubans and Floridians dis-
trusted Spanish bank notes, and had little more
respect for the American dollar. They dealt pri-
marily in gold Spanish doubloons, worth $16.80
each. These bright, soft coins were always meas-
ured by weighing because they wore easily. Mc-
Kay and Grismer, respected Tampa historians,
each state that for about 20 years "gold Spanish
doubloons became more common in Tampa and
the cattle country than American dollars.'12.13
D. B. McKay relates how Dr. Lykes and his
inseparable Negro companion-servant, Charlie
Johnson, handled this heavy loot.
"A consignment of cattle was loaded on a
ship at the Ballast Point docks. The Cuban buyer
paid Dr. Lykes the agreed price--enough gold
coins to fill an Octagon soap box. Dr. Lykes
slept in his nearby camp that night using the
box of money with a saddle blanket over it
for a pillow.
"Cowboys slept all around him, but he felt
no uneasiness-his faithful servant, Charlie John-
I h. No i(.,. 0
i t I I n i; "1 i: i ll I:1 M, r.
-nfl I riI.i. I ,
ll 1140 41 n l rn nnl.-t-.
S I. -,,, in n ;l I r I n .\., rtl[
( I 'I ln )' I, J" i I. l rT.n L nni l juE, h
.nn 'l .r < '- i I . "
Fig. 3. Newspapers often carried Cattle Notices, dis-
Violators usually responded to reason, but were occa-
unf. T. LYKE.,
hu n k:r ,v Fy l n. ; 1.1 a|l l.- ;
Fig. 3.-Newspapers often carried Cattle Notices, dis-
playing the owners' ear droppings and flank brands.
Violators usually responded to reason, but were occa-
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
son, was on guard duty day and night ready
to do battle with man or beast . Char-
lie was a peculiar figure, much over six feet tall
and so knock-kneed that he walked with difficulty.
He always rode a frisky little mule and his feet
almost dragged the ground."14 The son of the
freed slaves of Dr. Lykes' father, Charlie was an
important force in the rearing and training of
Dr. Lykes' own sons.
The stockmen, often termed "cattle kings,"
were the dominant figures of west Florida's most
colorful era. The law of the open range pre-
vailed from Palatka to Lake Okeechobee through-
out the 19th Century. The Western Plains pro-
vided no more thrilling stories of cattle drives,
open-range feuds and shootouts than did Florida.
Newspapers carried "Cattle Warnings" (Fig. 3)
displaying the owners' brands and ear croppings.
These warnings usually could be enforced with
labor and reasoning, but, when not, with revolvers.
The names of the famous cattlemen were
equally picturesque-names like Ziba King of
Fort Ogden, Captain John T. Lesley of Fort
Brooke and Jake Summerlin, "King of the Crack-
ers." Jake, among others, could handle an 18-foot
bullwhip as well as any cowhand (The crack of
this whip gave the "Florida Cracker" his nick-
4 K -" '
Fig. 4. Dr. Howell Tyson Lykes on the lawn of his
home about 1894.
name). Big stockmen shared the common traits
of extreme individuality, hard work and high
living. The unbroken flow from Havana of gold
coins, fine goods and aged spirits made their way
of life profitable and pleasurable. Dr. Lykes fitted
well in this company.
Such a full life was not allowed to interfere
with the training, education and discipline of the
seven sons. As each achieved his early teens, he
was sent during the summers to learn the family
business as a cowboy, hotel clerk or deckhand.
Their activities were kept under the stern eye
of the doctor. (Fig. 4) His counsel was
readily available, pertinent and succinct. It usually
ended with the same phrase, "Stick together what-
ever you do, and take care of your sister." The
maturing and molding together of this strong
family were greater achievements for Dr. Lykes
than were any of his economic successes.
In time, the seven sons and daughter "Tillie"
were graduated from various colleges of their own
choosing. Each of the boys returned and entered
the family cattle and shipping business. After the
close of the Spanish-American War in 1900
the two eldest sons, Fred and H. T., then aged
22 and 21,, respectively, were sent to Havana,
adequately financed., to open an office. There they
chartered the parent company, Lykes Bros., Inc.
Both survived yellow fever under the care of the
famous Cuban, Dr. Carlos Finlay. That same
year, Walter Reed proved Finlay's 19-year-old
theory that the Aedes mosquito was the vector of
The older sons were soon joined by brothers
James and Lipscomb. They bought and consoli-
dated Cuban ranches, built Cuba's first meat
packing plant, chartered ships and imported a
steady stream of cattle from Florida, Texas, Cen-
tral and South America.
In early 1906 the sons were notified that
Dr. Lyke's health was failing rapidly. They were
called home after his death, of unknown cause, at
Ballast Point on May 14, 1906. The Tampa
Times of May 16, 1906 records that the family,
accompanied by "a large concourse of friends,,"
traveled to Spring Hill by special train for the
funeral. Almeria McKay Lykes was to survive
her husband for 20 years, providing wise and
gentle guidance for her family.
The firm of Lykes Bros. was incorporated in
Florida in 1910, with the seven brothers and
F. A. Morris, who had been with them from the
start, as owners. The third brother, James, who
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
had opened an office in Galveston in 1903, was
joined by the youngest brother Joseph. Brothers
Howell, Thornpson and John managed the Florida
interests. More ships were bought or chartered,
mostly by James and Joe in Texas, for shipment
of cattle and general cargo.
Though quite dissimilar in personality, the
brothers (Fig. 5) were bound together by gen-
uine affection, mutual toleration and intense fami-
ly loyalty. A friend or enemy of one brother
held the same role with the others. When the
entire family convened in Tampa each February,
the brothers invariably met each other with an
embrace, the traditional Spanish "abrazo."
Gradually the shipping activity overshadowed
that of cattle. World War I caused great ex-
pansion in the steamship line. In 1922, Lykes
Bros. Steamship Co., with James as president,
was created and set apart from the other in-
terests. Smaller steamship companies were pur-
chased and worldwide service established. All
ships of the Lykes line were named for members
of the family or of the company (Fig. 6). Far
greater growth occurred during and after World
War II, even though 21 Lykes ships were sunk.
One of the great mysteries of the War was the
disappearance of the S. S. Tillie Lykes in the
West Indies, without a message or trace.15
Today, with 54 ships, Lykes Bros. Steamship
Co. is the largest American-flag shipping line.
Lykes Bros., Inc. is the biggest producer of
cattle and is the largest meat packer in Florida.
It is also a volume producer of cattle in Texas.
Recently the company has become one of Flori-
da's major growers and processors of citrus. Other
interests include banking, insurance and real es-
These various and widespread organizations are
still closely held by the equally varied members
of the Lykes family, now 84 in number.
The sons, grandsons, nephews and sons-in-law
who guide the family businesses are as dissimi-
lar in inclination, temperament and physical ap-
pearance as were the original seven brothers.
Yet few have ever chosen to leave. Fortune
Magazine16 aptly describes the Lykes as "an
engaging lot. They have mutual respect and in-
dividual independence. They seem to have an hon-
Fig. 5.- A rare portrait of the seven Lykes brothers made in 1940. Standing (from left) are James McKay,
John Wall, Frederick Eugene and Lipscomb Goodwin (Dick). Seated are Howell Tyson Jr., Thompson Mayo
and Joseph Taliaferro. Dick's picture was skillfully added from another portrait by photographer Carl Blakeslee.
The last surviving brother, Joseph, died in 1967.
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
Fig. 6. -The present S.S. Doctor Lykes, a C-3 cargo-passenger liner, could easily carry the original schooner Dr.
Lykes on her foredeck.
est liking for each other." With rare accomplish-
ment, they have indeed been able to "stick to-
gether," the one great desire of Dr. Lykes-
founder of their empire.
Grateful acknowledgment for aid in the preparation of this
manuscript is made to Mrs. Genevieve Parkhill Lykes, Mrs.
Louise Lykes Ferguson, Mr. Charles Parkhill Lykes and Tampa
historian Mr. Theodore Lesley.
1. Lykes, McKay and Allied Families, The American His-
torical Company, 1953, pp. 15-23.
2. Lykes, F. L. The Lykes Family in Florida, Presented
to Florida Historical Society, March 30, 1951.
3. Additional Lykes Data, American Historical Company, 1953,
4. Tampa Times obituary, May 14, 1906.
5. Ingram, J. M.: John ,Perry Wall- \ Man for All Seasons
J. Florida M. A. 53:709-717 (August) 1966.
6. McKay, D, B.: Pioneer Florida, The Southern Publishing
Company, 1959, Vol. 1, p. 47.
7. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 393.
8. Lykes, F. E.: Lykes Brothers, Inc., 1944. unpublished.
9. McKay, D. B.: Pioneer Florida, Vol. I, p. 156.
10. Lesley, Captain John T.: Pocket Diary.
11. McKay. Captain James Jr.: History of Tampa, Tampa
12. Grismer, K. H.: Book of Tampa, 1951, p. 306.
13. McKay, D. B.: Pioneer Florida, Vol. II, p. 385.
14. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 325.
15. Lykes Fleet Flashes, October 1950, p. 5.
16. Lincoln, Freeman: Fortune Magazine, February 1954, pp.
108-114, 202-212 (by permission).
SDr. Ingram, One Davis Boulevard, Tampa
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
Old Doc Anna
As told by Dr. Anna Darrow
We arc indebted to Miss Dorothy Darrow, daughter
of Dr. Anna Darrow, for permission to reprint these
excerpts from a reminiscence left by Dr. Darrow, and for
most of the illustrations accompanying this article. We
are also indebted to Tierney and Killingsworth, Inc. of
Miami for the photograph of the prizewinning painting.
(Fig. 2)-Medical History Ed.
.I .'', he was a handsome, even tem-
pered woman who wasn't afraid of
the devil himself (Fig. 1). Carry-
.J__,_._L_ ing a large black bag of medicines
and instruments she traveled alone four and five
days at a time to visit sick folk and deliver babies.
