Road Trip: Topeka-Part II

This is the second Road Trip story on Topeka.

Dr. Still holding a bone

There is a little garden area next to the former Kansas Osteopathic Association.  It features a bust of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. The serious looking doctor is holding a Humerus bone in his hand.

Dr. Still is considered the father of Osteopathic medicine.

He was born on August 6, 1828, to a Methodist minister and physician. Still followed in his father’s footsteps as a physician. During the Civil War, he served as a hospital steward.

Interesting side note: Despite accounts of Still earning an MD there is no record that he was ever conferred one.

In 1864 Still lost his wife, three children, and an adopted child from spinal meningitis. It was at that point he began looking for alternative solutions to traditional medicine.  He created a practice that made a “whole person” approach to medicine.  Treating the entire person rather than just the symptoms with a focus on preventive health care.

In 1874, he became the first osteopathic physician and founded the American School of Osteopathy in 1892 in Kirksville, Missouri, these days it’s known as the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences.

Still was also active in the abolition movement including fighting in the Bleeding Kansas battles.

Still and his family were among the founders of Baker University in Baldwin City in 1858, the first four-year university in the state of Kansas.

Dr. Still died on December 12, 1917.

Grave in Kirksville, MO

Ichabod Washburn

Washburn University and its mascot, the Ichabod are both named for an early benefactor of the school – Ichabod Washburn.

There is a wonderful statue of Mr. Washburn in the downtown area.

Washburn was born in Kingston, Massachusetts on August 11, 1798, to a sea captain and homemaker.  Washburn’s father passed away and Ichabod was sent to be an apprentice.

Courtesy Washburn University, University Archives

By the age of 33, Washburn had developed a machine and technique that improved the quality and efficiency of wire, an innovation that would lead to his fortune. 

Washburn later invented and mass-produced barbed wire. In 1899, the company was sold to American Steel and Wire Co., which would become a division of US Steel in 1901. 

Courtesy: Washburn University

Washburn was a deacon in the Congregationalist Church, an abolitionist, and a philanthropist. He married Ann Brown Washburn, they had one son who died a few days after birth and two daughters. Washburn outlived them all and later married Elizabeth Bancroft Cheever Washburn. 

Washburn University was established in February 1865 as Lincoln College. It was founded by the Congregational Church and admitted women and African Americans from the beginning.

The institution was renamed Washburn College in 1868, after Ichabod Washburn pledged $25,000 to the school.

Washburn died December 30, 1868, after complications from a stroke. He never traveled to Kansas to see the school.

Washburn’s Grave in Worcester, Massachusetts

A Kansan on a mission… from God

Last year I did a story on Charles Sheldon.  He is the Kansas man that created the WWJD movement.  I had to use photos from the internet because I could not make it to our capitol city to get the pictures myself.  Now that I was in town, I went to the church he helped start.

I found a doorway like the one in an old picture.  There are some differences, so I think the original was on the other side of the building where an addition was built at some point in time.

I also like to get the gravesite pictures to go with my stories, I think it brings closure to the story.  I also find it eye opening that some of these people have some poorly taken care of graves, or no marker at all.  Sheldon’s grave was covered with wet leaves, so the pictures didn’t turn out great.