Lang Cassels, M.D.
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John Lang Cassels, M. D., L. L. D. He
was born September 15th, 1802, in Scotland, near Glasgow. He was
instructed both in the common branches and classics in the high schools
of Glasgow, and at the age of sixteen, being thoroughly prepared, he
entered the University of Glasgow, where he remained two years. In 1827
he came to the United States with an older brother, who was at home on a
visit after twenty years' residence in this country. He remained a
welcome visitor at his brother's hospitable home, near Utica, New York,
for about a year. While here he became possessed of a strong desire to
travel and see more of the country, and in order to gratify this desire
he taught school, earning money enough to take him from place to place,
and then teaching again when that was expended. In the fall of 1830 he
arrived at Fairfield, Herkimer County, New York, the seat of the Western
college of physicians and surgeons, and began the study of medicine with
Dr. Moses Johnson. After a year he was appointed demonstrator of anatomy
by Professor McNaughton, and graduated in 1834, receiving the degree of
doctor of medicine. He occupied the position of demonstrator of anatomy
for four years in all.
In the spring of 1835 he opened an office in
Chenango County, New York, for the practice of medicine, and in the fall
of the same year was appointed professor of chemistry in Willoughby
Medical College, at Willoughby, Ohio. He remained at Willoughby till
1843, when he removed to Cleveland, and in connection with Drs.
Kirtland, Delamater, and Ackley, established in 1844, the Cleveland
Medical College, occupying the first year a building on the corner of
Ontario and Prospect streets. All these gentlemen were professors at
Willoughby, and when application was made to the legislature for a
charter, the friends of Willoughby College opposed it, and the petition
defeated. But the enterprise of establishing a medical college in
Cleveland, which had been undertaken by responsible citizens, was not to
be thwarted. The organization was effected under the charter of the
Western Reserve College, and is still (1889) the medical department of
that institution. The present (1889) commodious building was erected in
1844 at the corner of Erie and St. Clair streets. For several years he
occupied the chair of materia medica, and on the retirement of Dr.
Samuel St. John, he was appointed professor of chemistry and toxicology,
which position he filled with distinguished ability for nearly thirty
years. In 1837 Governor Marcy appointed him, geologist of the first
district in the State of New York, and during the three years he held
this appointment he made a thorough examination of the territory
assigned, and submitted a valuable and highly satisfactory report. He
spent the summer of 1846 in the wilds of Lake Superior, making, in the
interest of a Cleveland copper mining company, a geological survey of
the south shore and Isle Royal. In 1872, having suffered a paralytic
stroke, he retired from the active duties of his profession. He was
married in the fall of 1838 to Miss Cornelia Olin, daughter of Judge J.
H. Olin, of Vermont; she died in 1871. They have had born to them one
daughter, who is the wife of Mr. Atwood, of the firm of Fuller & Atwood,
The original faculty
of the Cleveland Medical College was constituted as follows:
John Delamater, M.D. (1787-1867) . Prof, of Midwifery and Diseases
of Women and Children.
Jared P. Kirtland, M.D. (1793-1877) . Prof, of the Theory and Practice
Horace A. Ackley, M.D. (1815-1859) . Professor of Surgery.
John Lang Cassels, M.D. (1808-1879) . Professor of Materia Medica. Noah
Worcester, M. D., (1812-1847) . Prof, of Physical Diagnosis and
Diseases of the Skin.
Samuel St. John, M.D. (1813-1876) . Professor cf Chemistry.
Jacob J. Delamater, M. D Lecturer on Physiology.
(The personal edited research
notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or
may not be completely documented)