By Basil A. Hayes
Of all the men who have come to Oklahoma or Indian Territory and have spent their lives in the practice of medicine, perhaps there is not one whose life has been as closely identified with the various organizations of medicine which have existed in both territories as LeRoy Long. Not only was he closely identified with the Indian Territory Medical Association from the moment he entered the state until this organization terminated its existence in 1906, but through his official connections with the Board of Health of the Choctaw Nation, the Indian Territory, and later the State of Oklahoma, he had much to do with the formation and organization of the State Medical Association as it exists today.
When he climaxed his labors in these associations by being appointed Dean of the Medical School in 1916, he became more nearly the head of the medical profession of the state of Oklahoma than any man had ever been before him or has ever been since. For this reason the story of LeRoy Long's life and labors in the field of medicine would not be complete without an understanding of the events leading to the formation of both the Indian Territory Medical Association and the Oklahoma Territory Medical Association. In the beginning each of these groups was separate and are necessarily so described.
The first organized medical meeting ever held in Indian Territory was held in Muskogee, on April 18, 1881. The minutes read as follows:
"At 2:00 P.M. a number of medical gentlemen met, pursuant to a previously circulated call for a mass convention for purpose of medical organization. The convention was called to order by Dr. B. F. Fortner, who nominated Dr. G. W. Cummings to the chairmanship of the convention, which was unanimously confirmed. The organization was completed by the election of Dr. Cutler, vice-president, and Drs. Fortner and C. Harris as secretaries. The chair proceeded to state the object of the meeting by reading the original call and address appended. The chair proceeded to appoint a committee on Constitution and By-laws, consisting of B. F. Fortner, M.D., and Felix McNair, M.D. Several communications from gentlemen professionally detained at home were read, prominently among which was one from Dr. L. M. Cravens of the Cherokee nation, for which the convention returned a vote of thanks. Convention adjourned until 9:00 A.M. tomorrow."
On the following day they held another election, which ended with Dr. B. F. Fortner as President. Dr. Fortner lived at Claremore. Dr. G. W. Cummings, of Muskogee, first Vice-President. Felix McNair, of Locust Grove, second Vice-President. M. F. Williams, of Muskogee, Secretary. R. B. Howard, of Fort Gibson, Treasurer. E. P. Harris, Librarian; address not given. A Board of Censors consisting of C. Harris, E. P. Harris, J. R. Cutler, W. T. Adair, and W. H. Bailey. There were nominated as members Drs. S. F. Moore, of Webbers Falls, A. W. Foreman, of Vinita, A. Y. Lane, of Claremore, L. M. Cravens, of Tahlequah, W. T. Adair of Tahlequah, H. Lindsey, of Eufaula, and as honorary member, Dr. Clegg. Dr. Clegg lived at Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and read a paper on "The Use of Calomel in Malarial Diseases."
The next meeting was held again at Muskogee on September 14, 1881, and despite the fact that five men had been assigned subjects to be read at this meeting, not one was ready. The meeting closed without a program. The following day Dr. Fortner presented a case of fracture of the cranium with remarks; Dr. C. Harris reported a case of gelsemium poisoning, giving in detail his treatment. Dr. Bailey reported a case of typho-malarial fever, treatment consisting mainly of carbolic acid. A case of heart disease was presented by Dr. Fortner and discussed by various members of the Society. At this meeting "it was moved that the
secretary draw up resolutions expressive of our views in relation to the practice of medicine by others and those newly qualified and educated for that purpose," and asked that "the Chief of the Cherokee Nation cooperate with us and see that the law is enforced." The next meeting was designated to be held at Eufaula on February 22, 1882, and the Society adjourned.
No further minutes are available, yet the pages of the book are not lost. One must assume, therefore, that this Society died an untimely death and was not resurrected until once more a meeting was held in Muskogee on June 28, 1889. The minutes of this meeting read as follows:
"Pursuant to a previously circulated call, a number of physicians met in the Southern Methodist Church in the City of Muskogee on the morning of June 28, 1889, for the purpose of medical organization. The meeting was called to order by Dr. Callahan, after religious services conducted by Reverend J. Y. Bryce. Dr. R. A. Burr was called to the Chair and Dr. Bagby elected temporary secretary. The object of the meeting was then stated, and in a few appropriate words Drs. Harris and Burr welcomed the visiting gentlemen. Dr. Fortner then read the names and the credentials of twenty-two applicants. The Chair then appointed Drs. Fortner and Callahan a Committee on Credentials, who after consultation made the following report:
We, the Committee on Credentials for the convention, beg to report that we have in our hands twenty-two applications for membership, all claiming, as we believe justly, graduation from colleges of medicine recognized by the American Association of medical colleges of the United States, and your committee recommends that the convention proceed to organize a medical association in pursuance of its original purpose with the following members: A. W. Foreman, Vinita; M. F. Williams, Muskogee; J. R. Brewer, Muskogee; J. O. Callahan, Muskogee; Charles Harris, Muskogee; R. A. Burr, Choteau; C. A. Pennington, Choteau; R. L. Fite, Tahlequah; F. B. Fite, Tahlequah; E. N. Allen, McAlester; G. R. Rucker, Eufaula; D. Dunn, Bartlesville; C. P. Linn, Claremore; A. J. Lour, Oowala; J. C. W. Blaud, Red Fork; G. W. Cleveland, Wagoner; G. A. McBride, Fort Gibson; W. J. Adair, J. T. Jones, Tulsa; Oliver Bagby, Vinita; B. F. Fortner, Vinita; J. S. Lankford, Atoka; E. P. Harris, Savanna.' "
After the meeting was organized, a Constitution and By-Laws was adopted, providing that the name of the organization should be the Indian Territory Medical Association; and its object "to cultivate the fraternal relations and to secure to ourselves and the public the advantages of professional association in an organized capacity." It further provided that "regular members of this association shall consist of residents of the Territory and graduates of medical colleges recognized by the American Medical Association." The Association was to meet quarterly, which it proceeded to do, assembling at Vinita, October 10, 1889, Atoka, January 10, 1890 (at this meeting the names of F. B. Fite and J. B. Rolater were enrolled as members of the association, they having been duly elected at Vinita), McAlester, June 4, 1890, and here it was decided that meetings would be held twice a year instead of quarterly. Also here a motion was made and carried to appoint a committee of three to memorialize the Council for the
Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations to pass laws regulating the practice of medicine in Indian Territory. Another motion was made and carried to appoint at the next meeting a delegation to the American Medical Association.
