Hamilton Fisk Biggar 1839 – 1926

Hamilton Fisk Biggar 1839 – 1926 BA 1863, MD Cleveland 1866, MA 1892, LLD 1893 Toronto was a Canadian homeopath, known as ‘The Bishop of Homeopathy‘ and  ‘The Grand Old Man of American Homeopathy‘.

He was the Honorary President and Vice President of the American Institute of Homeopathy, member of the American College of Surgeons, member of The Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of Ohio, the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical Society, the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York, Professor of Clinical Surgery and Gynecology in the old Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery, Dean of the Training School for Nurses of the Huron Street Hospital, Physician to the Cleveland workhouse, and Surgeon of the Cleveland Grays.

Hamilton Fisk Biggar was the homeopath of John Davison Rockerfeller Senior and and to all the Standard Oil families.

Biggar was a major benefactor of homeopathic institutions and to Victoria University in Toronto and to The Cleveland Medical Library Association.

Hamilton Fisk Biggar was a colleague of Seth Beckwith, the founder of the Cleveland Homeopathic Hospital.

By the 1890s, fully twenty percent of physicians in Cleveland called themselves Homeopathic physicians. Among the more well known local homeopaths were Seth Beckwith, with a large Cleveland practice as physician and surgeon to railroads; Benjamin L. Hill, one of the founders of the Western Homeopathic College of Cleveland; and Hamilton Fisk Biggar, nationally known medical advisor and intimate friend of John Davison Rockefeller Senior.

Hamilton Fisk Biggar gave an address to the Semi Centennial Celebration of the Flower Hospital and Homeopathic Medical College in 1910.

When  John Davison Rockerfeller Senior instructed instructed Frederick Gates to compile the infamous Flexner Report, Hamilton Fisk Bigger objected strongly to the antihomeopathy bias and disagreed vehemently with Frederick Gates, with whom he often had heated arguments.

Hamilton Fisk Biggar LL. D., Cleveland, Ohio, Professor of Clinical Surgery and Gynecology in the old Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery for thirty five years, ex Vice President of the American Institute of Homeopathy, Dean of the training school for nurses of the Huron Street Hospital, and for almost forty years a practitioner of medicine, is a native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, born March 15, 1839, son of Rev. Hamilton Biggar and Eliza Phelps Racey his wife, being of Scotch descent on his father’s side and of English ancestry on his mother’s side.

He acquired his elementary education in the Brantford grammar school (1854-1856) and his higher education in Victoria University, Toronto, where he graduated B. A., 1863 ; M. A., 1892 ; LL. D., 1893. He was educated in medicine in Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery, where he came to the degree in 1866.

The scene of Dr. Biggar’s professional life has been laid in Cleveland, where he ranks with the oldest practitioners of the homeopathic school; and in connection with his career as physician and surgeon he has been variously and for many years actively identified with the institutions of homeopathy both in Cleveland and the state of Ohio.

He was Professor of Clinical Surgery and Gynecology in his alma mater from 1866 to 1895, and member of the staff of Huron Street Hospital from 1870 to 1895. From 1867 to 1878 he was Physician to the Cleveland workhouse. In 1871 he was Surgeon of the “Cleveland Grays,” a military organization of wide fame thirty and more years ago.

In 1904 Dr. Biggar was offered and declined the Chair of Surgery and Gynecology in Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College, and he also was offered and declined membership on the Board of Trustees of that institution; and still earlier, during the seventies, he twice declined invitations to fill the Chair of Surgery in the Homeopathic Department of the University of Michigan.

He is a member, and in 1902 was Vice President, of the American Institute of Homeopathy, the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of Ohio, and of the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical Society; Honorary member of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York, the holder of the Honorary Degree of M. D. of Hering Medical College, Chicago, 1900, a Templar Mason and member of the Union, Roadside, Country and Euclid clubs of Cleveland.

From 1884 to 1905 he has been Dean of the Training School for Nurses of Huron Street Hospital, and from 1868 to 1874 was Registrar of the College of which the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College is the outgrowth and successor.

In 1870 Dr. Biggar married Sue Miles Brooks. Their children are Rachel Racey Biggar, Hamilton Fisk Biggar, Jr., William Brooks Biggar and Sue Racey Biggar.

Hamilton Fisk Biggar Junior was also a doctor, a member of the staff of Huron Road Hospital, unfortunately died in 1922.

The Hamilton Fisk Biggar Scholarship is still running and funding students at the Victoria University Toronto.

Hamilton Fisk Biggar wrote Genealogy of father’s and mother’s families collated with addenda, Compiègne and personal reminiscences: A souvenir of a very pleasant trip to France with Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller and party, Summer 1906, Souvenir of Banquet, Pamphlets – Homeopathic, Surgical Cases, and a A Short Life History of Hamilton Fisk Biggar was produced by Cleveland University of Medicine and Surgery in 1981.

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