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Philo J. Farnsworth Papers

Identifier: RG99.0272

Scope and Contents

The Philo J. Farnsworth Papers include his course lectures on Materia Medica and on Diseases of Children. These notes were amended and delivered to internal medicine and pediatric medical classes from September 1870 to 1895. Some lectures are not dated. The medical remedies addressed are noted in the box list. A note in the first folder of box one indicates the number of lectures delivered in all medical classes during the 1888-1889 term was 480. This folder also includes an undated student scoring sheet used for determining course grades. Two geology papers by Farnsworth are in box one.


  • 1870-1895


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Philo Judson Farnsworth was born January 9, 1830, in Westford, Vermont. He received the B.A. degree in 1854 from the University of Vermont. He received the M. A. and M.D. degrees from that institution in 1858. In 1860 he received a medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York. He received the Honorary Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1897.

Dr. Farnsworth set up his private medical practice in Lyons, Iowa, in 1862 and relocated to Clinton, Iowa, in 1869. In 1870, Farnsworth was named professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the fledgling State University of Iowa College of Medicine, where he taught courses in Materia Medica as well as in Diseases of Children for 22 years. He was also an amateur geologist.

Farnsworth married Elizabeth B. D. Eaton in 1872. He died February 14, 1909 after a fall at his home.


0.75 linear feet


Physician named Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics when the College of Medicine was established in 1870. Course lecture notes.

Method of Acquisition

These materials were transferred to the University Archives prior to 1970. Finding aid posted to the Internet October 2010.

Related Materials

Farnsworth, P. J. Synopsis of a Course of Lectures on Materia Medica and Therapeutics. Iowa City, Iowa: State University of Iowa, 1889.

John T. McClintock Papers (RG99.0280)

Bean, William B. "The University of Iowa College of Medicine 100 Years Ago." Iowa Medical Society Journal 60 (April 1970): 237-240, illus. Hardin Library.

Bierring, Walter L. "State University of Iowa College of Medicine: The First Dean and First Medical Faculty." History of Medicine in Iowa. Iowa State Medical Society Journal 34 (April 1944): 178-180, illus. Hardin Library; State Historical Society of Iowa.

Cone, Carl B. History of the State University of Iowa: The College of Medicine. Iowa City, 1941. 306 pp. Hardin Library; University Archives R747.I8 C65.

McClintock, John T. "The College of Medicine, 1870-1945." Medical Bulletin (University of Iowa. Publications, n.s. 1369), pp. 2-7, illus. July 1, 1945. University Archives, in Historical Papers Collection (RG01.0001.003).

McClintock, John T. "Comments on the Founding and Development of the College of Medicine." History of Medicine in Iowa. Iowa State Medical Society Journal 36 (April 1946): 174-177. 1870-1928. Hardin Library; State Historical Society of Iowa.

Denise Anderson, October 2010
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242