Special Collections in the History of Medicine
Practitioners' Society of Eastern Monmouth
Records, 1901 - 1919
Monmouth County Medical Society
Records, ca. 1873, 1912 - 1949
Revised June 2005
The Monmouth County Medical Society was organized in 1816, but formally established on April 24, 1820 when its founding members adopted a constitution. The Society initially held two meetings a year in Freehold, NJ. The founding officers were: president, William G. Reynolds; vice-president, Edward Taylor; secretary, Samuel Forman and treasurer, Jacobus Hubbard, Jr. In addition to its meetings, the Society operated a medical library, one of the earliest professional libraries in the United States but due to volume losses, was soon abandoned.
Up to 1884, the number of new doctors admitted to the Society varied from none to four yearly. Total membership varied between twelve and twenty. By 1893, membership rolls were up to thirty-six. Among the notable practitioners was Dr. William A. Newell of Upper Freehold who as a member of Congress led the fight to establish the U.S. Life Saving Service charged with aiding shipwreck victims.
The Monmouth County Medical Society is active today and is a component society of the Medical Society of New Jersey.
The Practitioners' Society of Eastern Monmouth was formed on July 1, 1901 when fourteen physicians met in Red Bank to organize. The purpose of the Society, as stated in the original minutes, was for "mutual improvement along the lines of medical education or development, with a feature of protection and suppression of illegal medical practice..." First-hand reports of treatments and experiences comprised the main part of meetings and are illustrated in the minute books.
Scope & Content
The collection is divided into two series: I. Practitioners' Society of Eastern Monmouth and II. Monmouth County Medical Society.
The records of the Practitioners' Society of Eastern Monmouth date from its founding in 1901 through 1919. The records constitute two minute books from this period. Tipped into volume I are: 1) Constitution & Bylaws of the Practitioners' Society of Eastern Monmouth (Red Bank, NJ, 1902) on inside front cover, and 2) a typescript of bylaws with signatures of members, undated, on inside back cover. The minutes primarily describe members' medical cases. [Box 1]
The records of the Monmouth County Medical Society date from 1912 to 1949 and consist of two ledger books. The financial ledger, 1912-1949, describes accounts receivable and disbursements. Accounts are arranged chronologically. The membership ledger, 1911-1934, records members' dues and other payments. The ledger book contains an index to personal names. [Box 2]
A fifth book is included with the records that is entitled 'Practice of Medicine. Book Second.' It is marked 'continued' but the first volume was not included in the donation. The volume contains two disparate contents in different handwriting: 1) handwritten notes on diseases, undated and 2) notes on patients by an unidentified physician practicing at Brooklyn City Hospital, circa 1873. [Box 1]
Provenance: Gift of the Monmouth County Medical Society, October 30, 1986.
Size of Collection: 1 linear foot
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