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The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century

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The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century

William Paine

William Paine, the first Doctor described in this blog post

From Harvard Loyalists in New Brunswick by Clifford K. Shipton, at

J.W. Lawrence wrote an article entitled The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century and presented it before the New Brunswick Historical Society on May 26, 1885. Following is an edited version of that article. The principal objective of the editing was to reduce it in length, and this version is about 40% shorter than the original. Other editorial changes were minor.


The Medical Men of Saint John in its First Half Century

With the Loyalists who came from New York in 1783 were a number of medical men, among them Drs. Paine, Huggeford, Moore, Gamble, Prince, Earle, Emerson, Hammell, Dupnack, Clarke, Sharman, Lewis, Calef, Betts, Brown, Paddock and Smith — several of whom held commissions as surgeons in the war, in the Loyalist corps, and on the disbandment of their regiments at the peace were placed on half pay. A number located at St. John, others in the country, and some returned to their old homes. The one standing first with Governor Carleton and others in power in the newly established Province of New Brunswick was …

Dr, William Paine. Dr. Paine was born at Worcester, Mass., in 1750. One of his teachers before entering Harvard was John Adams, afterwards President of the United States, but at the time a student in the office of Attorney-General Putnam, the latter afterwards one of the first Bench of New Brunswick judges.

In 1774 Mr. Paine was in Scotland, and obtained from Marischal College, Aberdeen, Hon. M.D., followed by his appointment by the British Government as Apothecary to the British troops. In 1782 he was admitted a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and on returning to New York he was appointed by Sir Guy Carleton Physician to the Army. At the peace he went to Halifax, and was retired on half pay. While there he obtained from Governor Parr a grant of La Tete Island, in Passamaquoddy Buy, and went there to live. Writing from there in August, 1784, he says: “My situation I like very much; my lands are certainly well located, and if Mrs. Paine could content herself I should be well pleased. Her objection is that the children cannot be properly educated. The Island (now part of Charlotte County) will soon be a place of consequence, and ultimately the principal port in British North America. But to make my situation desirable requires capital. My Island must be stocked, boats must be employed in procuring lumber for the American and West India markets.”

In 1785 Dr. Paine removed to St. John, and at the incorporation of the city that year was appointed by Governor Carleton an alderman for Sidney Ward. In the fall he wrote that Mrs. Paine was quite contented with their situation, and he was busy canvassing for a friend for a seat in the House of Assembly for St. John, and he expected himself to be elected one of the members for Charlotte County. In this his expectations were realized, and also in the return of his friend for St. John. At the opening of the Legislature, in January, 1786, at St. John. Dr. Paine was appointed by the Governor Clerk of the House, at the same time retaining his seat as a member.

Prior to the first meeting of the House of Assembly, Dr. Paine and others, on December 13, 1785, presented a memorial to the Governor-in-Council, praying that a Charter of incorporation might be granted for the institution of a Provincial Academy of Arts and Sciences. The memorial pleads: “The situation in which the Loyalist adventurers here find themselves, many of whom on removing here, had sons whose time of life and former hopes call for an immediate attention to their education.” This was the initial step in the movement that led to the foundation what is now our Provincial University.

Dr. Paine was appointed, June 14, 1786, one of the Commissioners of the New England Company (so called) for educating and Christianising the Indians of New Brunswick.

In 1785, Sir John Wentworth, Surveyor-General of Woods and forests in the Province of Nova Scotia and other His Majesty’s Territories in America, appointed Dr. Paine Principal Deputy for New Brunswick. He was to “Survey, inspect, and examine the lands and timber growing, and carefully register such white pine trees as may be now or hereafter fit for the use of the Royal Navy.”

Consequent on the repeal of the Banishment Act by the United States in 1787, Dr. Paine returned to Massachusetts, after obtaining permission from the British Government. Under this sanction his half pay continued, and also his allegiance to the British Crown. On the breaking out of the War of 1812, the British Government called on Dr. Paine to report for duty, on which he resigned his commission and with it his half pay; this was followed by his becoming naturalized and thus a citizen of the United States.

In the summer of 1883, Mrs. Sturgis, a granddaughter of Dr. Paine, visited St. John. Standing with her alongside the Putnam tomb in the “Old Burial Ground,” she related to the writer an incident in the life of her great grandmother, the mother of Dr. Paine. Among the guests at a dinner party at Worcester, given by her husband shortly before the Revolutionary War, was John Adams. When the host gave the toast, “The King,” some Whigs at the dinner refused to drink it. Mr. Adams requested them to comply, saying, we shall have an opportunity to return the compliment. When asked to propose a toast, he gave “The Devil.” As the host was about to resent this indignity, Mrs. Paine turned the laugh on Mr. Adams, by saying to her husband, “My dear, as the gentleman has been so kind as to drink the health of the King, let us by no means refuse to drink to his friend.”

Dr. Paine resided at Worcester, in the old homestead, until his death in 1833, in his 84th year, one-half century after leaving New York at the time of the evacuation by the Loyalists. Among the gifts to the New Brunswick Historical Society is a fine engraving of Dr. Paine, taken in the morning of his manhood, presented May 1, 1884, by his grandson, George Sturgis Paine.

Dr. Peter Huggeford. This gentleman was a surgeon in the Loyal American Regiment, raised by Col. Beverley. Robinson, of New York. In it were two lieutenants long known at St. John: John Robinson, who died in 1828, being at the time mayor of the city, and John Ward, who at his death in 1846, at the age of 92, was the oldest half pay officer in the British service. Dr. Huggeford drew the lot at Parr Town opposite the Dufferin Hotel, on which the building occupied by Mr. John White now stands. The Rev. John Beardsley, who was chaplain in the same Loyalist Regiment, drew the lot adjoining. The daughter of Dr. Huggeford became the wife of Elias Hardy, second Common Clerk of St. John, and at the bar of New Brunswick without a peer. In 1800 Dr. Huggeford was residing at New York.

