Friday, October 13, 2006

Dr. William H. Anderson ~ Physician & Patent Medicines

Another one of the early physicians located in Waynesville was Dr. William H. Anderson (September 5, 1784~October 25, 1874) who was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. His parents were David W. and Esther Hollenshead Anderson. Dr. Anderson died in Waynesville, Ohio on October 25th, 1874 at his home on North Street five years before the triple murder in 1879, which may have involved both his son, Daniel R., and his grandson, Willie. See, Triple Murder in Waynesville ~ Willie Anderson.

Dr. Anderson was a physician and manufactured patent medicine and compounds in a small building he erected opposite his house. The Andersons moved from Pennsylvania through Warren County in 1829 and journeyed on into Miami County in 1830. Dr. Anderson and his family lived in Clear Creek Township for a while and then moved to Lytle, Ohio. According to Daniel R. Anderson, during the 1840s, his family lived on “the Ben Shinn farm” in Clear Creek Twp. According to Dan Anderson, they lived in Maineville, too, before moving to Waynesville. By the early 1850s Dr. Anderson was established in Waynesville. It is recorded in Quaker meeting minutes that his wife, Martha Anderson, moved her membership in Springboro Monthly Meeting in Clear Creek Twp. to Miami Monthly Meeting in Waynesville on 8th mo. 27th 1851. Many of Dr. Anderson’s siblings and his mother continued to live in Miami County.

Dr. Anderson was noted for his “Gastric Neutralizer”, cough syrup and liniment. He began to produce his “Neutralizer” in 1852. He was on the public school board in Waynesville, District #7, for many years and was instrumental in the establishment of Waynesville’s Union Schoolhouse. He also served Waynesville as a town trustee (see, Miami-Visitor, May 2, 1851). Sometime between 1867-1869 Dr. Wm. H. Anderson retired and his practice was taken over by Dr. L. S. Rice, M.D.

Dr. Anderson was married twice, to two Quaker sisters: Keziah Smith (m. September 10th, 1812 in Philadelphia) with whom he had 8 children and Martha Smith (m. July 4th, 1831) with whom he had 9 more children. Keziah (d. 1830) and Martha (b. 1806-d. 1895) came from a family of 10 children. Another one of their sisters was Fanny Smith who married Moorman Butterworth. Fanny Smith Butterworth was the mother of Paulina Butterworth. Paulina Butterworth is Daniel R. Anderson’s first cousin and Willie Anderson is her first cousin once removed.

The Smith family were Hicksite Quakers as were the Butterworths. However, Dr. William H. Anderson must not have been a Quaker because Martha Smith was disowned for marrying out of unity on 6 mo. 22nd 1833 by Miami Monthly Meeting of Friends. However, Dr. Anderson became an attender at Quaker meeting. In his reminiscences, Daniel R. Anderson does remember his mother and father hosted Friends in their home and attended Friends Quarterly Meeting in Waynesville. Dan Anderson also mentions events connected with the White Brick meetinghouse in Waynesville. Dan himself claims to have been a founding member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Waynesville even though his second divorce kept him from full communion.

The obituary of Dr. William H. Anderson is found in the Miami-Gazette, October 28th, 1874:
DEATH OF DR. WILLIAM H. ANDERSON. ~This gentleman, one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens, died very peacefully at his residence in this place, on Sunday morning, October 25, 1874, at 7 o’clock. This announcement, though not expected, perhaps to our readers at a distance, who were not aware of his long confinement, was not unexpected to our citizens, who knew that for several months the venerable doctor had been an invalid, much of the time continued to his bed. Without any particular disease, other than a gradual giving way of a strong and unusually vigorous constitution, he has passed away after having lived a long life of active usefulness. Dr. Anderson was born near Philadelphia September 5th, 1784 and removed with his family to this county in 1815. He was married twice and leaves a widow and a great number of descendents, children to great grandchildren, residents of many states. His children from New York, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio were nearly all with him in his last moments. Soon after his arrival in this state, he was stricken down with disease pronounced consumption and lay for many months with but slight hope of recovery. During his illness he studied medicine and became one of the most successful physicians in the State. During the cholera season he was called miles in all directions. He rode on horseback day and night for many months during the cholera siege, and lot but one patient. He was a man of iron nerve, indomitable will and remarkably strong constitution. He was a warm friend, and in return was beloved by all. So far as we know, he had not an enemy, or any that would speak of him otherwise than with the utmost kindness.

He abhorred debt, and during his entire life scarce ever allowed himself to owe any one a dollar. Still he never refused an applicant for medicine or advice on credit, and was never known to press any one for payment. He had not tasted spirituous or malt liquors since he was 21, and had the happiness of knowing that his descendants were without exception, strictly temperate. Three of his sons and many of his grandchildren served their country faithfully during the late war. ~~ Pecuniarily, he leaves his family in independent circumstances.

Dr. Anderson’s funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon, service being held in the Hicksite Friends’ meetinghouse. The attendance of relatives, friends and neighbors was very large, a testimonial that was needed to prove the estimation in which our aged citizen was held. An address appreciative of the Doctor’s life and character was made by Friend James W. Haines, and when the large audience had taken their last look of the face which for so many years had been such a pleasant one to meet, beaming always as it was with the sunshine proceeding from a kindly heart, the coffin lid was closed, and the remains were borne silently and solemnly to their last resting place in Miami Cemetery.

And so, at the extreme age of 90 years, Doctor Anderson has gone from among us. Everyone who knew him will regret his loss; but none so much as his faithful wife, who has been a devoted companion and helpmate for many, many years. May Heaven comfort her in her bereavement, and console her for the loss of an affectionate husband, who could never do too much for her happiness.

The family of the late Dr. Anderson join in sincere thanks to Friend James W. Haines, for the charitable nature of his most beautiful and appropriate address.

Dr. William H. Anderson is buried in Miami Cemetery, Corwin, Ohio in Section D. Many of his children attended the funeral.

There is evidence that Martha Smith Anderson was also a physician. It was reported in the Miami-Visitor, April 27th, 1859 that “MRS. M. ANDERSON HOME AGAIN. Our readers and the public will be happy to learn that Mrs. M. Anderson has returned from her eastern visit and is ready at any time to give medical aid and resume her practice as Physician. Our citizens have known the eminent abilities of his lady too long to make any further remarks necessary; tho’ for the benefit of others, we will say she is every way competent.”

Also see:

Waynesville's First Fire Engine in the 1850s ~ "The Buckeye"

More Reminiscences of D. R. Anderson ~ Businesses in Waynesville

More Memories of Businesses in Waynesville by Daniel R. Anderson

Boyhood Memories of Daniel R. Anderson

A "Young American Guard" in Waynesville in the 1850s


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