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Norman Smith, M.D. Biography

Dr. Norman Smith with the 6th Regiment

(The following are the personal edited research notes of Dr. Michael Echols, the source of which may or may not be completely documented)
Groton historical series: A collection of papers relating to the ..., Volume 2 By Samuel Abbott Green

Dr Norman Smith was a son of Jesse and Nabby Kittredge Smith and born at Mount Vernon
New Hampshire on October 13 181 1 He was married first on May 3 1838 to Harriet daughter of
John and Lydia Sleeper of Frances town New Hampshire who was born on September 7 18 16
and died at Groton on September 2 1839 secondly on November 6 1843 to Mariett Sleeper a
sister of his first wife who was born on October 9 1826 and died at Groton on July 6 1846 thirdly
on September 22 1847 at Lowell to Abigail Maria daughter of Ephraim and Sarah King Brown of
Wilton New Hampshire who was born on August 26 1828 and died at Groton on July 17 1852
fourthly on September 12 1853 to Sarah Young daughter of Solomon and Dorcas Hopkins Frost
of Groton who was born on July 13 1832 and died at Fitchburg on December 4 1856 and fifthly
and lastly on September 11 1866 at Barre to Mrs Mary Jane King Lee daughter of Daniel and
Rebecca Parmenter King of Rutland Massachusetts and widow of George Huntington Lee who
was born on November 5 1828 Dr Smith came to Groton about the year 1837 when he was
associated for a time with his cousin Franklin Otis Kit tredge in the business of making fancy
boxes From an early age he had a decided taste for medicine and surgery and he found it
impossible to repress the natural tendency of his desires In the year 1843 he graduated at the
Vermont Medical College Woodstock and soon became widely known as a surgeon in this
neighborhood He had a large practice extending over the northern part of Middlesex County
and over the southern part of Hillsborough County New Hampshire In April 1 86 1 at the
beginning of the War of the Rebellion he went out as Surgeon of the Sixth Massachusetts Militia
Regiment and was with that famous organization on its march through Baltimore and during its
first campaign of three months On June 9 1875 Dr Smith sailed for Europe where he passed
several months in visiting hospitals and other medical institutions and after his return he settled
in Nashua New Hampshire Here he remained until the year 1879 when he came back to Groton
and resumed practice but owing to the condition of his health which had been broken down by
exposure in the army it was not now extensive During the last few years of his life he received a
pension from the Government for his disabilities He was a member of the Congregational Union
Church and prominent in all matters connected with the welfare of the town He died on May 24
1888 at his farm on Common Street and the funeral on May 28 was conducted under Masonic
rites.
 

For an account of Dr Smith's services in the army see pages 358 360 of Volume II of this
Historical Series below

DR NORMAN SMITH AT my request the Reverend Charles Babbidge DD has kindly furnished me with some of his recollections of Dr Smith who went out in the first campaign of the War of the Rebellion as Surgeon of the Sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Militia It will be remembered that Dr Babbidge was the Chaplain of this regiment. See page 322 of this volume for a notice of Dr Smith PEPPERELL January 5 1889

 

DEAR DR GREEN I had not forgotten that I promised to furnish such memoranda as I could of Dr Smith's share in the experiences of the Sixth Regiment in their campaign of 1861 This regiment was the first to appear at Washington in an organized form and the talk about any other troops being there before us is all bosh.  On that April morning when the soldiers of North Middlesex came together en route for Lowell Boston and Washington their hearts were cheered by the presence and their souls lifted up by the loud and well known laugh of their surgeon.  From the very start Dr Smith was the life of the regiment.  Going through Baltimore he and I sat together side by side in the leading car.  The rebel taunts and insults which were showered upon us broke no windows and inflicted no wounds.  We reached the station toward Washington and were ordered to remain quiet in our seats and a sentinel at the door took care that we did so.  The Doctor was full of fight however and with a loaded revolver in his lap seemed impatient to furnish some Baltimore surgeon with a case of gunshot wound or to provide one for himself, but probably the presence of the chaplain of the regiment to say nothing of other pacifying influences kept him quiet. 

 

At last we reached Washington and there Dr Smith's professional labors began when thirty wounded men of our regiment required his services.  Had he been a classically educated man he would have burst out with Hie labor hoc opus est, but luckily he knew as little of the ancient languages as he did of Sanscrit and so he uttered no exclamation but went at once to work among his wounded comrades.  Throughout the campaign of nearly four months the same untiring spirit of a judicious and shrewd aptness manifested itself in the Capitol at Washington a short time after our arrival the Eighth Regiment Massachusetts Militia on filing into the rotunda upset a stack of muskets and one of them discharging sent a ball through the foot of Lieutenant Herrick of Beverly.   Dr Smith with characteristic impetuosity without stopping to ask what surgeon should be called had the man taken into his our room which was one belonging to the judges of the United States Supreme Court and almost before Herrick knew it the foot was cut off.   And in three weeks time the patient was at his home attending to his business I never can think or speak of Dr Smith without being moved to merriment as he was himself so much the embodiment of fun and humor and this was a providential blessing to his comrades.  When all was darkness and gloom about us the Doctor's boisterous laugh would make everything bright and joyous.  On all occasions he showed a devotion to duty and a readiness in emergencies which were highly to be commended and time would now fail to tell one half of what I could say in praise of the surgeon of the Old Sixth Yours respectfully CHARLES BABBIDGE DR NORMAN SMITH 359