She would answer a call day or night, rain or
shine, whenever she was needed. Where there were
suitable roads, she drove a Model T Ford with
head lamps that ran off the magneto. If she drove
fast the lights faded, so at night she had to
travel in low gear to see where she was going.
When the roads were too bad for the Ford she
either drove a fout-wheeled buggy pulled by a
crippled horse or saddled the horse and rode him.
The gait of the horse was so peculiar that the
country folk knew immediately when "Doc Anner"
was in the neighborhood by the sound of the
horse's hoofs. She never carried a gun and she
always carried $100 in change with her. A favor-
ite trick of some of the country folk was to keep a
$50 bill and offer this to "Doc Anner' to pay her
fee; if she couldn't change the bill, they considered
the debt paid and never again offered to pay. Al-
though it was generally known that she carried
this amount of money on her person and did not
carry a gun, she was never attacked or even
threatened. Indeed, such desperadoes as the Ash-
leys, the Mobleys, the Rice brothers and the
Upthegroves, who left a trail of blood. in the
south Florida frontier, respected her and at
times entrusted their lives to her care. On one
occasion the Ashleys took her blindfolded to
their hideout somewhere near Stuart to care for
one of their family and returned her blind-
folded to Stuart so that she would not know
where she had been.
She was keenly alert to the beauty of the
Florida sunset, the waving sawgrass, the color-
ful birds and the many flowers around her. She
was particularly clever in painting flowers with
water colors and beautiful landscapes in oils.
Hanging in the office of the Broward County
Medical Association is an oil by "Doc Anner"
which won her a prize of $1,000 in the hobby
show at the 1946 annual meeting of the Amer-
ican Medical Association, Atlantic City, N. J.
This depicts an incident when she almost stepped
on a diamondback rattlesnake as she alighted
from her old Model T Ford to deliver a baby in
a pioneer's shack (Fig. 2).
But let her tell the story in her own words...
"We soon acquired an old gray buggy horse.
Fig. 1. "Old Doc Anna," 1909
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
He had met the Florida East Coast trains to
pick up tourists and take them to the hotels
in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach and acci-
dentally he was hit on the right hindquarter so was
a little lame. I do not recall what Dr. C. R. (Dr.
Charles Roy Darrow, her husband) paid for him,
but a nice buggy with a top arrived and old Jim
soon was carrying me miles out in the sticks to see
the sick when the Ford could not make it. Some-
times I had to saddle him and ride out into
the back country for there were only trails to
follow and many of them went through marshy
sloughs. The wheels of the Ford car would skid
and finally stop and dig deep into the muck.
Unless one was really skilled and knew every
foot of the road it was almost impossible to
negotiate the water, sand and muck.
"I found that I could make most of the
roads without stalling by starting to slow down
about half a block from the bad spot, slowing
down, putting the car in second and then giv-
ing her the juice. In all the years that I drove
through the country I never was stuck or
drowned out. On one occasion though I really
was frightened. I was headed for Fort Lauder-
dale, had been over to Okeechobee to see a
critically ill woman who had been a patient of
"I had taken the trail road to Indiantown
snaking in between pines and oak trees. Some-
times only inches to spare on either side. Then
all of a sudden I was on a thrown up road
that was quite hard and smooth. I noticed a
nice big house unpainted to the right and about
150 feet from the gate. I was wondering how
far this road would take me when the air was
rent with a terrific explosion, The car shook
and quivered all over and stopped. Instantly I
shut off the gas and leaped out half expecting
to see flames leaping up from somewhere. No-
no fire, not a thing in the road. The engine
was not hot. So I carefully climbed in and
turned on the gas and cranked up. All seemed
serene. Then I put her in low and she ran,
then second and again she obeyed, but high, dead
stop instantly. Then again I tried and now I
figured something was acting as a brake.
"Yes, sure enough, the arm that held up the
front fenders was resting on the wheels. Here
was another puzzle-why! Then all of a sud-
den I saw that the front spring had broken in
half. I have always been proud of the fact
Fig. 2.- The prizewinning painting.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
that my dad was a high class mechanic and
inventor and that I had been blessed with a
mechanical spot in my brain.
"I went over to the house, found a pile of
discarded building material, found a piece of two
by four that would fit into the sagging spring,
so I got out the jack and the ax and wire,
raised up the body of the car, drove the tim-
ber in and wired it and then off for home. I
saw a garage in West Palm Beach and I stop-
ped and asked if they had a Ford car front
spring on hand. Yes they did. I said, 'O.K. boys,
fix her up for me.' Well I will never forget
the fun and surprise those mechanics had over
my ingenuity. They called everyone in to see
what this woman doctor did out in the woods
to fix up her car.
"Our trip over to Okeechobee was something
I shall never forget. I was anxious to see our
new home in the Florida wilderness. There was
a thrown up road for about 12 miles out of
Fort Pierce. Then suddenly we left it and headed
right into water hub deep. This trail through the
marsh was 11 miles long to what was called Red
Bug Island. Here and there were oak trees,
palms and scrub palmettos growing on an eleva-
tion. It was a refuge for everything, including
man, to get out of the water. Then the next 13
miles of. road gradually got better, and after
fording a creek, the sides of which were lined
with beautiful maples (swamp maple) and cypress,
dry land with beautiful turpentine pine tree forest
presented itself. Then we crossed the Onosohat-
chee River, also called Taylor Creek, on a
handmade bridge of palmetto trees to support
the rough timber which was only wide enough
for one vehicle at a time. The river here was
beautiful and my artistic eye drank in a pic-
ture that never let me rest until I put the scene
on canvas, and need I say that today it is
one of my prize possessions, and it has been
exhibited several times at local art, shows and
has always brought forth kindly praise as a true
representation of our unusual tropical Florida
"Jim Nash, the carpenter and handyman,
arrived. Doc Coon, the dentist, rented an up-
stairs room for his office. A bank was opened
and Mr. Gary was cashier. Soon there were law-
yers and doctors, drug stores and veterinarians
were scattered around the settlement. There was
the promise of a thriving town in the offing.
The men formed a business men's organization
which met once a week at the Woman's Club
building. The women got the idea of gathering
in a few dollars so once a week they met and
cooked a good old fashioned meal and I made
coffee by the gallon and served it. An old
fashioned formula that I had learned when
just a girl back in old Indiana was followed,
tablespoon of coffee to the cup of water. Coffee
was carefully moistened with egg before cold
water was added, then let come to a slow boil
for five minutes, let stand another five minutes
and here would be a beautiful golden aromatic
drink, served with rich sweet cream. Those days
we did not hear the comment when asked 'black
please'; common sense told us cream helped to
counteract the acid in the coffee bean.
"Mr. Raulerson was one of the handy men
of the settlement, sort of a jack of all trades
and a fine fellow. One night I heard a rap
at the kitchen door. Being a light sleeper I hop-
ped out of bed and hurried to the window and
called, 'Who is there?' A man's voice answered,
'Doc, my shoat is having convulsions.' Here I
was stumped. I did not know what a shoat was
but thought it was the name of his child. In old
Indiana it was hog, pig and piggie. So I said,
'How old is the child?' 'Oh doc, it's my three weeks
old pig that has drank so much cane skimmings he
is having convulsions.' Then I ran back to Dr. C.
R. and told him Will Raulerson's pig is having
convulsions from drinking too much cane skim-
mings-it was syrup time. Dr. C. R. answered
back, 'What does he think I am, a vet?' I realized
that our reputation might be at stake so I hurried
back and asked him if he could tell me how
much the shoat weighed. I figured out quickly
that it would come to the 12 pound weight of
an infant. When Doc and I graduated in medi-
cine, Dr. Abbott in Chicago, whom I had met
personally and whose medical laboratory I had
visited, known for the invention of the alkaloids,
gave us each a kit of a complete drugstore.
This was one of my most cherished possessions,
for no matter where I was called I could al-
ways find in my handbag an indicated remedy.
"Now here was a challenge to my ingenuity.
A 12-pound shoat with convulsions. I hastened to
the chart, figured out what was indicated and
gave the pellets to Will and told him to give
one every two hours with water from a small
bottle. If the piggie acted cold to cover it up.
The experiment was a success and it was soon
noised about that old Doc Anna was a fine doc-
tor, so everything that lived and breathed be-
came a patient.
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
"Two men were bitten by the black widow spi-
der. They rushed to me all in a cold sweat
and nausea. Again Lloyd's preparations saved the
day. Two others bitten by tarantulas and a centi-
pede, no' fatalities. By this time I was known
far and wide as "Old Doc Anna." The Indians
came to us with many types of illness. I had
doctored a little four year old Indian boy brought
in by Billie Bowlegs. 'Pickinniny die sun up,' the
chief told me. I looked' at him in astonish-
ment and wondered if they were performing a
rite. It did not take me long to diagnose acute
pericarditis-and 'pickinniny no die if you do as
"I persuaded them to camp near Judge Han-
cock's home and bring the boy in every day. It
not only surprised the Indians but I must con-
fess I was unduly pleased. Then I carefully in-
structed them in his bringing up. No punishments
or undue excitement. I had heard one of the
ways they punished unruly children was to tie
them out in the water up to their neck. This
shock treatment would probably prove fatal.
"I let all the Indians listen to my heart
through the stethoscope. The boy's heart had a
marked friction. rub. Whether they got this, I
do not know except that from that time on I
was 'Squaw Doctor' to the Indians. They hung
beads about my neck and said a ritual. Five
years later they brought this boy in to see me
and I was pleased to note his heart was in good
condition and he seemed to be a normal happy
"Going back to our days in Okeechobee. I
recall that there were four M.D.'s who came
and located there and set up business. One
in particular opened up a drugstore just around
the corner from us. One of the drawing cards
of his establishment was a cold drink stand,
which we did not have. But this nearly cost him
his life. Cattle roamed at will and one of their
stunts was to turn over the garbage cans in the
Fig. 3.- Left to right: Miss Dorothy Darrow, Dr. Charles Roy Darrow, "Tin Lizzie," Dr. Anna Darrow, Otto
Scharfschwerdt, Grandmother Lindstedt and Grandmother Darrow.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
alleyway. The chemical called High Life,* smell-
ing like a batch of rotten eggs, thrown on the
cattle or dogs would run them off. The doctor,
who owned the drugstore liked his liquor too.
