Past and Present of the City of Rockford & Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church. Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 162-165
Dr. Russell BROUGHTON, neurologist and also specialist in treatment of opium and other drug addictions and founder of the Dr. Broughton Sanatarium at Rockford, IL, was born in Racine [Racine County], WI, 16 May 1842, his parents being John and Amanda BROUGHTON, who in 1841 started for the middle west, traveling by team to Albany Township, Green County, WI. The father entered a quarter section of land from the government and at once began to clear and cultivate it, transforming the raw, undeveloped tract into rich and productive fields. There he continued to engage in farming until his death, which occurred in 1896. He is still survived by his widow.
Reared to farm life, Dr. BROUGHTON pursued his early education in the pubic schools and later entered Milton College, at Milton [Rock County], WI. He also studied in Bryant & Stratton Business College, in Milwaukee, and preparatory to entering upon the practice of medicine and surgery, he matriculated in Rush Medical College, of Chicago, in which he completed the full course and was graduated with the class of 1869. He located for practice in Broadhead [Brodhead, Green County, WI], where he remained for 21 years, and as a general practitioner he enjoyed extensive patronage. His first exclusive work in the lines of his specialty was in connection with the Keely Institute at Dwight [Livingston County], IL, where he remained for nine and a half years, in charge of all opium and other drug patients. He then came to Rockford and established the Dr. Broughton Sanitarium.
This institution, constantly widening the field of its beneficent work, has accomplished great good during the four years of its existence. Coming to Rockford, Dr. BROUGHTON leased Dr. RANSOM's sanitarium, a property located on Rock River, opposite Harlem Park. He had already earned a high reputation as a specialist in the treatment of nervous diseases and those attributable to drug and alcohol addictions, and was most cordially assisted by his fellow physicians having patients requiring such treatments. He had a very wide acquaintance and his patronage increased so rapidly that his accommodations proved inadequate and he purchased the KEYT residence on Rock River, just south of the city, there opening his new sanitarium in June 1902. He took possession of a building, beautiful and spacious, which had been originally erected at a cost of $30,000, while later much more had been expended in improvements. Dr. BROUGHTON continued the work of improvement, while refitting it for sanitarium purposes. The large ballroom on the third floor was divided into sleeping rooms, finished differently and furnished in homelike fashion. The first and second floors were also decorated throughout and the basement was entirely remodeled and divided into a large dining room, club rooms, kitchen, and other rooms. A complete system of plumbing, hot water, heating and electric lighting appliances was installed. The ground, covering 12 acres, displays the greatest skill of the landscape gardener, and the trees and shrubery secure a seclusion like that found in a remote woodland, although the sanitarium is less than two miles from the center of Rockford. [p 165] The management of the sanitarium is perfect. The strictist discipline is maintained in so kindly a way that the place has no air of restraint and yet all are under the rules governing the institution. Patients have been received from every state in the Union, and already the commodious quarters have been taxed to the utmost to accommodate the patients. Dr. BROUGHTON's methods of treatment are confined to purely medical lines. He is not exploiting any proprietary medicine or remedy. His is a home for the treatment of habitual diseases along the lines that any other specialist would follow, and the good that he has wrought is immeasurable. Rockford may well be proud of this institution and its founder and many have reason to bless him for the aid received through his professional services. He has been a member of the Wisconsin Medical Society since 1877, and also belongs to the American Medical Association, the Winnebago County, and Illinois State Medical Societies.
In manner Dr. BROUGHTON is most genial and kindly and is popular and prominent socially as well as professionally. In May 1864, during the Civil war, he enlisted at Milton [Rock County], WI, in Company C, 40th WI Infantry, and saw considerable active service. He married in 1869 to Miss Julia A. SMILEY, a daughter of Hon. Daniel SMILEY, of Albany [Green County], WI, now deceased, and they have two sons: William S., formerly a medical student, but now auditor in the navy office at Washington, D. C.; and James E., an employee in a large electrical plant at Niagara Falls. Dr. BROUGHTON is a member of Bicknell lodge, No. 91, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Broadhead [Brodhead, Green County], WI; Evansville chapter, No. 35, Royal Arch Masons, at Evansville [Rock County], WI; and a charter member of the W. W. Patton Post, No. 90, G. A. R., of Broadhead [Brodhead]. He stands today a foremost representative of his line of practice, his labors proving of philanthropic worth in the world.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.