William Le Roy Bonnell 1882 – 1959

William Le Roy Bonnell 1882? – 1950? MD Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College, 1908, was an American homeopath, President of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania,  who was appointed Supreme Medical Director of the Consumers’ Protective Association in 1910,

William Le Roy Bonnell is famous for winning a legal case in 1940 that proved that homeopathic remedies are more efficatious on small pox that allopathic methods. My Experience with Smallpox and Internal Vaccination.

William Le Roy Bonnell was a colleague of Charles E Church, Charles G Lane, Laughlin, D W Miller, S B Leslie, Lester Siemon, and many others.

William Le Roy Bonnell attended the 54th and the 55th annual Southern Homeopathic Medical Association and Pan American Medical Conference in 1938 and 1939.

William Le Roy Bonnell practiced in Oklahoma.

My Experience with Smallpox and Internal Vaccination by W. L. Bonnell, MD (read before the IHA, June 18, 1940) from: The Conquest of Disease by A C. French MD, Corpus Christi, TX; Corpus Christi Printing, 1943.

Few Homeopathic doctors get to air their troubles in a Health Board Trial. But doing so, when odds seem against you, and still you are vindicated acts as a boost and benefit.

One winter, a number of years ago in our city, we had at one time over seventy five cases of smallpox. The city health physician and local doctors recommended immediate vaccination, in the arm, of all school children.

Here I was, a regularly licensed physician in Oklahoma, but I believed in internal vaccination. Though it seemed mandatory that the vaccination be external, I fortified myself with legal information and began giving internal vaccination.

My first fifty patients I gave one powder of Variolinum 12x., three times daily for three days. I took these powders myself. After the first fifty patients, however, I decided to change to Vaccininum 12x, three powders each day for three days.

During this epidemic it fell my lot to treat twenty cases, and to these twenty cases I gave two powders of Variolinum 30x for four or five days. Among these twenty cases, two were black or confluent smallpox.

One of my cases, a woman, had black, hemorrhagic smallpox. She was very low for nine days; all her hair came out, and all the tissue fell off her nose and ears. She was a hideous looking sight, more like a corpse than a living person.

Nearly one half of my cases were treated in the city pest house, and here especially there was a chance for comparison of the homeopathic and the “old school” method. Not one case receiving homeopathic care died, while the “old school” doctors lost twenty percent of their cases.

I gave about three hundred internal vaccinations, five to adults acting as practical nurses; to the man who installed the telephone and lights in the pest house; to mothers who slept with their children while they had smallpox in its severest form. All of these people, exposed daily, were immune.

During this epidemic we had, in out city, a regular licensed, “old school” physician who vaccinated himself on the arm with the glycerinated virus point. It did not take, and two weeks later he vaccinated himself again. It took in a very mild form. A year later, to make sure he was immune for life, he took varioloid. Within two years, however, he took smallpox in a very severe form and nearly died.

About the third or fourth week of this epidemic I had a peculiar experience. I had left some of the internal vaccination powders for a man in a rooming house. He was in first class physical condition, but seemed to have an idiosyncrasy for the powder. By the third powder he had a headache, was sick at his stomach with a desire to vomit. On the second day he broke out, with a small, red rash.

I was called, and diagnosed it as a physiological disturbance caused by the powder, a term known as vaccinoid. A couple of hours later the city health officer called on my patient and diagnosed it as varioloid and much to the patient’s disgust, removed him to the city pest house.

The same day I was handed a summons to appear before the city health board changed with failure to report a case of smallpox which has been taken to the pest-house. I was asked to prove that the insignificant looking little powders I was giving were as effective as the arm point vaccination.

I hired a fine lawyer, and he began studying smallpox and internal vaccination. To my surprise the second morning after taking the case, he told me that he wanted to take the powders. He visited my patient with me at the pest house. We found, eighteen hours after the vaccination powders had been removed, that the eruption had entirely disappeared.

Together, my lawyer and I studied, in minute detail, the preparation of the glycerinated virus. When the trial started he was “loaded to the brim” with information on smallpox. He cross examined the city doctor until he was completely befuddled. He pointed out that this was a severe epidemic, and that he, the city doctor, had lost a lot of cases. The doctor answered truthfully that he had lost about twenty.

The lawyer asked if the case of mine had ever scaled off, or if there was ever any desquamation, and the doctor replied, “No.” When asked if he knew what vaccinoid was, the doctor replied, Yes, it’s a fine, little powder which Dr. Bonnell states will make you immune to smallpox.”

Whereupon, my attorney told him that, according to his information, varioloid was a mild form of smallpox, and vaccinoid was a constitutional disturbance, produced upon a healthy body by giving, in a triturated, minute dose, the active pus from a small pox pustule.

The court’s attention was then called to similar cases in other courts, proving that homeopathic vaccination was equally as good, or better than the old school form of vaccination.

He showed the court that more than twenty percent of the “old school” doctors patients had died, and that all those treated homeopathically had lived.

He proved that internal vaccination was safe, an effective, and that our city physician was not as well informed on smallpox as he should have been.

At his suggestion the case was promptly thrown out of court.

On page 246 of the book there is the legal case of Ed Canning vs. the Board of Health of the City of Council Bluffs Iowa; the Independent School District of Council Bluffs, Iowa,; and the members of its Board of Education.

The case was held in the District Court of Pottawattamie County, Iowa on the 19th of October 1905. The court found that while the Board of Education has the right to require students to be vaccinated against smallpox when an epidemic is prevailing, the Board did not have the power to specify and enforce any recognized method of vaccination to the exclusion of others “recognized and practiced by any Standard School of Medicine, authorized or established under the laws of  this State.”

Since the homeopathic “school” was recognized (it had a department at the university of Iowa), and since “internal vaccination”  is “equally or more effective than vaccination by the scarification method,” the court found that the schools could not exclude children who had been given an internal vaccination.

Wiliam Le Roy Bonnell submitted cases and articles to various homeopathic publications.

Of interest:

Charles Lewis Bonnell 1846 – 1902, father? of William Le Roy Bonnell?, Graduate of Wesleyan University, MD Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, visiting Surgeon and Lecturer to the Brooklyn Homeopathic Hospital, Consulting Surgeon at the Memorial Hospital for Women and Children, member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, member of the New York Stare Homeopathic Medical Society, President of the Kings County Homeopathic Medical Society, Director of Brooklyn Young Men’s Christian Association.

Charles Lewis Bonnell was the son of Nathaniel Bonnell, who came to brooklyn in 1827.

Charles Lewis Bonnell’s Obituary is in The North Americal Journal of Homeopathy and in The Transactions of the … session of the American Institute of Homeopathy in 1902.

2 thoughts on “William Le Roy Bonnell 1882 – 1959”

  1. Thanks for interesting information on your site. William Le Roy Bonnell was my grandfather. He saved a lot of people’s lives through the practice of homeopathy.

  2. Hi Sharon,
    Your grandfather is responsible for my father’s remarkable survival in 1935, when he was born weighing 1 pound and a few ounces. My father tells me Dr. Bonnell presented a paper concerning his birth at a Chicago medical convention. If you have any information regarding this, I would be most interested.

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