Dr. John Gamble. On his arrival at Parr Town Dr. Gamble drew lot 610 Princess Street, south side, through which lot, since the fire of 1877, Canterbury Street was opened. Princess Street, when laid out in 1783, was called Tyng Street, after Commissary William Tyng, who had been fortunate enough to secure ten town lots on the north side, extending from Germain to Prince William Street. For over fifty years that section of the street was known as Rocky Hill, and was considered of little value. The first loaded cart went up 29th July, 1830.

It is probable that, like Dr. Paine, that John Gamble returned to his old home in the United States.

Dr. John Hammell. This gentleman, during the Revolutionary War, was surgeon in the 4th Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Abraham Van Buskirk. He was one of the early practitioners at Pair Town; his lot was 1150 St. James Street, between Sidney and Carmarthen. He no doubt came to St. John with his regiment in the fall of 1783.

Things were in a transition state at the time, not only among the doctors, but also among the lawyers, for in August. 1787, William Wylly, Dr. Hammell’s attorney, was at the West Indies, with his family. Writing from there 12th September, 1787 to Ward Chipman, Esq., Recorder of St. John, he says: “No turtles of any size at present are to be got here, but are brought every day into Nausa, and I have given orders for two very handsome fellows to be put on board the vessel which touches there for you. I hope they will be delivered to you in high health, and well loaded with green fat and other nice bits sufficient for a Recorder’s feast for his Corporation. “

Dr. Samuel Moore. When John Mosley, a black man, who drew lot 1084, east Saint James Street (then called Stormont Street), was killed by a blow from a fork, which he received at the hands of his wife in the fall of 1784, the Hon. George Leonard, one of the Justices of the Peace, called on Dr. Moore to make a post mortem examination of the head of Mosley. This was accordingly done, and the doctor reported: “Sir—Agreeable to your request I examined the black man’s head. I am perfectly satisfied he was murdered. After examining where the fork perforated the temporal bone of the skull, I sawed off the arch of the head and found the ventricles of the brain everywhere impacted with matter. The symptoms before death were also very obvious. All the jury were spectators.”

In the report there is no intelligence as to whose skull Dr. Moore had been sawing, he says it was the “black man’s.” As to who the black man was he is silent, taking it for granted all interested knew. It is to the circumstance of being called on to make the post mortem examination that his name now appears among the physicians of New Brunswick in its first fifty years.

From the paper read before the New Brunswick Historical Society on November 25, 1874, on the “First Courts and Early Judges of New Brunswick,” the following is taken: “February 3, 1785, a true bill was found by the grand jury against Nancy Mosley for the murder of John Mosley, her husband. The same day the prisoner was arraigned and tried, Chief Justice Ludlow, with Judge Putnam, on the bench, when the jury brought in a verdict of manslaughter against the prisoner, Nancy Mosley. The day following she was brought into court and placed at the bar. She prayed the benefit of clergy, which being granted, she was sentenced to be branded in open court with the letter M in the brawn of the thumb, and discharged.”

Dr. John Calef. In the War Dr. John Calef was a Surgeon in a Provincial Regiment, and part of the time acted as Chaplain. He was with the army at Penobscot, where a post had been established under General McLean, at a place called Mega Bagaduce, now Castine. He has left us an excellent account of the siege of Penobscot by the Americans, and its gallant defence by the British, which is to be found in the library of Harvard College. Dr. Calef was in the legislature of Massachusetts about the date of the Revolution, and was one of the famous “Seven Hescinders.” At the funeral of George Whitefield he was one of the pall-bearers. It is said that he was sent to England about the close of the war by the Penobscot associated Loyalists, to endeavour to have the international boundary fixed at the Penobscot. He had been hopeful of success all along, when one morning, on entering the foreign offices his hopes were blasted by Lord North saying to him, “Doctor, doctor, we cannot make the Penobscot the boundary; the pressure is too strong.”

Dr. Calef was a man of learning and education. He came to St. John with his family, where he made his home until his removal to St Andrews. He was appointed Surgeon to the forces in New Brunswick.

In 1794 Dr. Calef was residing at St. John, where his house was a well-known landmark. His wife was a daughter of the Rev. Jedediah Rowley, of Massachusetts. Dr. Calef removed to St. Andrews, and died there in 1812, in his 88th year. A descendent in 1823, with others, purchased from Dr. Paine the island of La Tete, Charlotte County, since called Calef’s or Frye’s Island.

Dr. David Brown. From the roll of the New Brunswick Army Staff in 1785, it appears that Dr. Brown was Assistant Surgeon to Dr. Calef. For many years he was Hospital mate at St. John, a position under the British Government. What the special duties were is not now apparent, for every regiment had its surgeon and assistants, but he was probably Medical Superintendent of the Hospital.

In 1821 the troops of the line were stationed on Fort Howe, the Barracks there overlooking the Portland Police Station. For the first two or three years after the arrival of the Loyalists criminals were confined in the Block House on Fort Howe, and the first executions were on the hill, overlooking the present Railway Grounds, then known as “Gallows Hill.” The officers’ mess was on Paradise Row, afterwards known as the Portland Brewery. The Artillery or Ordnance department down to 1822, occupied Hare’s Wharf, with the rear of their Barracks on Smyth Street.

From the old newspapers we glean an interesting incident, however trivial it may seem to some of us today, for, on August 10, 1810, there was recorded for sale his “Piano Forte, with two complete sets of strings.” To be the owner of a piano in that day, was evidence of culture and comparative wealth.

Dr. Brown’s wife, Alicia McLean Brown, died on May 4th, 1809, at the age of 45 years and was buried in the Old Burial Ground. She had been a native of Mull, Scotland. Dr. Brown did not long survive his wife, for he died March 4, 1812, at the age of 60 years, having held the position of Hospital mate at St. John over 30 years. Although the marble slab on which the name of his wife is recorded had room for his name, no inscription records his death. His name is now recorded on the pages of the N.B. Historical Society. His residence at the corner of Germain and Duke Streets, was afterwards the residence for many years of Lauchlan Donaldson.

