Mathew Campbell (1819-1902)

Source: American Medical Biographies; Baltimore, The Norman, Remington Company, 1920
Author: by Howard A. Kelly and Walter L. Burrage
Pages 194-195

Matthew Campbell was of Irish descent and born near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on March 18, 1819.

A self-made man, he was in early life a glass blower. When twenty-four he attended the University of Pennsylvania yet did not graduate there, but graduated when in practice at Winchester (Virginia) Medical College in 1853.

After practising at Fairmont, Virginia, and Wheeling, in 1857 he became chief surgeon to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, attending the employes who were building the road and removing to Grafton, West Virginia, the most central point for his work. He remained in Grafton during the troublous times of the Civil War, but removed to Parkersburg in 1864. He established small hospitals along the railroad; an urgent necessity, for in three years he had 1,100 cases of injury to attend. He was in all probability the pioneer railroad surgeon of the United States and known all along as the "Railroad Doctor." In 1875 he was elected president of the West Virginia Medical Society. With Dr. Sherman of the United States Army, he had in 1864 the first successful case of ovariotomy in West Virginia, and paid much attention to operations for vesico-vag fistula, operating successfully in several cases. During his service on the railroad he adopted the use of the cold pack for typhoid fever, with very good results. He told me he was led to it by hearing an old English blacksmith tell of its use in England.

He was married twice: first to Margaret Ellenor Axter; one son, Dr. John Campbell of Wheeling, surviving. His second wife was Ellen Carney of Fairmont, West Virginia, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. Few medical men were better known in the state than Campbell, and his death at Parkersburg in 1902 left a blank which only a great man could fill.

Wesley H. Sharp    


Additional Comments:

1860 Census, Taylor County WV
PO: Pruntytown, Page No. 105 & 106
Lines 35-40 and 1-2, Enum-Dwelling #773, Enum-Family #745
CAMPBELL, Matthew, 41, Physician, $0/$500, Pa
", Ellen, 30, Va
", Sarah, 15, Va
", Mary E., 13, Va, attended school
", John, 8, Va, attended school
", George Q., 1, Va
", Mary J., 16, Pa
DOUGHERTY, Matthew, 22, Clerk, Va

1880 Census, Wood County WV
City of Parkersburg, ED:162, Page No. 49
Lines 37-41, Market Street
CAMPBELL, Matthew, 61, Physician, Pa-Ire-Ire
", Ellen, 50, (wife), Keeping house, Va-Ire-Ire
", Frank, 15, (son), Attending School, WV-Pa-Va
", Gertrude, 13, (dau), Attending School, WV-Pa-Va
O'DONALD, Maggie, 35, (servant), Va-Va-Va

1900 Census, Wood County WV
Parkersburg District, ED:137, Sheet 15A
Lines 29-33, 1003 Market Street
CAMPELL, Mathew (head) Mch-1819, 81, M, Pa-Ire-Ire, Physician
", Ellen (wife) Feb-1829, 71, M, 2-children/2-living, Va-Ire-Ire
", George (son) Apr-1859, 41, S, WV-Pa-Va
", Frank (son) Jan-1864, 36, S, WV-Pa-Va
ODONAL, Margaret (servant) unknown-birthdate, WV-WV-WV

 

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