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Dedication of cornerstone, February 22, 1929, by Walter M. Bartlett

Walter Manny Bartlett

Walter Manny Bartlett received his D.D.S. degree from the Missouri Dental College in 1890.  He became dean of the faculty of the Washington University School of Dentistry in 1922 and was instrumental in the erection of a new dental school building and the purchase of new equipment, paving the way for the school to obtain a Class A rating.  This address was delivered at the dedication of the cornerstone of the new Washington University School of Dentistry building at 4559 Scott Avenue.

Walter M. Bartlett

By Dr. Walter M. Bartlett, Dean

We are assembled here this afternoon to place a cornerstone in this building which is the home of the Washington University School of Dentistry.

The occasion marks a new era in the life of this institution.  The faculty, the alumni, and I, personally, wish to extend to the Board of Governors our sincere thanks for this their magnificent gift.  In return we assure them that we as a whole will put forth our best efforts to make this school second to none.  We have been inspired with new life and with increased endeavors since our occupation of a building which we feel is one of the most modern and most completely equipped schools in this country for the teaching of dentistry.

In the early part of the sixties the members of the dental profession in the Mississippi Valley, realizing that there was a great need for a dental school in this section, urged upon the practitioners of this city to see what could be done in this direction.  At that time there was no dental school west of Cincinnati, the others being located in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston.  St. Louis was selected on account of its size and for the more important reason that the best dental minds of this vast territory were here engaged in practice.

In June 1866 a committee was appointed by the Missouri State Dental Society to consider the creation of a dental college under the auspices of the Society.  This committee was empowered to take such action as in its judgment the interests of the profession and of the public required.  After a careful survey, with the assurance of the most liberal co-operation of the two medical schools, the committee selected St. Louis as the logical site for this new venture.

As a result of the foregoing action, the Missouri Dental College (now the Washington University School of Dentistry) was granted a charter on September 15, 1866, this charter being issued to Drs. Homer Judd, H. E. Peebles, Isaac Comstock and others.

On September 15, 1866 a meeting was called by those interested for the purpose of electing a dean and the faculty.  Dr. A. Litton of the St. Louis Medical College (now Washington University School of Medicine) was called to the chair.  Without a dissenting vote Dr. Judd was elected Dean and Dr. Frank White Secretary.

Members of the first faculty were Homer Judd, M. D.; C. W. Stevens, M.D.; A. Litton, M.D.; J. T. Hodgen, M.D.; F. W. White, M.D.; E. H. Gregory, M.D.; H. E. Peebles, D.D.S.; and W. H. Eames, D.D.S.

The first course of lectures began Monday, October 1, 1866 and closed February 22, 1867.  You will note that the course at that time was of five months duration.  The first annual commencement was held February 22, 1867, just sixty-two years ago today, in O’Fallon Hall.  Dean Judd delivered an address on the “History and Progress of Dental Science.”  Among the graduates of that class were men who later became leaders in the dental profession.

The faculty remained as originally organized, with the exception of a few changes in and additions to its teaching staff, until 1874 when the entire faculty resigned their chairs in order that the Trustees might fill them again with perfect freedom.  In the reorganization Dr. C. W. Rivers was elected Dean, and quite a change was made in the personnel of the faculty.  Dr. Rivers served one year and was succeeded by Dr. W. H. Eames.

As the college was closely associated with the St. Louis Medical College, it was considered the best policy to have but one Dean for the two institutions.  Accordingly, on September 16, 1878, Dr. H. H. Mudd was chosen Dean of both schools and remained in that position until his death, November 20, 1899.

Dr. Mudd was succeeded by Dr. A. H. Fuller who resigned in the spring of 1901 on account of ill health.

Dr. Fuller was succeeded by Dr. J. H. Kennerly, who devoted his full time for the next twenty-two years to the up-building of this school.

Our school has had seven deans –

1866 – Dr. Homer Judd
1874 – Dr. C. W. Rivers
1875 – Dr. W. H. Eames
1878 – Dr. H. H. Mudd
1899 – Dr. A. H. Fuller
1901 – Dr. J. H. Kennerly
1922 – Dr. Walter M. Bartlett

The school has occupied seven different buildings –

1866 – Seventh and Spruce Sts.
1875 – Seventh and Clark Ave.
1892 – 1814 Locust St.
1902 – Twenty-Seventh and Locust Sts.
1905 – Former Mary Institute Building
1910 – Twenty-Ninth and Locust Sts.
1928 – 4559 Scott Ave.

It became a department of Washington University in 1892.

The name has been changed four times –

1866 – Missouri Dental College
1893 – Washington University Dental Department
1909 – Washington University, Dental School
1919 – Washington University School of Dentistry

From a faculty of eight members in the first year, the teaching staff has been increased until there are forty-eight at the present time, all of whom are thoroughly competent instructors.  From a course of five months the curriculum and length of the course have been gradually increased until now we have a five year course of thirty-two weeks per year with academic requirements the first year.

Washington University School of Dentistry now ranks as a Class A school.  From its graduates Deans and Instructors have been selected by other schools.  Its Alumni have contributed largely to the advancement of the Science of Dentistry.  Mention of the loyalty of the Alumni to their Alma Mater must not be omitted, for on all occasions they have rallied to her support most generously.

This building was commenced in August 1927 and was completed sufficiently to be occupied for the session of 1928-1929.

Washington University School of Dentistry, ca. 1929
The Washington University School of Dental Medicine, ca. 1929


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