Sue Young Histories

The Brown Surname and Homeopathy

February 16, 2008

Brown surnameThe Brown surname has contributed handsomely to homeopathy and produced several remarkable practitioners.

San FranciscoAdelaide Brown 1868 - 1939 Adelaide followed her mother’s example:

Charlotte Blake Brown’s daughter, Adelaide Brown, MD (1868-1933), carries on her mother’s work at Children’s Hospital but also serves on the Stanford Faculty at Lane Hospital.

She fights hard in San Francisco and the nation for clean milk, sanitary garbage disposal, maternal and child welfare, visiting nurse services, and clinics offering cardiac care and birth control…

Physician and leader in public health. Born in Napa, California to pioneer physician Charlotte Blake Brown. Obit.: Stanf Med Alumni Bull 1940 Nov; 4(2):11. Credentials: Smith College, AB, 1888, Cooper Medical College, MD, 1892. Former affiliation: California State Board of Health, member; Stanford Medical Alumni Association, Board of Governors, member.

Adelaide Brown was born in 1868 in Napa, California to pioneer physician Charlotte Blake Brown. She graduated from Smith College in 1888 and from Cooper Medical College in 1892. Her thesis was entitled Inaugural thesis on malignant tumors of the mammary gland.

After graduation Adelaide spent several years in leading European gynecological clinics. She then returned to California and was a “pioneer in the development of preventative medicine as well as a champion of child welfare and better homes for children in the state.”

Among her cause were clean milk, sanitary garbage disposal, maternal and child welfare, visiting nurse services, and clinics offering cardiac care and birth control.

She was President of the California Milk Commission and was appointed by Gov. Hiram Johnson to the State Board of Health which she served for 16 years.

As expressed in her Stanford Medical Alumni obituary, she

"never lost sight of the younger people in the medical field--people who in their turn would also have the responsibility of carrying forward the torch of medicine.

“She was not only a guardian angel to needy medical students but also active and interested in the creation and organization of the Stanford Medical Alumni Association.”

During World War 1, Adelaide served alongside homeopaths Cornelia C Brant, Rosalie Slaughter Morton and Florence Nightingale Ward on the Committee of Women Physicians of the General Medical Board of the Council of National Defense.

She died on July 29, 1940. Adelaide’s papers are held in the Lane Medical Archives Stanford University Medical Center.

Adelaide wrote The History of the development of women in medicine in California.

cleveland homeopathic
collegeAsa W. Brown 1813 -

M.D., is of Puritan stock, being of the ninth generation from the “Mayflower”, and was born in Sterling, Conn., September 28th, 1813. His father was Daniel Brown, a farmer in moderate circumstances. The family lived in Sterling until our subject was three years old, when they removed to Killingly.

Our subject attended the common schools of the time, and at the age of 18 began teaching school, and after his 21st year received an academical education, for which he paid out of the small earnings of his school teaching.

Having a fixed desire to enter the medical profession he labored against unfavorable circumstances for many years, but finally graduated from the Homeopathic College of Cleveland, Ohio, in the spring of 1853.

He soon after commenced practicce in Centreville, R.I., but his health being poor he removed to Mystic Bridge, in the hope that the change might benefit him. There he remained until 1872, when he was obliged to give himself rest for a time on account of his health.

In 1874 he located in Providence and soon had a large practice, and is still engaged in that field, enjoying good health and actively attending to business, at the age of 76 years.

He has been three times married; first, at the age of 24, to Lucy M. Pray, by whom he had one daughter; second, to Maria Kies, by whom he had one son; third to Mrs. Lucy A. Brigs (sic), when he was 69 years old. She is still living.

Mr. Brown tried several other pursuits in early life, previous to entering the medical profession, but in none found his congenial or successful calling until he found it in this, but here he has been uniformly successful.

Hahnemannian Philadelphia College of
HomeopathyCharles Brown 1797

Temple UniversityCharles Leonard Brown 1899 - 1959 was appointed head of the Department of Medicine at the Hahnemannian College of Philadelphia in 1946 (previously head of the Department of Medicine at Temple University).

Charles Leonard became a staunch defender of the College and of the teaching of homeopathy there, though he did eventually adopt the new medical teaching methods which led to the demise of homeopathy, including accepting monies for new research facilities which ensured the Hahnemannian Hospital (and Samuel Hahnemann’s name and legacy) would survive to this day.

Charles Leonard brought a considerable amount of money with him to the Hahnemann Hospital from his friends and benefactors, including the addition of psychiatry services and the expansion of neurology teaching at the hospital, including full time researchers and an increase in the science department.

Charles also invigorated the pathology department and made many prestigious staff appointments and initiated repair of the building and the purchase of additional buildings for the hospital.

Elmira CollegeCharlotte Blake Brown 1846 - 1904 graduated from the Womans Medical College of Pennsylvania and the Elmira College in New York, fully supported by her family and the permission of her husband. Charlotte founded the Pacific Dispensary for Women and Children with Martha E Bucknell and Sara E Browne.