One of his clerks had filled a tumbler with
High Life to throw on a cow and put the
glass down on the counter in the rear of the
drugstore. The doctor also had poured out a
glass of water to drink after his draft of liquor
with one of his customers. He picked up the
glass of High Life instead of water and downed
"In less time than it takes me to write it
he collapsed. Dr. C. R. and I were closing up
the drugstore to leave for home. Suddenly we
heard a terrific hammering and yelling at the
front door so Dr. C. R. hastened to open up
and in stumbled two men carrying the doctor
unconscious. They said, 'Doc, he took High Life
by mistake as a chaser for the liquor.' I can't
ever remember putting up a bigger fight to
save a life. Dr. C. R. and I worked all night,
pumped out the stomach and hurriedly made a
starch solution and added bismuth subnitrate to
coat the burned mucosa of his stomach. I had
heard it noised about that he had made his
brags that he was going to run the 'petticoat
doctor' out of town. He got tired of having
'Dr. Anner' quoted to him as an authority on
how to treat sick folks. By this time the folks
around the lake area found that I had learned
their ways, their language, their superstitions
and their way of life. I tried not to act sur-
prised when I visited a confinement case and the
patient was complaining of severe afterpains and
the husband came in and found that the scissors
had not been put under the mattress to cut the
pains, or if a hoot owl called suddenly, 'Who,
who cooks for you all,'- to quickly turn your
pocket inside out will break their bad luck.
"Going back to the High Life case, Dr. C. R.
and I did a lot of worrying for here was a
very sick man. We wired for Dr. McEwen of
Orlando to come quick. He went over the case
with us and to his knowledge he had never
heard of, or seen a case of High Life poisoning
and told us we had done everything humanly
possible to save the doctor's life and could sug-
gest nothing but to wait and see and meet symp-
toms as they arrived.
"That reminds me of a comical thing that
happened to Dr. Alsobrook and me. Can you
picture a fine looking middle-aged woman with
black hair, flashing black eyes and a faultless
complexion, straight as a ramrod, the mother of
five grown up children and about to be in on
seeing a child born for the first time. Her daugh-
ter had come in from the lake and was suddenly
in the throes of labor. I was sent for in a
hurry. There was no extra bedroom or bed. My
patient was lying on an old Army cot in the
middle of a room alongside a rough homemade
table with a kerosene lamp on it. Of course,
there was nothing prepared for this emergency so
I had to think quickly to calm the situation.
I told her to please heat water with which to
boil up my instruments. Anything to keep her
busy and calm her nerves.
"In the process of delivery the patient had
one of those resting spells come on and the
mother got very excited thinking that something
had gone wrong. In order to be doing some-
thing myself I turned the patient over on her
side and massaged her back and told her she
was doing fine. All of a sudden the ordeal was
over so I delivered, on her side, a fine six
pound girl. Grandma was delighted.
"A short time after that I got a call one
night for a confinement just up the road from
Mrs. K. I had not been engaged and I had
just returned from one of my trips over on the
lake. Dr. C. R. said, 'Don't go-tell them to
call someone else.' About noon Dr. C. R. called
me and said that Dr. Alsobrook wanted me to
help him on a confinement case, said he did
not like to put on forceps. I got dressed and
hurried down to our drugstore where Dr. Also-
brook was waiting for me. We hurried through
the woods and prairie and as we sped on I
noticed we passed Mrs. K.'s place, then on into
a hammock where there was another old tin
shack. Just as we stopped our cars and got out
with our instruments, out came Mrs. K. dressed
in a dark house dress with a white apron
frantically waving it up and down screaming at
the top of her voice, 'Oh my God I have done
it-oh my God I have done it. I turned her
over on her side just like Dr. Anna did my
daughter and here comes the baby! I just come
over to see and get some drinking water--oh
my God I have done it.' We stopped in to take
a look at the situation. Here was a bouncing 12
pound baby and a badly lacerated mother. Dr.
Alsobrook took one look and said, 'Doc sew her
up!' and hopped into his tin lizzie and sped for
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
"I cajoled Mrs. K. into calming herself, prais-
ing her ability to meet an emergency, but cau-
tioned her that if she persisted in copying me
she would have to get a license.
"I never knew in what direction or how far
my next call would be. Could I make it by
horse and buggy or Ford? Usually those who
sent their messengers for me would be specific
in directions. Many lived on houseboats and
fished for a living. The Booth Fisheries found a
market for the Okeechobee cat fish. One day
a woman was bleeding to death and I did a
curettage on board this moving houseboat. A
little 9-year-old boy directed me to the right
boat. She was unconscious, but I got out all
my paraphernalia, instruments and medicines and
did my job so well that when I called on her
three days afterward she said, 'I am delighted to
meet you-I wondered what you would look
like. Nine years ago I had the same thing happen
to me and I was in a hospital with all kinds
of doctors and nurses and it cost me $500.
Lady you amaze me and I thank you for saving
"One night a man called out at our front
gate on Parrot Avenue, 'Old Doctor Anner.' I
hopped out of bed and went to the door and
asked, 'Who is calling?' 'You are wanted on the
ridge, a woman is very sick. The boat is wait-
ing for you at the dock.' I asked, 'What is the
trouble?' 'Donkt know,' he replied. So I dressed,
started up the car and made for the dock.
"I handed the two men the emergency out-
fit, climbed into the boat and we were putt-
putting, headed for the lake. The night was very
dark. I marvelled at their steering skill, when
all of a sudden we stopped on the middle of
a sand bar unable to push off. One fellow jumped
overboard, handing me his oar. With all pushing
we were soon off again up the river to the
lake. Entering the lake they turned and headed
toward the ridge at the mouth of the Kissimmee
River. A gray mist hid the shoreline and the
only sound to break the stillness was the purr
of the little engine and the call of an occasional
night bird. Hours were slipping away and I was
wondering how much further we must go," so I
asked and one fellow answered, 'We kaint see the
light yit.' The other fellow answered, 'I hope it
did not go out,' so I resigned myself to hop-
ing we were not lost for after all Lake Okeecho-
bee is a big expanse of water. I also wondered
about the patient, for they only called me when
it was urgent. Just as we were all getting
anxious the faint glow of a kerosene lantern,
hung on the arm of a piling, flickered into view.
Tying up to this rickety dock about half a block
from the ridge, I took off my shoes and stock-
ings, waded ashore through weeds, lily pads and
water up to my knees. The men carried my
medical kit. It was a rugged half mile following
the men with the lantern to the corrugated iron
cabin. Depositing my kit and pointing, 'In there,'
they disappeared in the darkness.
"Rapping on the door I got no reply so I
pushed it open. There under a mosquito net
canopy, on a spring and mattress supported on
four grocery boxes, lay a comely woman,, semi-
conscious. I finally aroused her and said, 'This
is Doctor Anna, what can I do for you?' She
replied, 'So glad you are here, I am mighty sick.
Had a chill yesterday and now I have labor pains.'
No more questions were answered for she
lapsed off into a stupor again. Temperature reg-
istered 106, pulse 120 per minute. Patient
drenched in sweat. I made the clinical diag-
nosis of acute malaria so gave seven and one
half grain ampule of quinine dihydrochloride deep
in the thigh. It was now early morning and
labor was progressing rapidly and became quite
rugged, so Abbotts H.M.C. was given hypoder-
mically. About 4:30 a.m. a perfect five pound
girl arrived, uttered a few feeble cries and passed
out in my arms. I hurriedly placed the dead
infant on a trunk in the corner and turned my
attention to the mother who was making a
desperate effort to live.
"About eight o'clock she rallied enough to
ask me if she has given birth to a baby. I
replied, 'Yes dear, you have, but sorry your
little girl was too sick to live.' She closed .her
eyes, face as white as alabaster, a wealth of
dark braided hair wrapped about her head like
a halo reminded me of a real madonna. All
through the ordeal there was no loud groaning
or piercing cries, just a calmness that so often
precedes death. Here was a challenge I had to
"Finally, I was able to leave the bedside a
moment and I looked over to the trunk where
the dead infant lay. Much to my surprise and
horror the wood rats were scampering all over
the baby and gnawing at it. They were coming
in through a crack in the corner. I finally
found an old towel, wrapped up the baby and
placed it under the screen canopy at its mother's
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
feet. About nine o'clock I heard a familiar call,
'Dr. Anner', a man's voice outside said, 'if you
will go up the trail a quarter of a mile Mrs.
C. will give you breakfast.' By this time I
needed sustenance so I stepped out and here
again were two strange men to direct me. They
pointed to another tin cabin and disappeared. This
middle-aged woman wasted no time on words,
'Howdy, how is Mrs. S.?' I replied, 'Better thank
you, but the baby girl died.' She said, 'Sit,' and
placed before me a plate of hot biscuit, syrup
and cup of coffee and disappeared. I hurried
back to my patient, took temperature and pulse,
which were almost normal, so I was certain my
diagnosis was correct. After the cleanup I gave
another ampule of quinine and doled out medi-
cines out of my miniature drug store with written
instructions to meet any emergency or for a nor-
mal recovery; also a thermometer and instructions
to call me again if necessary.
"Suddenly I became conscious of my legs
burning and a crawling sensation all over. I had
been too intent on saving my patient's life to
feel discomfort. Recalling wading through the
weeds I thought I would look and see how many
scratches I had sustained. Now I was in for a
surprise. Fleas were hopping right and left. The
gray, slow moving hog lice were crawling through
my clothing and a red bug had fastened here
and there. I hastily undressed and disposed of my
crawlers. It was now past noon and I was
wondering how I was to get back home when the
familiar 'Dr. Anner' sounded outside the cabin
and another stranger handed me a little wooden
coffin for the baby. 'Dr. Anner, if you are ready
to leave follow me to the dock and we will
take you home.' He grabbed my emergency kit;
it kept me stepping to keep up with him but
by this time it was daylight well into the after-
"I was looking for a dry spot in the boat
to sit down and put my shoes and stockings on,
when I noticed a stiff breeze had sprung up.
