This Day in Dayton, 6 November

On November 6, 1880, the first Caesarian section performed in Indiana took place in Sheffield township by Dr. Moses Baker. On November 3, he had been called to the home of Luther and Emma Wright Lucas, south of Dayton on US 52 on the Wild Cat Prairie (then probably still known as the Indianapolis Pike). Mrs. Lucas was in labor with a full-term child. Upon examining her, Dr. Baker found a tumor below the child and another large tumor (weighing perhaps five pounds) above it. Since there was no way to deliver the child naturally, he decided to attempt a Caesarian delivery. He called for the assistance of Dr. David H. Crouse of Dayton and Dr. John Simison of Romney, who agreed with his diagnosis. Three days later, on November 6, the operation was performed at the Lucas home, in the presence of Dr. Crouse and Dr. Simison, and in addition Dr. Jerome Crouse and Dr. L. T. Strother of Dayton, Dr. Pike of Romney, and Dr. A. A. Wells and Dr. William Lambert of Stockwell. The operation was successful and Mrs. Lucas was delivered of a “Garfield boy.” The child was named Garfield A. Lucas, after President James Garfield, who won the presidency on November 2. Four weeks later, the Courier printed Dr. Baker’s account of the operation (Dec. 5, 1980; in Kriebel, J/C, Sept. or Oct. 1991).

Susan ClawsonComment