Bio Sketch: Dr. Thomas A. McCann (1858-1943), homeopathic doctor in Dayton, Ohio

Thomas Addison McCann was born September 25, 1858, in Dresden, Muskingum County, Ohio, the eldest son of Thomas A. McCann (~1818-1883), a farmer and schoolteacher active in community government, and his wife Jane (McKee) McCann (~1826-1877).

Dr. Thomas A. McCann, ca. 1909

Dr. Thomas A. McCann, ca. 1909 (from the Dayton Daily News, 9 Apr. 1909, pg. 9 – view complete article)

As a boy, Thomas attended the schools near his father’s farm. As a young man, he attended Denison University.[1] He began his medical training at the University of Michigan, which he attended during the 1882-1883 school year.

After only one year at University of Michigan, Thomas apparently halted his formal education temporarily, probably due to family obligations. His mother had died in 1877, and in March 1883, his father died, leaving at least two children under the age of 16. Thomas may have been needed at home to care for his younger siblings.

In October 1889, Thomas returned to his formal studies, matriculating to the school of homeopathic medicine at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. He graduated from Hahnemann with his M.D. on April 7, 1891.

Upon graduating from medical school in 1891, Dr. Thomas McCann moved to Dayton, Ohio, where his younger brother Benjamin F. McCann was an attorney.

According to Dayton city directory listings, Dr. Thomas McCann’s first residence and office was located at 133 N. Perry Street, during the years 1891-1892. From 1892 until 1899, Thomas lived and practiced medicine at 108 N. Ludlow Street. From 1899 until the early 1940s, Thomas had his office and residence in a duplex at 115/117 N. Perry Street. (With regard to this collection: volumes 1 and 2 were from Dr. McCann’s practice on Ludlow Street; volumes 3 and 4 were from the practice at 115 N. Perry.)

Thomas McCann’s decision to move from the location at 108 N. Ludlow to the larger accommodations 115/117 N. Perry Street probably resulted from changes in his domestic situation. For several years, Thomas’s brother Benjamin and sister Celestia lived with him at 108 N. Ludlow.[2] In 1899, he added a wife and mother-in-law to his household, not to mention the children he would soon have.

On February 21, 1899, Thomas A. McCann married Jeannette Kratochwill (1868-1954), daughter of Joseph and Harriet (Conard) Kratochwill. It is possible that Thomas may have met Jeanette through his medical practice; the records indicate that he attended to her in 1895-1896 (see volume 1, page 406).

Jeannette Kratochwill billing record, 1895-1896

Jeannette Kratochwill billing record, 1895-1896 (Dr. T. A. McCann Financial Records, MS-047, Dayton Metro Library, Vol. 1, page 406)

Thomas and Jeannette McCann had five children, all of whom were born in Dayton:

  1. Harriet K. McCann (born Feb. 26, 1900; died Mar. 10, 2000), who married George M. Roudebush and lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio;
  2. Maj. Thomas Addison McCann, III (born July 2, 1901; died May 10, 1980), who served in the U. S. Army;
  3. Jane McCann (born June 20, 1903; died Dec. 22 1952), who married Carl J. Linxweiler and lived in Oakwood;
  4. Richard Lee McCann (born Feb. 22, 1905; died Apr. 19, 1941), a Dayton attorney who died unmarried at age 36 as a result of heart trouble; and
  5. Joseph K. McCann (born Aug. 20, 1907; died Nov. 15, 1971), who was a clerk at Buckeye Iron and Brass Works in Dayton for several years.

Dr. Thomas A. McCann practiced homeopathic medicine in Dayton for approximately 50 years and was the personal physician of many prominent Daytonians, including James M. Cox and Charles F. Kettering. He was also a surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital for many years beginning in the early 1890s, shortly after it was founded.

J. M. Cox billing record, 1900

J. M. Cox billing record, 1900 (Dr. T. A. McCann Financial Records, MS-047, Dayton Metro Library, Vol. 3, Page 82)

In addition to the practice of medicine and surgery, Dr. McCann was active in several professional organizations and boards. He was a member of the Ohio state board of medical examiners for over 16 years. He was a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy, of which he was elected president in 1920. He was also a member of the Dayton Homeopathic Society, the Montgomery County Medical Society, and the Ohio State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Homeopathic College.