Dr. Nehemiah Clarke was a Surgeon in Lt.-Col. Emerick’s Chasseurs and Dragoons, a regiment in which Gabriel DeVeber was Major, and at the close of the war he came to St. John, where he drew a lot on the North Side of King Square. When sold, the property was described as a house and Lot consisting of two rooms and a kitchen on the ground floor, and one room above. The lot had a well of good water, and a cellar.

In place of returning to the States, Dr. Clarke removed to the County of York, opposite Fredericton. His daughter married Ross Currie, an Attorney at Law at Fredericton. Mr. Currie, in 1790, was drowned in the river opposite Government House. Another daughter married Capt. Eccles, a retired officer, by whom a monument was placed in the Fredericton Burial Ground, in memory of Dr. Clarke and Ross Currie. Dr. Clarke died in 1825, in the Parish of Douglas at the age of 86 years.

Dr. Joseph Clarke was a Physician of Stratford, Connecticut. When the war commenced he went to New York with his family. At the peace he came to Parr Town and drew the lot adjoining Nehemiah Clarke’s. He removed to Maugerville, where he died in 1813, aged 79 years.

There is a stone in the Old Burial Ground, St. John, in memory of Dr. Clarke’s son John, who died 10 June, 1828, aged 65 years.

Dr. Ambrose Sharman. This gentleman served as Lieutenant in the Royal Fencible Americans during the Revolution, and in addition he held the position of Assistant Surgeon. He was stationed with the garrison at Fort Howe, commanded by Major Gilfred Studholme. One of his brother officers was Lieutenant Samuel Denny Street. Doctor Sharman is the first medical man of whom any record is preserved who practised his profession in St. John. Among the accounts kept by James White as Indian Agent on the St. John River, records of payments to Dr. Sharman for inoculations for his family (£9) and for medicine and services provided to Pierre Thomas and four other sick Indians (£5-16-8).

Soon after the peace Dr. Sharman moved up the river to Burton and settled near his friend and comrade in arms, Samuel Denny Street. He was practising there in 1791, and among his patrons was Col. Abraham DePeyster, then Sheriff of Sunbury.

Dr. Sharman died December 17, 1793, and letters of administration were obtained. A son of Mr. Street was named John Ambrose Sharman Street, in honor of his old friend. Mr. Street also brought up and educated three of the orphan children of Dr. Sharman.

Dr. Azor Betts was a New York physician, and strong in denouncing those opposed to King George III. In 1776 he was brought before the Committee of Safety for denouncing Congress and the Provincial Assembly as “A set of damned rascals, acting only to feather their nests and not to serve the country.” After three months’ confinement, the Committee of Safety released him, the doctor having acknowledged penitence, feeling discretion to be the better part of valor.

Dr. Betts was among the Loyalists at St. John, but at the urgent solicitation of the people moved to Kingston. In 1809 he died at Digby, Nova Scotia. His widow died shortly after at St. John. In the old grave yard a stone marks her grave. There were two sons resident in St. John, Hiram and James O. Betts. The former was the father of the late Capt. Betts, and the latter of Charles Betts, who for many years was crier of the courts, and in response to “God save the Queen,” cried, “Oh, yes! Oh, yes!! Oh, yes!!!”

Dr. Charles Earle, in the war was a Surgeon in the Second Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers, commanded by Lieut.-Col. Morris, and afterwards, in the year 1793, Surgeon in the King’s New Brunswick Regiment. Dr. Earle removed to Fredericton, and fixed his residence at Mill Creek, below the town, and the limits of the capital city of the Province in olden days were commonly spoken of as “from Dr. Earle’s to Phillis’ Creek.”

Dr. Earle resided at Fredericton until his death, 23 January, 1814, in his 62nd year. He was universally esteemed. At his death he was Surgeon of the 104th New Brunswick Regiment.

A daughter of Dr. Earle married Lionel Anderson of the Engineer Department, St. John.

Dr. Thomas Emerson. Dr. Emerson had been attached to the Royal Fencible Americans during the war. At the formation of the King’s New Brunswick Regiment, he was appointed Surgeon’s mate, and afterwards held the same office in the 104th or New Brunswick Regiment. Among the Lieuts. were Barton Wallop and Andrew Rainsford. In the war of 1812 with the United States, the 104th made its great winter march through New Brunswick to Quebec.

While today little is known of the life of Dr. Emerson, three years ago everything connected with it could have been learned from his companion in the winter campaign of 1813.

That Dr. Emerson practised at St. John in 1806 is clear, for at the trial of John W. Smith, Schoolmaster and Lay Reader in the Carleton Church, it was largely on his evidence and Dr. Adino Paddock’s, that Smith was convicted, and ordered to stand one hour in the Pillory at the foot of King Street. The day was a field day to the School Boys, for the sight of a School Teacher holding a levee in that character was something novel; what added to their enjoyment was he ruled them by the rod and not by moral suasion. Attorney-General Bliss and Solicitor General Chipman had associated with them on the part of the Crown. Thomas Wetmore and Charles J. Peters. The evidence, covering many pages, is extant.

Dr. Adino Paddock. Dr. Paddock, whose name was a household word at St. John, in the first third of the century, was a son of Mayor Adino Paddock of Boston, best remembered from the trees he planted on Tremont Street, before the Revolution, known as the Paddock Elms.

At the evacuation of Boston in 1776, the family went to Halifax and from there to England, where young Adino studied medicine. He returned before the close of the War, having secured an appointment as surgeon in the King’s American Dragoons, of which Joshua Upham, afterwards one of New Brunswick’s first judges, was major.

In 1783, Dr. Paddock drew two lots in Carleton and one at Parr Town, and in 1786 he bought from Major Gilfred Studholme, the second lot on Prince William Street, south of Princess, 50 feet front and 200 deep, for five shillings. This is the lot on which the City Hall now stands. The building in which “The St. John Daily Telegraph” was printed at the time of the fire in 1877, stood on this lot and was built by Dr. Paddock, and there he resided for years. At the incorporation of the City, of St. John, Dr. Paddock was appointed Assistant Alderman of Guy’s Ward.

