St. Louis & Washington University Chronology

St. Louis and Washington University
19th Century Timeline

The following chronology concentrates on St. Louis and, within that, the professional schools and clinical care institutions that form the heritage of Washington University Medical Center. Unless otherwise noted, locations of events and institutions are within the city and county of St. Louis. Some entries have nothing directly to do with women in the health sciences, but are elements of the political and social context against which their stories are told.

Nov. 13, 1818 An academy for “young gentlemen,” with Catholic priests of the Vincentian order as teachers, begins instruction. The event is later recognized as the founding of St. Louis University.  
1820 The U.S. Congress passes the act known as the “Missouri Compromise,” which authorizes admission of the Missouri Territory into the union as a slave state.  
Aug. 8, 1821 Missouri is formally admitted to the union by proclamation of President James Monroe.  
1822 St. Louis was officially designated a city by act of the Missouri legislature.  
1828 The academy by this time known as St. Louis College is placed under the administration of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which offers classes temporarily at its seminary near the rural village of Florissant.  
1828 First hospital west of the Mississippi River opens in St. Louis, founded by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Sisters of Charity Hospital, ca. 1854
1829 St. Louis College returns to the city with the opening of a new building at 9th and Washington Streets.  
1830 The population of St. Louis is 14,125.  
Dec. 28, 1832 The Missouri Legislature grants a charter to St. Louis University, making it the first university in the Louisiana Purchase Territory.  
1834 St. Louis Association of Ladies for the Relief of Orphaned Children is founded.  
Dec. 1835 – Jan. 1836 The Medical Society of Missouri at St. Louis (later to be known as the St. Louis Medical Society) is formed. The organization is incorporated on January 25, 1837. Dr. Bernard Farrar is elected the first president. Dr. William Beaumont is appointed chairman of the group’s membership committee.  
1836 At the urging of local physicians and the Medical Society of Missouri at St. Louis, St. Louis University begins steps to open a Medical Department. Six faculty members (including William Beaumont as professor of surgery) and a special board of nine trustees are appointed. The University, however, does not provide teaching facilities and thus no formal medical instruction was offered.  
1838 A group associated with the Episcopal church in St. Louis establishes a college near the city (at the present intersection of Kingshighway Blvd. and Arsenal Street), which they name Kemper College after their local bishop, Jackson Kemper. Plans for the college include a medical department.  
1840 The population of St. Louis is 35,979.  
1840 Kemper College recruits Joseph Nash McDowell to become dean of its medical department. As was quite normal for the times, McDowell gathers a for-profit teaching faculty and begins building a privately financed hall south of the city mill pond in which to offer instruction. The school becomes popularly known as “McDowell’s College.” McDowell's College, the Medical College of Kemper College
Oct. 13, 1841 St. Louis University enacts a new constitution for a medical department. As with the previous attempt, an independent board of trustees is organized to run the department on an autonomous, non-sectarian basis.  
1842 The Medical Department of St. Louis University opens at 10th St. and Washington Avenue. Medical Department of St. Louis University
1845 Kemper College closes for reasons of financial insolvency and the land and buildings are sold to St. Louis County. The event does not interrupt plans for the fall medical class term, but McDowell and his faculty colleagues are required to seek a new sponsor and enter into negotiations with the University of the State of Missouri.  
Jan. 26, 1846 A proposal to affiliate the medical department of the now defunct Kemper College is approved by the University’s Board of Curators in Columbia, and the faculty advertises itself thereafter as the Medical Department of the University of the State of Missouri. The medical faculty does not, however, receive financial support from the state. The relationship is severed in 1856.  
June 1846 St. Louis City Hospital opens on former municipal common land at the intersection of Lafayette Avenue and Soulard Street. St. Louis City Hospital, ca. 1861
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell graduates from Geneva Medical College, becoming the first American woman to receive a medical diploma.  
1849 Charles Alexander Pope becomes dean of St. Louis University Medical Department. With resources provided by his father-in-law, the banker and real estate magnate John O’Fallon, Pope erects a building for the department at 7th and Myrtle Streets (now Clark Avenue). As was the case with the rival “McDowell’s College,” ownership of the property determined the popular name for the university department, which becomes known as “Pope’s College.” Charles Alexander Pope
1850 The population of St. Louis is 104,978.  
1852 O’Fallon and Pope enlarge the St. Louis University Medical Department building to include a clinic and dispensary (an ambulatory clinic offering free medicines to indigent patients) and a maternity ward.  
Feb. 22, 1853 The General Assembly of the State of Missouri grants a charter to State Senator Wayman Crow for an educational institution to be located in St. Louis and to be known as Eliot Seminary, honoring William Greenleaf Eliot, pastor of Senator Crow’s church, the Unitarian Church of the Messiah, St. Louis University Medical Department trustee, and founder of the first public school system in St. Louis.  
1853 The Daughters of Charity open a maternity hospital, St. Anne’s Lying-In, as an adjunct to the already established St. Anne’s Widows’ Home and Foundling Asylum, at 10th and O’Fallon Streets.  