DR NORMAN SMITH   See page 307.   Dr Norman Smith a son of Jesse and Nabby Kittredge Smith was born at Mount Vernon New Hampshire on October 13 1811 and died at Groton on May 24 1888 He married first on May 3 1838 Harriet daughter of John and Lydia Sleeper of Francestown New Hampshire who was born on September 7 1816 and died at Groton on September 2 1839 secondly on November 6 1843 Mariett Sleeper a sister of the first wife who was born on October 9 1826 and died at Groton on July 6 1846 thirdly on September 22 1847 at Lowell Maria A daughter of Ephraim and Sarah King Brown of Wilton New Hampshire who was born on August 26 1828 and died at Groton on July 17 1852 fourthly on September 12 1853 Sarah Young daughter of Solomon and Dorcas Hopkins Frost of Groton who was born on July 13 1832 and died at Fitchburg on December 4 1856 and fifthly and lastly on September n 1866 at Barre Mrs Mary Jane King Lee daughter of Daniel and Rebecca Parmenter King of Rutland Massachusetts who was born on November 5 1828 and now living as Dr Smith's widow CHILDREN By the first wife HENRY born on August 26 1839 and died on August 26 1858 By the third wife HARRIET M born on November 6 1848 and died FRANK K born on November 2 1851 and died on July 27 1860 By the fourth wife MARIETT F born on September 23 1855 and died on August 27 1856 By the fifth wife NORMAN KITTREDGE born on September 28 1868 FREDERICK LEE born on February 26 1871 and LAURA KING born on October 27 1872 The first husband of Mrs Mary Jane King Lee Smith was George H Lee son of David and Adelaide Pierce Lee of Barre and the only child by this marriage Adelaide Louise Lee married Charles Franklin Kittredge Esq a prominent lawyer of Boston

Dr Smith came to Groton about the year 1837 when he was associated for a time with his cousin Franklin Otis Kit tredge in the business of making fancy boxes.  The firm occupied the store previously kept by William Farwell Brazer nearly opposite to the Academy.  See the first volume of this Historical Series No VII page 4 for a reference to the building. 

 

From an early age Dr Smith had a decided taste for medicine and surgery and he found it impossible to repress the natural tendency of his desires In the year 1843 he graduated at the Vermont Medical College, Woodstock, and soon became widely known as a surgeon in this neighborhood.  He had a large practice extending over the northern part of Middlesex County and over the southern part of Hillsborough County New Hampshire In April 1861 at the beginning of the War of the Rebellion he went out as Surgeon of the Sixth Massachusetts Militia Regiment and was with that famous organization on its march through Baltimore and during its first campaign of three months. 

 

On June 9 1875 Dr Smith sailed for Europe where he passed several months in visiting hospitals and other medical institutions and after his return he settled in Nashua New Hampshire Here he remained until the year 1879 when he came back to Groton and resumed practice but owing to the condition of his health which had been broken down by exposure in the army it was not now extensive.   During the last few years of his life he received a pension from the Government for his disabilities.  He was a member of the Congregational Union Church and prominent in all matters connected with the welfare of the town.  He died on May 24 1888 at his farm on Common Street and the funeral on May 28 was conducted under Masonic rites.

History of the Town of Mont Vernon, N.H.

Dr. Norman Smith, son of Jesse and Nabby (Kittredge) Smith, was born at Mont Vernon, Oct. 13, 1811. He graduated from Vermont Medical College, Woodstock, in 1843, and the same year established himself in the practice of medicine and surgery at Groton, Mass. He acquired a wide practice in the surgical branch of his profession extending over the northern part of Middlesex Co., Mass., and the southern part of Hillsboro Co., in N. Il. In April, 1801, at the outbreak of the Civil War he went out as surgeon of 6th Mass. Regt, and was with it in its famous march through Baltimore, and during its first campaign of three mouths.

In 1874 he went to Europe and passed one year attending medical lectures and hospital practice on the continent. Returning in 1875 he resided in Nashua. He purchased a fine estate near Groton, Mass., where he closed his busy and useful life May 24, 1888. During his earlier years Dr. Smith was proficient in music, which he taught with great success. He was a member of the Mass. Medical Society and was a public-spirited citizen, prominent in whatever promoted the welfare of the community in which he lived. In early life he united with the church in Mont Vernon, and was one of the oldest members of the evangelical church in Groton. 