A big wave slapped the boat sidewise and I
had to grab the housing to stay on board. Wave
after wave broke, some going over my head
and drenching me to the skin. Finally, we out-
rode the squall and turned into the mouth of
Inda ., :poxace- 'tch- i-
T114 31 Z. N. tc"jn -.
3 0 O 31 RI-E Ina~' '
o Lo T M! LRI =
'C) '- .^ Ap^AT'L WiLD REFUG
S", 00 I1 rBeachi
Fot Rive Pero Shore orL
FaA Drufo L :34 Iedfnd
tomon Hta.~o 0. ~ ort Pierce Shores
I .... 'le P ierce
SLrida/ OIort T? Beach
P ,a B B. Fort Pierce-. -,
letok.o_ 5.S3S /3 S T. L U -"'Pe1
jFig. j Wild ... Ft. mae Balsro FtDum oBasinge rn vnott Indatw".(erdcdb ems
sion o 0.0 S o l D
LLA.ND S sAnkona,
*) M~n "J~^^- \, <^ r*<^^' B ^ ^*^.l walt<) aadn
lvI Ok teee^cn Beach
Ie -rX rf~ Id- 7^^ t^kMveolu n
m j Uu 0 cl &Afals Pt.
N' ot aU oO. rt Salemn
fSalerno', Lut L al
J IMMY 1-: 7 ,-' t %Bound
ESERA~tOI IniantC, 1 111 S ICk vMor JUPITIEF
BiRrVf A A KE Sr X- -j""ISLAND
0 port Mayca":Ehn~~ t~~td er
^- *; r :i CR'ECHOBEE ter-----r -y P) p"
Fig. 4. ".. she made calls from Ft. Drum to Bassinger and even out to Indiantown" (Reproduced by permis-
sion of the State of Florida, Department of Agriculture).
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
Taylor Creek under the bridge. Going up the
river the hot sun dried our clothing. The Ford
standing by the river bank was a welcome sight.
"Days went by and no word from the
patient on the ridge. About three weeks later, a
fine looking husky fellow came into the drug-
store and inquired for 'Doc Anner.' I stepped
out from behind the prescription counter and said,
'Yes, who wants me?' 'I am Mrs. S.'s husband,
you took care of her when I was out on the
lake fishing. What do I owe you? Here is
your thermometer.' I told him what his bill was
and added., 'But please tell me how is your wife
getting along?' He answered, 'Fine, thank you,'
placed the money on the counter and left with-
out another word."
Anna Albertina (Lindstedt) Darrow was born
on a farm in Jasper County, Ind. in 1876.
She attended the Kirksville School of Osteopathy
in Kirksville, Mo., then studied medicine at the
Jenner Medical College and the Chicago College of
Medicine and Surgery (a forerunner of the Loyola
University Medical School), graduating with hon-
ors in 1909. In 1912 she and her husband, Dr.
Charles Roy Darrow, who was a surgeon, moved
to Okeechobee where he was to serve as surgeon
for the Florida East Coast Railway. Okeechobee,
or Okeechobee City as it was sometimes called,
was known as Tantie in 1912. It consisted of a
few frame houses and buildings clustered around
sandy trails leading to Taylor Creek. Unpromising
as it looked in 1912, Mr. Ingram, Henry M.
Flagler's promoter, assured the Doctors Darrow
that as soon as the railroad reached there it would
blossom out into another Palm Beach or Miami.
While her husband stayed in town., did the
office practice and ran the drug store, Dr.
Anna made the house calls back in the woods
from Fort Drum to Bassinger and even out to
Indiantown (Fig. 4).
The Florida East Coast Railway reached Okee-
chobee in 1915 but during the ensuing years the
predicted real estate boom did not occur.
Discouraged by the lack of growth of
Okeechobee, in 1922 the Doctors Darrow moved
to Stuart and in 1924 to Ft. Lauderdale. Dr. C.
R. Darrow died in 1926 but Dr. Anna Darrow
continued to practice, in Ft. Lauderdale until
1949. She was an active member of the Bro-
ward County Medical Association and served as
its secretary more than once. In 1949 she retired
to her daughter's home in Coral Gables where
she suffered a cerebrovascular accident in 1957
and a second and fatal one in 1959. She is
buried in Ft. Lauderdale.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
A Short History of the University of Florida
College of Medicine to 1960
Mark V Barrow, M.D.
NI he University of Florida's College of
i 5- Medicine continues to grow. Begun
in the early 1950's, completed in
... 1956 and graduating its first medi-
cal class in 1960, Florida's state-supported medi-
cal school is now entering a rapid growth phase,
difficult to follow and document with the rapid
changes and advances. For this reason, and since
there seems to be an ever increasing loss of
many of the men and women responsible for this
medical center, it seems appropriate to pause and
review the brief but very busy history of this
medical school in its initial phases of development.
The Early Years: to 1949
Florida's educational history dates to 1845
when this new state established two seminaries
which eventually found their permanent homes in
Gainesville and Tallahassee. The West Florida
Seminary (later to be Florida State University)
in Tallahassee was approached regarding establish-
ing a medical college as early as 1883. Accord-
ing to Merritt' a Reverend John Kost and a
"board of regents" founded within the seminary
a Literary College and Medical College. The
Florida Medical Association, organized some nine
years earlier, did not approve the seminary fac-
ulty, which mainly consisted of Tallahassee prac-
ticing physicians, and this initial attempt was
thwarted early and was dead by 1886.
Concern about Florida's health needs thereaf-
ter lay quiescent until World War II when Dr.
John J. Tigert, then president of the University
of Florida, made a public statement recognizing
the need and indicating that if Florida was to
have a medical school, the logical location for
such an institution would be Gainesville because
of its central location and the benefits to be
derived from an affiliation with the university.
Other Floridians shared this desire with the re-
From the Department of Medicine, College of Medicine. Uni-
versity of Florida, Gainesville.
Supported in part by National Heart Institute Cardiovascular
Training Grant 5T1 HE 5493.
suit that the 1943 state legislature recommended
establishment of Schools of Medicine, Dentistry
and Pharmacy in Florida without stipulating any
funds or specific location.10 No support was ral-
lied, however, the recommendation was not imple-
mented and later this bill was abolished because
no further interest was engendered. The need of
physicians was clearly shown, however, since in
the mid-1940's a ratio of one active physician
per 911 persons existed in Florida while the na-
tional average ratio was one doctor per 710
persons. Concern over this state of affairs and
Florida's education system in general led to Gov-
ernor Millard Caldwell's executive order for the
formation of the Florida Citizen's Committee on
Education in 1945. This committee was composed
of 16 citizens, including teachers, businessmen,
lawyers and ministers of Florida. Their purpose
was to conduct a survey of all types of educa-
tional facilities in Florida. A concurrent resolution
by the Florida Senate encouraged the activation
of this committee."
The committee's report, entitled "Education and
the Future of Florida" was issued in March
1947. Under the heading of "Education in Medi-
cine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Nursing," Chapter
23 presented a summary of the status of the
medical profession and related services as it
existed in 1945 in Florida. The following recom-
mendations were made: that ample support be
given to public schools and the universities be-
fore undertaking a costly enterprise such as medi-
cal education; that hospital construction and main-
tenance demands for the state be appraised fur-
ther before launching the medical education pro-
gram, and that when the state was ready to
build a medical school it should be located at
the University of Florida.
In 1947, Dr. J. Hillis Miller became the
fourth president of the university. In his inaugural
address he projected a vision of a large health
center complex.12 Apparently the Citizens' Com-
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
mittee recommendations, Dr. Miller's appointment
and the increasing ratio of one doctor to 1,100
citizens stimulated the legislature's interest, for
during that year House Resolution 43 and Senate
Resolution 1613 authorized a survey of health
services in the state to study the needs, location
and cost of a medical school in Florida. Respon-
sibility for this study was delegated to the State
Board of Education and the State Board of
Control. These two groups and a Medical Survey
Committee composed of the secretary of state, the
president of Florida State University, the chair-
man of the Board of Control and president Miller,
after consulting the Association of American
Medical Colleges and the American Medical As-
sociation, selected Dr. Vernon W. Lippard, then
dean of the school of medicine at Louisiana State
University, to conduct the survey. His appoint-
ment was announced in November 1948, and the
results of the study were submitted to the Medical
Survey Committee Feb. 1, 1949, after review by
an advisory committee consisting of several prom-
inent medical educators.
The principal recommendations of the "Lip-
pard Report,"2 as it became known, were as
follows:1 A school of medicine should be built
in Florida when funds to build an institution
were assured; (2) A school of nursing should
bb built simultaneously with a curriculum at the
college level in order to prepare leaders in the
field of nursing education and administration for
the state; (3) A university hospital should be
established for instruction and research in clinical
medicine so as to provide the highest type of
medical service which could be available to
citizens throughout the state; (4) A school of
dentistry should be considered in the initial plans
but not opened until the previously mentioned
schools were operating for a few years; (5)
All these facilities should be integrated structurally
and functionally as a medical center with a focal
point for development of the educational programs
in medicine and related fields; (6) The center
should be under administrative control of the
University of Florida and should be located on
the campus of the University of Florida, and
(7) The overall program should be developed
over a ten-year period beginning with initial
appropriation of approximately $65 million for
employment of architects and construction of a
medical sciences building, with additional funds for
completion of the projects to be appropriated in
the following sessions of the legislature. It should
be noted that these recommendations for facilities
and sums of money were heretofore unheard of
in Florida politics or educational schemes.
As to the adequacy of the clinical material,
it was predicted that hospital patients coming
from throughout the state would be sufficient. A
final comment on medical education mentioned "a
tendency to rate excellence of instruction accord-
ing to the number of patients a student sees,
or the number of physicians on the faculty,
rather than how carefully the patients are studied
or how much time and interest members of the
faculty devote to teaching and research;
large populations and a large number of part-
time instructors are not essential to developing a
good educational program."