The next semi-annual meeting was held at Fort Gibson, December 18, 1890; then at South McAlester, June 9, 1891. At this meeting Dr. J. S. Fulton's application for membership was recommended by Dr. J. S. Langford and W. B. Thompson. They next convened at Muskogee in December, 1891; then at Vinita, June 14, 1892. Following this they met as follows: Wagoner, December 18, 1892; Atoka, June 22, 1893; Muskogee, December 14, 1893; Claremore, June 14, 1894. At Claremore the program was broken into three groups: the Practice of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Surgery. The next meeting was at Wagoner, December 11, 1894, then in McAlester on June 4, 1895.
Hardly had Dr. Long landed in Oklahoma when he began to associate himself with this, the only organized body of physicians existing in the territory at that time. It is a tribute to the integrity and high principles of the medical profession that this body of men met faithfully year after year without supporting laws in the territory to help and continually clamored for higher and higher standards of medical practice. Twice each year they had good scientific programs and a body of faithful members anxious to bring their own work up to the high standard of ethics and scientific practice which were known in other parts of the United States.
Dr. Long's name is first mentioned as having attended when the Association convened in McAlester on June 4, 1895. At this meeting he was merely a visitor, but he was assigned to read a paper on "Cystitis" at the next meeting. His location was given as Atoka, Indian Territory, and when the meeting convened next at Eufaula, in the following December, he was not only present but made application for membership. The minutes concerning this are as follows:
"President J. S. Fulton called the meeting to order at 10:30 A.M. The Committee on Credentials reported favorably upon B. E. Throckmorton, and W. B. Pigg was elected. The report of the Judicial Council was called for but there was nothing to report. Dr. M. B. Ward, of Topeka, Kansas, made application for membership. He graduated at the Keokuk Medical School in 1879. Paid one dollar. Dr. LeRoy Long, of Caddo, Indian Territory, graduated at the Louisville Medical College in 1893. Made application for membership. Paid one dollar. Motion was made by M. C. Marrs to buy three dozen copies of "The Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association." Adopted. That afternoon the meeting was called to order at 1:30 P.M. and appointed a Committee on Program as follows: Marrs, Long, McBride, and Ward. The program was held following this business and lasted until their bedtime. The evening session was called to order at 8:00 P.M., and among other papers the society then listened to the reading of a paper by Dr. LeRoy Long on "Cystitis" and was referred to the Committee on Publication and then discussed by the Society."
This paper must have evoked considerable favorable comment because he was placed immediately on the Program Committee and
was listed to give a paper again at the next meeting, this time on "Capillary Bronchitis." The meeting was held at Wagoner on June 2nd and 3rd, 1896, and here again Dr. Long's address is listed as Caddo. At this Wagoner meeting he was appointed a member of the Committee on Revision of Membership and recommended the dropping of a large group of names—eighteen to be exact. They were dropped "subject to readmittance whenever they desired because of non-payment of dues and because some could not be found. It is interesting to note that his name was already both on the Program Committee and on the Committee on Revision of Membership, indicating that he was an extremely zealous and faithful worker and further showing his intense interest in the cause of organized medicine. Throughout his life he felt that it was a cause worthy of the entire energies of all those men who were engaged in the practice, and those who knew him best realized that he held in high contempt members of the profession who did not feel the worth and dignity of their calling.
This little group of physicians who were practicing medicine according to their best abilities and who were attempting to maintain standards of ethics had stern problems. Many incompetent and vicious practitioners were living among the Indians and in the outlying portion of Indian Territory. The only laws governing the practice of medicine were tribal laws made at Indian Councils, where little or no knowledge of medicine could be expected. As a result, good doctors were constantly called upon to see cases who had been terribly mishandled and therefore felt the need of some sort of regulation. In the light of this, it is interesting to read the report of the Committee on Medical Legislation at the Wagoner meeting, which was as follows:
"We, your Committee on Medical Legislation, beg to report that we have caused to be incorporated in a bill now pending before Congress a provision that the Arkansas Medical Statute be applied to the Indian Territory. This will reach all deserters from the present tribal law and secure its execution fully by the U. S. courts. There can be no escape from its effects. We are of the opinion that we can expect little from the tribal governments and the sooner the matter can be placed with the Federal authorities, the better."
Committee on Medical Legislation
Thus began the third phase of the life of LeRoy Long; the first one being one of hard study in order to perfect himself in the practice of medicine and surgery; the second being an absolute devotion to the principles of ethics between physicians; and the third one a protection of the public from the effect of incompetent and evil minded practitioners.