Charlotte also founded the San Francisco Women and Children’s Hospital and she is credited with performing the first surgical Ovariotomy performed by a woman.

Charlotte was a pioneer in medical and surgical techniques, inventing a milk sterilising apparatus, organising a tumor registry and introducing incubators from France for the babies. Charlotte also helped to organise the California branch of the National Conference of Charities and Correction.

In 1875, Dr. Charlotte Blake Brown and Dr. Martha E. Bucknell, along with 10 other San Francisco women, founded the Pacific Dispensary for Women and Children.

The objectives of the non-profit organization were to provide women with competent medical aid by female physicians, to further the advancement of women in medical practice, to educate nurses, and to provide medical and surgical aid to children.

The early years of the dispensary were made difficult by financial hardship, by a continuous demand to provide treatment to a growing number of patients, and by a widespread prejudice among the local medical profession against women physicians.

Despite the many challenges facing their organization, the early founders of the dispensary persevered and were able to realize several groundbreaking achievements in the practice of medicine on the West Coast.

In later life Charlotte left the San Francisco Women and Children’s Hospital to open a small private hospital with her daughter Adelaide and her son Philip.

Nearby, the Elmira Water Cure which incorporated homeopathic treatment was extremely popular and Catharine Beecher was an ardent supporter. Many influential people were introduced there to the mixing of all the new ideologies, homeopathy, new religious sentiments, feminism, abolitionism and new educational and medical thinking.

Charlotte Amanda Blake Brown, 58, strong supporter of public health measures and women in medicine, (died) 19 April 1904.

Charlotte may have been associated with Alpha Epsilon Iota Zeta Chapter who published her obituary.

Children’s Hospital of San Francisco began as the Pacific Dispensary for Women and Children in 1875, founded by Charlotte Blake Brown and a female board of directors. It moved around town until 1886 when it moved into buildings built on land donated by Nathaniel Gray at California and Maple.

It absorbed Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College on Sacramento Street in 1922. In 1934, Children’s was there at California/Maple. Most of the staff consisted of women doctors at that time and it still had an all-female board of directors.

1874 Charlotte Blake Brown applies to the San Francisco Medical Society for admission. Some members of the membership committee feel strongly that the female of the species is mentally, physically, and morally unfit to study medicine, let alone practice the profession, so on advice of mentors, Brown withdraws her application…

1875 Following the model of Elizabeth Blackwell’s New York Infirmary for Indigent Women, Pacific Dispensary for Women and Children is founded by three women, all educated on the East Coast: Charlotte Blake Brown, Martha Bucknall and Sarah E. Browne.

This outpatient clinic initially located beneath the office of Dr. Bucknell at 510 Taylor Street, is intended to provide opportunities for women physicians to obtain internship experience…

1904 Dr. Charlotte Blake Brown (whose name is part of Brown and Toland Medical Group) dies at age 58.

Unfortunately, all of Charlotte’s papers were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Hahnemannian College in
PhiladelphiaElizabeth Brown was a Faculty Member of the Department of Bacteriology and the Department of Medicine at the Hahnemannian College in Philadelphia in 1945, despite being responsible for four stepchildren and two children of her own.

ProvidenceLucy H. A. Brown

M.D., daughter of Doctor Asa W. Brown by his first wife, was born in Killingly, Conn, June 8th, 1841. Her mother died when Lucy was but two months old, but just before her death she had given her babe to her sister, who afterward proved to be a kind mother to her infant charge.

On reaching years of helpfulness to herself Miss Brown learned telegraphy, and followed the art for two years, and afterward engaged as book-keeper and as cashier in business houses in Providence.

In 1877, at the suggestion of a phrenologist, and in the face of discouragement of her friends, she determined to study medicine. After studying with Doctor Jewell, of Catskill, N.Y., for one year, she entered the Homeopathic Hospital College of Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall of 1880, and graduated from that institution with an honorable record of standing (over 90 per cent.), March 8th, 1882.

She then came to Providence, and May 9th opened an office on Chestnut street. With health somewhat depleted by close application to her studies, the work of her practice soon began to wear upon her health, and after two years she was so far broken down that a change was necessary.

She left this field and located at Normal Park, Ill., where she procured a license and practiced. In about two years her health was restored, and she returned to Providence, at first occupying the office with her father.

Her practice soon grew so large that she opened an office by herself, at 336 Willard avenue, where she is now located, in the enjoyment of a good practice.

Mary Belle BrownMary Belle Brown 1850? - 1924 trained with Clemence Lozier and graduated from the New York Homeopathic Medical College in 1879, and she taught at that hospital for 27 years and served as Dean from 1890 to 1898.

Mary Belle was the Second Vice President of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1903, and she often spoke out on behalf of the College. She had a 40 year career as a homeopath in New York. Her patients included Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, Huntington and John D Rockefeller.

Mary Belle was a very successful homeopathic practitioner, and she was active in the American Red Cross until her death.