This report served to unite sentiment regard-
ing establishment of a health center. Furthermore,
it evoked interest in the future of medical educa-
tion and the service of the proposed medical
college to Florida.
Therefore, with the need clearly outlined, the
state seemed set for establishment of a state
medical school, and indeed, the state legislature
was prepared to establish one during the 1949
The Planning Years: 1949 to 1954
In April 1949, the state legislature passed Sen-
ate Bill #32914 which authorized the creation and
establishment of medical and nursing schools at
the University of Florida; however, no monies
were appropriated for this. A "Faculty Advisory
Committee" under the watchful eyes of president
Miller was asked to outline a research study
which would chart a course of action for the
functioning of a college of medicine and nurs-
ing within the framework of the university. One
of the members, Dr. Turner Z. Cason, a leading
Jacksonville physician and long-standing advocate
of a state-supported medical school, had been
holding short courses in medicine sponsored by
the university's General Education Division and
this had engendered interest in a medical school
at the University of Florida. The Faculty Ad-
visory Committee was a nebulous group; they had
no formal meetings, but individuals and subgroups
of the committee recommended that a research
study explore administrative aspects, sociological
and economic factors and integration of existing
university programs in teaching and research with
those of proposed schools. They recommended
also that a director be selected. During this time
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
rivalry existed in Florida's three largest munici-
palities-Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa-as well
as Gainesville, for a state medical school. Dr.
Cason's influence was helpful in curbing legislative
pressure for the selection of Jacksonville as the
site of a medical school. Dr. W. C. Thomas
Sr., a practicing Gainesville physician, was also
on the Faculty Advisory Committee as well as
being president of the Florida Medical Association
at that time, and was the principal advisor in
selecting the 14 practicing Florida physicians for
membership on the important Medical Advisory
Committee15 for the future medical center study of
1952 (later to be explained). He, therefore, also
played a key role in keeping the location of
the medical school in Gainesville.
On May 12, 1950, president Miller wrote his
consulting architect, Jefferson M. Hamilton, that
he had been advised of a Florida State Im-
provement Commission grant of $10,000 "for the
purpose of advance planning of a college of
medicine and nursing with estimates of $10,160,-
Dr. Vernon Lippard again was selected. He
was to be- assisted by Dr. Basil C. MacLean,
director of Strong Memorial Hospital, University
of Rochester, who was chosen by Dr. Miller and
a member of the Florida State Improvement
Commission. They were to act as consultants and
to advise as to what direction should be taken
in studying and planning for a medical center.
The two consultants, ably assisted by Jefferson
Hamilton who acted as a liaison between the
consultants and Dr. Miller, held closed sessions
for two days and actually produced a report on
total facilities needed, including a comprehensive
outline of the nature of services to be performed,
the type of patient to be reached in the state,
and the size of classes for a college of medicine
and nursing. The "Lippard-MacLean Report" also
recommended a construction program providing for
an annual medical class of 75, a 750-bed hos-
pital, a medical student dormitory and a nurs-
-ing student dormitory. Using funds remaining from
the grant, Mr. Hamilton also visited several lead-
'ing medical colleges at the request of administra-
tion. During one of these visits Dr. George T.
Harrell, then research professor of medicine at
Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Caro-
lina and subsequently the first dean of the Uni-
versity of Florida College of Medicine, was con-
tacted. This occurred somewhat by accident and
was the result of Mr. Hamilton's inquiring of
Duke University whether Bowman Gray School of
Medicine might have anyone interested in physical
planning and medical education. This ultimately
led his being referred to Dr. Harrell.
In 1951, the legislature, toward the end of
the session, appropriated $225,,000 for subsidizing
the first accredited medical school in Florida
($3,000 per student) .16 The University of
Miami soon established a private medical school,
but only received the $3,000 per student subsidy
after a court fight with alumni from the Uni-
versity of Florida who were hoping to delay the
Miami school until the state medical school was
finished. Almost as a conciliation to Gainesville's
District #32 Senator William A. Shands and
Alachua County Representatives Ralph Turlington
and W. E. Whitlock, an added section to the
subsidizing statute appropriated $100,000 to the
Board of Control for the purpose of drafting
plans for erecting a state medical school at the
University of Florida. A further impetus for ac-
tual establishment was announced on April 1,
1952., when Dr. Miller, in a speech to the
Duval County Medical Society, announced the
award of a $96,500 Commonwealth Fund grant for
implementing a medical center study. An office
for this purpose was set up in the Administra-
tion Building of the University of Florida on
June 1, 1952, with Dr. J. M. Maclachlan, given
a year's leave of absence as head of the de-
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
apartment of Sociology and Anthropology, acting
as chief of staff.
On July 1, 1952, Dr. Russell S. Poor, former
dean of the graduate school and director of
research at Alabama Polytechnic Institute and
director of university relations at Oak Ridge In-
stitute of Nuclear Studies, who was on leave of
absence and setting up grant procedures in
Washington, was appointed as director of the med-
ical center study (Fig. 1). He first had been
recommended to Dr. Miller in July 1951 by Dr.
J. Ivey, director of the Southern Regional Educa-
tion Board. with whom he had served on several
educational committees. After acquiring a research
staff of five, two secretaries and a clerk, the
study was launched. One of the first steps taken
was establishment of an executive committee com-
posed of educators and physicians and the organ-
ization of the previously mentioned Medical Ad-
visory Committee of 15 Florida practitioners.
The executive committee had several formal
meetings during the latter half of 1952, and with
director Poor, consulting architect Hamilton, and
often president Miller present, plans were shaped
to meet the philosophy of the future health cen-
ter. Dr. George T. Harrell, who was made one
of the members of the executive committee, was
asked by the committee to accompany Mr. Ham-
ilton to study existing medical schools. In all,
they visited more than 20 medical schools, and
in their reports were able to cover not only
the different philosophies of teaching medicine,
but the manner in which these were aided or
hindered by the respective physical plants.
The purpose of the medical center study
was to determine how the center could serve the
health needs of Florida.
The basic philosophy of the proposed center
could be summarized at that time by the state-
ment that those who train together will work
better together after completing training and be-
ginning practice in Florida towns.
The undertaking previously outlined was begun
by the medical center study staff under the
guidance of Dr. Russell S. Poor, and was ulti-
,mately published in 1953 in five volumes, known
as the Medical Center study series.3 Volume
I was a summary of the entire study while
Florida's physicians in midcentury were discussed
in Volume II. Volume III described the health
needs of the people of Florida; Volume IV dis-
cussed Florida's hospitals and nurses., and Volume
V provided a resume of university programs relat-
ed to medical education, research and service.
Each section of the last volume represented the
collective thinking of the staff in the units con-
Out of this study came the following propos-
als: Florida has an immediate need for a medi-
cal education program; a health center to begin
meeting these needs should be established at the
University of Florida, since some 66%o of the
state's population was within a 150-mile radius
of Gainesville; facilities of the center could be
easily integrated into the University of Florida,
thereby saving expensive and unnecessary duplica-
tion of facilities and services; $5 million should
be appropriated for construction of a medical
sciences building and $7 million should be appro-
priated in the next session of the legislature for
construction of a teaching hospital and Florida
should continue to use the regional plan after
the center is constructed since the growing-needs
may not be completely met by the proposed
Prior to publication, copies of the study were
submitted to president Miller on March 10, 1953
and passed on to the 1953 legislature, while a
summary was given to the Florida Cabinet. The
legislature had been well prepared for favorable
consideration of appropriations for a health cen-
ter at this time.
It was, therefore, no surprise when in April
1953, the legislature appropriated $5 million
for the building of a medical sciences building to
house the Colleges of Medicine and Nursing on
the campus of the University of Florida, with the
recommendation that the already functioning Col-
lege of Pharmacy and Cancer Research Laboratory
be integrated into this unit later. This was an
unprecedented amount of money to be appro-
priated by the legislature and was one of the
largest single sums ever allotted up to the pre-
sent. Guy C. Fulton, architect of the Board of
Control, was assigned to the project.
As the philosophy and program for the new
health center took form under the guidance of
the executive committee during 1953, it became
evident that Dr. Russell S. Poor., with his ability
to organize and pick key administrative person-
nel, would be a logical choice for provost of the
health center. This was to be a liosition extend-
ing the arm of the president to groups of col-
leges which would need more attention than the
president himself could give-in a sense, a vice
president. It also became obvious that Dr. George
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
T. Harrell (Fig. 2) would be the logical choice
for the new dean of the college of medicine.
His broad knowledge of medical education, his
grasp of the organization and administration
necessary for a new medical school and parti-
cularly his understanding of physical planning for
so complex an institution were believed to make
invaluable his guidance in translating expressed
ideas into reality. Dr. Poor was appointed pro-
vost in August 1953 and Dr. Harrell was selected
as dean of the college of medicine in October
1953, though he could not leave his post at
Bowman Gray until Jan. 1, 1954.
All plans were moving forward when tragedy
struck on Nov. 14, 1953 with president J.
Hillis Miller's untimely death secondary to conges-
tive heart failure and aortic insufficiency, thereby
creating an administrative gap in day-to-day plan-
ning. Although his excellent administrative ability
and creative vision were missed, Dr. Poor and
Dr. Harrell slowly and carefully proceeded with
their plans, the general direction of which had
already been set by Dr. Miller assisted by the
university's vice president, Dr. John S. Allen,
who became acting president.
It had been decided to phase the building of
the medical center so that the medical sciences
building would be given first priority with an
aim of having the buildings ready for occupancy
by the fall of 1956. On June 18, 1954 the
Board of Control approved the plans for the
long range development of the medical sciences
building and the teaching hospital. In order to
save time, the contract for the foundation of the
medical sciences building was let separately, with
Rusk Engineering Company of Birmingham as
successful bidder at approximately $1.5 million.
The site of construction was to be on Florida
porous limestone with little stability and it was
thought the most feasible foundation would be a
six to eight-foot thick, rigid concrete slab, float-
ing mat. Although their work was completed
promptly, considerable effort was expended be-
cause of the terrain. On July 27, bids were let for
the superstructure of the medical sciences building
with four companies responding and all bidding
very close to $3.5 million., On Aug. 3, 1954 the
Ajax Construction Company,' Washington, D. C.,
submitted the low bid of $3,376,000 and construc-
tion was to begin shortly thereafter.