The Association next met at Vinita on December 1, 1896. Among the applications for membership at this meeting are the
names of four Kansas City physicians and surgeons. Among these was the name of Jabez N. Jackson. There were only twenty men present, including the four from Kansas City, but among the twenty stands the name of LeRoy Long, of Caddo.
"Dr. Long's paper on "Diseases of the Nervous System and Its Manifestations As Shown By the Different Bacteria" was read and highly complimented. No discussion as it was complete."
Also he discussed a paper given by Dr. Gunby, of Sherman, Texas, on "Cervical Stenosis." Already his keen mind had shown itself to be equal if not superior to that of any other member of the Association. He was now a member of two committees and had read three papers, even though he had been in the Association only eighteen months! At this meeting it was suggested that the Association was entitled to membership in the American Medical Association. A delegate was elected to the said association, and Dr. J. S. Fulton was elected alternate delegate. Six months later at South McAlester (June 29, 1897) Dr. Long read a paper on "Summer Complaint." Following the reading of papers, Dr. LeRoy Long was elected secretary by acclamation.
The next meeting was at Muskogee, on December 7, 1897. Here he read a paper on "Puerperal Septicemia," which was discussed by Drs. West, Lamphier, and Fortner. Also he discussed a paper by Dr. J. T. Rucker on "Puerperal Eclampsia." At this meeting a special Judicial Committee made a majority report "reprimanding Dr. Crawford for not being more diligent in protecting his name and the dignity of the medical profession from being utilized by quacks." Also the president appointed a special committee to inspect the jail, among whose members was named LeRoy Long.
At Wagoner, on June 1, 1898, the secretary, Dr. LeRoy Long, was absent. A secretary pro tem was appointed, consisting of Dr. G. A. McBride, of Fort Gibson. The president, Dr. E. N. Allen, of South McAlester, was also absent and did not come during the meeting. Next day, however, Dr. Long arrived and read the minutes of the last meeting at Muskogee. On this program Dr. Francis Bartow Fite, of Muskogee, read a paper on "Intestinal Surgery," which was discussed by Fortner, Long, West, et al. This appears to be the first time the young Caddo physician's interest was turned toward surgery.
Among the minutes of the meeting occurs the following paragraph:
"One Colonel Lynch, an author now writing the history of the Indian Territory, requested through Dr. Fortner the cooperation of the Association in obtaining an authentic history of its organization and progress. A motion prevailed directing the president to appoint Drs. Fortner and Clinkscales to convey to Colonel Lynch that the sense of this Association was decidedly opposed to anything that would smack of the sensational or calculated to place us in a conspicuous position, individually or collectively, but that it would lend its moral support to the preparation of a legitimate history."
Dr. LeRoy Long was re-elected secretary. Also he was elected a delegate to the American Medical Association along with Doctors Rucker, McBride, Allen, Bagby, West, Bond, and Tiffany. Whether or not he attended the meetings of this august body, we do not know, but most likely he did.
The society convened next on December 6, 1898 at Wagoner. Again the president, Dr. G. R. Rucker, was absent; likewise the secretary, Dr. LeRoy Long. Dr. Fred Clinton, of Red Fork, was appointed secretary pro tem, and the minutes are in a new handwriting. F. M. Duckworth, Claremore, was appointed assistant secretary, and possibly it is his handwriting. At any rate, it is more legible than that of Dr. Long.
An interesting paragraph:
"Dr. Fortner, Chairman of the Committee on Legislation, reports continued efforts, there being no legislation and a war with Spain; no special progress made."
Another interesting paragraph reads as follows:
"The report of the Judicial Committee on the case of Dr. Griffin: We, the Judicial Council, wish to report the following findings in the case of Dr. Griffin, a member of the Society, who is charged with violation of the code by being associated in the practice of his profession with one Williams, an alleged eclectic physician. We find that said Williams and Dr. Griffin are in such business relations. That said Williams holds his only diploma from an eclectic school. That he disclaims being an eclectic and that he does not practice eclectic medicine. So it becomes the only question for this committee to decide whether said Williams is or is not an eclectic. It is our decision that he must be so considered until he shall have dismissed his maternity by matriculating in a proper medical school and having received a diploma from same. We find that the charge has been sustained."
Signed—W. B. Pigg
The meeting adjourned to meet next at McAlester.
They accordingly convened in South McAlester on June 20, 1899, at which time the secretary was once more privileged to be present. He seems to have become suddenly busy the last two meetings and was not able to be present at the last one and was one day late at the one before this. Here, however, the minutes are again in the familiar handwriting of Dr. LeRoy Long. In the course of the program, we note that he discussed a paper read by St. Cloud Cooper, of Fort Smith, entitled "Dysmenorrhea."
"At this juncture the reading of papers was temporarily closed, and Dr. Berry reported an interesting case of ovarian cyst, and in connection with report presented pathological specimens which gave rise to considerable instructive discussion. The Auditing Committee then sent in this report to the effect that the secretary's accounts were correct. The following were appointed a committee to prepare program for the December meeting: Drs. Moulton, David Gardner, W. B. Pigg, LeRoy Long."
At this meeting he recommended for membership, Dr. T. S. Chapman, South McAlester, a graduate of the Louisville Medical College, Class 1896.
"Dr. Long presented a resolution to instruct the Committee on Legislation to ask Congress to pass a law under which physicians would be allowed to introduce alcoholic stimulants for legitimate use in their practice. The resolution provoked sharp discussion, after which it carried by one majority."
Also a motion was made to allow the secretary twenty-five dollars per annum for his services. After some discussion, the motion prevailed.