Philip King Brown
1869-1940Philip King Brown 1869-1940 was the brother of Adelaide Brown. He seems to have been an orthodox doctor, although he did run a small private hospital with his sister Adelaide Brown:

Physician, educator, and social activist in the fields of health insurance, socialized medicine, public health and social welfare.

He worked through local and state medical societies to gain support for health insurance. Founded and directed the Arequipa Sanitorium for women suffering from tuberculosis. on of pioneer California physician Charlotte Blake Brown and brother of Adelaide Brown.

Credentials: Harvard College, AB, 1890; Harvard Medical School, MD, 1893. Postgraduate work in Germany, Universities of Berlin and Gottingen.

Former affiliation: Southern Pacific Hospital, Stanford University Hospital, and City and County Hospital, San Francisco. Secretary of Board of Directors, founder, and director of the Arequipa Sanatorium. University of California Medical School, associate professor, 1894, 1896-1899; Cooper Medical College, associate in medicine and instructor in clinical pathology.

American Institute of
Homeopathy**Titus L. Brown **was an early homœopathic practitioner in Broome county and a man of decided strength in all professional circles

Titus attended the 38th annual meeting of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1881 and read the psychological medicine report.

At this meeting, the figures for American homeopathy were presented. 6000 homeopaths, 11 homeopathic colleges, 38 homeopathic hospitals, 29 dispensaries, 23 state societies and 16 medical journals.

Titus was born in the town of Hillsdale, Columbia county, N. Y., October 16th, 1828. In 1836, his father, Stephen L. Brown, a well to do and much respected farmer, removed with his family from Hillsdale to the neighborhood of what is now known as the city of Binghampton, N. Y. -once the home of the honored and beloved Daniel S. Dickinson.

At the early age of eight years the subject of this sketch evinced a predilection for books and study in preference to farming, and while he would strengthen his young frame by hard work in the fields in summer, in the winter he applied himself assiduously to the education and improvement of his mind.

His faithful perseverance in this regard, gained for him, at the age of sixteen, his certificate qualifying him for the duties of school teacher. For the three years following he satisfactorily instructed youth in the district schools ; his estimable traits of temper and character securing him unusual success and credit as a teacher, and love and respect as a kind, honorable young man.

A laudable desire to enter a wider and more important sphere as a professional man, was gratified in 1847, when Dr. Oliver E. Noble, of Penn Van, N. Y., while on a visit to the family, influenced Titus L. Brown to choose the practice of medicine as his future vocation. Dr. Noble’s enthusiasm and arguments in favor of homœopathy decided his interested hearer to give that school the preference. Under his advice and mentorship young Brown’s studies immediately commenced, and have been unremittingly continued till the present day.

In 1848 - 49, after a year and a half of close application to such works as his preceptor recommended, he was prepared for a first course of medical lectures, at the University of New York, under Professors Valentine Mott, John William Draper, Martin Paine, and Gunning L. Bedford.

In 1850, he commenced the practice of homœopathic medicine in Binghampton, N. Y., according to the law of “Similia,” and thus continued-studying earnestly the while-till 1852, when he attended another course of lectures at the Homœopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, under Professors Walter Williamson, Matthew Semple, Alvan E. Small, William A. Gardiner, Joseph G. Loomis, William T. Helmuth, and Francis Sims.

In 1853, he obtained his diploma from this college, and has been in active practice ever since in Binghampton. He has held the office of jail physician in that city, for ten years, performing the duties required with honor and credit to himself, and with the utmost satisfaction to the authorities.

This experience has enabled him to determine, with much accuracy, to what extent attenuated medicines will cure diseases incident to the criminal. In closing this sketch we can assert that, as a champion of homœopathy, Dr. Brown ranks among the highest and strongest, and as to the estimation in which he is held professionally and socially in his home, we cannot do better than quote the remarks of one of his townsmen and friends

"He has several traits of character well worth mentioning. First and foremost, he is nearly forty years without the use in his own person of tea, coffee, tobacco, liquors or beer ; and on all occasions he manifests full charity for those who by their surroundings have been less fortunate in forming temperate habits of life.

“Order and neatness about his office, medicines, and person, constitute the first attractions ; and help to give you the idea that he loves his chosen calling.

“He is an enthusiast on the subject of homœopathy, free religion, hygiene, and temperance.

“He has a fearless tongue for the ‘Do right’ in the great reforms in human progress of the nineteenth century.

“Creeds, superstitions, and dogmas, find no resting place with him. Truth and goodness are his chosen guides in their stead, to lead in the paths of present and future happiness.

“His prospects for the future, I have often heard him say, depended more upon doing, than faith or believing. Who would not adopt with him that ‘of all the sweet comforts of life, none can equal that -which conscious innocence and integrity of conduct gives ?

“Honorable business and constant care for the welfare of others is duty, and makes life flow like a placid river.”

“Do right and fear not, with all the liberty and light one can possess, is the motto of his life.”

ChicagoWilliam H Brown was a prominent citizen in Chicago:

A number of Chicago’s most prominent citizens and politicians participated in the creation and furtherance of the proposed Hahnemann Medical College including William H. Brown…


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