Dr. Edward O. Whipple


Dr. Edward O. Whipple


For More Than Half a Century Dr. E. O. Whipple Has Administered to the Bodily Ills of Our People, and at Eighty-one His Skillful Services are Much in Demand.

The picture which we print on the first page of the MIRROR this week is that of perhaps the most useful citizen Danby has possessed for the past half century and more—Dr. Edward 0. Whipple. In many respects the Doctor deserves to have his portrait appear in an earlier number than this one; but the publication of these pictures by us has not been made with any special reference to one person being more deserving than another—and we hope to be able to in the future show in the MIRROR the faces of many other Danby people that are just as deserving of such recognition as those which have appeared there; and as we now commence to bring them to our mind we can recall enough whom we hope to give a place in the paper to cover a long period.

There is probably no one man that is better known to the whole people of Danby and adjoining towns, or more universally respected and esteemed for his refined social qualities as well as for his professional skill, than Dr. E. O. Whipple. Although the nature of his occupation has prevented the extending of the field of his acquaintance to distant points, he has probably more warm friends within the confines of his professional territory than any other man we could point to today—and no enemies that we are aware of.

Dr. E. O. Whipple is the son of John and Clarissa (Oaks) Whipple, and was born in Athens, Vt., June 20, 1824. His father was a farmer, and the Doctor spent his early boyhood on the farm. When he was about sixteen years old, his father having become involved in debt through the purchase of his farm and some subsequent litigation to the extent of some $400, and which he was being hardly pushed for payment, Edward sought a position to learn dentistry, with a view of assisting his father in paying this indebtedness. The young man made such a pronounced success of the business that in about two years time he was able to liquidate the obligations standing against his father, who then gave to him the remaining few years time till he became of age.

Edward then took up the study of medicine, first with Dr. Aaron Morse, a practitioner of the botanic school at Hyde Park, Vt., with whom he remained for about two years. He then read for a year with Dr. Jehial Smith of East Randolph, a disciple of the Thompsonian school. He was not satisfied with this course of study, however, and then read an additional three years with Drs. S. W. Thayer and P. D. Bradford of West Randolph. He then took a course in the Castleton Medical College, and graduated from that institution in 1847.

Dr. Whipple came to Danby in 1848 and immediately commenced the practice of medicine, opening his office in September of that year. The only physician residing in town at that time was Dr. Galen Locke, who lived at Danby Four Corners, but devoted a part of his time to farming and mercantile pursuits. Dr. Whipple quickly gained the confidence of the community, and has ever since enjoyed an extensive practice. Although now over eighty-one years of age, he is daily seen making the rounds of his many patients, and there are many of our residents who regretfully look forward to the time when they will be unable to call upon or send for Dr. E. 0. Whipple to administer to their bodily ills.

Dr. Whipple has not practiced medicine all these years with the sole view of using it as a means of gaining a livelihood, but his heart and soul have been in his work, and he has been successful in many cases where other physicians would have failed. The editor of the MIRROR well remembers, with gratitude, the Doctor’s skill in bringing him through an almost fatal illness, caused by an attack of serebrospinal meningitis, when about sixteen years old. When a consultation of two or three other physicians and himself was held upon the case at its most critical point, and the other physicians pronounced recovery impossible, Dr. Whipple would not abandon hope—and, thanks to his skill, the patient is here to write this sketch today, and has never seen the serious need of the services of a physician for himself in the meantime.

With the exception of about a year and a half, Dr. Whipple has resided and practiced medicine in Danby since he located here in 1848. In 1867 he sold out his practice here to Dr. H. M. Hall of Rutland and went to New York City, where he took a special course of study at Belleview Hospital during the fall of 1867 and the spring of 1868. He then practiced In Wallingford for about a year; but so many of his old patients in Danby called upon him for his services and urged him to return to this village that he did so, about a year and a half after leaving town, as we have before stated. He has practiced dentistry a great deal in connection with his medical practice, and there are many sets of teeth in the mouths of our citizens today that bear evidence to his skill in that profession.

Dr. Whipple was married in West Townshend, Vt., September 25, 1848, about the time he settled in Danby, to Augusta, daughter of Zadock and Sarah Sawyer, and who shared with her husband the respect of the community till the occurrence of her death, November 19, 1892, leaving many warm friends to mourn her loss. One son, Dr. Frank E. Whipple, who is now practicing his chosen profession at Manchester Center, was born to them. in 1857. After graduating from Middlebury College, Dr. Frank took up the study of medicine with his father, afterwards graduating from the Belleview Hospital Medical School. He then took up the practice of medicine in this village, and for a number of years relieved his father from much of the exacting requirements of his profession. He is now meeting with commendable success in his new field of labor.

On April 23, 1896, Dr. E. 0. Whipple again married, selecting for his life partner Katherine, the estimable widow of the late William Pierce. In politics, the Doctor is a strong republican, but his professional duties have so taken up his time all his life as to prevent him taking any active part in political matters or hold public office. He is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities, and has been for many years an active member of the Rutland County Medical and Surgical Society.

Although the photograph from which our picture was made was taken about twenty years ago, the Doctor has apparently aged little in the intervening time, and is remarkably active for one of his years.