Johnson, John B., 1817-1903

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Johnson, John B., 1817-1903

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  • Johnson, John B. (John Bates), 1817-1903

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  • Johnson, John Bates
  • Johnson, J. B., Dr.

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John B. Johnson (Bates) (1817-1903) was the first physician to be elected vice president of the American Medical Association. A Massachusetts native, Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from Berkshire Medical College in 1840. Johnson settled in St. Louis in 1841 and soon gained prominence for establishing the first public dispensary west of the Mississippi River. He began his teaching career in 1846 at Kemper Medical College, which later became Missouri Medical College.

In 1850, Johnson was one of the organizers of the AMA, which he was voted as their inaugural vice president in the same year. He also was one of the founders of the Missouri State Medical Association, and served one term as president in 1852. The Medical Department of St. Louis University, hired him in 1854 to become the chair of principles and practice of medicine. In 1955 The Medical Department of St. Louis University became independent institution, the St. Louis Medical College. During the Civil War, he was a member of the United States Sanitary Commission and was influential in raising funds for the care of the sick and wounded soldiers. After the war, Johnson continued to practice medicine in St. Louis until his death in 1903.


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Entered into the Bernard Becker Medical Library Database, December 20, 2019 10:24 AM
Revised March 31, 2020


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  1. Folder PC001-S01-B13-F01 - John B. Johnson, Secretary of the Board of Physicians at Saint Louis City Dispensary to W. Beaumont [Saint Louis, MO] regarding: Beaumont's election to the Board of Physicians at the dispensary. January 12, 1842. (Dr. John B. Johnson, Secy, Board).
  2. Draft of letter from W. Beaumont [Saint Louis, MO] to John B. Johnson regarding: acceptance of election to Board of Physicians of the Saint Louis City Dispensary. January 15, 1842. (Dr. J. B. Johnson)
  3. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 01 April 2020), memorial page for Dr John Bates Johnson (26 Apr 1817–6 Oct 1903), Find a Grave Memorial no. 52777537, citing Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by T.V.F.T.H. (contributor 46496806) .
  4. Prominent citizens to attend the funeral of Dr. J. B. Johnson, (Caption of Picture) John Bates Johnson),
  5. Course card, Lectures on Clinical Medicine and Pathological Anatomy by John B. Johnson, M.D. Date(s) 1854 (Creation), VC157-i157011 & VC157-i157020, Part of Gustav Baumgarten Lecture Card Facsimilies, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis
  6. Source Citation. Author: Missouri. Probate Court (St. Louis City); Probate Place: St Louis, Missouri.Description. Notes: Record of Wills, Vol I2, 1903; Vol J2, 1903-1904; Vol K2, 1904. Source Missouri, Wills and Probate Records, 1766-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 201 (John B. Johnson; Jno. B. Johnson)

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