Feb. 22, 1854 Eliot persuades the other backers to change the name of Eliot Seminary to Washington Institute.  
Feb. 23, 1855 Threats of anti-Catholic religious violence in the city lead the St. Louis University Medical Department trustees to secede from the parent institution and to incorporate under the name St. Louis Medical College. St. Louis Medical College, ca. 1876
Feb. 28, 1855 Dr. Adam Hammer, a German émigré trained at Heidelberg University, founds the St. Louis College of Medical and Natural Sciences. This school, which featured a longer and more thorough medical curriculum, fails.  
Aug. 1, 1855 The United States Marine Hospital for the care of sick and disabled river boatman opens in 1858 on a 16-acre tract near the Mississippi, on Marine Avenue and Miami Street. Joseph Nash McDowell and William McPheeters (of St. Louis Medical College) are appointed staff physicians. The hospital is converted to military service during the Civil War.  
May 15, 1856 St. Louis City Hospital is destroyed by fire. Patients initially are taken to St. Louis (“the Sisters”) Hospital, but a portion of them are transferred later to the County Poor House.  
July 8, 1856 The University of Missouri Board of Curators terminates the affiliate status of “McDowell’s College.” The former university department continues as a private institution under the name Missouri Medical College. Missouri Medical College, 1880
1856 The German Evangelical Synod of North America founds Good Samaritan Hospital, staffed by homeopathic physicians, in a rented house at 15th and Carr Streets.  
July 1857 St. Louis City Hospital reopens following repair of fire damage.  
1857 The Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri in St. Louis is organized, graduating its first class in 1859. Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri in St. Louis
1857 The Missouri legislature re-charters William Greenleaf Eliot and Wayman Crow’s college as Washington University.  
Dec. 15, 1858 The Lutheran Hospital is established. Lutheran Hospital
1859 Dr. Adam Hammer incorporates the Humboldt Institut Oder Deutsche Natur Wissenschaftlich-Medicinische Schule (or Humboldt Institut). The name of the Institut was changed to Humboldt Medical College in 1866. The school stood across the street from City Hospital, on a lot extending from Linn to Closey Street on the south side of Soulard Street. In 1868 Hammer returned to Europe and left Dr. Louis Bauer in charge of the Humboldt Medical College. The school ceased operation in 1869.  
1860 The population of St. Louis is 190,524.  
1861 Joseph Nash McDowell abandons St. Louis to become a surgeon with the Confederate forces. Federal authorities seize his building and convert it, first to serve as a barracks, then to house captured Confederate soldiers (the notorious Gratiot Street Prison). Gratiot Street Military Prison
1861 The Union army also commandeers the newly constructed building intended for Good Samaritan Hospital on Jefferson Avenue at Dayton Street, but in this case pays rent and uses the structure as a military hospital. Good Samaritan continues in its first home at 15th and Carr Streets for the duration of the war.  
1865 Joseph Nash McDowell returns to St. Louis after the Civil War (and after receiving a presidential pardon) and begins reconditioning his war-ruined college building. Joseph Nash McDowell
Apr. 1866 St. Luke’s Hospital is founded at Ohio and Sumner Streets by the Episcopal diocese.  
1866 The St. Louis Medical College joins the Missouri Dental College.  
1866 Nancy Leavell graduates from the Woman's Medical College of Philadelphia and moves to St. Louis. Dr. Leavell is the first woman physician with a professional degree in medicine in St. Louis.  
1866 Dr. Lucy Beeman Hobbs Taylor graduates from the Ohio Dental College, becoming the first woman to receive a dental degree in the United States.  
1867 Charles A. Pope retires. He is succeeded by anatomist and surgeon John Hodgen, formerly of Missouri Medical College and a Union Army veteran. The senior faculty formed what became known as the Medical Fund Society to purchase and manage the “Pope’s College” property.  
Sept. 25, 1868 Joseph Nash McDowell dies. His son Drake McDowell is elected to succeed him as dean. Joining Missouri Medical College are two other veterans of the Confederate Army, chemist Charles O. Curtman and internist William McPheeters (who before the war had taught at St. Louis Medical College).  
Apr. 23, 1869 The St. Louis County Insane Asylum opens on the former Kemper College land on Arsenal Street.  
1869 The St. Louis College of Homeopathic Physicians and Surgeons is organized. Operations are suspended in 1871. The school was revived in 1880, then absorbed by Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri in 1882.  
1869 The College of Physicians and Surgeons of St. Louis is organized. College of Physicians and Surgeons of St. Louis
1870 The population of St. Louis is 351,189.  
Apr. 12, 1870 The Society of Alexian Brothers, a Catholic religious order, opens a hospital for men on Carondelet Avenue (now Broadway) at Osage Street. Alexian Brothers Hospital
Mar. 1871 The Sisters of Mercy open an infirmary for women and children, an institution that develops into St. John’s Hospital. St. John's Hospital
1872 The University of Missouri establishes a medical department in Columbia, Missouri, offering a two-year course of instruction. The medical curriculum in Columbia is reorganized in 1900 and a 4-year curriculum is adopted. In 1908 the University of Missouri School of Medicine reverts to a 2-year “half-school” curriculum and ceases conferring medical degrees. In 1957 the School re-establishes the four-year medical degree program.  
