|Birth: ||Nov. 12, 1853|
|Death: ||Jun. 5, 1938|
Born in Evansville, Ind. on the I2th of November, 1853, Henry Turman Byford was the second son of the late Dr. William Heath Byford, of Chicago, and Mary Ann Holland (whose father and brother were also doctors) and the brother of the late Dr. William H. Byford, Jr.
By the age of twelve, Henry Byford had already completed his elementary education in the public schools of Chicago. He then accompanied his elder brother to Europe, where he spent four years (1865-1868) in travel and study. In Berlin, he learned French and German, and also took a full regular classical course including Latin and Greek. It would seem that under the circumstances he would have had an extremely difficult time competing with pupils of native birth, but at graduation he took prizes in divinity and also in German composition. He graduated secondary school at the age of 15.
Upon his return to the United States, Henry entered the Science Department of Williston Seminary in East Hampton, Mass. , from which he graduated in the year 1870. He then attended the Chicago Medical College where he took a three-year course, which he completed in 1873, graduating as valedictorian of his class.
It is worth noting that college records show that he scored one hundred per cent in all branches of medicine taught at the time. During his second year he attended the lectures and demonstrations given to the senior class, and at the end of the year passed a successful examination in all branches of medicine landing him the position of intern in Mercy Hospital.
The serious illness of his brother in Louisiana required Henry's presence there, preventing him from his delivering the valedictory address to his class at graduation. Although absent from the commencement exercises, his extraordinary proficiency and exceptional standing were distinctly recognized by the faculty, which granted him his degree of Doctor of Medicine without examination, a very unusual act, but one which the circumstances of the case fully justified. One condition attached to the granting of the degree, was that the young graduate, then hardly twenty years old could not practice medicine until he reached adulthood (21 years of age) This was done out of regard for the ethics of the profession, which did not encourage the practice of medicine by minors, however proficient. Henry used this time to attend to his brother in Colorado where he had the satisfaction of seeing him recover.
Declining his father's offered partnership, the young physician began his professional life independently, associating with his college friend, Dr. J. A. St. John, opening an office in one of the less fashionable districts of the city.
The brilliant promise of future success which had appeared in the student was fully realized in the practitioner. He was energetic, competent, popular, and successful from the start. In 1879, he visited Europe a second time, and for a year and a-half devoted his time equally to study in the hospitals and travel for pleasure.
Upon his return to Chicago, Dr. Byford teamed up with his father, and directed his attention principally to obstetrics and the diseases of women and ehildren, working steadily toward his life objective, the diseases of women and abdominal surgery.
Although busy with his private practice, he also worked as Curator in the museum of the Chicago Medical College, lecturer on diseases of children in the Chicago Medical College, and lecturer on obstetrics at Rush Medical College. These positions, however, were later relinquished to dedicate his time to the study of his specialty.
In December, 1888, he was appointed chair of Gynecology in the Chicago Post-Graduate Medical School, of which he was one of the founders; and the following year he was chosen Professor of Clinical Gynecology in the Woman's Medical College. In 1892, he was elected Professor of Gynecology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago. He was also Gynecologist to St. Luke's Hospital for several years and surgeon to the Woman's Hospital.
He was a member of the American Medical Association, Illinois State Medical Association, American Gynecological Society, Chicago Medical Society, Chicago Gynecological Society (of which he was President in 1887), Chicago Academy of Medicine, and the Chicago Medico-Legal Society.
By the age of 35 Dr. Byford was known throughout the United States as one of the most original and progressive men in his specialties, originating a number of operations which were approved and adopted by medical practitioners generally.
William Heath Byford (1817 - 1890)
Lucy Byford (1858 - 1939)*
Mary Larned Byford (1884 - 1894)*
Mary J. Byford Schuyler (1845 - 1941)*
Henry Turman Byford (1853 - 1938)
Created by: Sonia Sanchez
Record added: Jan 28, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104323776