Return to Ohio Biographies
Return to Index
Thaddeus Asbury Reamy, M.D., LL.D.
THE following biographical memoir is strikingly illustrated by the force of well-directed energy, steadfast purpose, and never-ceasing effort for the accomplishment of the noble ends, and the successful overthrow of those obstacles which beset the progress of every young man who, unaided and alone, starts out to combat life's stern realities and hew his own way to distinction and fortune. It is a story of a successful life, and from the study of such a record the discouraged youth may gain lessons of ultimate value, lessons that are calculated to inspire new zeal in his faltering heart and new courage in his darkened spirit. It shows that it takes grit, perseverance, and honesty to win in life's battle, rather than th help of wealth or influential relatives or friends. In other words, it is better to rely on ourselves and map out our own paths that to depend upon others and follow a career dictated by others. The late Dr. Thaddeus Asbury Reamy, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was a surgeon of international reputation, one of the greatest men of his profession during his day and generation.
Doctor Reamy was born April 28, 1829, in Frederick County, Virginia. He was a son of Jacob A. and Mary W. (Bonifield) Reamy. The parents devoted their lives to agricultural pursuits, removing from Virginia to Muskingum County, near Zanesville, Ohio, in 1832. His paternal ancestors were of Huguenot extraction, and his maternal ancestors were of Scotch and English descent.
Doctor Reamy grew up on the home farm, assisting his father with the general work during crop seasons, and in the winter time attending the rural schools in his community. He began life for himself by teaching school, which he followed until he was twenty-one years of age, in the country schools. He was even then a great student, reading all the good books he could procure. He became interested in the study of medicine, which he began reading under the direction of Dr. D. L. Crist.
With the money he earned by teaching and the assistance of his father, he took the course at Starling Medical College, at Columbus, Ohio, where he made an excellent record and from which institution he was graduated in 1854 with high honors. Soon thereafter he began the practice of his profession at Mt. Sterling, Ohio, where he remained nine years, enjoying a large practice. He was elected a professor of materia medica and therapeutics at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery in 1858, while residing in Mt. Sterling, Ohio, which position he resigned in 1860, having been elected a member of the General Assembly of Ohio, from the Zanesville district, and he served one term in a manner pleasing to his constituents.
At the commencement of the Civil War, Doctor Reamy proved his patriotism by offering his services to his county, and was commissioned a surgeon in the One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio Volunteer infantry, which he resigned in 1862, to enable him to serve a second term in the General Assembly. In 1863 he became surgeon of the Thirteenth Provost Marshal District of Ohio. In 1864 he was elected a professor of the diseases of women in Starling Medical College, In Columbus, Ohio, which position he held until 1871, when he resigned to accept the professorship of diseases of children, etc., in the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, which position he held until 1886, when he became professor of clinical gyneacology [sic.] in the same institution.
Doctor Reamy studied in the hospitals of London, Paris, and Dublin. In 1871, he was appointed on the staff of the Good Samaritan Hospital, and in 1874 he was chosen gyneacologist [sic.] and obstetrician to the Cincinnati Hospital. In all these responsible positions he gave eminent satisfaction, discharging his duties in a manner that reflected much credit upon himself, and his exceptionally brilliant work attracted widespread attention. He rose to a place in the front ranks of American physicians and surgeons. In recognition of his ability, Cornell University, at Mt. Vernon, Iowa, conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts in 1870, and in the same year Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws.
A man of great diversity of talents, Doctor Reamy was also a writer of no mean literary ability, and he frequently contributed learned, scientific, and entertaining articles to the leading medical journals of the world. They found a wide and appreciative audience, and his views on advanced surgery were taken as authority. He was a member of the American Medical Association, was at one time president of the American Gyneacological [Sic.} Society; also belonged to the Cincinnati Academy of Medicine, the Cincinnati Obstetrical Society, the Detroit Academy of Medicine and the Boston Gyneacological [Sic.} Society. He was a fellow of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Philadelphia, a member of the Southern Surgical and Gyneacological [Sic.] Society, was at one time president of the Ohio State Medical Society, a member of the Northwestern Medical Association, and many others. All of these associations regarded him as a great, successful, and brilliant surgeon and teacher of surgery.
He purchased frontage on Reading Road and Oak Street and caused to be constructed on this lot a commodious and modernly equipped private hospital, known as the Doctor Reamy Hospital, which was one of the best ever established in the city of Cincinnati. He remained head of this meritorious institution for a period of over seventeen years, then sold the hospital, which to-day is known as the Bethesda Hospital. He won a national reputation not only as a highly skilled surgeon, but also as an honest, conscientious gentleman, whose private and social life was above reproach.
Fraternally, he belonged to the Free and Accepted Masons, also to the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. Religiously, he belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In disposition he was generous, affable, kind and high-minded, also charitably inclined, desiring to aid mankind in every way possible, and he was recognized by all as a natural leader of men.
Doctor Reamy was married September 13, 1853, to Sarah A. Chappelear, who was born February 25, 1836, in Muskingum County, Ohio. She is a daughter of Charles and Arthelia (Grant) Chappelear, for many years a prominent family of Muskingum County, Ohio. They have long been deceased. These parents moved from Virginia to Mt. Sterling, Ohio. They were of French descent. Mr. Chappelear became a successful merchant at Mt. Sterling. His family consisted of one son and two daughters, namely: William M., the son, is deceased; Sarah A., wo married Doctor Reamy; and Susanna Minerva, who is the wife of A. M. Field, who reside in a beautiful suburban home between Cincinnati and Hamilton, Ohio. Mrs. Reamy resides with her sister, Mrs. Field. She received a public-school education and is a lady of many pleasing natural gifts. She is a member of the Methodist Church.
The union of the doctor and wife was blessed by the birth of one child, Mary Arthelia Reamy, who married Dr. Giles S. Mitchell in 1875. They are both deceased. The doctor and wife educated and cared for his two nieces: Olive Reamy, who married George Perkins, resides in Alemada [Sic.], near San Francisco, California; and Emma Pearl Reamy, who married Louis J. Long, resides in Kansas City, Missouri. Mrs. Reamy has devoted a great deal of her life to charity and doing good in general, working hand in hand with her distinguished husband along these laudable lines. During the latter part of the doctor's life, he purchased a valuable farm in Butler County, Ohio, where he and Mrs. Reamy spent much time during the summer months. He loved the outdoors. All his life he was a close student; most of his work was confined to hospital and colleges; therefore he required much exercise in the open air. In the fall of 1905, he disposed of his farm and the doctor and Mrs. Reamy spent the winter months in the South on account of his failing health.
He had two brothers, now deceased, and seven sisters, of whom two are living; Mrs. Emerine Ball, a widow, lives in Muskingum County, Ohio, and Mrs. Lucy Cunningham, wife of Clinton Cunningham, lives in White Cottage, Ohio.
The death of Doctor Reamy occurred in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the home of his niece, Mrs. William Gillespie, at whose home the Doctor and Mrs. Reamy had spent much of their time for the last four years of Doctor Reamy's life. His death occurred March 11, 1909, when lacking only a few weeks of his eightieth birthday, his long life having been a great blessing to humanity.
Barbara's Bordered Backgrounds