1872 The Social Evil Hospital and House of Industry open. The Female Hospital (formerly the Social Evil Hospital)
1872 The Sisters of St. Mary of the Third Order of St. Francis, a Catholic order founded only six years earlier as Sister Servants of the Sacred Heart in Paris, France, founds a convent attached to St. Mary’s Church, at 3rd and Mulberry Streets. The new congregation’s mission is to minister to indigent patients in their own homes.  
1873 An Episcopal nursing order, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, is recruited to staff St. Luke’s Hospital.  
1873 The St. Louis Hahnemann Medical College is organized; the school graduates one class of four students and closes in 1874.  
1873 The Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis opens. Its operation is suspended in 1875.  
1873 The American Medical College of St. Louis is founded as a charter member of the National Association of Eclectic Medical Colleges. The school’s location for its first 10 years was 310 N. 11th Street. The school’s 2nd location was at 407 South Jefferson Avenue. In 1910 the school dropped eclecticism and was reorganized; a new building at 3447 Pine was used by the junior and senior classes. The American Medical College graduated its first woman physician in 1888.  
1874 The Eclectic Medical College of St. Louis (or St. Louis Eclectic Medical College) is organized. It is closed by legal process in 1883.  
1875 With the repeal of the “Social Evil” law, the Social Evil Hospital becomes the municipal Female Hospital.  
Oct. 22, 1876 The City of St. Louis separates from the County of St. Louis according to an agreement known as the “Scheme of Separation.”  
1877 The Sisters of St. Mary open their first hospital, St. Mary’s Infirmary, on Papin Street near 15th Street.  
1880 The population of the city of St. Louis is 350,518. The population of St. Louis County is 31,888.  
1880 Hering Medical College is organized. The school is absorbed by the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri in 1882.  
May 28, 1882 St. Luke’s Hospital moves to a new building at 19th Street and Washington Avenue that was funded in large part by a gift from Henry Shaw, the St. Louis merchant better known as the founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  
1883 The Woman’s Medical College (Homeopathic) opens as a sister institution to the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri. It is in existence only one year.  
1884 The St. Louis Training School for Nurses, the first nurses’ training school west of the Mississippi River, opens. Nurses home, St. Louis Training School for Nurses
1884 The St. Louis Post-Graduate School of Medicine and Polyclinic opens at Jefferson and Lucas Avenue. St. Louis Post-Graduate School of Medicine and Polyclinic
1885 Dr. Mary Hancock McLean becomes the first woman physician admitted to membership in the St. Louis Medical Society.  
1886 The Beaumont Hospital Medical College is organized, named in honor of the most distinguished doctor in St. Louis, William Beaumont. Beaumont Hospital Medical College
1887 The Hygienic Medical College of Physicians and Surgeons (or St. Louis Hygienic College of Physicians and Surgeons) is founded by sisters-in-law Susanna and Mary Dodds. The school suspends operations around 1893.  
Feb. 12, 1889 Nuns of the Sisterhood of the Good Shepherd are replaced at St. Luke’s Hospital by secular nurses, prompting the founding of St. Luke’s Training School for Nurses for young women wishing to enter the profession.  
Mar. 18, 1889 The Evangelical Deaconess Society of St. Louis is organized, a service order of the German Evangelical Church. Five months later the society opens the Evangelical Deaconess Home and Hospital at 2119 Eugenia Street.  
1890 The population of the city of St. Louis is 451,770; the city ranks fourth largest in the United States. The population of St. Louis County is 36,307.  
1890 The Marion Sims College of Medicine is founded. Marion Sims College of Medicine
1891 In 1891 the Woman’s Medical College of St. Louis is incorporated as the first school west of the Mississippi River to be established exclusively for the medical education of women. Woman's Medical College of St. Louis
1892 The St. Louis Medical College and the Missouri Dental College affiliate with Washington University. The St. Louis Medical College retains its name; the dental school becomes the Dental Department of Washington University. Medical Department of Washington University (formerly the St. Louis Medical College), ca. 1906
1892 The Barnes Medical College is organized. Barnes Medical College
1895 The Josephine Hospital opens. The Josephine Heitkamp Hospital
1899 The Missouri Medical College joins the St. Louis Medical College (which is already affiliated with Washington University) to form the St. Louis-Missouri Medical College.  
1900 The population of the city of St. Louis is 575,238. The population of St. Louis County is 50,040.  
1900 The Sisters of St. Mary open Mount St. Rose Sanitarium for the treatment, prevention, and study of tuberculosis.  
1900 The St. Louis-Missouri Medical College becomes the Medical Department of Washington University.