American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

Surgical Set collection from 1860 to 1865 - Civilian and Military

Civil War:  Medicine, Surgeon Education & Medical Textbooks

 Dr. Michael Echols  &  Dr. Doug Arbittier


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 Dr's. James and Henry van Hoevenberg

By Robert C. Griffith (family member)

Dr. James Oliver van Hoevenberg (a.ka. J. O. Van Hovenburg)  was born July 16, 1822 in Kingston, Ulster County in New York. He was the third child of Dr. Henry van Hoevenberg and Jane Catherine Heemance, the last to marry and have children (of the four children following James Oliver, three died in childhood, and the last was debilitated.) He was the younger brother of Martin Henry and Sarah Jane.

In 1838, after completing his schooling, James Oliver went to Michigan to work with his uncle, Col. James Dumond van Hoevenberg, on a farm in Jonesville. In March of 1840, he moved to Marine Settlement, Illinois (just west of Chicago) and began the study of medicine with a friend of his father's, a Dr. Allen, and lived with the Allen family.

In 1843, James returned to New York City via Jonesville and went to Bellevue for further study and practice and eventually received the M.D. degree from the University of the City of New York (present day New York University.) James was on the staff of Bellevue, Blackwell's Island Hospital, and became Deputy Health Officer of the Port of New York stationed at Quarantine, Staten Island, where his father was in charge. In 1846 he received a commission as Assistant surgeon of the New York Volunteers under Col. J. D. Stevenson.

Dr. James Oliver was in private practice for some time in Staten Island, and then in 1856 he moved to Kingston (this would have coincided more or less with the retirement of his father and the breakup of his elder brother Martin's first marriage.)

In 1857 he was commission surgeon of the 20th New York State Militia, and in 1862 Surgeon of the 120th New York Volunteers with the rank of Major.  He saw much action in the Civil War.   The 120th Infantry, mustered out June 3, 1865.  According the the Roster, Van Hovenburg, J.O. is listed as a surgeon, and was in the service until December, 1862.

Because of war-related medical problems, Dr. James Oliver returned to Kingston and practiced for about six years with Walter Alexander van Rensselaer. He was appointed Deputy Health Officer at Sing Sing Prison, a post he left after awhile because of the unpleasant duty of attending hangings. When his eldest son, Henry, began medical practice in 1877, Dr. James Oliver left Kingston and returned to Staten Island.

Dr. James Oliver married Esther Maria van Hoevenberg, his cousin, on June 14, 1849. They had five children.

For additional information on the family, please see:

Medical Antiques Index

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques Index

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Civil War Medical Collections 


Direct links to all medical & Civil War collections on this site                         

American Surgical Sets:

Pre-Civil War:  1 | 2  -   Post-Civil War:  3  -  Civil War 1861-1865:  4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   INDEX

Medical Text-Books:

1 | 1a | 2 | 2a | 3 | 3a | 4 | 4a | 5 | 5a | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 9a | 10 | 11 | 12    INDEX

Surgeon General's Office Library printed catalogues: 1840 | 1864 | 1865
Medical Lecture Cards: 1 | 2 | 34 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21    INDEX

Medical Faculty and Authors:


Navy Surgeon Exams:

1863 Navy Surgeon Applicant Exams with Biographies   INDEX ONE | INDEX TWO

Surgeon CDVs, Images:

Army: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8    INDEX

Navy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8   

Hosp Dep't Bottles, Tins, 

U.S. Army Pannier:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

American Civil War Medicine & Surgical Antiques

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Last update: Monday, December 12, 2016