ANDREW T. STILL

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 59-60

ANDREW T. STILL, M. D., founder of the American School of Osteopathy, was born on the 6th of August, 1828, in Lee County, Virginia.  He is the third son of Dr. Abraham Still, of whom extended mention occurs elsewhere in this volume.  He accompanied his parents in their removal to Tennessee and Missouri, and his experiences and opportunities for education were similar to those of boys of that period in those regions.

He took up the study of medicine with his father, and became his partner in practice in 1852, in Douglas County, Kansas.  Subsequently he became an independent practitioner.  Being much with the Shawnee Indians in those early days, he acquired a knowledge of their language, which he still speaks readily.  He shared his father’s dislike of slavery, which he stoutly opposed, and was an active member of the Free-Soil party of Kansas.  He was associated with John Brown and Col. Jim Lane in their free-state operations, and after the outbreak of the Civil War was Surgeon of the Ninth Kansas Volunteers.  He was also with General Fremont’s command in its operations in Missouri.  His efforts were not entirely confined to the practice of medicine while a resident of Kansas, but, being a forcible speaker and advocate of anti-slavery doctrines, he was elected in 1857 a Member of the Legislature of the territory, and his voice and action were largely instrumental in securing to its people the free and beneficent system of government which now obtains in its confines.  While in Kansas Dr. Still was located at Baldwin City and Lawrence.

In 1874 he removed to Kirksville, Missouri, and retired from the active practice of medicine for a period of ten years.  He spent this time in the study of anatomy and in the development of the new theory of medicine which he originated, and which has received the name of osteopathy, having for its object the keeping and maintenance of a complete circuit of the forces of the motor, sensory and sympathetic nerves; or, as it is more fully stated, the object of osteopathy is the freedom of flow of all electric or other fluids or substances pertaining to life.  Perfect circulation is perfect health.  Little by little his studies developed this great science, which has attracted the attention of many of the leaders in medical experimentation and thought.  Like every discovery, it has encountered much and bitter opposition, but its cures of cases given up as hopeless by other schools have demonstrated its soundness and right to a position among modern schools of medicine.

In October, 1892, Dr. Still organized a medical school at Kirksville, Missouri, under charter from the state, requiring two years of study to complete the course taught.  Seventeen students were graduated in 1894, and in the following year fifteen other persons received the degree of O. P. from this institution.  In connection with the college a hospital is maintained, in which 1,500 patients have been treated during the present year.  In 1895 a branch institute was established at Evanston, Illinois, in charge of Dr. James M. Still, whose biography appears in this work.  He is assisted by Dr. Harry M. Still, the first graduate in osteopathy, and Dr. Nettie M. Bolles, the latter of Olathe, Kansas, a graduate of the 1894 class of the Kirksville School of Osteopathy, in which she taught anatomy.  The erection of a large building at Evanston for sanitarium is in contemplation to accommodate the numerous patients, numbers of whom are now from the best families of Evanston.

Dr. Still married Miss Margaret Vaughn, of Macon County, Missouri, in 1848. Five children were born of this marriage, of whom only one, Marusha, now the wife of John Cowgill, of Ottawa, Kansas, survives.  Mrs Still died in 1860.  By a second marriage Dr. Still was united with Mary E. Turner, a native of Ithaca, New York.  Of  this union six children were born, and four of them are now living, namely: Charles E., a physician, now in charge of an institute of osteopathy in Minneapolis; Herman T. and Harry M., twin brothers, the former with his father in Kirksville, and the latter associated with his uncle in the sanitarium at Evanston, and for years the associate of his father in the early years of the history of osteopathy; Blanche, the youngest, residing with her parents.  Fred, a young man of unusually bright mind, died in 1894, at the age of twenty-one, when about entering upon what promised to be a very successful career as a physician.

                                -- Submitted on 9/26/99 by Sherri Hessick ( slhessick@crosswinds.net )