"Dr. LeRoy Long was nominated for secretary and there being no other nomination, he was elected by acclamation."
"Dr. A. Griffith, South McAlester, arose to a question of personal privilege and stated that inasmuch as the Association had regarded his association with Dr. Williams as improper and opposed to the ethics of the regular school of medicine, on account of the latter being an eclectic, he had severed such association. Dr. Griffith was commended for the disposition he manifested to bow to the mandates of the association regardless of individual interest."
That afternoon the President appointed the following Committee on Credentials to serve the ensuing year: LeRoy Long, Caddo; R. I. Bond, Hartshorne; G. W. West, Eufaula.
"Dr. R. I. Bond, Hartshorne, read a very interesting paper on 'Typhoid Fever,' which elicited considerable discussion by Long, Gardner, West, Clinton, Shannon, and others. The neat paper was read by Dr. LeRoy Long, Caddo, the subject being 'Suggestive Therapeutics,' and was discussed by Gardner, McBride, Ulrich, and Clinton."
Ulrich was a visiting doctor from West Virginia, who was merely given the privilege of discussion on the floor.
The next meeting of the Indian Territory Medical Association was held at Wagoner on December 5, 1899. Dr. Long was present and wrote the minutes from beginning to end. A resolution was presented by him and Dr. G. W. West to amend the constitution so that the time of holding the semi-annual meetings should be the first Tuesday and Wednesday in June and December of each year. The resolution was laid over under the rule until the next regular meeting.
The program began with a paper by Dr. T. B. Tiffany, of Kansas City, on the subject of "Pannus and Vascular Keratitis." Here began more detailed scientific interest in the secretary's notes than is ordinarily written in the report of a medical meeting. The exact minutes as written in the handwriting of Dr. Long read as follows:
"The paper elicited discussion from West, Bond, and others. Dr. Bond called attention to the necessity of general treatment in connection with the local treatment and took the position that the specialist should ordinarily delegate this part of the treatment to the physician in charge. Dr. Hamilton did not agree altogether with Dr. Bond on account of the conflict that would possibly arise. After the discussion, Dr. Tiffany closed, advising professional discussion as to the point that had been raised." ****
**** At the afternoon session "After the association had been called to order, J. N. Jackson, Kansas City, Missouri, read a most interesting and instructive paper entitled "Inflammation." The author defined inflammation to be 'a series of vascular phenomena depending upon irritation,'
and emphasized the importance of the study of the pathology of individual cases. The author expressed the belief that inflammation could depend upon some other irritation than the presence of germs, but in such an inflammation the process was essentially local and simple; while inflammation depending upon germ action was reproductive, extensive, infectious. Attention was called to the fact that clinically a differential diagnosis could be made between staphylococcic and streptococcic inflammation and especial emphasis placed upon the importance of doing so. Attention was called to the favorable results following incision and drainage in simple staphylococcic inflammation, but a strong argument was made for early free, multiple incision with the free application of moist heat in streptococcic inflammation."
"The paper was discussed by Long, Fortner, Fulton, Bond, Gardner, Tiffany, Pleas, Rucker."
"The author, in closing, reiterated his belief that suppuration could exist without germs. Pathologists say that it is not pus, but clinically it amounts to the same thing. Author cuts for drainage, not always for pus, and in streptococcic inflammation great stress is laid upon the importance of maintaining heat—moist heat—as hot as can be borne. So makes the statement that 'a septicaemia is inexcusable in an open wound."
"Replying to a question, author said that he regarded anti-streptococcic serum of marked value in toxemic conditions with great systemic disturbance when it was impossible to, apply heat and drains."
"B. F. Fortner, Vinita, read an instructive and practical paper upon the subject, 'The Heart in Disease.' The author called attention to the fact that the heart was seldom diseased alone but that it existed as a rule in connection with other lesions more or less remote. Upon the proposition that all life depends upon the heart, the author showed how the integrity of the heart depends upon the maintenance of cell life. Attention was called to the necessity of a careful and proper examination of the pulse as in many cases it was the key to prognosis. The paper was discussed by Bryan, Gardner, Tiffany, Hamilton, and Long, after which author closed."
After these papers a Committee on Programs was appointed by the Chair, consisting of Fortner, Fulton, Pigg, Bond, and Long.
The next day, among other papers, St. Cloud Cooper read an interesting and practical paper on the subject of "Injuries of the Head." Dr. Long discussed the paper.
At this meeting the Committee on Programs recommended that the programs be divided into sections, and a chairman appointed by the President to take charge of each section. This report was adopted and the following chairmen were appointed: Practice: W. B. Pigg, South McAlester; Surgery: B. F. Fortner, Vinita; Obstetrics and Gynecology: LeRoy Long, Caddo; Pediatrics: E. Pleas, Oolagah; Ophthalmology, etc.: H. Moulton, Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Following this, G. W. West read a paper on "Puerperal Eclampsia," in which great stress was laid upon venesection and hot packs with a strong objection to opium. In the discussion that followed, Dr. Buxton spoke of good results to be obtained from the use of veratrum viride and called attention to the wisdom of premature delivery in obstinate ante-partum cases. Fortner made a plea for opium as did also Cooper and Long. A paper by M. B. Ward, Kansas City, Missouri, was read by the secretary, the subject being "Management of Uterine Retropositions."
"The association then took up the question of requirements for the practice of medicine in the several nations of the territory. About this question, the following resolution was passed:
'Whereas, we realize the necessity of elevating the medical profession and putting a stop to the work of unscrupulous and incompetent physicians; therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of the Indian Territory Medical Association, earnestly urge upon the proper authorities the enforcement of the laws regulating the practice of medicine in the different nations of Indian Territory'."