The Building Years
By the fall of 1954., construction had not
yet begun. The contract with Ajax was found to
have a defect in it in that no beginning date
was specified. This and other technical disagree-
ments between architect Guy C. Fulton and Ajax
Construction Company ultimately led to cancella-
tion of the contract on Dec. 9, 1954, but only
after considerable pressure from Florida's attorney
general. New bids were opened on Jan. 3, 1955,
and Arnold Construction Company of West Palm
Beach was awarded the contract for the medi-
cal sciences building when they submitted a low
bid of $3,549,000. At about this same time the
name was changed by the Board of Control from
University of Florida-Health Center to the J.
Hillis Miller Health Center in memory of the
As dean, Dr. Harrell also had several unique
ideas which he wished to try to incorporate into
the health center program.6-9 These included:
(1) Using a flexible training plan for M.D.
and Ph.D. candidates; (2) Utilizing Florida's
physicians in an active preceptorship program
for training fourth year medical students; (3)
Establishing small, apartment-like family rooms on
each hospital floor for family and patient educa-
tion in medical care; (4) Individual study cub-
icles for each medical student which would be
his own "thinking desk," book storehouse, or
"office," and (5) An ambulant wing with a
motel-like atmosphere which would house patients
not needing constant attention. While some of
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
the ideas were never fully realized for a variety
of reasons, the study cubicles and ambulant wing
ultimately were quickly accepted and utilized.
Dr. Harrell and Dr. Poor also had definite
ideas about the size of the medical classes. The
physical plant, laboratories and lecture rooms were
flexibly designed for instructional groups ranging
in size from four, since many experiments in
physiology, pharmacology and anatomy are done
in groups of this size, to a maximum of 64
students. They believed that relatively small medi-
cal classes would be more likely to insure high
quality training and the program would be easier
to evaluate, easier to modify when necessary and
more economical than larger ones. Furthermore,
they believed that the state would be better off
with a smaller number of well-trained physicians.
Construction of the medical sciences building
began at last. Arnold Construction Company dedi-
cated themselves to catching up with the time
lost earlier and did so with amazing speed.
The legislature approved $8.6 million for con-
struction of the teaching hospital17 on April 13,
1955, thus ensuring the establishment of the
second phase of the medical center.
While construction of the medical sciences
building progressed-it appeared the building
would be ready for occupancy in the fall of 1956-
the prospective faculty for teaching of the basic
sciences was being interviewed. Acquiring a faculty
at this stage was, of course, a problem. The
story is told that one interviewee commented, on
seeing the water-filled foundation surrounded by
high weeds, "There will never be a medical
school here," and left (he later became a faculty
member, however). Nevertheless, positions were
filled over a year's period, probably in part be-
cause of several early key appointments of high
quality, as well as Dr. Harrell's persuasiveness.
Following key appointments in the basic
sciences and in the College of Nursing, clinical
department heads were selected and completed by
September 1958. Young academicians were among
the majority chosen, ranging in age from 33 to
40, and most of these men were not particularly
well known, though they were believed to have
The medical sciences building was completed
in the fall of 1956, barely in time for the
first medical class of 48 students. The cost of
the 238,000-square-foot building was $5.4 million.
As previously mentioned, major teaching labor-
atories were designed to be used for instruction
of an entire class or to be quickly adapted to
the needs of smaller groups. Each student was
assigned a study cubicle for the first two years.
The medical sciences building also housed the
health center library which had been remarkably
well stocked during the previous few years by
librarian Fred Bryant.
I The teaching hospital ground-breaking cere-
mony was in April 1956, but by that fall funds for
construction were nearly depleted. During an ex-
traordinary session in 1956, after encouragement
by Senator W. A. Shands and Representative
Ralph Turlington, the Florida legislature appro-
priated an additional $1,225,000 for completion
of the teaching hospital. The following year
the legislature authorized the building of a dental
school as part of the health center, though money
was not appropriated.18
In October 1958, the teaching hospital was
completed and opened at a cost of $9.8 million
with a square footage of 375,000. The first
patient was an 8-year-old girl from a small
North Florida town. Formal dedication was not
until a year later on Nov. 20 and 21, 1959.
The teaching hospital, clinics and ambulant wing
consisted of seven floors and a connecting sec-
tion between the hospital and medical sciences
building like the middle bar of an "H." The
two buildings were related floor by floor, with
similar functions in the clinical sciences and hos-
pital being placed on the same floor. The ambu-
lant care facility consisted of 26 rooms with two
beds each; it was designed to reproduce the en-
vironment of the home and was in a separate
wing of the hospital, closely related to the out-
patient clinics. The clinic was designed to be
used as a general clinic by all departments as
well as a series of specialty clinics. The wait-
ing room consisted of a large area spread around
a patio, giving a garden effect. Available to all
medical services were such related specialties as
Physical and Occupational Therapy, Prosthetics,,
Speech Pathology, Clinical Psychology, and Audi-
ometry. Nearly 15,000 square feet of floor space
was devoted to these rehabilitation functions. A
unit manager system was initiated on the
hospital floors, whereby a nonmedically trained
person managed the day-to-day administrative
duties of each floor, thus freeing the nurse for
patient care duties. A sitting room adjacent to
the labor room for family use was incorporated
in the maternity suite. Thus, with the opening
of the teaching hospital, the medical center, as
originally conceived, neared completion.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
During 1959 several key developments contrib-
uted to the health center program. In the spring
of 1959, the Florida legislature appropriated
$1.4 million"' along with $640,000 in federal
matching funds which was procured from the
U. S. Public Health Service for construction of
the pharmacy-research wing on the western end
of the medical sciences building. This would al-
low for the College of Pharmacy led by dean
Perry Foote, a University of Florida professor
of long standing., which had been under adminis-
trative control of the office of the provost since
1954, to move from the mid-campus location and
be integrated as a functional part of the health
center. The ground-breaking for this unit was
on Nov. 11, 1959. The wilig was completed and
occupied by September 1961, with an approximate
total square footage of 60,000. Of this footage,
27,000 feet was to be used- by the medical
school for research purposes.
By 1960 all units were functioning well. In
the spring, approval of the curriculum and full
accreditation was given to the College of Medi-
cine by the American Medical Association and
Association of American Medical Colleges. On
June 6, 1960, the College of Medicine graduated
its first medical class consisting of 40 students,
who dispersed to all corners of the country for
Since 1960, the medical school has entered
a rapid growth phase. Some aspects of this
development are covered elsewhere'-" and will be
summarized for this Journal at some future date.
Several points may be gleaned from this
history. First, 17 years transpired from the Flor-
ida legislature's action in 1943 until the com-
pletion of the College of iMedicine and the grad-
uation of its first students. Second, a half-dozen
committees, consisting of over 60 members and
frequently nonmedical, some (f whose members
visited numerous medical schools and devoted
long sessions to involved planning. accurately sum-
marized the needs of Florida for a new medi-
Fig. 3. Present University of Florida College of Medicine
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
cal school. Third, the personal enthusiasm of the
early planners and builders of the medical school
may well serve as a hallmark in Florida's med-
ical history for decades to come. Finally, the
medical school served as a testing ground for
several new and unique ideas in medical educa-
tion, including the study cubicles, ambulant wing
and others. Today the cubicles and ambulant
wing are being incorporated into new medical
schools the world over.
Florida can be proud of its state medical
school. Continued support of its endeavors for im-
proved higher medical education and better health
care of our citizens is imperative as is its con-
tinued dedication to its purpose-excellence in
in medical care, excellence in teaching and ex-
cellence in medical research.
The following persons are gratefully acknowledged for freely
giving their time, thought and assistance in the preparation of
this manuscript: Miss Edith Pitts; Mrs. J. IHillis Miller; Charles
Pruitt; Russell S. Poor, Ph.D.; George T. Harrell, M.D.; Repre-
sentative Ralph Turlington; Joseph Weil, Ph.D.; W. C. Thomas
Jr., M.D.; Arthur Koch, Ph.D.; Guy C. Fulton; John S. Allen,
Ph.D.; J. G. Wilson, Ph.D.; Mary Barrow; Dorothy Smith,
R.N., and Constance Lagoni, secretary.
The author is especially indebted to W. Jape Taylor, M.D.,
his mentor and friend, who critically reviewed this manuscript
on several occasions, and Jefferson M. Hamilton, who furnished
many details. A complete listing of members of all the commit-
tees mentioned, as well as a table of Florida legislation per-
taining to the health center, may be obtained from the author.
1. Merritt, W.: A Century of Medicine in Jacksonville and
Duval County. University of Florida Press, Gainesville,
2. Lippard, V. W.: Education for the Health Services in the
State of Florida, Report of the Director of the Survey and
Advisory Committee to the Committee on the Medical Sur-
3. Poor, R. S.; Maclachlan, John M., and Maloof, L. J. (ed.):
Planning Florida's Health Leadership, University of Flor-
ida Press, 1954. Volumes I-V of the Medical Center Study
4. Poor, R. S.: Meeting the Health Needs in a Southern State:
Florida. Southern M. J. 47:174, 1954.
5. Poor, R. S.: The Objectives and Programs of the J. llillis
Miller Health Center, Economic Leaflets (Univ. of Florida)
6. Harrell, G. T.: J. Hillis Miller Health Center, The Florida
Alumnus. Spring, Fall and Winter issues, 1954.
7. Harrell, G. T.: The University in Medicine: Concept of
the New Program at the University of Florida, J.A.MI.A.
8. Harrell, G. T.: University of Florida College of Medicine.
J. Florida M..A. 45:296, 1958.
9. Harrell. G. T.: University of Florida College of Medicine.
J. Florida M.A. 46:581, 1959.
10. Senate Bill No. 306, 1943: An act creating a University
of South Florida whose purpose shall he to establish a
School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry; not exact sum
appropriated. Later repealed.
11. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3., 1943: Florida Citi
zens' Committee on Education is to make a survey and
study of the State's system of higher education.
12. Mrs. J. Hillis Miller: personal communication to the author,
May 20, 1965.
13. House Resolution 43 and Senate Resolution 16. 1947: Au-
thorizing survey of medical school needs.
14. Senate Bill No. 329, 1949: An act to create and establish
the School of Medicine and Nursing at the University of
Florida; no monies appropriated.
15. The members of this Medical Advisory Committee other
than William C. Thomas Sr., NM.D., chairman, were Clyde
O. Anderson, M.D.. St. Petersburg; Herbert L. Bryans.
M.D., .Pensacola; Turner Z. Cason, -M.D., Jacksonville;
Charles J. Collins, M.D.. Orlando; Julius C. Davis, M.D..
Quincy; Frederick K. Herpel, M.D., West Palm Beach;
Edward Jelks, M.D., Jacksonville; Norval M. 'Marr, M.D..
St. Petersburg; David R. Murphy Jr., M.D., Tampa; Eu-
gene G. Peek Sr., M.D.. Ocala: Shaler Richardson, M.D.,
Jacksonville; William C. Roberts. M.D., Panama City;
William M. Rowilett. M.D., Tampa. and Donald W. Smith.
16. Senate Bill No. 71. 1951: An act authorizing the Board of
of Control to pay to the first accredited medical school in
Florida $3,000 per year per student or $225,000 for the
next two years (Refers to the University of Miami School
of Medicine). Also, $100,000 was appropriated for the pur-
pose of drafting plans for building and erecting and estab-
lishing a state medical school in Florida.
17. Senate Bill No. 21, 1955: An act appropriating $8,600,000
for construction of a teaching hospital.
18. House Bill No. 192, 1957: An act designating the Univer-
sity of Florida, Gainesville, as the site of a school of
dentistry; no monies appropriated (Troy Peacock of Marian-
na introduced this bill).
19. Senate Bill No. 338, 1957; An act appropriating monies
for the State of Florida provided $1.451,000 for construe-
tion of a pharmacy wing.
20. Barrow, M. V.: The Birth and Maturation of a New
Medical School: the University of Florida College of Medi-
cine, J. History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 23:173.
) Dr. Barrow, University of Florida College of
Medicine, Gainesville 32601.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
Life in the Spanish Colonial Hospitals in
The Late 18th Century
William M. Straight, M.D.
ne of the great lessons of history is
humility. Recently, in seeking in-
formation about the practice of
S medicine in the Spanish colonies of
the New World, I was struck by the similarity of
the customs practiced in the royal hospitals of
the Spanish colonies as illustrated by a set of"
regulations that were published in 1776.
These regulations, compiled by Senor Don
Nicholas Joseph Rapun, Knight of the Order
of Santiago of His Majesty's Council, Intendent-
General of the Royal Army and of the Royal
Treasury of the Island of Cuba, were published
by royal decree in 1776. They were designed for
the operation of the royal hospital in Havana
and of similar royal hospitals throughout the new
world. Whether these regulations were actually
practiced in the royal hospital at St. Augustine
during the second Spanish period, we do not
know, but they do serve to give us a glimpse
of the everyday life in hospitals similar to the
one in St. Augustine.
Dr. A. P. Nasatir discovered a copy of these
regulations in the Archivo General de Indias
at Seville, Spain and has translated those parts
of these regulations that deal with the staff or-
ganization and the equipping of the hospital.
This article represents a resume of these regula-
tions as published by Dr. Nasatir in the Annals
of Medical History, November 1942.
The comptroller was the hospital administrator
of that day and ultimately responsible for every-
thing that transpired within its walls; ". . he
will be responsible for whatever faults . he
must not dissimulate anything and must promote
whatever is applicable to the better care and
assistance of the patients, as well as to the
greatest economy of the royal treasury."
He is required to scrutinize all requisitions
and authorize them if he deems it wise; to
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
verify all food slips; audit statements; keep a
watchful eye on all equipment lest it be surrepti-
tiously removed; see that utensils, equipment and
clothing are properly cared for; authorize immedi-
ate admission of emergency cases; see to it that
there be no default of the spiritual or corporal ad-
ministration to patients; "have punished patients
who become intoxicated because they are prejudi-
cial, either disturbing the patients or falling
asleep and failing their obligations, or now over-
throwing the good method and order which
the hospital must have"; inspect the food; accom-
pany physicians and surgeons on rounds; dis-
charge personnel who do not perform properly;
watch over the religious life of the employees;
check on the cleanliness of the hospital and see to
it that no one cuts the hair of patients without the
express orders of the physician or head surgeon,
lest the patient seek this "with the object of
not combing themselves, for which purpose they
give headaches as a pretext, and other times
when they have good hair, the subordinates
solicit it for their particular purposes."
The receiving clerk is charged with keeping
account of the admissions, the vital information
on all patients, the day each patient departs and
for signing appropriate reports.
The steward is responsible for all expenditures
and measures to insure good business management
of the hospital. In addition, the conduct of the
kitchen is his specific responsibility.
The Father Chaplain is to visit each patient
upon admission and exhort him to confession
lest the patient's illness become serious and be-
numb the senses before this has been carried
out. The Holy Eucharist will be administered
immediately to seriously ill patients "in order to
overcome the snares of the common enemy."
The point is made that the physician's prognos-
tications are not to be entirely relied upon and
the priest must be prepared to use his own judg-
ment as to the seriousness of the case. He is
also charged with the care of the vestments and
other religious items, the religious instruction of
the servants of the hospital and it is suggested
that he learn French as this is a universal lan-
The physician is required to see his patients
twice daily and enforce "silence and tranquility"
among his entourage during these rounds lest
one of his subordinates misunderstand an order.
He will see that the medicines are properly made
and administered at the proper hour. Without let-
ting the patient know what he is about, he must
"endeavor to know if the bread, meat, wine and
other food have some defect which may be harm-
ful." He must remain on good terms with others
of his faculty as well as with the head surgeon.
There must be no shifting of patients between
surgeon and physician because of disharmony be-
tween these men. When surgical patients also have
medical diseases, the physician will visit them on
the surgical wards. The physician shall also
visit "all those who are in rooms stamped with
venereal disease" although the primary care of
these patients is assigned to the surgeon. Fin-
ally, it is the physician's responsibility to "sepa-
rate those who have contagious diseases . in
order that . the others may not be con-
The head surgeon also will make visits on
the patients twice daily again maintaining silence
and order in his retinue. Specifically, on these
rounds he will not permit the practitioners "to
converse, smoke, or do other things which may
perturb the idea which they carry." He will ascer-
tain that his previous orders have been followed
and the medicines administered are good. He will
direct the administering of all treatments and will
"adapt himself to what the country offers, and
not try to practice it (surgery) under the same
rules as in Paris, Mompeller (Montpellier, France)
and other European cities . ." He will not
prescribe remedies that cannot be had in the
hospital. He will call in the physician and con-
suit with him in all appropriate cases and will
diligently separate "the infected ones to their
respective rooms" and visit them daily. The sur-
gical problem cured, if the patient is in need of
further medical attention the surgeon "will order
that they be sent to the room of that faculty."
He will notify the physician when he plans to
give mercury treatments for venereal disease
so that the physician may send any patients he
may have on his ward in need of these treat-
ments. "When he must make a major operation
(like an amputation, a trephine, a Talla [bladder
operation] and others of this nature) he will
discuss this with other physicians for the best
decision and he will arrange for the practitioners
to be present" so that they may be instructed. He
will also arrange for their presence "whenever
there is a dissection of some corpse . "
The head apothecary will select medicaments
and be knowledgeable in the mixture, collection..
reposition and durability of the simples (medicinal
herbs or plants) and method of titrating the
simples and compounds. He will see to it that
the simples are gathered at the proper time and
extracted without delay. When necessary he will
order drugs from Spain or the kingdom of
Mexico. He will see to it that the proper ap-
paratus for processing medicaments is on hand.
He will order medicines which spoil easily to
be made fresh daily and shall select the cool-
est place to store syrups and other medi-
cines which ferment with heat. He will be ever
on guard lest medicines be improperly appropria-
ted and will send accounts of expenditures in his
department to the comptroller on request.
The subordinate apothecaries are charged with
preparing "all kinds of internal medicaments."
They will issue "a slip of paper for the medica-
ment and number of the bed of the one to whom
it is to be given in order that this slip of paper
when placed on the jars or cups where they (the
medicaments) are to be put, there will be no
confusion in distributing them."
The head practitioner appears to have been
what we would call the chief resident. He is
charged to carry out the orders of the comp-
troller, head surgeon and physician. He is re-
sponsible for the mistakes of the "younger prac-
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
titioners." In turn the younger practitioners "will
obey him [the head practitioner] without con-
tradicting him whatever he orders." He assigns
the work among the younger practitioners "ac-
cording to the intelligence of each one," and
he is admonished to treat them with civility and
gentleness. It is his responsibility to treat pa-
tients "as soon as they arrive at the hospital
if the accident demands it," and to notify the
physician and surgeon of what he has done on
their return. If the illness is urgent or requires
some arduous operation "he will inform them
properly at any hour that it may be preformed
in opportune time." The younger practitioners
must perform the treatments ordered "like bleed-
ings, vesicatories, cataplasms, mustard plasters,
frectaciones [sic], fomentations, compresses, col-
lyriums, gargles.., mouth washes, dry and moist
cuppings . it being likewise under their charge
that the enemas be applied by the nurse."