Doctor Adino Paddock’s death was felt to be a public loss. Among references contained in the papers of the day is the following: “Died — Suddenly, 21 October, 1817, at the residence of his son-in-law, Frederick P. Robinson, St. Marys, York, in the 58 year of his age, Adino Paddock, Esq., Surgeon to the Ordnance in this Province. One of the first Loyalists who came to this place in the year 1783, he has been a successful practitioner of Physic and Surgery from that time until last spring, when a paralytic stroke unexpectedly interrupted his useful labours. From this attack he appeared to have been rapidly recovering, when on the day above mentioned a second paralytic stroke at once deprived him of his faculties, and in six hours terminated his existence. Endeared to his numerous friends by his mild, cheerful disposition, and amiable manners, esteemed by the public for his skilful exertions in his profession, and beloved by the poor for his benevolent heart and readiness at all times to render them professional as well as other relief, his loss will be long and severely felt by all classes of the community. His children who sincerely loved him, and duly appreciated his worth, are by his death involved in the deepest affliction.”

Dr. Paddock’s practice was among the first families in St. John. The year after his death his heirs, in settlement of a medical bill against the estate of Hon. William Hazen for £144, received a block of land in the city, containing 5 acres and 3 roods, long known after as Paddock’s Field, bounded on the north by Coburg Street, and on the east by Cliff, on the south by Waterloo Street, and west by Peters, Paddock Street running through the centre. To the Paddock heirs it proved a nugget, such as does not often fall to anyone in the settlement of an old account.

In 1837 John Y. Thurgar, who had married a daughter of Dr. Paddock, built a residence at the corner of Coburg and Paddock streets. In doing so he set the house back from the street, and planted a number of trees. There were other daughters and three sons.

Dr. Nathan Smith. When the war commenced Dr. Smith was a physician at Rhode Island, and through it Surgeon in the First Battalion DeLancey’s Brigade, and at its close settled at St. John. The disbanded officers of the first and second battalions of DeLancey’s Brigade were assigned lands for settlement upon the St. John River, in what is now the Parish of Woodstock. Surgeon Smith received a grant of 550 acres just below the site of the old Indian village of Meductic, and another grant of 350 acres just above. There is nothing to show that Dr. Smith ever did anything to improve his estate, and it is probable he disposed of it for a very small consideration to those who became actual settlers. Today it would be a valuable property indeed.

In addition to his medical practice in St. John, he had an apothecary shop in Lower Cove.

Opposite his store and residence was a pond, where in summer the boys caught frogs, and in winter skated. It was called “Dr. Smith’s Pond.” At the election for the House of Assembly, in 1790, Dr. Smith was elected one of the City members. During the session of 1798, being at the time a widower, he wrote the following, possibly the only letter of its kind of the last century to be found in New Brunswick. It certainly is not of the kind members are supposed to write to their constituents while in attendance on their “Parliamentary duties.” [So says the author of this article. The letter was a reasonably restrained not-at-all steamy expression of affection. J.W.] Dr. Smith at this time was 61 years of age, and the Widow Martin 29 years younger.

Their marriage took place, and the year following a son was born, Thomas M. Smith, for many years Chief of the Fire Department, and father of George F. Smith. Dr. Smith resided at his old home in St. James Street, Lower Cove, until his death in December, 1818, in his 82nd year. Eight years later his widow, then in her 57th year, entered wedlock the third time; the happy groom was Waller Bates, Sheriff of Kings County, then in his 67th year.

On the death of the Sheriff in 1842, his widow returned to the old home at St. John, it having been left to her by her second husband, Dr. Smith, enjoying at the same time a pension as his widow. Her death took place in December, 1864, at the age of 95 years.

In 1883 George F. Smith, Esq., placed in the “Old Grave Yard” a fountain in memoriam of his grandfather, Dr. Nathan Smith, and also planted a tree on Queen Square on Arbor Day to his memory.

The old homestead, a modest one-story wooden building, was one of the city landmarks up to the great fire of 1877. From it the old door, with its antique knocker, both brought from New York in 1783, was saved by a grandson, William O. Stewart, and at the exhibition of 1883 was seen in the department of old relics in charge of the Historical Society.

Dr. William Howe Smith. This physician was a son of Dr. Nathan Smith, by his first wife. The mother of Nathan Smith DeMill, the Apostle of Temperance in New Brunswick, was a daughter. William Howe Smith was brought up to the Apothecary business, preparing prescriptions for the patients of his father, and selling Friar’s Balsam, Court Plaster, Daffey’s Elixer, etc. to the residents of Lower Cove. In due time he graduated as a physician, and after the death of his father removed the Drug Store to the Market Square. His wife was a daughter of Col. Miles, of Sunbury, who did not long survive his father as he died in 1822, at the age of 45 years, leaving a widow, four sons and two daughters.

The residence of Dr. Smith at this time was in Prince William Street, on the upper lot now occupied by W.H. Thorne & Co. It was a two story wooden building, and was destroyed in the first great fire in St. John, April 9, 1824, which burned 35 buildings, and extended to the water’s edge. The fire originated in a tobacco factory on Merritt’s wharf, the total loss was over $100,000.

At the time of Dr. Smith’s death, although his eldest son William O. Smith, was a lad of only eighteen, he successfully continued the business to his death in 1871, at the age of 67 years. Today the business of A. Chipman Smith & Co. is the oldest established business in New Brunswick, being in its second century. To the pestle and the mortar, this unique honor belongs.

Dr. Thomas Paddock was the second son of Dr. Adino Paddock; the elder son, also a disciple of the healing art, was in practice at Kingston. The brick building, now the Dufferin Hotel, was erected in 1821 by Dr. Thomas Paddock. Lot No. 500 on which it stands has always cut a central figure in St. John history. It was drawn by Samuel Mallard, and sold to Thomas Horsfield for £6-5-0. It had a frontage on the square of 40 feet, with 100 on Charlotte. Down to 1841 there was no street on its northern side, the rock being a continuation of the elevated ground on which the Dufferin flag staff stands, jutted out over 100 feet on the square. At its base was one of the public wells and pump. In 1798 Thomas Horsfield sold the lot for £5, to a company as a site for a windmill.

