An Account of the Early History of Surgery in Texas Page: 12
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cine. He became a member of the Royal College
of Surgeons, England, and in 1888 received a Fel-
lowship in the College. He had the degree of
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from
the University of London. He was House Surgeon
to the Royal Infirmary of Manchester and to the
Dudley Hospital, and also held the important posi-
tion of Resident Surgeon to the Manchester Royal
Infirmary. His studies in surgery were completed
in the clinics and hospitals of Vienna and Paris.
In 1891 he was chosen by the Board of Regents
from a list of eminent applicants to fill the Chair
of Surgery in the Medical Department of the Uni-
versity of Texas. From that time until his death
(36 years) he held this Chair and filled the position
of Chief Surgeon to the John Sealy Hospital, Gal-
He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Sur-
geons of England, Fellow of the American College
of Surgeons, a member of the American Surgical.
Association, as well as many other medical bodies.
He was president of the Southern Surgical As-
sociation, and the first president of the Texas Sur-
gical Society. In 1925 Baylor University conferred
upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws. His affili-
ation with the many scientific societies was with
great enthusiasm and activity, and his contributions
and discussions were enthusiastically received at all
Dr. Thompson had been highly honored by the
scientific world and was rated as one of the out-
standing citizens of our state and nation.
He was a prolific and substantial contributor
to current surgical literature. His many contri-
butions cannot be recounted here but it is significant
that he contributed chapters on Diseases of the
Neck for Binnie's Regional Surgery, and Cleft
Palate and Harelip for Binnie's Operative Surgery,
and contributed a comprehensive article on Cysts
of the Neck for Oxford Surgery.
An anatomist, embryologist, pathologist and
skilled surgeon, he had to my knowledge no supe-
riors and few equals. He was always enthusiastic
in research and constantly contributed papers on
surgical questions which have had recognized scien-
tific value. Especially notable was his work on
"The Surgical Approach of the Bones of the Ex-
tremities" which was reprinted by the United States
Army for distribution to American surgeons during
the World War. His articles upon cleft palate and
harelip are classics in the literature of those sub-
Being a classical scholar and blessed with a
brilliant and perfectly trained mind, his wide knowl-
edge in the fields of literature, art and the sciences
was most gratifying and surprising to those with
whom he came in contact. He was a most interest-
ing talker and his mind was a storehouse of knowl-
edge ever open to his students, his assistants and
colleagues seeking information pertaining to sur-
gery in all its phases. He was a friend to the
younger members of the profession ever ready to
praise and encourage their scientific endeavors.
He probably contributed his greatest good to
the medical profession, particularly to Texas and
the Southwest, by his teaching; actively teaching
for thirty-six years, in an institution which grad-
uated more than one thousand doctors during that
time. Here he was at his best. His tremendous
enthusiasm, a flow of language describing his clear
thinking made him so magnetic that even the dullest
student never slept in his classes. In the classroom
or at the bedside he constantly hammered into his
students scientific principles based upon embry-
ology, anatomy and pathology as they applied to
clinical findings. He was ever proud of the Texas
Surgical Society, and retained the highest admi-
ration for its members, both collectively and in-
dividually. To the surviving colleagues must come
the thought of years of fine friendship and co-
operation mutually enjoyed.
1. Red, George Plunkett, "The Medicine Man in
Texas," p. 10. (We have drawn extensively
upon this excellent book in preparing the
biographies in this article.)
2. Texas State Jour. of Med., Nov., 1905, pp. 178-80.
3. Trans. State Med. Assn. of Texas, 1885, p. 63.
4. Texas State Jour. of Medicine, Vol. XI, 1915,
5. Texas State Journal of Medicine, Vol. V, 1909-
10, pp. 119-120.
6. Merrill, Edward: Trans. of Am. Med. Assn.,
Vol. XX, 1869-pp. 497-498.
7. Beall, Walker & Capps--"The Fitness of the
Climate of Texas for Operative Surgery-
Demonstrated by Results on Recent Capi-
tal Cases." Trans. State Med. Assn. of
Texas, 1894, p. 245.
8. Ryan, Hillary:-"Lithotomy--Operation under
Extraordinary Disadvantages." -- Trans.
Texas State Med. Assn., 1875, p. 203.
9. Burroughs, S. R.--"The Hymen--Its Anatomy
and Malformations: Symptoms and Treat-
ment of its Imperforate Deformity."-
Trans. Texas State Med. Assn., 8th Annual
Session, 1876. p. 172.
10. "Texas Surgery"--Texas Med. Jour. Vol. II,
1886-87, p. 394.
11. Texas Medical Jour. Vol. I, 1885-8(6, p. 472.
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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/m1/16/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.