McGoogan News

From the archives: World War I Physician

By John Schleicher

The U. S. entered World War I on April 6, 1917, and fought throughout the remainder of the conflict, until the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. Eighty members of the College of Medicine faculty and student body were in military service by March 1918.

University of Nebraska Base Hospital No. 49 was organized in September 1917 and was mobilized in March 1918. After the war, the unit was taken out of service in January 1919, and the members of the unit sailed for the U.S. in April 1919. The unit was then transferred by train in May 1919 to Camp Dodge, Iowa, where it was demobilized on May 7, 1919.

Many College of Medicine alumni also joined Base Hospital No. 49. Among them was Dr. J. C. Waddell (fifth from right in photo), a 1910 graduate who had been practicing in Pawnee City, Nebraska before the war. Born in 1876 in Illinois, Waddell came with his family to Nebraska in 1882, settling on a farm southwest of Pawnee City. He attended rural school until he was 13 years old, and then enrolled in the Pawnee City Academy (high school). He later graduated from Tarkio College in Missouri, and then attended the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.

After the war, in 1920, Dr. Waddell joined in practice with another physician in Beatrice, Nebraska. He continued to practice medicine in Beatrice for the next 50 years.

From the archives: Bookplates

By John Schleicher

Brown bookplate

Bibliophile and faculty member Dr. Alfred Brown was commissioned by the University of Nebraska to design a bookplate for the College of Medicine library in 1920.  He completed a copper plate etching, incorporating the seal of the University at the top, a view of the front of University Hospital as it then appeared in the center, and the medical symbol of the caduceus at the bottom.  Because of the fine details of the design, Dr. Brown had to do much of the etching under a microscope.  The resulting bookplate received much critical praise and was still in use by the library until the late 1960s.

Alfred Jerome Brown, M.D. (1878-1960), was a graduate of Yale and of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.  He served in the U.S. armed forces during World War I, from 1917 to 1919, in New York and later in France.  He moved to Omaha in 1919, and joined the faculty of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine,

McGoogan bookplate

where he was a professor of surgery from 1920 to 1943.  He had an extensive personal collection of rare surgical books.

In 1978, the library was named for Omaha obstetrician Leon Steiner McGoogan, M.D. (1900-1993), and the library’s bookplate was updated to reflect the new name and, since 1970, the then-new library, located on the top three floors of Wittson Hall.