Roswell Park (surgeon)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Dr. Roswell Park)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Roswell Park, M.D.

Dr. Roswell Park (May 4, 1852 – February 15, 1914) was an American physician, best known for starting Gratwick Research Laboratory in 1898, which is now known as Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In 1900, the Gratwick family of Buffalo helped to finance Dr. Park's laboratory with a $25,000 donation in memory of William Henry Gratwick, a patient of Dr. Park's.[1] Dr. Park was also a professor of surgery at the University at Buffalo Medical School and a surgeon at Buffalo General Hospital.[2]

When Dr. Park was thirty-one he came to Buffalo, New York in 1883. He came from Chicago where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Northwestern University in 1876.[3] He received his B.A. in 1872 and M.A. in 1875 from Racine College in Racine, Wisconsin.[3] He then went on to finish his Doctor of Medicine studies at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in 1876.[4] Dr. Park received an honorary M.A. from Harvard University in 1895 and an honorary LL.D. from Yale University. Over the years he served on many boards, both national and international. By 1914, the total number of textbooks, articles, and monographs that he wrote reached 167.[2]

President McKinley assassination[edit]

Buffalo was the host of the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. President William McKinley was not even a year into his second term. At the time he was staying in his summer home in Canton, Ohio. He left his summer home for the exposition fairgrounds. After a speech that he gave in the Temple of Music pavilion, Leon Czolgosz, came from the crowd and shot McKinley twice at point blank range. McKinley was taken to a hospital on the fairgrounds.[5]

It took nearly 40 minutes for the first surgeon to show up. Herman Mynter, a general surgeon from Buffalo, was the first to diagnose the president. After consulting with other physicians, it was agreed upon to perform an abdominal exploration of the area. Not long after Mynter's examination was finished, Matthew Derbyshire Mann arrived. Mann was a former dean of Buffalo Medical School and a respected surgeon. After the two talked, it was agreed upon to perform the abdominal exploration. President McKinley agreed to the exploration. Work was done by Mann to try to find the bullet and treat the wounds.[6]

Efforts were made to contact Dr. Park, but he was in the middle of a neck dissection at Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital. As described years later by Park's son, the messenger ran into the operation room and told Dr. Park that he was needed immediately.[7] Park proceeded to say "Don't you see, I can't leave. I am in the middle of a case even if it were for the President of the United States?"; the messenger replied, "Doctor, it is for the President of the United States." Park proceeded to finish the operation. Despite the importance of the situation, Park was only able to get to the exposition hospital via a train. The train engine and coal car was sent to Niagara Falls to pick him up and return to Buffalo, it held the record time between the two points at that time. The train was driven by Charles Meyers and was the only train allowed into the Pan Am. He was known after that as Pan American Charlie and died in 1934. Once Park arrived, Mann was about to close up McKinley and asked Park if there should be any placement of drains. Park told Mann that he was the best man to make that decision given the scenario. Mann decided not to drain the abdomen since there was no excess blood or fluid around to be drained.[8]

Dr. Park arranged for some nurses from the exposition to look over McKinley at the Milburn home until nurses from the army could arrive. Despite some promising results McKinley died in the Milburn home.[8]


  1. ^ "The Gratwick Society". Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Mirand, Dr. Edwin A., Legacy and History of Roswell Park Cancer Institute 1898-1998. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers pg 15
  3. ^ a b Hill, Henry W. (1923). Municipality of Buffalo, New York: a History 1720-1923, v. IV,. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co. 
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Kelly, Howard A.; Burrage, Walter L., eds. (1920). "Park, Roswell". American Medical Biographies. Baltimore: The Norman, Remington Company. 
  5. ^ Lilli Sentz, Medical History in Buffalo 1846-1996. Buffalo, NY University at Buffalo Office of Publications pg 176
  6. ^ Lilli Sentz, Medical History in Buffalo 1846-1996. Buffalo, NY University at Buffalo Office of Publications pg 182
  7. ^ Lilli Sentz, Medical History in Buffalo 1846-1996. Buffalo, NY University at Buffalo Office of Publications pg 183
  8. ^ a b Lilli Sentz, Medical History in Buffalo 1846-1996. Buffalo, NY University at Buffalo Office of Publications pg 184

External links[edit]

Wikisource-logo.svg "Park, Roswell". American Medical Biographies. 1920.