From New York, Alfred Jerome Brown, MD, was the surgical director of the Columbia University Division of Bellevue Hospital when he enlisted in the Navy in May 1917. Dr. Brown served at Debarkation Hospital No. 2 on Staten Island before moving overseas as the chief of surgical services, first at Naval Base Hospital No. 1 in Brest, France and then at Evacuation Hospital No. 37. He was also consulting surgeon to the 40th Division in France. Upon his discharge in 1919, Dr. Brown joined the faculty at UNMC as a professor of surgery until 1943, when he became professor emeritus.
Dr. Brown designed bookplates, including one for the UNMC library that was used from 1920 until the name changed to Leon S. McGoogan Library of Medicine in 1978.
Born in Canada in 1869, Arthur Charles Stokes, MD, grew up in Rock Rapids, Iowa. He received his medical degree in 1899 after two years of study each at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago and at UNMC. After three years studying medicine abroad, Dr. Stokes returned to UNMC as a faculty member in surgery in 1902. In the 1910s, Dr. Stokes was one of the faculty members tasked with lobbying the Nebraska Legislature for funding to create a new medical campus. Dr. Stokes helped secure the $100,000 needed to purchase the initial campus property at 42nd and Dewey Streets and build the first building (North Laboratory, now Poynter Hall).
As a Lieutenant Colonel, Dr. Stokes enlisted as the director of Base Hospital No. 49, overseeing staffing and management of the facility in Allerey, France. In staffing the hospital, Dr. Stokes reviewed applications for those wishing to serve at the base. Initially consisting of 230 medical personnel, under Dr. Stokes’ leadership the hospital base grew to employ nearly 400 nurses, enlisted men, and officers.
After the war, Dr. Stokes continued to teach surgery at UNMC until his resignation in 1923. In 1931 he was elected to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and served as board president from 1935-1936. Dr. Stokes’ main focus as a regent was to continue to grow the medical center in Omaha, an initiative he supported until his death in 1940.
August Frederick Jonas, MD, was born in Wisconsin in 1858. He started studying medicine at the age of 14 and received his degree from Bennett Medical College in Chicago in 1877. He arrived in Omaha in 1887, where he organized the surgical department at Methodist Hospital and was named chief surgeon. During WWI, Captain Jonas served as special medical aid to the Governor of Nebraska and was chair of the organizational committee for Base Hospital No. 49 and the Omaha Ambulance Company.
Dr. Jonas taught surgery at UNMC from 1898 until his retirement in 1929. He also served as dean from 1898-1902, overseeing the merger of Omaha Medical College with the University of Nebraska. As a professor of surgery, Dr. Jonas relied heavily on medical illustrations in his classes.
From Ogdensburg, NY, Edson Lowell Bridges, MD, received his medical degree at UNMC in 1896. After post-graduate work at Northwestern University and New York Polyclinic, Dr. Bridges became a general practitioner in Wausa, Nebraska. From 1912-1913, he traveled abroad and studied medicine in London, Berlin, and Munich. After his travels, Dr. Bridges joined the UNMC faculty in 1914.
Ranked a Major, Dr. Bridges served as the chief of medical service at Base Hospital No. 49. In this role, Dr. Bridges oversaw communications and coordinating services on the base. In writing back home to the Nebraska State Medical Journal, Dr. Bridges said: “Since the big drive started [the Meuse-Argonne offensive] they [surgical cases] steadily gained on us, and now lead [the medical cases] by a good big margin, which is increased with each train that comes in. At the present moment we have 800 surgical and 600 medical cases with three more trains due in tonight.”
After the war, Dr. Bridges rejoined the faculty as an assistant professor in clinical medicine. In 1923, he was promoted to associate professor and from 1925-1926 he served as chair of the department. He became professor emeritus in 1933. Dr. Bridges was active in several medical societies including the Midwest Medical Clinic Society, the Omaha-Douglas County Medical Society, and the Nebraska State Medical Association. He passed away in 1934.
George Worthington Covey, MD, was born in Forman, North Dakota in 1889. He attended pre-medical training at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before receiving his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1914. Dr. Covey joined the war effort as a Lieutenant in the Medical Relief Corps of the U.S. Army and served as a pathologist at Base Hospital No. 49. Dr. Covey’s work was critical in studying and tracing the highly infectious and deadly 1918 influenza pandemic.
After the war, Dr. Covey remained in service with the Nebraska National Guard Medical Corps as a Captain of Hospital Corps No. 130 and Major in the 110th Medical Regiment, both based in Lincoln. Dr. Covey became chief-of-staff of Lincoln General Hospital (1929-1954) and was president of the Nebraska State Medical Association in 1936.
Born in 1877, Hiram Winnett Orr, MD, came to Nebraska in 1892. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan School of Medicine in 1899. During WWI, Dr. Orr served as a surgeon in the Medical Corps, developing the “Orr method” of using surgery and plaster casts to reduce infection in open and compound fractures. Returning to the states in 1919, he oversaw the medical regiment of the Nebraska National Guard for three years, discharging from the military in 1922 at the rank of Colonel. He was the founder and chief surgeon at the State Orthopedics Hospital, as well as Bryan Memorial Hospital and Lincoln General in Lincoln, Nebraska, until his retirement in 1956.