Bio Sketch: Dr. John Elliot (d. 1809), first doctor in Dayton, Ohio

John Elliot was born in New York, probably sometime around 1760 or perhaps earlier. During the American Revolution, John served as a surgeon’s mate in a New York regiment until he was discharged at the end of the war in 1783.[1]

After the Revolutionary War ended, John Elliot was commissioned, in a document signed by George Washington, as a surgeon in the United States Army. He served in the west under Arthur St. Clair and Anthony Wayne. He was stationed for a time at Fort Washington, near Cincinnati, and he served with Wayne in the campaigns of 1794-1795, which resulted in the Treaty of Greenville. John was mustered out with the rest of his regiment, being honorably discharged on June 1, 1802.[2]

Fort Washington (Cincinnati), ca. 1790

Fort Washington (Cincinnati), ca. 1790 (Library of Congress, image # LC-USZC4-403, public domain)

In that same year, 1802, Dr. John Elliot came to Dayton, Ohio, to reside, becoming the second physician to make his permanent residence in the Dayton vicinity—Dr. John Hole had arrived earlier in Washington Township—and the first physician in Dayton proper.[3]

In addition to being the first doctor in Dayton, Dr. John Elliot was instrumental in forming the Dayton Social Library Association in 1805. This association was the first library authorized by the state legislature.[4]

Dr. Elliot was quite popular in Dayton, both socially and professionally.[5]

About 1789, John Elliot married Anna Dorett. Anna was born about 1774 and died about 1794. John and Anna had two children, both of whom were born at the military post in Vincennes, Indiana:[6]

  1. Julia Ann Elliot was born in February 1790.
  2. Henrietta Eliza Elliot was born in June 1792.

After the death of their mother, Julia and Henrietta went to live with Mrs. Jeremiah Hunt, of Cincinnati, who raised the girls along with her own family. The Hunts were family friends of the Elliots.[7] The Hunt brothers—Jeremiah, Jesse, and Abijah—were merchants as well as sutlers (merchants who sold provisions to soldiers in the army), so perhaps Dr. Elliot met them when he was stationed at Fort Washington, in Cincinnati.[8]

By 1805, the girls seem to have been residing with the family of Jesse Hunt, Jeremiah’s brother. This may have resulted when Jeremiah Hunt moved to Natchez, Mississippi, temporarily joining his brother Abijah there.[9]

In 1805, John Elliot addressed a letter to his daughter Julia “at Mr. Jesse Hunt’s, Cincinnati,” and in it, he instructed her to “pay the utmost respect to all Mrs. Hunt says to you.”[10] A few years later, when Dr. Elliot died, the letter sent to inform his daughters of his death was also addressed to Jesse Hunt.[11]

Dr. John Elliot's signature, 1805

Dr. John Elliot’s signature, 1805 (FPW 38:1)

Several letters from Dr. Elliot to his daughter Henrietta, between 1806 and 1808, instruct her to attend her studies and to respect and obey “Mrs. Symmes,” although the specific identity and role of Mrs. Symmes is not clear.[12]

Julia and Henrietta Elliot, aged 19 and 16 respectively, were still residing in Cincinnati when their father died rather suddenly on February 27, 1809, in Dayton, Ohio, having been ill only one day and two nights.[13] H. G. Phillips wrote to Jesse Hunt with the news, adding: “We should have sent for the Girls, but from the nature of his indisposition, we supposed it would be improbable to get them here in time.”[14]

H. G. Phillips to Jesse Hunt announcing death of Dr. John Elliot, 27 Feb. 1809

H. G. Phillips to Jesse Hunt announcing death of Dr. John Elliot, 27 Feb. 1809 (FPW 38:3)

.

Invitation to John Elliot's funeral, 27 Feb. 1809

Invitation to John Elliot’s funeral, 27 Feb. 1809 (FPW 38:4)

Dr. Elliot was buried with military honors on February 28, 1809, including a military procession from his home on Water Street (Monument Avenue) to the Old Burial Ground on Sixth Street. His remains were later moved to Woodland Cemetery.[15]

John Elliot (d. 1809) grave marker, Woodland Cemetery, Section 77

John Elliot (d. 1809) grave marker, Woodland Cemetery, Section 77

Julia Ann Elliot, sometimes called Julianna, was born in February 1790 in Vincennes, Indiana. On July 16, 1809, at Cincinnati, she married Joseph Halsey Crane. Joseph H. Crane was born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, August 31, 1782, and moved to Dayton, Ohio, about 1804. He was a Dayton lawyer and a state representative around the time of his marriage; he would later be a U.S. Congressman and a judge. He also fought in the War of 1812. Julia and Joseph Crane had twelve children, most of whom died as children, but two of their sons grew up and became lawyers: Joseph G. Crane and William Crane. Judge Joseph H. Crane died November 13, 1851, and Julia (Elliot) Crane died February 25, 1861. They are both buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.[16]

Julianna (Elliot) Crane, undated

Julianna (Elliot) Crane, undated (Object # NCR.1998.L0008.062, Dayton History. Used with permission.)