The wardrobe keeper collects the incoming
patients' clothes and properly labels them. Upon
admission the patient removes all clothing and
dons a long-sleeved nightshirt which reaches below
the knees. The point is made that by leaving
their own clothing on "they are apt to bring
some insects which multiply excessively and incon-
venience not only the patients but also the serv-
ants of the hospital." The wardrobe keeper also
sees to it that all "sheets, cloth and wool of
mattresses, shirts, rags, rollers, surgical bandages
and pillow cases are laundered and stored for
further use." He is instructed to segregate "the
sheets of consumptives, of those suffering from
the malignant itch, and of scurvy patients,"
and to see to it that these sheets as well as
the shirts of those patients are laundered sep-
The cabo de sala (orderly) is responsible for
the cleanliness of the rooms "and for this he
will start with the chamber pots or services at
four o'clock in the morning in the summer and
at five in the winter in order that when the
physician and head surgeon arrive they will find
this duty performed, throwing lavender fumes or
other aromatics as soon as this is concluded." The
lavender fumes were not only in deference to the
olfactory sensibilities of the medical staff but
also were designed to counteract the evil effects
of the noxious emanations of the chamber pots and
those from patient's bodies. After visitation by the
physician and surgeon and after breakfast has
been served, he is to order the nurses to sweep the
floor and clean the room. This procedure is done
after each meal. The orderly will see to it that the
rations are distributed in his presence and will
check his memorandum (inscribed at the time of
the physician's and surgeon's visit) to make sure
that the patients get their prescribed diet. He
will also see to it that each patient has a
pitcher of water a half hour before meals, but
he is not to leave water in easy access to the
patients between meals "for its easy access would
be harmful to many." He will also be "a vigi-
lant caretaker that the nurses nor any one else
introduce anything to eat or drink because this
results in their ailments being increased . and
when he knows or suspects that patients have
raw brandy, wine, chili or any other kind of
eatable in their beds he will inform the comp-
troller . ." He will prohibit all kinds of
games in the infirmary so that idlers won't
clutter the hospital and so that the patients
won't be out of their beds. "He will not con-
sent that two lay down in one bed with the
pretext of being a relative, friend or compatriot
but that each one occupy his own . ." He
will also see that patients don't exchange rations.
The orderly will see to it that at least weekly
the floors are washed, mopped and dried with
sponges. He will see that the nurses clean and
polish all utensils. He must see to it that the
nurses "let out the fumigation" (sprinkle lavender
and other aromatics) at the proper times, not
when officials come to visit the hospital "in order
to hide their [the nurses] scanty cleanliness from
them with this odor. The purpose of fumigation
is only to destroy corrupt materials from the
atmosphere of the rooms, it being the siesta
when it becomes most impregnated with the exhal-
ations from respiration, unconscious perspirations,
salivas, urine and other excretions." He is to
order fumigation an hour after dark, in the
morning after the chamber pots have been cleaned
and a short while after closing the windows
for siesta. In addition to these times, if a cham-
ber pot is accidentally broken or overturned and
after dressing malignant ulcers, fumigation will
again "be let out." He will inspect the "choco-
late maker" and other serviceable vessels if they
are copper to make sure "they are well tinned"
lest they "cause fatal consequences with their
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
Rule and Order
Under a section entitled "Rule and Order"
the decorum of the visit of the physician and
the surgeon is carefully spelled out. Both are
expected to make rounds "in their respective
rooms" at five in the morning and three in the
afternoon during the summer and at six in the
morning and two in the afternoon in the winter.
Upon the arrival of these gentlemen at the
hospital, a bell is tolled three times to assemble
the personnel who make rounds with them. The
physician is accompanied by "an apothecary,
a practitioner of surgery, an orderly and a nurse
with a light." The first three of these are to
carry memorandum books in which the orderly
makes note of each patient's diet, the apothecary
of the internal medicaments and the surgery prac-
titioner "all which the physician corresponding to
surgery may order (such as bleedings, blister
plasters, their [sic] treatment, mustard plasters,
frectaciones, fomentations, compresses, collyriums,
cataplasms, poultices, linaments, enemas, dry and
moist cuppings, gargles, mouth washes and all
the rest belonging to topical application)."
The head surgeon is accompanied by the head
practitioner, an orderly, a surgery practitioner, a
druggist and a nurse with a light. The members
of his entourage also carried memorandum books
in which they note the same information that the
respective member of the physician's team did.
As each entourage goes from bed to bed, the
orderly, apothecary and practitioner are expected
to inform the physician or surgeon of what
had been ordered the previous day. The physi-
cian or surgeon then determines if previous orders
had been properly carried out and if a change
of orders is indicated. He then dictates his
orders for that day and at the end of the
rounds, the orderly, apothecary and practitioner
present their memorandum books for the physi-
cian or surgeon's signature. The head practitioner
is expected to make another round at nine in
the morning and at five in the afternoon each
day to make sure that "the topical applications
which the head surgeon might have ordered"
have been carried out.
Several pages of the regulations dealing with
diets are given but it is beyond the scope of
this paper to go into these. Suffice it to say
that these diets -lean heavily on beef, chicken,
bacon, lard, bread and chick peas. The "Ordinary
Ration" (regular diet) for one day consisted of
"a pound of fresh beef, with bone, one ounce
of bacon, another of chick peas, 14 of bread
and one-half ounce of pork lard. . ." Break-
fast consisted of a soup made of two ounces of
bread and one-half ounce of lard; lunch and
supper each consisted of eight ounces of beef,
one-half ounce of bacon., one-half ounce of chick
peas and six ounces of bread.
Among the most interesting sections of these
regulations is the section entitled, "Utensils Which
Are Needed and Should Be Ready for the Serv-
ice of the Hospital." Beds are either "leather
cots" or of boards. If a leather cot, it is covered
with "a wool mattress or a sack filled with
straw, grass or other similar material accofd-
ing to what the country supplies." Each bed is
supplied with a pillow of the same material as
the mattress, "two sheets of fine Brabant linen
or burlap" and a pillow case of the same ma-
terial. In the event that the physician believes
that a mattress might be harmful "in the rig-
orous month of the spring," the mattress may be
replaced with a thick matting of reeds. The bed
shall have a covering of wool, flannel, "fresada"
or other equivalent material. Some sheets and pil-
low cases of the Rouen-type of linen shall be
kept ready in case there should go to the hos-
pital some person whom it is necessary to dis-
tinguish from the rest because of his circumstances.
"A pot with a cover shall be provided for
each two patients for the greatest cleanliness,
decency, stability, and rest of the patients which
would not be obtained with the uncovered pot. ."
Apparently the pot was set into a cabinet or
"case" on which the patient seated himself much
like our present day commode chairs. Such a
case is placed between the first and second beds,
the third and fourth beds and so on. The beds
are spaced "at a proportionate distance in order
that they [the patients] may manage and seat
themselves freely on the cases." The case was not
only more aesthetic but also prevented "running
the risk of their [the chamber pots] easily break-
ing when they are resting on them and abuse the
A bedside stand or shelf is placed with each
bed to hold such items as the water pitcher,
a plate, a cup, a wooden spoon, a burlap or
linen napkin, "a jar to take medicine" and a
card marking the number of the bed.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8
Each ward ("room") shall have an "escafeta"
with which to throw out lavender fumes, a choc-
olate pot, a lantern or small lamp to provide
light at night, a brasier to provide heat or to
heat medicaments (the coal in the brasier is
to be burned outside the ward as the fumes
given off are noxious; it is to be brought in-
side "after the smoke has disappeared"), tin
candlesticks, a towel, a broom and a frail
(trash basket). Each ward shall also have an
"apparatus" (cabinet) to contain an "ungentar-
ium" of tin plate with eight divisions to contain
various ungents, spirits of wine, tincture of myrrh,
catholic balsam and so forth as well as bandages,
compresses, thread, needles, pins, a syringe and
a tin plate used "to heat the small irons" (cau-
teries). Also in the apparatus must be a razor
arid tin plates to heat cataplasms. The cabinet
is kept closed for the sake of cleanliness and to
avoid "deficiencies which would be experienced
otherwise." The hospital will also have available
"boxes for fractures," splints, gauntlets, paste
board, tablets and tow. "Likewise there will be a
few beds with holes, in order that those who
have fractured legs or thighs may stool without
Large portable open lamps are to be kept
in readiness to place at the bedside of dying
patients. "These are composed of a stick one and
a half yards long, of about four to five inches
in circumference with its foot at the base and
an iron support above one third on all sides
more or less on whose edge shall be placed a
back to place the printed image of Christ." A
small lighted lamp is to be placed in the mid-
dle of the bed plate and a nail in the center
of the stick to hang the "pot containing holy
water and the hyssop which the Father Chaplain
will use at the proper time."
1. Nasatir, A. P.: Royal Hospitals in Colonial Spanish
America, Annals of Medical History, 4:481-503 (November)
) Dr. Straight, 550 Brickell Avenue, Miami
J. FLORIDA M.A./AUGUST 1968
viii IN WRITING TO ADVERTISERS PLEASE MENTION THE REVIEW.
PERFECTIOT A2T LAST I
A TWO-wHnteELD vehicle that will ride as easy as a FOR F-wniEfrEn one. Absolutely free from horse motion. Adjustable to heavy or light
load, Jarge or small horse, by a patent devise m the shatts.
speciall rates of freight to all points, and special offer to introduce in new territory. Send for illustrated price list.
Address. THE CHURCH CART MF.'G CO., ST. PAUL, MINN
Reprinted from the Weekly Medical Review, November 8, 1890.
Farr's Imnmroved Flexible Uterine Supporters, etc.
Automatic Distenior and Irrigator.
l p.1 Impmled Uterine Supportsr, o, 1 IMenstrual BecMplace,. \a Patent Palk i ter-
.Prieo, $2.00 eaph. Price, \12,00 ech.
P rice, $2.00; wit SyrinI, 13 .
IL 2 Uterine Supporter. No. 2 Menstrual Receptacle, Fnlefbe Uerine Cps,
PMts, 84.00 moh. Price, $2.00 efch. Price, $2M0D etch.
Price, 0 cts. each, or $5.0 per dox.
In Ordering send money by P. 0. Order, Registered Letter, Check or Draft.
1\4Y G-OODS A-1RE THE! BEST IlT VM-ARI=KHET.
Dr. H. G, FARR, Sole Manufacturer, 75 Essex St., Boston, Mass.
P. S.-Send for Descriptive Circular. Mention the Journal, 4-S-ist;
Reprinted from the Atlanta Medical and Surgical Journal, September, 1885.
VOLUME 55/NUMBER 8