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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William D. Middleton Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1855-1902
Creator: Middleton, William D. (1844-1902)
Extent: .25 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG99.0282
Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Summary: Professor of Physiology, Microscopic Anatomy, Surgery, Clinical Surgery, among other medical fields. Dean of the medical faculty. Associated with the Medical Department from 1870 to 1902.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These materials were donated to the University Archives by Elizabeth Middleton in 1977.

Preferred Citation: William D. Middleton Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

William Drummond Middleton was born in Bervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland, on April 26, 1844. His family emmigrated to the United States when he was twelve years old. He graduated from Davenport High School in Davenport, Iowa. At the age of twenty, he enlisted during the final year of the Civil War. Middleton graduated from Bellevue Hospital Medical College (later the New York University School of Medicine) in New York City in March 1868. After graduation, he began his medical practice in Davenport.

On October 24, 1870, the first term of the SUI Medical Department opened with thirty-nine students. Middleton joined the Medical Department in 1870 as professor of Physiology, and Microscopic Anatomy. In addition to teaching, early SUI physicians held private practices or additional positions, because their only teaching income was from student fees. Middleton was concurrently associated with Mercy Hospital in Iowa City and in Davenport, and served as surgeon for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company.

From 1883 to 1887, Middleton was a lecturer on Insanity. When professor William S. Robertson died in March 1887, Middleton filled his position as professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine, and Clinical Medicine. In 1891 he was named professor of Surgery and professor of Clinical Surgery. He served as dean of the medical faculty from 1895 until his death on April 5, 1902. Middleton was president of the Scott County Medical Society from 1876 to 1877. He was also a member of the Iowa State Medical Society.

Middleton's students formed the Middletonian Medical Society in 1900, which provided junior and senior medical students the opportunity for discussions of medical topics with faculty outside of the classroom. The following year these students established The Middletonian, a journal which contained alumni news.

Middleton married Sue Yandell Modemann on May 22 1871. The couple met in New York while Middleton was enrolled in courses at Bellevue. They had six children: Mary; George; Jessie; Edward; John; and William Drummond Middleton, Jr., who in turn named his son William Drummond Middleton.

The William D. Middleton papers include photocopies of newspaper clippings, a biographical sketch of Middleton by his daughter, and transcripts of two addresses by Middleton.
Folder, "Middleton, William D. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Folder, "Peck, Washington Freeman," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Papers of John T. McClintock (RG99.0280)

Records of the College of Medicine (RG15.0001.001)

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • The Garfield Case. Scott County [Iowa] Medical Society meeting, October - 1881
  • Middleton biographical sketch - 1855
  • Published address by Middleton to Medical Department students - 1877
  • Photocopy of handwritten address by Middleton, September 11 - 1889

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

University of Iowa Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Associates' Papers