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“Homer Judd, M.D., D.D.S.” by Bernice E. Gill, 1939

This biography of Homer Judd was published in the February 1939 issue of the Washington University Dental Journal.  The author, Bernice Estes Gill, was a member of the School’s class of 1940.

B. E. Gill, ’40

Homer Judd
Homer Judd, M.D., D.D.S.

Dr. Homer Judd was born at Otis, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, on March 28, 1820.  He attended the local public schools and later continued his education at Lee and Wentworth Academies.  Being particularly interested in the study of languages, he became proficient in Spanish, French and German and was a student in Greek, Latin and Hebrew.  Upon completion of his academic course of study, he went to Kentucky where he taught a subscription school for a short time.  Later in Missouri, Dr. Judd pursued his work as a teacher in Howard and Boone Counties.  Returning to Massachusetts, he studied medicine with James Welch in the small town of Lee.  He was graduated from the Berkshire Medical College at Pittsfield and received the M.D. degree in 1847.  Shortly after the completion of his medical course, he went to Baltimore and took a private dental course.  Later in Ravenna, Ohio, Dr. Judd engaged in the practice of both medicine and dentistry.  One year later he went to California with a wagon train.  Upon reaching Santa Fe, New Mexico, he decided to locate there, and was the first professionally trained dentist to practice in that territory.  He remained one summer and returned to Ohio.  From there, he went to Warsaw, Illinois where he again practiced both medicine and dentistry.

During the Civil War Dr. Judd was a contract surgeon in the hospital service and was active at Pittsburg Landing, Vicksburg and Fort Donaldson.  Being honorably discharged from the service at the close of the war, he moved to St. Louis where he practiced dentistry exclusively.

It was largely through the efforts of Dr. Judd that the Missouri Dental College was organized.  He was elected Dean of the institution, a position he held for seven years.  Because of his keen interest in writing on dental subjects, he took the initiative in organizing the Missouri Dental Journal of which he was Editor-in-Chief for five years.  Among his many contributions to the journal, was an essay on “Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Alveolar Abscess” which was published in 1869.

Dr. Judd was very active in local, state and national dental affairs and was honored by being elected to many of the highest offices.  He was president of the American Dental Association (1868-69); the Missouri State Dental Association (1867-69); the St. Louis Dental Society (1869); and a member of the American Medical Association; the St. Louis Medical Microscopical Society; and honorary member of the California State Dental Association, Iowa State Dental Society, the Sixth District Society of New York and the Illinois State Dental Association.  He was closely associated with G. V. Black at which time both were members of the Illinois State Board of Dental Examiners.

Dr. Judd was by natural ability and by much experience a leader of men and an organizer.  He was a great teacher and was considered an authority on many dental subjects.  Because of these qualifications and his interest in the organization of the Missouri Dental College, now the Washington University School of Dentistry, he was elected as the first dean, a position held from 1866 to 1874.  During those early years of the school’s existence, many varied and trying problems arose which he handled with keen judgment and foresight.

In March 1853, Dr. Judd was married to Miss Emily F. Hodgen of Pittsfield, Illinois.  One son and two daughters were born to them.

In 1880 due to failing health, Dr. Judd retired from practice and went to Colorado.  Soon thereafter he moved to Mason City, Iowa and then to Upper Alton, Illinois where he spent his last days.  He died May 20, 1890 of cancer of the stomach and was buried at Pittsfield, Illinois.


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