Biography of Dr. Joseph H. Todd
North Central Ohio Biographies

Joseph H. Todd, M. D., has been a distinguished citizen of Wooster for more than half a century, and throughout his professional career was widely known as an authority in various branches of medicine. He was born Feb. 4, 1937.

The ancestors of Joseph H. Todd on his paternal side were Scotch, Irish and Welch. His maternal ancestors were Dutch and Welch, his mother being a direct descendant of Peter Yokom, who emigrated to America from Holland in 1693 and settled near Philadelphia. His oldest son, John, married Elizabeth DeHaven, and he was killed in service during the Revolutionary War. About this time the name Yokom was changed to Yocum. John Yocum, his son, was born in Pennsylvania, Feb. 14, 1757, and married Mary Evans, at Chester, Pa. He located in York County, Pa., and founded the town of Yocumtown on the Susquehanna River. He removed to Wayne County, Ohio, in 1828. The latter John Yocum was the great grandfather of Joseph H. Todd, his son, Elijah, being the Doctor's grandfather and a local Methodist minister. He married Catherine Wagoner, of Yocumtown, and they were the parents of Caroline Matilda Yocum, who was born in 1813, and who was the mother of Joseph H. Todd.

Capt. James Todd, paternal great grandfather of Joseph H. Todd, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, about 1690, and in 1740 came to America with his wife, who was of Welch descent. They settled at Baltimore, Md., and he became a sea captain and the owner of numerous vessels plying between his home city and Cuba and the Caribbean Sea. He later lived on a farm in York County, Pa. His son, James Todd, was born in 1750, and was the grandfather of Joseph H. Todd. He was a saddler by trade and also a Quaker school teacher. He served as justice of the peace and as a captain of militia. His son, James Todd, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in 1796. After the death of his father in 1828, the younger James Todd came to Ohio and located in Wayne County, where he became well known as a dealer in horses. He was married in 1836 to Caroline Matilda (Yocum) Munhall, a widow. To them were born two children: Joseph H., the subject of this sketch; and Lunette Yocum.

The early life of Joseph H. Todd was spent on his father's farm near Milibrook, where he attended the country schools. He subsequently was a student at Vermillion Institute at Hayesville, Ohio, which at that time was under the presidency of Rev. Saunders Diefendorf, one of the foremost academic educators in the early history of Ohio. He later attended Fredericksburg Academy and in 1861 took up the study of medicine. After the Battle of Gettysburg, in response to the national call for medical aid, although yet a student, Doctor Todd hastened to the scene of that desperate struggle, which afforded him extraordinary opportunity in practical surgery. Here and at Chambersburg and Harrisburg he remained during the summer of 1863, and then proceeded to Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, where he remained during 1863-64. He studied under the direct supervision of Doctor Smith and Dr. Austin Flint, Sr. Later, in 1864, he was a private student of Dr. Frank Hamilton, and the following year received his degree as Doctor of Medicine. In 1869 Doctor Todd was a delegate to the National Medical Society at New Orleans, La., being commissioned by the Wayne County Medical Society.

To further gratify his aspirations to attain the highest possible skill and excellence in the various departments of his profession, Doctor Todd returned to New York City, placing himself under the special supervision of Dr. Austin Flint, Jr. In 1870 he served as assistant to Dr. Flint.

Doctor Todd came to Wooster in 1876 and has always been recognized as the city's leading surgeon. He has been a member of the Wooster Public Health Association since 1892. He was a delegate to the International Medical Congress at Washington, D. C., in 1887, and again in Berlin, Germany, in 1890, at which time he visited all the leading hospitals in Europe in the interest of his profession. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, being chosen in 1892, and was present at the second meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science, being elected a member at that time. Doctor Todd also assisted in the founding of the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society at Columbus in 1881, and is a charter member of that body.

The investigations and researches which have been made by Doctor Todd in the various fields of scientific thought have proven to be most valuable contributions to the institutions of which he is a member.

Doctor Todd married Miss Ophelia Campbell, who died in 1920. She is buried in Wooster Cemetery. Their son, James Campbell Todd, died in 1928. He was a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and became a leading physician and surgeon in the west, being identified with the Gross Medical College at Denver, Colo., where he founded a chair of diagnosis by laboratory methods. He was the author of a number of leading medical books and journals, among which may be mentioned: "Clynical Diagnosis," which was used in practically all leading medical colleges. He is survived by his widow and two daugh ters: Ophelia, who is a graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, lives in New York City; and Edith, a graduate of the University of Colorado.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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