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The Start of a Great Tradition

The Orange County Medical Society had its beginning May 26, 1908, when ten men from Orlando and Sanford met in the home of Dr. John S. McEwan. The founding members present that evening were Drs. Jerome Bruce, N. DeVere Howard, W. S. King of Sanford and Drs. C. D. Christ, Washington Kilmer, Sylvan McElroy, J. S. McEwan, W. C. Person, George Porter and J. D. Rush of Orlando.

At the original meeting Dr. McEwan acted as temporary chairman and Dr. Rush was elected President. Following the election of officers, the Constitution and By - Laws as proposed by The American Medical Association for County Societies was adopted. As stated in the minutes "refreshments were served." As a matter of fact, refreshments seemed to have a great deal to do with many of the earlier meetings.

How the Times Have Changed

During 1909, a fee bill was passed. Example fees included: consultation fee at that time was $10 - $25; obstetrical case, simple $25 - $100; amputation of tonsils $25 - $100; D & C $254200; hysterectomy $100 - $500; laparotomy $100 - $500; including nephrotomy or nephrectomy; house visits in the city $2 - $5.00 day and between 10 P.M. and 6 A.M. $3 - $10.00; advice or prescription at office $1 - $10. These were listed as minimum fees.

A Stately Event

The local Society entertained The State Association at its convention in 1914. The Secretary was instructed to try to raise $25.00 from each member to defray the expenses of this meeting. The program listing the order of exercises at The State Medical Meeting was as follows:

  • Invocation - J. W. Stagg
  • Welcome on Behalf of City - Mayor E. F. Sperry
  • Welcome on Behalf of Board of Trade - Pres. Seth Woodruff
  • Welcome on Behalf of The Orange County Medical Society - President C. D. Christ
  • First Night - Oration followed by Smoker and Punch
  • Second Night - Barbeque with Draft Beer and Spirits
  • Third Day - Auto Ride

It is noted that The Elks Hall was engaged and furnished with extra chairs, fans, etc. A supply of beer, whiskey, cigarettes and cigars, as well as the use of the pool tables were free to all wearing badges of membership. A ride and basket picnic '.were provided for the wives on the second afternoon. The total expenses were $303.89.

A History of High Social Values

At the September 1922 meeting a resolution was passed to be sent to the Orange County Commissioners and to the Mayor of Orlando in regard to the appointment of a full-time paid Health Officer with the suggestion that he be a combined County and City Health Officer. Over the years The Society has worked closely with the City and County officials in regard to the maintenance of adequate care of the indigent.

Growth and Expansion

In February 1926 it was decided to have a Vice President from each of the two counties in the Society, namely, Orange and Seminole, Dr. C. L. Parks was elected Vice President from Seminole County and Dr. E. T. Craney from Orange County. In November of that same year, Seminole County formed an independent Society.

OCMS has a changed with time but our commitment to Orange County doctors and medical excellence remains the same. 

Minutes from the First Meeting

    Download the minutes




Orange County History Center Archive

The history center has several documents in their Online Collections Database

History Center Documents