A few words may be said in this connection regarding the “Mechanics’ Association.” This, like many of the manufacturing and other associations of the present day, did not prove a commercial success. Its object was the grinding of corn. The story of its failure is contained, a notice dated March 1, 1800: “TO BE SOLD And immediate possession given. The City Windmill, with lot No. 500, on which it stands, with all its apparatus, consisting of part of two setts of Running Gear, single and double, with a pair of excellent Burr Stones, a Bolt, Reel and Chest, with almost every article necessary for either Wind or Water Mill. It will be sold either with or without its Gear, as may best suit the purchaser….”

The building was from this time used for the Poor House. In 1809, in prospect of a war between England and the United States, the Militia were called out for duty, and a battalion from Kings County occupied the Poor House for three months. This was called “The Wetmore War,” for it was on Mr. Wetmore’s representation (he being Colonel of St. John Militia) the Commander-in-Chief ordered preparations to be made. Happily for all, there was no war.

Before break of day, February 15, 1819, the Poor House was on fire, and the flames reached the highest building which had been erected for a windmill twenty-five years before. The immense quantity of burning shingles and flakes of fire that flew in all directions endangered the surrounding buildings, but by the alacrity of the citizens, aided by the military, they were preserved. The cause of this unfortunate accident and heavy loss, proceeded from the negligence of leaving a quantity of dry oakum too near a stove pipe which passed through the floor, into the upper part of the building. The next Poor House was the brick building long on the corner of Carmarthen and King Streets, above the present Police Court, overlooking the old burial ground.

Dr. Thomas Paddock resided in his fine brick residence with his stable on the lot in the rear facing the square to 1832, when consequent on poor health he removed to Portland, Maine, where he married in 1816 [sic.] Miss McLellan of that place, having sold his residence to Robert F. Hazen, with 3 lots adjoining on King Square for £2,200. In 1835 he returned to St. John and resumed practice to his death in 1838, in his 48th year, leaving two sons and three daughters, one of the latter is the wife of Rev. Canon DeVeber of St. John.

Dr. John Boyd. In 1812 Dr. Boyd was “Hospital mate” at Windsor, Nova Scotia, and shortly after removed to St. John, holding the same position as successor to the late Dr. Brown. The residence of Dr. Boyd was in Prince William Street, just south of the City Hall, the former dwelling of Dr. Adino Paddock.

Dr. Boyd had two sons Dr. John and James William Boyd, Attorney at Law, the latter died of the small pox at St, John in 1850, in his 50th year. His wife was a daughter of Attorney-General Peters. Dr. Boyd had several daughters, one married Chief Justice Jarvis of Prince Edward Island, a second Dr. Alex Boyd, a third William Jarvis, the father of Wm. M. Jarvis of St. John. Two unmarried daughters are now (1885) residing here, and at the tree planting in the Old Burial Ground, planted a family tree, assisted by their nephew Barclay Boyd, son of James William Boyd.

A tomb in the “Old Grave Yard” records the following: Dr. John Boyd died 27th December, 1818, aged 64 years; also, Jane Boyd died 1st February, 1841, aged 74 years.

Dr. John Head. This gentleman was the youngest son in a large family, which for many years occupied a foremost place in Halifax society. He was trained for his profession at Edinburgh Medical College, which has since then given to the British colonies so many men eminent in the medical profession. Dr. Head commenced practice in Fredericton in 1814, and the year following married a daughter of Attorney-General Wetmore. He afterwards practised at St. John with ability and success. He was a man possessed of a singularly attractive personality, and made many friends. The late Dr. Gove, of Andrews, who was a student in St. John when Dr. Head was in practice there, considered him a bright ornament to his profession. Dr. Head died very suddenly at his residence in Prince William Street, St. John, in March, 1823, aged 32 years. His widow survived him more than half a century, and lived with her son-in-law, the Rev. Canon Ketchum, D.D., at St. Andrews.

Dr. Leslie. In the year 1817, Dr. Leslie began practice at St. John, and on the death of Dr. Boyd, 1818, succeeded him as Hospital mate. He married a daughter of Rev. Dr. Millidge of Annapolis, whose wife was a daughter of James Simonds of Portland Point.

Doctor Leslie was the first to advocate the erection of a Seaman’s Hospital, and in the furtherance of this object wrote the following for the press: “Amidst the various measures in this province, promoted either by the public or private individuals, for the benefit of their fellow creatures, one of the most essential importance seems to have escaped their attention. In a city like this, where the population and shipping have of late years much increased, and consequently accidents and diseases become proportionably numerous, the utility of a Merchant Seaman’s Hospital must be obvious. Many are the disadvantages under which the sick labour when kept on board a ship, the hasty visits which of necessity they must receive when their medical attendant, from his numerous and sometimes urgent engagements on shore is unable to observe the symptoms and closely to watch the phenomena of their disease, and the noise, and access to spirituous liquors and irregularity in the quantity and quality of their food when living at a boarding house, are causes which greatly retard the progress of cure, and oftentimes render cases apparently slight in themselves of extremely doubtful issue.”

Before long a Merchant Seaman’s Hospital was opened with a board appointed by the government, but with which in no way was the name of Dr. Leslie associated. Not long after this his name disappears from the roll of St. John’s physicians.

Dr. Alexander Boyle.

In 1817, Dr. Boyle was on the Army Staff as Surgeon, Brig.-Gen. George Stracey Smyth, Commander-in-Chief, and Alexander Boyle, Surgeon and Hospital Mate.

Through the efforts of Dr. Boyle a Provincial Vaccine establishment was organized in 1818, under the patronage of Lieut.-Governor Smyth. The Central Station was at St. John. The directors were Hon. John Robinson, Hon. William Black, Rev. Robert Willis and Rev. George Burns. Vaccinating Surgeon. John Boyd, M.D.