At this meeting the association was given a splendid banquet by the ladies of Wagoner, which so charmed and thrilled them, that they agreed to meet again at Wagoner; and accordingly, on June 19, 1900, "the association was called to order in the Masonic Hall by President G. A. McBride, of Bartlesville, at 1:45 P. M., after which the Rev. Mr. Massey, of Wagoner, invoked divine blessings upon the deliberations of the body."
At this meeting the date of meeting was changed in accordance with the resolution introduced by Dr. Long at the previous session and was unanimously adopted to read that "this association shall meet the first Tuesday and Wednesday in June and December of each year." Essays were then called for and among others, there was one by Dr. G. A. McBride, Bartlesville, on "The Duties, Responsibilities, and Reward of the Country Doctor." The author paid a glowing tribute to the ethics, integrity, and self-denial of the country practitioner. The paper was discussed by numerous ones, all of whom complimented the author upon the able manner in which the subject had been handled.
At this meeting, Dr. LeRoy Long, who was Chairman of the Section on Obstetrics and Gynecology, took the chair and upon calling over the list, it was ascertained that none of the members of the section were present to have papers. Volunteer papers or reports were requested and J. Black, Kansas City, Missouri, reported a very interesting case which elicited considerable discussion.
At this meeting also, eighteen new names were added to the roll while four names were held up for further investigation.
In the evening the ladies and citizens of Wagoner again entertained them in the Masonic Hall, and they were welcomed by an address delivered by a local attorney whose name is not put in. This is rather characteristic. On occasions when someone outside the medical profession gave an address, Dr. Long frequently failed to get the name, and, therefore, left it blank; but the man who responded to this address was Vice-President Fred S. Clinton.
This year the President appointed the following Program Committee: LeRoy Long, Caddo; W. B. Pigg, South McAlester; G. W. West, Eufaula. The committee to audit the secretary's books reported that they had examined the books and found the secretary's account to be correct. At 3:30 that afternoon, officers were elected as follows: President, LeRoy Long, Caddo; First Vice-President,
David Gardner, Lehigh; Second Vice-President, J. N. Fain, Wagoner; Secretary and Treasurer, Fred S. Clinton, Tulsa; member of Judicial Council, G. W. West, Eufaula.
Muskogee was designated as the next meeting place.
On December 4, 1900, at Muskogee, Indian Territory, the session opened with Dr. LeRoy Long presiding. The minutes are in the beautifully written hand of Dr. Fred S. Clinton. They read in part as follows:
"The afternoon session was called at 2:30. Mr. J. M. Givens delivered an excellent address of welcome which was responded to by our president."
"Dr. Long in his address, as president, which followed called attention to the advisability of a more strict conformance to ethics; the necessity of better laws regulating the practice of medicine and a more thorough enforcement; the desirability of a more uniform law for the entire territory; the advisability of forming new or sub-societies for the purpose of more thoroughly organizing the profession and to act as feeders for the Association; the creation of a committee on growth and prosperity; the demand for some method of caring for the insane and feeble-minded; concluding with the admonition for some urgent agitation on the part of the entire profession for some modern method of dealing with tuberculosis."
That evening they were guests at a delightful banquet in the Katy Hotel. Dr. F. B. Fite acted as toastmaster, and the program was as follows:
"Our Guests"—Dr. M. F. Williams.
Thus we see that when Dr. Long was head of the association, his first thought was for ethics and improved medical methods. Ethics were a part of his religion, and at the banquet table he was in good company when he responded to an address by the local minister.
At this meeting Dr. Claude Thompson and Lewis Bagby were reported favorably and admitted to membership.
The Committee to report on the president's address, consisting of Drs. Fortner, Fite, and Wright, reported as follows:
"We, your committee on the president's address, have considered the same and recommend that a committee of three be retained and authorized to formulate plans and if possible secure congressional legislation providing for an insane asylum for the Indian Territory and a system of public health boards."
In pursuance of this recommendation the following committee was appointed: Drs. Fortner, Clinton, and Fulton.
The next meeting was at Vinita, on June 4, 1901. The meeting was called to order at 1:00 P.M. by Dr. LeRoy Long, President. The address of welcome was given by Honorable Luman F. Parker, Jr., of Vinita. Welcome from the profession by Dr. B. F. Fortner, of Vinita. Response to both by Dr. Jabez N. Jack-
son, Kansas City, Missouri. The regular annual address was given by President LeRoy Long, the contents of which are not stated in the minutes; but a committee of three was appointed to do something about the recommendations which were contained therein. This committee consisted of Drs. Fortner, M. F. Williams, and P. Donahoe. The Committee met and presented the following report:
"We, your committee on the president's address, beg leave to report favorably upon all recommendations except No. 4, referring to competitive essays. We agree with the spirit of it but doubt its practicability at this time. In regard to the change of time for the spring meeting of this body, the committee suggests that it be put sometime in May. It is also recommended that this association memorialize the American Medical Association, now in session in St. Paul, Minnesota, to reduce the delegate body of the A. M. A. as suggested by its president to about 150 members to be called the House of Delegates and to be elected by the various state associations in the ratio of one to five hundred members. The president, when acting or retiring, of each state association being also a member of this legislative body."
A telegram was sent to Dr. C. A. L. Reed, President of the A. M. A.:
"Indian Territory Medical Association endorses reorganization on basis your communication. Signed—LeRoy Long, President, Indian Territory Medical Association."
