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Kansas City Medical College

Kansas City, Missouri



The State Historical Society of Missouri provided the 1895-96 “Announcement” for the school.  The school seal and the building image came from that source. A History of Medicine in Missouri by E. J. Goodwin details the founding of the college. The Kansas City Journal of Commerce and Kansas City Times both covered some school news. 

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Dr. Simeon S. Todd, founder of Kansas City College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Image from Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri."


Kansas City College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded by Dr. Simeon S. Todd and associates in December 1869, the first medical college in the city.  In January, the Journal of Commerce reported that ten students “graced the halls” of the school.  The first commencement of the school in March 1871 graduated nine M.D.’s from the two-year program.


The 1880-81 “Announcement” shows that of the 44 students enrolled that session, 37 were from Kansas or Missouri.  K.C.M.C. became a charter member of the American Medical College Association; in accordance with A.M.C.A. guidelines, the program would be increased to three years in 1882. At that time the name of the school became Kansas City Medical College.

The 1896 “Announcement” shows that enrollment had increased to 122.  In the three-year structure, first-year students spent four hours in didactic lectures with four to six hours in laboratory or dissection work.  Second-year students again spent four yours in didactic lectures with two to four hours in clinical instruction.  Third-year students had only two hours of didactic lectures with four to six hours of clinical practice.

In the commencement address of 1895 students were told that a new physician “should be clean.  He should own "in his own right" a toothbrush.  He should show "familiarity with water.”

Because of increased requirements for national accreditation, the days of an independent medical college such as K.C.M.C. were numbered.  So, In 1905 K.C.M.C. president Robert M. Schauffler arranged for his school to become the upper-level clinical department of the University of Kansas Medical College, which had only a two-year program at the time. 

Bricks and Mortar

Classes began in rented quarters on the fourth floor of what was known as the College Building at the corner of Main and Delaware.  Some time before 1895 the college moved to the Northwest corner of Seventh and Washington.  The 1895 Announcement notes that the building has been rebuilt making it “new and commodious.”  The image shows it to be three stories over a basement with labs and lecture rooms to meet the needs of an enlarged enrollment.  It contained a dispensary for the treatment of walk in patients.  Students had access to five area hospitals for clinical experience.

After the merger, K.C.M.C. moved just across the state line to a new facility at Rosedale, KS.  In 1922 the Seventh and Washington facility was sold to Rubon Wood Finishing and Products Company.  That address now appears to be a parking lot.

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            Team name: Medics

Kansas City Medical College was a relatively small school with a three-year program.  Additionally, all students were tied up for eight hours each day with lectures, lab assignments, and clinical work.  Still, the Medics fielded a competitive football team from 1895 to the merger.   Topeka newspapers claimed that the secret to the team’s success was that players were paid.  According to the Daily Herald one player said that he “could not afford to play. . .for his health.”  The State Journal stated that K.C.M.C. “has been a veritable Sodom and Gomorrah of professionalism.” 


For the most part, the Medics played smaller schools in Kansas (Ottawa, Washburn, St. Mary’s, Haskell, College of Emporia, Midland Lutheran) and Missouri (William Jewell, Central Missouri State, St. Louis University).  But The Medics enjoyed some success playing against today’s B.C.S. schools—Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas State, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Texas, and Oklahoma.  College Football Data Warehouse shows that the football program continued until 1912—long after K.C.M.C. had become part of the University of Kansas.

Note: Images are used in accordance with their “terms of use” as I understand those terms.  Recopying or republishing these images may be restricted or forbidden.

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