The Kent Provincial Marine Hospital was opened at St. John in 1821. The Commissioners were Hon. William Black, Alex Boyle, M.D., Hon. Edward J. Jarvis, Zalmon Wheeler and Thomas Heaviside. The Surgeon and Physician was John Boyd, M.D. In the fall of 1884, the fine brick erection on St. James Street was opened, now under the control of the Dominion Government, with Dr. Botsfoid, Surgeon and Physician.

Dr. Boyle from the first had the confidence of Governor Smyth, whose residence was at St. John, corner of Dock and Union streets. Like the members of the Legislature, the Governor went to Fredericton during the session.

In 1823, in the last week of the session, the Governor took sick, and Dr. Boyle was summoned to attend; the illness was fatal, for he died 28 February, 1823. His last official act was the appointment of a commission authorizing Chief Justice Saunders, Judge Chipman and Judge Bliss, or any two of them, to close the Legislature then just finishing business, and his signature was attached to this document a few hours before he died. Hon. George Shore and Dr. Boyle, were appointed by General Smyth, his executors.

In 1818 Dr. Boyle married a daughter of Dr. Boyd, and up to 1822, was on the army staff. On April 30, 1822, he advertised his intention to continue his practice in Saint John. His residence at this time was the Disbrow Brick Building, Germain Street, head of Church Street. His practice in later years was chiefly as consulting physician with his brother practitioners. In manners Dr. Boyle was reserved and courtly. In walking he had a habit of throwing his head back as if gazing at the heavens. He was on army half pay to his death, which took place September 1st, 1858, at his residence St. James Street, near Heed’s Point.

Dr. John Boyd. Dr. Boyd was a graduate of Windsor College. N.S. In 1807 Andrew Cochran, Edward J. Jarvis, James Anthony Barclay, Hibbert Binney, Thomas Paddock and John Boyd were candidates for four vacant scholarships on the foundation: Cochran, Jarvis, Barclay and Boyd were elected. Dr. Boyd obtained the degree of M.D. from the Aberdeen Medical College. His father, dying a few months after his return to St. John, opened a fine field for practice. In 1821 he was appointed Surgeon to the Marine Hospital, a position he held to his death. In 1831 Dr. Boyd married a daughter of the late Henry Wright, Collector of Customs. For a number of years he was President of the Saint Andrew’s Society and of the Sacred Music Society. Dr. Boyd was of a kind and benevolent disposition, tall and of fine appearance. While the members of the medical profession generally keep a horse to visit their patients, Dr. Boyd never was the possessor of one. His residence, from his marriage to his death, was in the southern end of the stone building on Prince William Street, near Reed’s Point, known as the Wright building. In Trinity Church there is a stained glass window, on which is inscribed “John Boyd, M.D., born July 1, 1792, died 27 August 1857.”

Dr. Thomas Walker. Dr. Walker arrived from Scotland in 1819, and indicated his intention to practice in an advertisement of June 5 of that year. He resided at Stanton’s building, Dock Street, opposite the store of Hugh Johnston & Co. His advertisement indicated that he would also establish a drug shop as soon as his partner, Mr. Macara arrived with the necessary supplies.

After the close of the Peninsular War, in 1815, the tide of emigration from the mother country began. In one week of June, 1819, the time when Dr. Walker arrived, there landed at St. John from Dumfries 150 passengers; from Cardigan, Wales, 180; from Falmouth 17; from London 38; from Boss, Ireland, 110, and from Londonderry 1,312; in all, 1,807 from the four nationalities. The first medical gentleman at St. John who left the mother country to make it his home was Dr. Walker, and from the success which followed him in his profession, his choice was a wise one; and while it benefited himself, he was also a valuable accession to the roll of citizens. Before leaving Scotland the doctor married Miss Macara, a sister of his partner in the drug department.

In 1820 the drug store was on the Market Square, two doors south of the Coffee House. The building was a three story one, the two upper serving as the family residence.

In 1828 George Macara died, aged 27 years, and from that time the drug business was under the management of John M. Walker, the doctor’s eldest son, then not seventeen. In 1840 the establishment was removed to the north side of Market Square, to a building erected after the great fire of the summer of 1839. The family residence was then on Wellington Row. In those days there was more money in drugs and medicines than in medical practice.

For years Dr. Walker was an elder of St. Andrew’s Church, in his day, “The Kirk.” He was a Presbyterian of the stamp of John Knox. In stature he was small, well built, greatly enjoying a talk, especially on religious subjects, also a laugh and pinch of snuff, from his silver snuff box.

Dr. Walker was born in Perthshire, Scotland, and died at his residence, Wellington Row, in the fall of 1852, in his 70th year. Mrs. Walker survived him to 1858. She attained the age of three score and ten years. There were three sons, John M., Thomas and James, the latter alone married, and through him, the name will be perpetuated, for on the 6th October, 1882, an heir was born to the house and to the large fortune of John M. Walker.

Dr. Henry Cook. In 1823 Dr. Cook with his brother John, opened a drug store in the Barlow Building, King Street. Among their clerks were Samuel Gove, now in medical practice at St. Andrew’s, and after him Samuel Leonard Tilley. In 1835, Dr. Cook removed to Germain Street, between King and Church, conducting the drug business on a smaller scale, his clerk the year following going to the drug store of W.O. Smith, to complete his studies in pharmacy.

Dr. Cook married a daughter of Moses Vernon, then of St. George. Although enjoying a fair practice supplemented by the profits of a drug store he never accumulated wealth. Homeopathy or small doses were then unknown. His was the era of Epsom salts, the blue pill, castor oil, court plaster and bleeding.

At the time of Dr. Cook’s death, in 1845, at the age of 47 years he was associated in practice with Dr. Miller.