In 1926, Thomas McCann agreed to run as the Democratic candidate for Congress for Ohio’s Third District. He was defeated by the incumbent, Roy G. Fitzgerald.

Dr. McCann was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Dayton. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. In his leisure time, Dr. McCann enjoyed going to Canada on hunting trips.[3]

Dr. Thomas A. McCann died on the evening of November 7, 1943, at the home of his daughter Jane in Oakwood, Ohio, after a two-year battle with prostate cancer. His wife Jeannette died on February 21, 1954. They are both buried in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio.

McCann Family Plot, Woodland Cemetery

McCann Family Plot, Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio (Photo by the author, 3 June 2012)


[1] Thomas’s attendance at Denison is mentioned in multiple sources, including his obituaries; however, librarians in the Denison University Archives were unable to find any records of his attendance (Mary Prophet to Lisa Rickey, email, 9 July 2012).

[2] After Thomas McCann moved to Perry Street, his brother Benjamin began boarding at the YMCA; within a year of Thomas’s marriage, Benjamin married Laura Thresher and setup household in her home at 315 N. Robert Bouelvard.

[3] On one such hunting trip in February 1906, a member of McCann’s hunting party, Dayton mayor Charles A. Snyder, drowned.

Bibliography

Bradford, Thomas L. “McCann, T. Addison.” In Biographical Index of the Graduates of Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania and the Hahnemann College and Hospital of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: [published by subscription], 1918. Accessed 30 June 2012, http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001587030.

Brown, Harry W., ed. “T. A. McCann, M.D., Dayton” (pp. 304, 326). In Southern Ohio and Its Builders. [sine loco]: Southern Ohio Biographical Association, 1927.

Dayton (OH) City Directories, 1889-1943. Dayton Metro Library.

“Dr. Thomas A. McCann Dies; Rites Will be on Wednesday,” Dayton Daily News, 8 Nov. 1943, pp. 1-2.

“Dr. Thomas A. McCann, 85, Dies; Physician 50 Years,” Dayton Journal, 8 Nov. 1943, p. 1.

Hawker, Emma, graduate assistant at Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, email correspondence to Lisa Rickey, 3 July 2012.

Herbison, Matthew, archivist at Drexel University College of Medicine, email correspondence to Lisa Rickey, 30 June 2012.

Herzog, Lucy S. “Dr. Lester E. Siemon, of Cleveland, 1867-1943; Dr. Thomas A. McCann, of Dayton, 1858-1943; Dr. Hamilton Fiske Biggar [of Cleveland], 1839-1926.” In Ohio State Medical Journal 46 (1950): 464.

“Homeopathy’s Greatest Needs.” The Clinique 42, no. 6 (1921): 243-247. Accessed 12 July 2012, http://books.google.com/books?id=y7lXAAAAMAAJ.

“Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X89J-Y62 : accessed 12 July 2012), Thomas A. McCann, 1943.

Prophet, Mary Webb, librarian at Denison University, email correspondence to Lisa Rickey, 9 July 2012.

Rogers, L. D., ed. [Editorial and special contributions]. In The North American Journal of Homeopathy 68, no. 8 (Aug. 1920): 702-703. Accessed 12 July 2012, http://books.google.com/books?id=L_FXAAAAMAAJ.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Dayton, Ohio, 1897 & 1918. Accessed 12 July 2012, http://dmc.ohiolink.edu/oplinmap.htm.

Ullman, Dana. “Charles F. Kettering” (pp. 240-243). In The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy. Berekeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2007. Accessed 12 July 2012, http://books.google.com/books?id=BXZlprZRTJoC.

U.S. Federal Census, 1860-1930, via Ancestry Library Edition.

Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum Interment Database. Accessed 7 June 2012, http://www.woodlandcemetery.org.

*****

This biographical sketch was originally written by Lisa P. Rickey in July 2012 for the Dr. Thomas A. McCann Financial Records (MS-047) 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 finding aid (which includes a name index), available in the Local History Room of the Dayton Metro Library or the OhioLINK EAD Repository entry.

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.

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One response to “Bio Sketch: Dr. Thomas A. McCann (1858-1943), homeopathic doctor in Dayton, Ohio

  1. Thanks for this. Dr. McCann is associated with the first person designated for licensure as a massage therapist, Agnes B. Forbes, whom I am researching. I may be contacted at (email redacted for privacy reasons).

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