Henrietta Eliza Elliot, sometimes called Harriet, was born in June 1792 in Vincennes, Indiana. On November 10, 1810, she married Joseph Peirce (1786-1821), a Dayton merchant. They had five children: Mary Ann Peirce, who married Edward W. Davies; David Zeigler Peirce; James S. Peirce; Jeremiah Hunt Peirce; and Joseph Crane Peirce. Joseph Peirce died on September 27, 1821, and Henrietta (Elliot) Peirce died on February 13, 1864. They are both buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.[17]

Henrietta (Elliot) Peirce, undated

Henrietta (Elliot) Peirce, undated (FPW 37:21)

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in April 2012 for the Forrer-Peirce-Wood Collection (MS-018) finding aid at the Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, Ohio, 45402; phone (937) 496-8654.

Additional information about the sketch’s subject can be found in that collection. For more information about the manuscript collection’s contents, please see the original PDF finding aid available in the Local History Room of the Dayton Metro Library, the OhioLINK EAD Repository entry, or the WorldCat record.

Please contact the Dayton Metro Library or this blog’s author for more information about how to access the original finding aid or the manuscript collection.


[1] W. J. Conklin, Pioneer Doctor: A Medical Sketch of Dayton, 1796-1825 (Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1900), accessed 19 Mar. 2012, http://www.daytonhistorybooks.com/page/page/1558641.htm; New York in the Revolution as a Colony and State (Albany, NY: J. B. Lyon Co., 1904), 1:40; Harvey E. Brown, “Register of Medical Officers who Served to the Close of the Revolution and were Discharged in 1783,” in Historical Notes Concerning the Medical Department of the United States Army (Washington, DC: Surgeon General’s Office, 1873), accessed 19 Mar. 2012, http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/medicaldepartment/appendixa.html.

Brown lists “John Elliot” as a surgeon’s mate in the First New York Regiment; New York in the Revolution lists “John Elliot, Jr.,” as a surgeon’s mate in the Third New York regiment.

[2] Conklin, Pioneer Doctor; Ohio Adjutant General’s Office, and Daughters of the American Revolution, The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in the State of Ohio (Columbus, Ohio: F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1929-1959), 1:125; Obituary of John Elliot, Dayton Repertory, 1 Mar. 1809, in FPW, 38:4; Harvey W. Crew, History of Dayton, Ohio (Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1889), 91-92; Howard Burba, “The Night They Dedicated the Library,” Dayton Daily News, 6 May 1934, accessed 19 Mar. 2012, http://www.daytonhistorybooks.com/library.html.

[3] Conklin, Pioneer Doctor; Crew, History of Dayton, 92; Memoirs of the Miami Valley (Chicago: Robert O. Law Co., 1919), 2:179; John F. Edgar, Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 1796-1840 (Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1896), 143.

[4] Memoirs of the Miami Valley, 2:179; Burba, “The Night They Dedicated the Library.”

[5] Conklin, Pioneer Doctor; Sarah Schenck Crane, The Crane Family History (Cincinnati, OH: Ebert & Richardson Co., 1911), 55.

[6] Crane, The Crane Family History, 55-56.

[7] Crane, The Crane Family History, 55-56.

[8] Andy McMillion, “The Hunt Family of Jefferson County, MS: Genealogy and History,” accessed 20 Mar. 2012, http://jeffersoncountyms.org/hunt_family.htm; Cincinnati: The Queen City, 1788-1912 (Chicago & Cincinnati: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912), 483.

[9] McMillion.

[10] John Elliot to Julia Elliot, 15 Dec. 1805, FPW, 38:1.

[11] H. G. Phillips to Jesse Hunt, 27 Feb. 1809, FPW, 38:3.

[12] John Elliot to Henrietta Elliot, 1806-1808 [several letters], FPW, 38:2.

[13] H. G. Phillips to Jesse Hunt, 27 Feb. 1809, FPW, 38:3.

[14] H. G. Phillips to Jesse Hunt, 27 Feb. 1809, FPW, 38:3. Several sources incorrectly state that John Elliot died on February 26, 1809 (Dayton Repertory) or March 26, 1809 (Crew and The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in the State of Ohio). However, the date “February 27, 1809” is quite legible on Phillips’ letter, and clearly states that the doctor died “this morning at 3 o’clock.”

[15] John Elliot: Funeral invitation and obituary, FPW, 38:4; Conklin, Pioneer Doctor; Crew, History of Dayton, 92; Woodland Cemetery tombstone inscriptions. John Elliot is not listed in the Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database.

[16] Crane, The Crane Family History, 20-25, 55-56; Edgar, Pioneer Life in Dayton, 92-94; “Joseph Halsey Crane,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present, accessed 19 Mar. 2012, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=C000872; “Joseph Halsey Crane,” Wikipedia, last modified 17 Mar. 2012, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Halsey_Crane; Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database, accessed 20 Dec. 2011, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org.

[17] Crane, The Crane Family History, 55-56; Harvey W. Crew, History of Dayton, Ohio (Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1889), 143; Edgar, Pioneer Life in Dayton and Vicinity, 116; Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database, accessed 20 Dec. 2011, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org. See also Series III, Subseries 3: Joseph Peirce Family.

3 responses to “Bio Sketch: Dr. John Elliot (d. 1809), first doctor in Dayton, Ohio

  1. Pingback: Bio Sketch: Jeremiah H. Peirce (1818-1889), Dayton lumber dealer and founder of Five Oaks | Glancing Backwards

  2. Pingback: Bio Sketch: John Elliot Peirce, Sr. (1861-1940), Dayton businessman | Glancing Backwards

  3. Pingback: Bio Sketch: H. Eugene Parrott (1839-1933) & Henrietta (Peirce) Parrott (1848-1919) (& family), early residents of Oakwood, Ohio | Glancing Backwards

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