UB Yesterday: 1861

Medical Men

Approximately 800 faculty members teach at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences today, but back in 1861 the faculty numbered just 10. Seven of them sat for this portrait.

James Platt White, Edward Mott Moore, Sandford Eastman, Charles Alfred Lee, George Hadley, Thomas F. Rochester, and William H. Mason

Photo: University Archives. Frame: Depositphotos

By Jeff Klein

James Platt White (obstetrics and gynecology, seated first on left) was on UB’s original faculty in 1846, when the university was founded exclusively as a medical school. In 1850 he conducted America’s first “demonstration of clinical midwifery,” the examination of a pregnant woman and delivery of her baby in front of medical students. It scandalized a puritanical segment of Buffalonians at the time, but eventually became an essential part of medical education.

Edward Mott Moore (surgery, seated second left) taught at UB for 25 years. In an 1896 edition of the Buffalo Medical and Surgical Journal he was remembered for the “clearness and elegance” of his instruction.

Sandford Eastman (anatomy, seated second right) was an alumnus of the college and a founder of Buffalo General Hospital. For four years he served as Buffalo’s chief medical inspector.

Charles Alfred Lee ("materia medica," or drugs and pharmaceuticals, seated first on right) was also on UB’s original faculty. Noted by one former student for his “uniform kindness,” he wrote and edited extensively on forensic medicine, practical medicine, wartime field hospitals, alcoholism and other subjects.

George Hadley (chemistry, standing left) was an original faculty member. Mary Blair Moody remembered him as “friendly to my work” en route to her becoming UB’s first female graduate in 1876.

Thomas F. Rochester (clinical medicine, standing center) taught at UB for 29 years and was also a founder of Buffalo General. During the Civil War he served as a government-appointed medical inspector of military hospitals.

William H. Mason (physiology, standing right) graduated from UB in 1859 at age 37 and went on to teach at the university for a quarter-century. He had just joined the faculty when this photo was taken.