Two Doctors, One Street

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

Isn't it convenient to have two doctors on the same block? Yes, yes it is!


In the Penllyn section of Lower Gwynedd Township, there were 2 doctors that served the community in the 19th century. These 2 doctors were graduates from the University of Pennsylvania, and had special relations with Penllyn... in a way. They were also the oldest doctors ever to live before the 20th century. They were buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.


Dr. James Lawrence Tyson (June 19, 1813 - July 10, 1898)

  • UPenn Class of 1838

  • Lived in Philadelphia from 1838-1843

  • Lived in Baltimore from 1843-1849

  • Lived in California from 1849-1851

  • Returned to Philadelphia from 1851-1858

  • Finally resided at Penllyn from 1858-

  • Married and had 2 children: Carroll and Neville

Dr. Hiram Corson (October 8, 1804 - March 4, 1896)


This is unclear whether Corson resided in Penllyn or not. According to his biography, he resided in a property in Plymouth Township called "Marple Hill." Maybe it had something to do with marrying a descendant of an original setter of Gwynedd Township (Edward Foulke). Edward Foulke, prior to his arrival, purchased a plantation that he called "Penllyn," where he died in 1741.

  • Born in Plymouth Township

  • Married Anne Jones Foulke on December 26, 1833, daughter of Edward and Tacy (Jones) Foulke; great-great-great granddaughter of orginial Edward Foulke

  • Had 9 children; 2 of his children were doctors: Edward and Joseph

  • Received education at the Friends' School at Plymouth Meeting under Joseph Foulke, then under his brother Alan W. Corson (a mathematician and scholar)

  • Attended the Friends' Select School in Philadelphia

  • Helped his father with his store at Hickorytown

  • Began studying medicine at his cousin Richard Davis Corson's office in 1826, in New Hope in Bucks County, PA

  • UPenn Class of 1828

  • Founded the Montgomery County Medical Society in 1847

  • Fought against the Philadelphia County Medical Society who were against medical women and the Women's College of Medicine

  • Fought for women physicians in Insane Hospitals in 1877

  • Retired in 1888 at his "Marple Hill" home in Plymouth

  • One of the first to practice and advocate the use of cooling drinks and the application of ice in the treatment of fevers

  • Active in the crusade against the use of hot liquids that had largely prevailed in the earlier years of his practice

Unfortunately, there's not a single evidence of Hiram Corson being in Penllyn, but he married someone from Penllyn. Maybe he lived there temporarily before officially residing at "Marple Hill."

Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station; J. D. Scott, Publisher

Both of their buildings are gone, and replaced with development possibly in the late 1910s since in the 1916 map their properties are gone. It makes sense since they both died before the turn of the 20th century.


Bibliography:


Corson, Hiram. The Corson family; a history of the descendants of Benjamin Corson, son of Cornelius Corssen of Staten Island, New York. (Philadelphia: H.L. Everett, 1906): 121-139.


Holloway, Lisabeth M. Medical Obituaries: American Physicians' Biographical Notices in Selected Medical Journals before 1907. (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1981): 414.


Jordan, John W. Colonial Families of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Volume II. (New York; Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1911): 930-944.


Maxwell, W.J. General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania, 1922. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania General Alumni Society, 1922): 506.


Scott, J. D. Montgomery County 1877, Gwynedd, North Wales, Ambler, Royer's Ford, Limerick Station, 1877.


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