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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DELAMATER, JOHN - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DELAMATER, JOHN (18 Apr. 1787-28 Mar. 1867), a teacher of medicine and founder of 3 medical colleges, was born in Chatham, N.Y., son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Dorr) Delamater. He studied medicine with his uncle from 1804-07, and was licensed in 1807, practicing privately between 1807-22. Delamater began teaching in 1823 at the newly established Berkshire Medical Institute at Williams College, receiving an honorary M.D. there in 1824. Between 1823-43, Delamater held professorships at numerous colleges, including Willoughby College in Akron, of which he was a founders in 1837. He also conducted a private medical school in Palmyra, N.Y. several months each year.

In 1840, Delamater moved to Willoughby, Ohio, leaving for Cleveland in 1842 and founding, along with Drs. Ackley, Cassels, and Kirtland, Cleveland Medical College, where he was dean and professor for 17 years. Delamater was a member of many professional organizations, and in 1819 helped organize the Berkshire District Medical Society. Delamater was a deacon of the Congregational church and an elder of the Presbyterian church. He was politically outspoken, especially against slavery, and lectured on temperance. When he retired in 1860, Western Reserve elected him their first professor emeritus and awarded him an honorary LL.D. He continued in private practice and filled temporary teaching vacancies nearly until his death. Known for his charity and negligence in collecting fees, he retired in near-poverty. His colleagues collected funds to furnish him with a home in Cleveland. Married to Ruth Angell in 1811, Delamater had 8 children: Mehitable, Elizabeth, Jacob, Gertrude, John, Mary, Eliza, and Martha. Delamater died in East Cleveland.

Last Modified: 10 Jul 1997 05:11:08 PM

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