Dr. Samuel G. Hamilton. It was in 1823 Ireland’s first contribution to St. John’s medical staff was made by the arrival of Samuel G. Hamilton, and long was that year remembered, for the ship Marcus Hill, Thomas Bryson, master, with a large number of passengers from Londonderry, arrived on Sunday, July 6, with small pox on board. In place of stopping at the Island she sailed to a wharf before the health officers knew of her arrival.

The vessel, on its being discovered that sickness was on board, was ordered to the quarantine grounds. It was said a number of passengers had landed and were sent to the country. Notwithstanding the care now taken it was too late. In the “Star,” two months after, was the following editorial: “We regret to state that the small pox continues in various parts of our city. It is our melancholy task this day to record in our obituary list, the death of a very promising young man, who was carried off by this malignant disorder, in the short space of one week, leaving a widowed mother, and many affectionate friends to deplore the loss which society has sustained. We tremble to think of the extent to which this loathsome disease may spread its ravages.”

Elijah Miles Smith, son of Dr. William Howe Smith, also died, aged 23 years. The Provincial Vaccine Institution met and decided that vaccination was the best or only measure that could be taken.

At that time, the City had two Libraries, The St. John Society Library, formed in 1811, and the Eclectic, formed in 1821. The former was a joint stock concern, limited in subscribers, first to fifty and afterwards to one hundred.

The Eclectic was the more democratic in its caste, and open to all wishing to subscribe. It was managed by twenty-five young men. In its prospectus, it is stated, the object of its formation was, to put it in the power of every class in the community to acquire knowledge on every interesting subject. The year Dr. Hamilton cast in his lot with the citizens of St. John, the officers of The Eclectic Library were James Patterson, President, William B. Kinnear, Vice-President, John Boyd, M.D., Treasurer, T.B. Millidge, Secretary, Moses H. Perley, Assistant Secretary, and John Wesley McLeod, Librarian. In 1830, the St. John Society Library absorbed the Eclectic. In turn, the former disappeared, for in 1868, after a history of 57 years, its 6,343 volumes, many of them rare and valuable, were scattered by the hammer of the patriarch of the St. John auctioneers, W.D.W. Hubbard.

For years, Dr. Hamilton had a drug shop in the Coffee House, fronting Market Square, yet neither from it or his practice was he enabled to keep a horse or bank account. While he enjoyed a fair practice, it was largely among the poor. The doctor, like many of his countrymen, had a large heart, and as a consequence many debtors were on his books, and there were many whose names were never entered. In the last years of his life, Dr. Hamilton had his office and rooms in Cross Street (now Canterbury), where he died July 1, 1851, in his 54th year, leaving so little that no letters of administration were taken out. Dr. Hamilton was the only one of the medical men of the first half century of St. John who died unmarried.

Dr. Hunt. In 1823 Dr. Hunt, a graduate from an American college, came to St. John, anxious to take part in relieving the sufferer, as far as medical art and medicine could do it. His brother practitioners looked on him with distrust, for a diploma short of a medical college on the other side of the Atlantic wanted the genuine stamp. The consequence was, his practice was limited. Fortunately, the doctor had an artistic taste, and was a master of the pencil and the easel. He is best remembered by his views of St. John. Some of his sketches were taken from the tower of “Old Trinity.” The view of the northern section of St. John in George Stewart’s history of the fire of 1877 was from the studio of the doctor. His tastes were also literary and scientific, for he occasionally lectured; one theme was, “Geology.” In those days wealth was not gathered from the easel or platform and the consequence was, Dr. Hunt had a hard fight keeping the wolf from his door, and as his fellow practitioners had the monopoly of the healing business, the doctor gathered but little from his profession.

Dr. Robert Bayard. Among the old families of New York before the War the Bayards held a prominent place. The father of Dr. Bayard was Major Samuel Bayard of the King’s Orange Rangers. At the close of the war he settled at Wilmot, N.S., where the son was born. Major Bayard was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Nova Scotia Regiment, and at its disbandment in 1802 was placed on half pay. The Duke of Kent was on terms of close intimacy with him. For many years before the close of his life, John Wesley had not a warmer follower in Nova Scotia than Samuel V. Bayard. The first appearance of the name of Bayard in New Brunswick was Dr. Bayard’s announcement on November 27, 1823 that he was setting up a practice in Saint John on the north side of the Church, Germain Street.

Prior to this Dr. Bayard was in practice at New York, also Professor of Midwifery in the medical college. In St. John he at once took a front place in the profession. In the advancement of agriculture. Dr. Bayard derived great pleasure, through the press and platform. For controversial writing he had a liking, whether the subject was Polemic or Hygienic. When essential, could dip his pen in gall. In 1846 Judge Parker initiated a movement for a public hospital, as a memorial to the Loyalists. It was killed by the doctors quarrelling as to who should control its management. From the pen of Dr. Bayard it received its death blow. Had he supported it with half the zeal he opposed it, the movement would have culminated in success. In 1837 his eldest son, William, engaged in practice in St. John, receiving in 1839 from the Government the office of Coroner for St. John city and county, holding it over twenty years, when he resigned. Dr. Robert Bayard, not long after having associated with him in practice his son William, spent the summer months on his farm in the Annapolis Valley, and in the last years of his life, he resided on his farm on the Nerepis River, Welsford, and there died June 4th, 1868, at the age of 80 years. From 1823 to the present time, the name has held a front place in the profession at St. John.

Dr. Quinn. In 1825 Dr. Quinn landed at St. John, from Ireland. For years he was best remembered by his association with the “Lally” family; father, mother, son and daughter.