A paper was read on "Ununited Fractures" by E. N. Allen and was discussed by Drs. Harper, Fulton, Jackson, M. E. Thompson, and LeRoy Long.
At this meeting Dr. Fortner presented a resolution regulating the qualifications of applicants for membership in the association. The resolution was as follows:
"Be it resolved by the Indian Territory Medical Association that all applicants for membership therein must be of good moral character, a graduate of a medical college recognized by the American Medical Association and must have complied with laws regulating the practice of medicine in the state or territory wherein they reside."
Dr. Jabez N. Jackson presented a paper on "Some Unusual Cases in Surgery,' which was discussed by many, including Dr. Long. At this time Dr. Jackson, by invitation, described the simplicity, practicability, and far reaching usefulness of intravenous transfusion of normal saline solution. Dr. W. A. Hailey, of Durant, read a paper on "Raynaud's Disease," which was discussed by Drs. Smith, Tolleson, and Long. A paper on "Puerperal Infection" was discussed by Long, Clinton, Bryan, Smith, P. Donohoe, and W. A. Hailey.
Dr. Long's term of office being up, Dr. G. W. West, of Eufaula, was elected president, and Dr. Long was appointed a member of the Committee on Credentials.
McAlester was selected as the next meeting place, and resolutions for the thanking of the citizens of Muskogee for their entertainment were offered.
On December 3, 1901, the society met in Muskogee and Drs. Long and Clinton were appointed a Committee on Necrology. In the Surgical Section, Dr. Long, of Caddo, delivered the address, the title of which was "Emergency Surgery." A paper on "Conservatism—True and False" by Dr. David Gardner was discussed by Drs. Clinton, Fennet, Crabill, Fulton, Long, Fortner, Woodson, and Booth.
The Committee on Program for the following meeting was appointed as follows: Drs. LeRoy Long, Moulton, and Pigg. We thus find Dr. Long on the Committee on Necrology, the Committee on Programs, and the Committee on Credentials. He was certainly an efficient member!
Dr. Fortner presented a paper on "Head Injuries in Children," which was received and discussed by Drs. Long, Fennet, and Pigg.
A resolution was introduced by Dr. Clinton as follows:
"Be it resolved that the Indian Territory Medical Association be reorganized in accordance with the general plan suggested by the American Medical Association and that the constitution and by-laws be so changed as to conform to this progressive and systematic method of organization; and that a committee of three be appointed by the president to draft the same and present a report of same to the next regular meeting of the association."
In pursuance of the above, the following committee was appointed: Fred S. Clinton, Tulsa; B. F. Fortner, Vinita ; LeRoy Long, Caddo.
The next meeting was at South McAlester on June 3, 1902. Dr. G. W. West, of Eufaula, President. Honorable Fielding Lewis, Mayor of South McAlester, delivered a polished and scholarly oration bidding the association welcome, to which Dr. LeRoy Long responded in an appropriate manner.
The Committee on Re-organization asked for further time, which was granted, and rendered the following partial report which was introduced as a resolution:
"We, your Committee on Re-organization, beg leave to report that it is the sense of this committee that the Indian Territory Medical Association maintain its existing plan of organization for the present but in addition thereto, we recommend the formation of District Associations conforming to the present Judicial Districts of the Indian Territory. The said District Associations to have the privilege of affiliating with this association and that the following rules and regulations must be adhered to by all associations so affiliating.
may have the privilege of uniting with the association of an adjoining district, which active membership shall continue only during the time that no organized association exists in the district in which such physician resides. If, however, it is more convenient for one physician residing in one district to attend the meetings of an adjoining district, he may become an active member of such association.'
Section 2. 'No one shall be eligible to membership in a district association who is not a regular graduate of a medical college recognized by the American Medical Association and a legal practitioner. Any such practitioner of good moral character and standing, who is willing to subscribe to the code of ethics of the American Medical Association shall be eligible as a candidate for membership in the district association of the district he or she resides, without restriction as to time of graduation or time of residence in the country, other than ample time to allow investigation of his character and standing provided that no negro shall be eligible to membership.'
Section 3. 'Any physician previously expelled or refused membership in the Territorial Association or who resigned therefrom cannot be admitted to membership in the District Association or reinstated, except by written application, vouched for by two members in good standing, which must lay over at least one meeting and receive the unanimous vote of all members present. When a member resigns, or is expelled, or is suspended, from his District Association, his relations with the Indian Territory Medical Association shall cease'."
Committee—Fred S. Clinton,
Following this, a paper was read on "Medical Examining Boards" by Dr. R. J. Crabill and was discussed by Drs. David Gardner, V. Berry, R. I. Bond, W. B. Pigg, A. L. Fulton, LeRoy Long, E. N. Allen, I. P. Bunby, Clinker, and St. Cloud Cooper.
The Committee on Credentials, consisting of Fortner, Long, and Tolleson reported favorably on fifteen names, unfavorably on two, and asked for further time on two others.
Officers elected for the following year were as follows: Dr. Fred S. Clinton, of Tulsa, President; Dr. C. Dow Frick, of South McAlester, Vice-President; W. O. Shannon, of Durant, Second Vice-President; Dr. R. J. Crabill, of McAlester, Secretary and Treasurer; and Dr. LeRoy Long, of Caddo, a member of the Judicial Council, term to expire in 1906. The president, recognizing the excellence of the work done by the former Committee on Credentials reappointed them: Drs. Fortner, Tolleson, and Long.