__________________________________________

An account of the physicians and dentists of Groton, Massachusetts ... By Samuel Abbott
Green

Dr. Norman Smith was a son of Jesse and Nabby (Kittredge) Smith, and born at Mount Vernon, New Hampshire,
on October 13, 1811. He was married, first, on May 3, 1838, to Harriet, daughter of John and Lydia Sleeper, of Frances- town, New Hampshire, who was born on September 7, 18 16, and died at Groton, on September 2, 1839 J secondly, on November 6, 1843, to Mariett Sleeper, a sister of his first wife, who was born on October 9, 1826, and died at Groton, on July 6, 1846; thirdly, on September 22, 1847, at Lowell, to Abigail Maria, daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (King) Brown, of Wilton, New Hampshire, who was born on August 26, 1828, and died at Groton, on July 17, 1852 ; fourthly, on September 12, 1853, to Sarah Young, daughter of Solomon and Dorcas (Hopkins) Frost, of Groton, who was born on July 13, 1832, and died at Fitchburg, on December 4, 1856; and, fifthly and lastly, on September 11, 1866, at Barre, to Mrs. Mary Jane (King) Lee, daughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Parmenter) King, of Rutland, Massachusetts, and widow of George Huntington Lee, who was born on November 5, 1828. From an early age he had a decided taste for medicine and surgery and he found it impossible to repress the natural tendency of his desires In the year 1843 he graduated at the Vermont Medical College, Woodstock, and soon became widely known as a surgeon in this neighborhood.

Dr. Smith came to Groton about the year 1837, when he was associated for a time with his cousin Franklin Otis Kittredge, in the business of making fancy boxes. From an early age he had a decided taste for medicine and surgery, and he found it impossible to repress the natural tendency of his desires. In the year 1843 he graduated at the Vermont Medical College, Woodstock, and soon became widely known as a surgeon in this neighborhood. He had a large practice, extending over the northern part of Middlesex County, and over the southern part of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. In April, 1861, at the beginning of the War of the Rebellion, he went out as Surgeon of the Sixth Massachusetts Militia Regiment, and was with that famous organization on its march through Baltimore, and during its first campaign of three months.

 
On June 9 1875 Dr Smith sailed for Europe where he passed several months in visiting hospitals and other medical institutions and after his return he settled in Nashua New Hampshire Here he remained until the year 1879 when he came back to Groton and resumed practice but owing to the condition of his health which had been broken down by exposure in the army it was not now extensive During the last few years of his life he received a pension from the Government for his disabilities He was a member of the Congregational Union Church and prominent in all matters connected with the welfare of the town He died on May 24 1888 at his farm on Common Street and the funeral on May 28 was conducted under Masonic rites For an account of Dr Smith's services in the army see pages 358 360 of Volume II of this Historical Series.
 
For an account of Dr. Smith's services in the army, see pages 358-360 of Volume II. of this Historical Series.

AN ACCOUNT PHYSICIANS AND DENTISTS OF GROTON, MASSACHUSETTS INCLUDING THOSE WHO, BORN THERE, HAVE PRACTICED THEIR PROFESSION ELSEWHERE.

By SAMUEL A. GREEN, M.D., GROTON, 1890.
2 Volumes; John Wilson and Son, Cambridge.
 

History of Groton, Mass. for Norman Smith

Groton, Mass. Bio. for Norman Smith 
 
Dr. Norman Smith was a son of Jesse and Nabby (Kittredge) Smith, and born at Mount Vernon, New Hampshire, on October 13, 1811. He graduated at the Vermont Medical College, Woodstock, in the class of 1843, and began to practice medicine at Groton, where he passed his whole professional life, with the exception of four years spent in Nashua, New Hampshire. In April, 1861, at the outbreak of the Rebellion, he went out as surgeon of the Sixth Massachusetts Militia Regiment, and was with that famous organization on its march through Baltimore and during its first campaign of three months. He was a member of the Union Congregational Church, and prominent in all matters connected with the welfare of the town. His death took place at his farm on Common Street, on May 24, 1888, and the funeral, on May 28th, was conducted under Masonic rites.
 
By Charles James Smith

Note the listing of Smith (surgeon) and Babbage (chaplain)

Resting place of Dr. Norman Smith in Groton (Photos courtesy of great, great grand daughter, Mary McConnell, from her biography of Dr. Norman Smith)

 

Documentation of the amputation performed by Norman Smith, M.D. in Washington, D.C. after the Baltimore Riot

Moses S Herrick Dr. Norman Smith's amputation patient 1861

Norman Smith Biography

Documentation regarding the uniform worn by Dr. Smith in the document photos

Norman Smith's Colt Dragoon pistol

Additional information on Dr. Norman Smith in his uniform

Return to the display of the Norman Smith surgical set

Documentation regarding the uniform worn by Dr. Smith in the photos

6th Mass. Vol. Militia and the Pratt Street (Baltimore) Riot at the start of the Civil War

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