In 1826 Mr. Lally purchased from George A. Nagle, the property on Germain Street, opposite Trinity Church, known as the Mansion House at the great fire of 1877, and then the property of George V. Nowlin. At this time the Lallys resided on a farm in the vicinity of the city and sold milk. Lally having insured the property, the next step was to set it on fire. After making arrangements to make the work effective through a distribution of tar, Mrs. Lally applied the torch at several points. As the building was three stories and could be seen from the North Market Wharf, a watchman there observed flames coming out of the north end. He at once gave the alarm, and the fire was soon extinguished, followed by the arrest of Mrs. Lally, who was found on the premises. She was tried in the Old Court Room, Market Square, found guilty and sentenced to stand in the Pillory, one hour on King Square. It is at this stage Dr. Quinn appears upon the scene, for on his certificate as her medical adviser that Mrs. Lally’s health was such as to place her life in peril, should the sentence be carried out, the sentence was in consequence postponed, and in the end she was pardoned. Her husband no doubt must have been a party to the act. The family shortly after removed to the States, the daughter first jilting the doctor. The son attained distinction in the American Army in Mexico, and it has been said was with it in the Aroostook War, 1839. Not long after the departure of the Lallys, Dr. Quinn left New Brunswick. Where his after lot was cast is unknown.

Dr. George E. Baldwin was a son of Thomas Baldwin, the tax collector of St. John fifty years ago, who also was enrolling officer in the first Battalion City Militia, when the Lieut.-Col. was Charles Drury and Benjamin L. Peters, Major.

Dr. Baldwin took the initial steps in the healing art, in the drug store of Dr. Hamilton, a fellow-countryman of his father. In 1827 he opened his office as a practitioner of medicine at St. John, but thinking Fredericton would be a better field, he shortly after removed there, and in 1835 died, at the early age of 31 years, leaving a wife and three children.

Dr. Alexander Pidler. Dr. Pidler was the first English physician to take up permanent quarters at St. John, arriving in 1829 from Devonshire. He supplemented for a time his practice with teaching drawing and painting. He soon acquired a fair practice, chiefly among the working classes, often receiving his fee at each visit, avoiding thereby not only bookkeeping, but what is of more consequence, the making of bad debts, with which none are more familiar than physicians. He also speculated in real estate. The beautiful spot at the foot of the Reach, known as Harding’s, Point he bought and lived there for a time. The building on the corner of Peel and Union, now the residence of Dr. Preston, was built by Dr. Pidler and was his residence, with office adjoining. In the latter years of his life he withdrew from practice, residing at the end of King Street east, where he died at the age of 69 years, April 2, 1873. His widow, to whom he was married in England, long survived him. Dr. Pidler was of medium size, with one eye crossed.

Dr. George Harding was the eldest son of Alderman Thomas Harding, who died in 1854, at the age of 68 years. The alderman had a widowed sister, Mrs. Stenning, and having no children she educated two of her nephews, George and William S. Harding, for physicians. The property on the Marker Square, long known as the London House, belonged to her.

Dr. George Harding, was a graduate of a Scotch University, who married before his return to St. John. Shortly after his arrival in 1830, he was appointed to the charge of the quarantine, with residence in the summer months on Partridge Island; in the winter his home was in Carleton. In 1831 the cholera was at St. John, causing 47 deaths. In 1847, the year of the Irish famine, there were large arrivals at St. John, bringing with them ship fever from which many died. This year Dr. Collins, a young physician, went to the island to assist Dr. Harding, who was aided by Dr. William S. Harding: he was taken down with the fever and died. His funeral was attended by an immense concourse of people. Dr. Harding, Dr. John Paddock and Dr. William Bayard also took the fever, and the life of the latter for a time hung in the balance. An emigrants’ hospital, which stood alongside the Alms House at Courtenay Bay, was much used at this time. Many who died were buried just across the road. Dr. Harding died at Carleton, May, 1874, in his 64th year, having been health officer at the Island over 40 years.

Dr. William Livingston. This physician cast in his lot as a citizen in 1830, and like the Messrs. Boyd, Boyle, Walker and Cooke, was a native of Scotland. He opened a business establishment known as the “Apothecary Hall,” under the Courier Office, adjoining Market Square. The two names best known connected with this institution are those of John G. Sharp and P.D. McArthur, the latter now (1885) proprietor. In his profession, Dr. Livingston early took high rank. He found relief from practice in writing for the press. Politicians of forty years ago felt the point of his pen. It was a sharp one. While a dangerous foe he was a true friend. He was a Liberal of the advanced school, and among his friends was Hon. Joseph Howe.

In 1849, on the elevation of P.L. Hazen, one of the city members, to the Legislative Council, Dr. Livingston was a candidate. The other two were Barzillai Ansley and Charles Waiters. Mr. Ansley was elected. In 1840 Dr. Livingston married the widow of Stephen Thome, a member of the St. John bar. The doctor died at his residence, corner Duke and Charlotte Streets, January 1st, 1875, in his 72nd year. Of the medical men of St. John in its first fifty years he was the last survivor.

Dr. John Paddock. This gentleman was the youngest son of Dr. Adino Paddock, and of the medical men of the first half century the last to enter the profession in St. John. Consequent on his brother Thomas removing to Portland, Maine, in 1831, he fell into a fair share of his practice. In 1833 he married a sister of John V. Thurgar, his brother-in-law. Early in the fall of 1834 the Asiatic cholera made its second visit at St. John. On the 15th October Dr. Paddock acknowledged, through the press, the receipt of a letter, with no signature, enclosing a £5 bank note, with instruction: “For the poor cholera patients,” which charity he states “he will apply according to the benevolent intention of the donor.” The cholera disappeared shortly after. The deaths at this time were happily few.

When Dr. Patterson took charge of the Grammar School, December, 1818, among his scholars were John Paddock, John M. Robinson, J.W. Boyd, P.F. Hazen, R.L. Hazen, George Partelow, John Black and William Black.

In manners Dr. Paddock was kind and social. He early passed away, dying in 1853, at the age of 44 years, leaving a widow and one son, the latter today engaged in the drug business, the 4th generation inseparably connected with medicine in our city. When Dr. John Paddock died, there closed a continuous practice of father and two sons in St. John of seventy years.

On Arbor Day, October 4, 1883, Mr. M.V. Paddock planted in Queen Square an. Elm, a scion of the old Paddock Elms of Tremont Street, Boston, in memory of his great grandfather Adino Paddock.


Written by johnwood1946

June 22, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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