Biography of Dr. John B. McGee
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

JOHN BERNARD McGEE, M. D., whose death on the 10th of February, 1923, brought to a close a life of signal honor and usefulness, had for forty years been recognized as one of the leading physicians and surgeons in the City of Cleveland. As a national authority in the domain of therapeutics he had made large and valuable contribution to the advancement of medical science. Doctor McGee held for many years the chair of thempeutics in the medical department of Ohio Wesleyan University, and it has consistently been stated that he was "widely known f or his scientific attainments, both within and without the strict path of his profession." The noble professional stewardship of Doctor McGee was based not alone on technical knowledge and skill hut also upon an abiding human sympathy that found expression in a loyal service of helpfulness.

Doctor McGee was born in the City of Boston, Massachusetts, on the 3d of July, 1853, and in that state his parents, Peter and Mary A. (Donnelly) McGee, passed their entire lives. The Doctor was doubly orphaned when he was but six years of age, but the loss of his parents did not deprive him of proper fostering care. He profited fully by the advantages of the excellent public schools of his native city, including the Boston Latin School, and there also he gained his initial experience in connection with the drug business. He was eighteen years of age when, in the autumn of 1871, he came to Cleveland, Ohio, where for the ensuing five years he was employed as a pharmacist. This association had an inherent tendency to promote in him a desire for wider activities and led to his preparing himself for the exacting profession in which he was destined to gain both distinction and priority as a practitioner and as an educator. In 1878 Doctor McGee was here graduated from the medical department of Western Reserve University, and he won the honors of his class as well as his degree of Doctor of Medicine. From that year forward until his death Doctor McGee continued in the general practice of his profession in Cleveland, where he built up a practice that was of notably representative order and that attested alike his ability and his secure place in popular confidence and esteem. In 1896 Doctor McGee became professor of therapeutics in the medical department of Ohio Wesleyan University, this medical school being in Cleveland, and his service in this important chair continued until his death. He served also as secretary of the faculty of the school from 1900 until the close of his life.

In addition to the splendid service he rendered in a direct way as an educator Doctor McGee also made large and valuable contribution to the standard and periodical literature of his profession. He ever continued a close student, and his research and investigation were conducted along broad lines. As an authority on therapeutics he was called upon to review many leading medical books and to suggest changes and additions that should tend to enhance their value. He wrote much, and his work along this line is of permanent value in the domain of medical science. His was a life of service, and the intrinsic nobility of the man, as well as the high order of his service, gained to him the high regard and appreciative affection of those with whom he came in contact, no one member of his profession in Cleveland having had a wider circle of loyal friends.

In 1907 Doctor McGee was elected president of the Cleveland Academy of Medicine, and he was one of its most honored and influential members at the time of his death. He was actively identified also with the Ohio State Medical Society, the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Anthropological Association and the Cleveland Medical Library Association. He gave many years of service as attending physician of St. Josephs Orphan Asylum, and was for several years associate editor of the Cleveland Medical Journal. In 1899 the Doctor did post graduate work in leading medical colleges and clinics in Europe, and in every stage of his long and useful career he was the exponent of advanced thought and service in his profession. His range of reading and study covered the best in literature of all kinds, and he was specially interested in genealogy, besides having become an authority on the pedigrees of all famous horses, his love for the horse having been distinctive.

In October, 1884, Doctor McGee wedded Miss Levina Rodgers, of Cleveland, and her death occurred in May of the following year. On the 17th of September, 1892, was solemnized his marriage to Miss Elizabeth Dieter, of Cleveland, who survives him and who still maintains her home in the Ohio metropolis. Of the two children the elder is Eliza M., who is the wife of Richard Wilkins, of Boston, Massachusetts, and the younger daughter is Miss Hilda Jeanette.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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