Biography of Aquilla Toland
Madison County, Ohio Biographies





AQUILLA TOLAND (deceased), was born in Harford County, Maryland, September 26, 1793. His early opportunities afforded him only the common branches of an English education, but later in life he obtained a fair knowledge of Latin. When quite young, he became a pupil of Dr. Luckey, of Baltimore. Maryland, and in 1818 he attended one course of lectures in a University of Maryland. In the same year, an under graduate, he started West to seek a fortune through labor in his profession. After a short tarry in Franklinton, now a part of the City of Columbus, he came to. the then new town of London, in the fall of 1818, and where he continued to reside until his death. On the 11th of April, 1822, Dr. Toland was united in marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Col. Philip Lewis. a full sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work, and to the union were born Francis A. Harford, Aquilla and Jane D. The mother, Mrs. Elizabeth (Lewis) Toland, was born in Adams County, Ohio, October 14, 1805, and is yet numbered among the venerable citizens of London. Although very young. Dr. Toland did duty as a soldier in the war of 1812, serving as a volunteer in the defense of Baltimore, and was in the battle of Stony Point. In the winter of 1836-37, he attended a course of lectures at the Cincinnati Medical College, and received a diploma from the Institution. His practice was not limited to Madison County alone, but extended beyond its boundaries. In the years of 1823-24-25, he undoubtedly had the largest practice of any physician in the county, or perhaps in Central Ohio, and with a supply of instruments superior to that of any other physician in the county, and with a strong liking for that branch of the profession, his superiority as an operative surgeon was soon recognized and conceded. In 1843, he was elected as a Whig, a member of the Lower House of the Legislature. He became a member of the Ohio State Medical Society soon after the organization, and always manifested a lively interest in its meetings. Dr. Toland was not in the ordinary sense of the word a brilliant man, but he was a strong one. His natural good sense, his habit of careful preparation for anything to be undertaken. his pertinacity in following an enterprise to success, together, with his unswerving integrity, were, perhaps, the only principal traits of character that distinguished him. As a physician, he relied greatly upon his own judgment, and while he listened cautiously to suggestions from others, yet rarely adopted any measures that did not correspond with his views of the case. It common with other physicians of his day, he was a strong believer in the use of the lancet in sthenic diseases, and persisted in its use long after the profession generally had to a great degree discarded it. As a surgeon, he was cautious, using great care in determining the propriety of an operation, making no pretension to rapidity or brilliancy as an operator, but rather looking to ultimate success. He had a feeling of fear in the use of chloroform, much stronger than was shared by the profession generally, and rarely consented to submit his patients too complete anesthesia. Although devoted to the profession, Dr. Toland was always interested in every question affecting the interests of his town or neighborhood, and it was mainly through his exertions that the L. M. R. R. was secured to London, a straight line from Xenia to Columbus, and a favorite route with the projectors, carrying it some miles south of that place. He also took an active interest in the building of the Springfield and Columbus Railroad, and was its first President. He was closely identified with the growth of London, and built the first and only public hall in the town. His active life would not seem to have left him much time for literary labors, and yet he has left some valuable contribu tions in the medical journals. In the "Medical and Physical Societies" for February and March, 1837, then conducted by Daniel Drake, we find an interesting case of wound of the intestines and omentum, reported by Dr. Poland. In his long and extensive practice, he acquired a competency. He was economical, and by judicious investment of his early professional profits in real estate, which in later years appreciated rapidly, he died possessed of a large estate. While he was a thorough business man, and attended well to collections, yet he gave liberally of his time and professional skill to the indigent. In fact he never seemed to make any distinction in his attentions between rich and poor. In person, he was tall, and with a bearing that at first impressed one with the idea of haughtiness. He had a massive head, a solid, strong lower face, with heavy brows shading rather small blue gray eyes altogether, a head and face that would attract attention in any group. He was mild and even in his temper, cheerful, fond of society, and of genteel, but rather awkward, address. He was a man of strong attachments, and yet a " good hater," or in other words he cherished his friends, and did not forget his enemies. He was a good conversationalist, but a very ordinary public speaker, in fact we think he very rarely attempted public speaking. His death occurred in London, Ohio, December 30, 1866, at the age of seventy three years, caused by erysipelas of the face and scalp.

From:
History of Madison County, Ohio
Published by: W. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois
1883


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