During the years Dr. Long lived in Caddo, while he was growing to be a giant among his medical confreres in the Indian Territory Medical Association, he made numerous other friends outside the profession. Among these was Robert L. Williams, a young attorney, who had arrived in Indian Territory on August 10, 1896, coming to Atoka from Alabama by the way of Texas. The two young men immediately liked and respected each other and developed a friendship which lasted throughout their lives, with great benefit to the state of Oklahoma. Each was from an old
southern state and each was intensely interested in the history of the southern states. Each had a background of experience from Reconstruction days, which colored his life. Each was young and ambitious and expert in his profession. Their acquaintance began in a political way when each of them supported the same man for Democratic National Committeeman. Dr. Long was a southern democrat and while he was only mildly interested in ordinary politics, he was vitally interested in anything wherein politics touched the practice of medicine.
Through his professional contacts in Atoka and Caddo and the surrounding territory and by reason of his wife's family being Choctaws, he soon became well acquainted with the leading men of the Choctaw nation. Among others he met and impressed was Governor Green McCurtain, who was the tribal governor at that time and who was a man alert to the needs of his people. Also he was one who appreciated true ability where ever he found it. Since it was generally known throughout Indian Territory that Dr. Long was fresh from a teaching position in medical school, which position he had earned by the hard method of being the finest student in his school, his influence grew quite rapidly; and when Governor McCurtain found it necessary to appoint members of the Choctaw Board of Medical Examiners in 1899, he chose Dr. Long as President-elect of the new regime. The appointment was for five years, from 1899 to 1904, and we find the event recorded in the Indian Citizen, of Atoka, on September 14, 1899, Page 5, Column 1, in the following words:
"According to previous announcement, the Medical Board had a meeting here Tuesday, 12th inst. Dr. LeRoy Long, Caddo, President-elect of the new regime, and Dr. Walter Hailey were present. The third member, Dr. Kendricks, of Goodland, was here Monday, but refuses the appointment. Since Governor McCurtain has not accepted Dr. McClendon's resignation from the old board, there is much speculation that the intention is to retain him as a member of the Board. There is not much going on in this nation but what has representation from Atoka. Dr. Hamilton, from Caddo, and Dr. Stist, of Summerfield, were applicants at this meeting of the Board. We have heard far and near that Dr. Long's appointment is one which gives unanimous satisfaction."
Also in the same paper on November 30, 1899, is another paragraph, dealing with his activities as Secretary of the Territorial Medical Association. The paragraph is as follows:
"We are grateful to Dr. LeRoy Long, Secretary of the Territorial Medical Association, for a program for the next annual meeting of the medical body at Wagoner. Judging from the full program, the subjects handled, discussed, and generally disposed of, we would say that doctors who attend and give attention will be well loaded with helpful knowledge for the coming year's work. There is no estimating the value of such an exchange of opinions, ideas, experiences, and general knowledge."
This office had no official connection with the government of the Choctaws, but the clipping merely records that while he was Secretary of the Territorial Medical Association he was at the same time President of the Choctaw Medical Board. Each of
these activities consumed an enormous amount of time. He could not have been willing to serve in these positions for the money there was in them because they were not remunerative positions. He did it because of his love for the practice of medicine and his feeling that men who were truly ethical should at all times be willing to give of their time and energies to improve the quality of work done.
Among the duties of office of the Medical Board was the task of maintaining a high standard of medical practice throughout the Choctaw nation. The Board itself had been created by the Choctaw General Council in November, 1899, and was required to meet once every three months and such other times as might be deemed necessary for the purpose of examining any one who applied for a license to practice medicine in the Choctaw nation. Such applicants were required to accompany their application with a certificate of good moral character and to show evidence that they had attended at least one term at some reputable medical college. If they passed a satisfactory examination, they were granted a certificate to practice medicine, surgery, and obstetrics in the Choctaw Nation; and any person holding such a certificate found guilty of habitual drunkenness, gross immorality, or unprofessional conduct could have the certificate revoked. Any one practicing without such a certificate was subject to a severe fine.
The Board further was required to use all reasonable means and measures looking to the preservation of the public health. To this end it had the power to establish quarantines, fumigate and disinfect infected premises, and to otherwise use every reasonable means for prevention and suppression of disease.
Previous to this time there had been few or no rules governing practice, and in meeting after meeting of the Territorial Medical Association motions were made, committees were appointed, and discussions were held regarding ways and means of persuading the tribal government to pass laws regulating this activity. Apparently their endeavors finally bore fruit, and it was the duty of this Board to examine all applicants who requested the right to practice medicine in the Territory. The old records show that they were besieged by quacks and by men without qualifications, men who had already located and had been practicing for months on the unsuspecting people before they were checked up by the official Board. Many times Dr. Long was forced to disqualify these irregular men and force them to cease activities. On one occasion he ran into the case of a prominent farmer, who had broken his leg and innocently called the nearest "physician." This man came to see him, encased the leg in a plaster cast, which was too tight and had insufficient padding beneath it, then went off and left the farmer for a week. Meanwhile the leg swelled and finally became gangrenous. Eventually the patient woke up to his danger and sent for a more competent man, who upon remov-
ing the cast found the leg totally paralyzed and gangrenous and was forced to amputate it. This and many other horrible tragedies came under his observation until he naturally became an early policeman in the interest of public health, which further strengthened the crusader's zeal he had always had for the pure and correct practice of medicine. To him it was a sacred cabling which should be indulged in only by those who had the greatest interest of the patient at heart and who had properly prepared themselves for it.
