An Account of the Early History of Surgery in Texas Page: 10
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malignant tumors of the omentum, on relapsing
appendicitis and on intestinal and gastric operations.
He had a German desire for progress and scientific
research far in advance of his associates.
My distinguished friend, Dr. A. C. Scott, makes
the following interesting statement in regard to
"Doctor Hadra, who was, as you perhaps
remember, Professor of Surgery in the old Galves-
ton Medical College, performed nine Kraske oper-
ations for cancer of the rectum, and published his
report of these cases. Dr. Nicholas Senn of
Chicago became interested in Doctor Hadra's work,
and while on a duck hunting trip to Texas and ex-
pressed a desire to have an interview with Doctor
Hadra regarding his work. Accordingly, a visit to
Doctor Hadra's office was arranged, and I had the
pleasure of listening for about two hours to a de-
tailed report of the cases. Dr. Hadra exhibited the
pathological specimens, each one of which was re-
moved from the fruit jar in which it had been care-
fully preserved. There was much discussion be-
tween the two surgeons, part of which I could not
understand because they occasionally spoke in Ger-
man, but I could tell that Doctor Senn was deeply
interested and highly pleased with Doctor Hadra's
description of his work. It happened that as we
were about to bid Doctor Hadra good-by, I, without
thought of embarrassing anyone, permitted my curi-
osity to get the best of me, and I asked Doctor
Hadra what percentage of the patients who had re-
ceived the benefit of this operation had recovered,
to which he very promptly replied, 'They all died--
they all died.' "
GREENVILLE DOWELL was another pioneer
of great force, who came to Texas in 1853 and
practiced in Gonzales and Brazoria counties, and
in 1865, came to Galveston and was elected to the
Chair of Anatomy in the First Texas Medical
School. He was a stormy petrel but courageous
and progressive. His inventive and practical mind
led him to make many useful improvements in sur-
gical instruments and appliances. He devised an
operation for the radical cure of hernia by means of
subcutaneous stitches and ligatures, to be passed
through the ruptured walls, and invented suitable
needles to accomplish this. He also devised a sub-
cutaneous ligature for the cure of varicose veins.
His recommendations as to the best method of
reducing dislocated phylanges have come into
general practice, and also that for reducing dis-
locations of the medio-gleno subclavicular type of
the shoulder. His instruments for extracting arrow-
heads and bullets were favorably known to all sur-
geons of this part of the country. He had great
natural adaptness for operating; had a steady hand
and an exact anatomical knowledge. He was more
of a worker than a writer but he found time to
conduct the Galveston Medical Journal, a monthly
Journal that begun in 1866 and ended in 1871. Dr.
Dowell's wire speculum and his modification of Dr.
N. R. Smith's lithotomy instruments were of great
advantage to the operator for bladder stones. His
modification of Westmoreland's urethrotome was
also of great value. He was a surgeon in the War
between the States and for two years surgeon in
charge of the hospital department in the Southern
army. His influence in the progress of surgery in
Texas was outstanding.
ALBERT GALLATIN CLOPTON cannot be
classed as a surgeon only, but since he did success-
ful surgery practice, was of great influence in the
medical profession of Texas in the early days, his
name should be briefly mentioned. He was born
in Georgia in 1828, his ancestors having lived at
the birthplace of Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon,
and were among the first immigrants to the Virginia
colony. Early in life he became inbued with ro-
mantic ideas about the City of Mexico, and the
Halls of Montezuma, and left school without warn-
ing to enlist in the army for service in Mexico, and
he served under General Taylor in the Mexican war.
He visited Texas in 1850, and joined the Texas
Rangers, but soon afterwards took up the study of
medicine. He advocated secession in public
speeches, was a member of the secession convention.
He organized and commanded the Second Infantry
Company which entered the Confederate service
from Texas, and later it became a part of Wood's
Brigade. He received from General Wood a written
commendation for gallantry in battle. He was
elected the sixth president of the Texas State Medi-
cal Association in 1874. He was connected with
the Medical Department of the University of Texas,
and wrote rather extensively upon medical, as well
as other subjects.
DR. THOMAS DUDLEY WOOTEN was a
native of Kentucky. He served in the Confederate
army and was a surgeon of the Second Regiment of
Missouri. He came to Texas in 18(5, and engaged
in the practice of medicine, and soon became quite
influential, becoming a member of the Board of
Regents of the University of Texas, and when that
university was organized, served as chairman of
the Board for many years, in which capacity he
rendered great service to the educational institutions
of Texas. He was instrumental in establishing the
medical department of the University of Texas, and
in providing for the faculty which gave it dis-
tinction from the very first. For many years he
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Singleton, Albert Olin, 1882-1947. An Account of the Early History of Surgery in Texas, pamphlet, October 1932; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143533/m1/14/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.