Old City Cemetery Committee, Inc. - Medical Pioneers

Medical Pioneers

Walking Tour of Medical Pioneer Grave Sites, by Irma West, MD, and the Sacramento-El Dorado Medical Society Historical Committee is an 18-page booklet designed as a self-guided tour of historical grave sites at the Sacramento City Cemetery located at 10th and Broadway. The booklet is available from the Museum Gift Shop for
$1 each plus $1 postage and handling. The following sections are taken from the brochure.

The influence of Sacramento's pioneer physicians went far beyond caring for the sick and injured. Most were uncommonly public spirited. Their numerous and substantial contributions made Sacramento and the state a more healthful, pleasant and prosperous place to live.

According to the burial records at the cemetery, about 55 persons with a designation of M.D. or "Doctor" are interred in the City Cemetery. This number does not include 16 out of 17 physicians who died of cholera while caring for the victims of the 1850 epidemic. Only one of the 17 is buried in this cemetery and is included in this tour. Records indicate that the other 16 physicians are buried under the City Cemetery, but the location is unknown. Perhaps they are buried under Broadway since a part of the cemetery was taken to widen the street.

Of the 55 doctors buried here, six (11 percent) are women. Most practiced in or near Sacramento sometime between 1849 and 1900. Some of these female pioneer physicians held political offices, some were active in establishing the public school system, while others began the public health agencies for the city and state.

Of the twelve founding members of the Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement, eight are buried in this cemetery. This society, now known as the Sacramento-El Dorado Medical Society, was incorporated March 17, 1868, and is the oldest continuously operating county medical society in the state.



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