In carrying out the duties of this office, it was necessary that he obtain the cooperation and assistance of all ethical physicians who were qualified and lived in Indian Territory, because only in such a way was it possible to clean out the vagrant and unqualified. It required diplomacy and firmness, and in this way as well as through medical association meetings, he became a strong personal friend of Dr. Francis Bartow Fite, of Muskogee, Dr. Fulton, of Atoka, Dr. Tolleson, of Eufaula, Dr. Fortner, of Vinita, and dozens of other leading spirits in the early history of Indian Territory medicine. These men constituted a clique; yes, but it was a clique which had for its ambition the betterment of humanity. And of all places in America where such a clique might be needed, Indian Territory probably was the most strategic point, because medical schools were being run without legal safeguards or regulations and were turning out great numbers of incompletely prepared men, who flocked to Indian Territory where medical laws were practically non-existent. They thereby obtained a foothold among the people before anything could be done about it.
When in the course of time the Choctaw Board of Health was dissolved and a Medical Board of Indian Territory was created under the supervision of the Federal Court, regulating practice all over the Territory, he became Chairman of this Board also, remaining in office until statehood in 1906, at which time all Indian Territory offices were automatically dissolved.
During the time he was acting Secretary and President of the Choctaw Board of Health, Dr. Walter T. Hailey, of Haileyville, was also a member of that Board. In this man Dr. Long found a kindred spirit, one who believed in medical ideals and one who was patriotic enough to attempt to discharge his duties to the best of his ability. The old files of correspondence which passed between Dr. Hailey and Dr. Long indicate a degree of conscientious service on the part of each of them, which is rarely equaled in official life. They firmly attempted to build up the quality of medical practice in the Territory, going out of their way to give examinations to men who impressed them as being qualified. Even when they were forced to disqualify men, they were able to do it in such a way as to avoid giving offense to the unfortunate practitioner who was thus prevented from working. In some cases they examined men two or three times, consulting
with neighboring physicians who were well acquainted with the work of the men applying for licenses. The results of such disinterested public service not only was highly beneficial to the people of the Indian Territory but resulted in many strong friendships between the doctors themselves; and it was this friendship between Dr. Long and Dr. Hailey which in the final analysis tipped the scales in favor of McAlester over Oklahoma City, when Dr. Long decided to move from Caddo.
The coming of statehood did not drop him out of public life, however. Due to his intense activity in the Indian Territory Medical Association, he was generally regarded in both territories as the leading spirit in it; and was therefore a member of the committee appointed by the Indian Territory Association to arrange consolidation with the Oklahoma Territory Medical Association in 1906. This work was done with great credit to both associations and when the new Oklahoma State Medical Association took form, LeRoy Long was named as Counselor-at-Large for the entire state. This is a tribute to his wide acquaintance with men in both territories and shows that he had grown from the leadership of the east side association to a commanding place in the state of Oklahoma.
During the course of the next five years he continued to grow in stature and influence, never missing a medical meeting and being universally considered as one of the brighter men of the state. Five years later Lee Cruce, of Ardmore, was elected governor and immediately appointed him a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Examiners, thus carrying on the work which he had formerly done for the Choctaw nation and for Indian Territory respectively. Here again it was his task to maintain a high standard of ability among the men chosen to practice in the new state. Such work brought him into contact with every doctor in every corner of the state and directly lined them up as his friends or enemies.
Two years later the American College of Surgeons was organized, and he was made a charter member. The sole object of the College was to elevate the kind and quality of surgery which was being practiced in the United States. Under its comprehensive program hospitals were classified into various grades of efficiency, standardized rules were laid down for their conduct, and a campaign against the splitting of fees was begun and prosecuted with great vigor. All this was exactly what Dr. Long had believed in all his life, and we find him in 1918 summarizing his views before the Oklahoma State Medical Association at Tulsa as follows:
"I must at this time call attention to the question of fee splitting. It seems that there are still those who engage in this nefarious practice. In my judgment there is just one thing for this section to do in this matter, and that is to drive the money changers from the temple. The man who secures his surgery in this way is a grafter and his presence among respectable people who are trying to render honest service should not be
tolerated. The buying and selling of helpless patients must stop, and one way we can stop it is to put a black mark against the man who engages in it, and to ostracize him completely. Of course a hypocritical cry will go up that we are a coterie of surgeons trying to dictate in personal matters, but we are a coterie, thank God, that is trying to place our specialty out of reach of the panderer and the highwayman.
But let us go even further in our service to the people than to try to protect them from those who would capitalize their misfortunes and buy and sell them. Let us realize in our souls the necessity of making the profession of medicine a truly altruistic profession. This does not mean that we should not charge liberal fees in the cases of those able to pay, but it does mean that we should see to it that the vast multitude who are so situated that they have practically no margin of financial safety are properly cared for when they need our services. I hope that no surgeon here would be guilty of making it necessary for the poor man to mortgage his home, or to pay usurious interest, or to take his children out of school in order to make money to pay for a necessary professional service. The surgeon who measures his success by the size of his bank account is no longer striving to reach what should be the ideals of our profession."
It goes without saying that a man who combined such ideals with a high degree of skill and a long history of distinguished service to many people could not fail to go higher and higher in the estimation of the people of this new state. When in 1915 the young attorney whom he had met back in Atoka and Caddo and who now lived in Durant, was elected Governor of the state, another opportunity of service was offered to him. Governor Williams looked into the medical school situation and was not satisfied with it. When he looked about to find a man, who, in his judgment, was big enough to come to Oklahoma City and build a first-class medical school, he selected his old friend, LeRoy Long, who now lived at McAlester, and who was still a member of the State Board of Medical Examiners.