The Department of Surgery at UCSF was established in 1873 by two surgeons, Hugh H. Toland and Richard Beverly Cole who were lured to California by Gold Fever.
Hugh Huger Toland was born April
16, 1806, the son of a South Carolina planter and banker. At age
sixteen he "read" medicine and worked in the local apothecary shop.
Richard Beverly Cole was born in Manchester, Virginia in 1829. His
family moved to Philadelphia soon thereafter
By 1852, when Toland crossed the 2,000-mile overland route by wagon train and Cole arrived by steamship, the gold reserves were dwindling, leaving both to resort to surgical careers. Cole became the Dean of the new Medical Department of the University of California, and Toland, the first chairman of the Department of Surgery.
In 1864 Dr. H. H. Toland established the school which bore the name of the Toland Medical College. The first medical school in California was founded by Dr. E. S. Cooper in 1859. It formed the Medical Department of the University of the Pacific. Dr. Cooper's work was later commemorated by the college bearing his name, which was founded by Dr. L. C. Lane. The land and building which Dr. Toland gave to the Toland College were situated on Stockton Street, San Francisco, distant but a few blocks from the bay. This site was then accessible from the business and residence parts of the city.
The original Faculty consisted of Dr. H. H. Toland, Dr. John F. Morse, Dr. Robert Oxland, Dr. Brown, Dr. James Blake, Dr. W. O. Ayres, Dr. L. C. Lane, Dr. Thomas Bennett, and Dr. Henry Gibbons. Dr. Toland was elected the first President, and Dr. Ayres the first Dean. The College began in a modest way, the students enrolled for the first session being only eight in number. The Faculty, recognizing from the first the necessity of clinical instruction, sought and soon obtained the freedom of the City and County Hospital for the students.
The first graduates of the College were Freeman L. Weeks, John C. Davie, Jr., Amos S. Dubois, Ferdinand Damour, Charles A. Stivers, William P. Welsh, Milo B. Pond, and John C. Handy.