Sue Young Histories

The Brigham Surname and Homeopathy

February 23, 2008

equipmentThe Brigham surname contributed some orthodox doctors who converted to homeopathy.

Gersham Nelson Brigham
1820-1886Gersham Nelson Brigham 1820-1886 was another orthodox doctor who converted to homeopathy and published a book on the homeopathic treatment of tuberculosis and the catarrhal diseases of the nose and respiratory organs.

of Montpelier, Vt., was born in Fayston, Washington county, Vt., March 3rd, 1820. His father, Elisha Brigham, removing from Marlborough, Mass., to Fayston, was active in the organization and prosperity of the township, then but recently settled. He taught several district schools, and was considered well educated. His fondness for books has been inherited by his children.

His mother (Miss Sophronia Ryder), a near relative of the Hon. Dudley Chase, of Vermont, and a connection of the late Chief Justice of the United States, inherited from her parents a robust constitution, along with quick and active mental powers. Filial regard attributes to her the transmission of the tact and judgment for which she was considered remarkable.

The subject of this sketch, the eldest son and second child of a family of twelve children, grew up amid the hardships and toil of a pioneer life, cherishing an ambition for a condition superior to mere physical labor. His father was unable to defray the expenses of his education beyond the meagre one to be had from the public schools ; but resolved upon success, he taught school in the winter, and worked upon the farm in the summer, in order to provide the means for his attendance upon the spring and fall terms of the Washington County Academy, and the Academy at Poultney, Vt., in which he received his preparatory education.

About to enter college, a severe attack of typhoid fever, from which he did not recover for many months, induced a change in his plans, and he decided to commence the study of medicine.

In 1842, he entered the office of Dr. Joslyn, of Waitsfield, Vt., subsequently studied under Dr. S. W. Thayer, late Professor in Burlington University, and lastly under Dr. B. W. Palmer, Professor in the Vermont Medical College in Woodstock.

He graduated from this college in 1845, and soon after married Miss Laura E. Tyler, of Fayston, and settled in Warren, Vt. While practicing there, he was led to investigate the principles of homœopathy ; and, having matriculated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, in 1849, he learned of Teste’s experiments in St. Margarette’s Hospital in Paris, and of the eminent success of Dr. John Franklin Gray and others in New York.

He gave to the system his thorough adhesion, and in the year following earnestly embraced it. He was the second person in Middle Vermont to espouse the cause, and one of the little band of six who founded the Vermont State Homœopathic Society, of which he is now the President.

Leaving Warren, where he had secured a large practice, he removed to Waitsfield, where his duties were still more laborious, and finally settled in Montpelier. He was here associated for one year, with Dr. Taplin, and since then has secured an extensive practice for himself.

Dr. Brigham has had remarkable success attendant upon his labors, seldom losing a patient of whom he has had the exclusive charge. He has acquired a reputation for skill, which calls for his services at times seventy and more miles from his home.

In addition to his professional labors, he has served as Postmaster and Town Superintendent, has lectured on education, temperance, and sundry scientific subjects ; and has contributed to the secular press for twenty-five years.

He has contributed to medical literature in addresses before various societies, and to the Boston Homœopathic Medical Journal. He prepared the history of Washington county for the ”Vermont Historical Magazine,” and delivered the class poem before the Norwich University, in 1870.

He published, in that year, a volume of poems, entitled, ”The Harvest Moon, and Other Poems,” which has received flattering notices from the press ; and has other volumes in preparation, soon to be published.

In 1869, he was elected a member of the American Institute of Homœopathy. He has instructed a large number of students, who have graduated at the homœopathic colleges in Philadelphia and New York ; his eldest son, Dr. H. C. Brigham, graduating in 1872, from the New York Homœopathic College ; and Dr. W. W. Porter, now occupying the chair of Clinical Medicine and Obstetrics in the University of Syracuse, N. Y., both having received their preparatory education under his direction.

Dr. Brigham has been a diligent laborer in the cause of popular education ; is a member of the Citizen’s Lecture Committee, and his adopted home is largely indebted to him for the organization of a public reading room, to which it is now proposed to add a public library.

Brigham wrote Catarrhal Diseases of the Nasal and Respiratory Organs, Phthisis pulmonalis, or, Tubercular consumption. Brigham considered that his practice was ’weighed down with Phthisis‘.

New York Homeopathic Medical
CollegeHomer C Brigham 1851 -

Homer C. Brigham, M. D., was born July 10, 1851, at Waitsfield, Vt.; obtained his academic education at Montpelier-, began the study of medicine with his father, Gershom N. Brigham, M. D., and attended courses of lectures at the Philadelphia Homeopathic Medical College and New York Homeopathic Medical College, taking his degree from the latter in 1872.

For merit, immediately after Graduation, he was appointed assistant to Dr. William Tod Helmuth, the celebrated surgeon of New York, remaining there one year, and then returned to his native State, where he practiced at North field two years, and at Montpelier eleven years.

While in practice at Montpelier he took a clinical course at the New York Post Graduate Medical School. In 1885 lie re moved to New York city, but had practiced there less than a year when he was called to Grand Rapids to take the extensive practice left by his father, who died in 1886.

While in New York city he received an appointment to the staff of Ward’s Island Homeopathic Hospital. He was a member of the New York Homeopathic Medical Society, was President of the Vermont Homeopathic Medical Society, was a member of the U. S. Pension Examining Board for Central Vermont, and is now a member of the Michigan Homeopathic Medical Society.

Homœopathic Medical College of
MissouriReeder Brigham 1832 -

of Cairo, Ills., is a native of Bradford county, Pa., where he was born on the 16th of June, 1832.

The very moderate means of his father, who was a farmer, would not permit his son’s wishes for an early classical education to be followed out, but by dint of the small advantages held out by the common school, supplemented by hard study in leisure hours, he so far prepared himself as to pass a satisfactory examination previous to admission into Dickinson College, at Carlisle, Pa., at the age of nineteen years.

For some time after leaving that seminary he was occupied in teaching school, intending at some future day to devote himself to the study and practice of the law ; but upon recognizing the fact that law and politics were almost always inseparably connected as regards a country practitioner, and as this latter adjunct had no charms for him, he changed his plans, and resolved to adopt the profession of medicine.

Accordingly, in 1856, he attended a course of lectures in the Ohio Medical College, an allopathic institution.

During the war of the rebellion Dr. Brigham was enlisted on the side of the Union, and was promoted to the rank of Acting Assistant Surgeon, serving in the United States Navy for the period of one year.

Having formed the acquaintance of Dr. L, Grosmuck, of Fort Scott, Kansas, he changed his views, and shortly after entered the Homœopathic Medical College of Missouri, whence he obtained his degree of M. D., and since this time he has been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession, mostly in the neighborhood of Cairo, Ills., to which city he removed in the year 1868.

Dr. Brigham is strictly temperate in all his habits, and has ever been a hard student, earnestly endeavoring, as far as lay in his power, to extend the great blessing of homœopathy to his fellow men. He has occasionally contributed original articles to the several medical journals, etc., which have attracted considerable attention. Dr. Brigham was married, in 1868, to Mary Goe, of Xenia, O.