Dallas Medical College
Dallas Morning News gave some coverage to the Dallas Medical College. UT Southwestern archives have some images of the school. Several medical journals at the time carried ads for or brief news clips from the school. The ad (right) would have been one of the school's last.
“Medicine in Dallas 100 Years Ago” shows that at the end of the 19th century, germ theory was considered a fad while “quinine, the cupping glass and strong emetics were the universal cures.” Physicians were not licensed, so anyone with a top hat could claim to be one. Against bitter opposition from these established physicians, Charles Rossner founded the University of Dallas Medical College in 1900. But by Christmas of that year, a faculty disagreement led to the creation of a new school. On January 23, 1901 Dallas Medical College was chartered with $3,000 in capital stock. An affiliation with Trinity University in nearby Waxahachie led to its being designated the Medical Department of Trinity University. In June of 1901, eight students graduated from the four-year program with degrees in medicine and two more with degrees in pharmacy.
Bricks and Mortar
Advertisements in 1903 begin to mention a new building. The property was the Times-Herald Building at 319 Commerce Street, two doors from City Hall. Featured in the building were “refitted” laboratories “equipped with all modern appliances.” Since, laboratory work was required in chemistry, pharmacy, histology, psychology, bacteriology, and pathology; these labs would have been available. That building has long since been razed to make way for an expressway.
Dallas Medical College was able to take advantage of the group of newer facilities that replaced the wretched 19th century Dallas hospitals. Clinical opportunities for DMC students were provided at the Parkland City Hospital (built 1894), at the Polyclinic Infirmary (built 1897), St. Paul’s Hospital (built 1896) and the Emergency Hospital attached to the Commerce Street building.
A pinterest image of the Times-Herald Building before it became home to Dallas Medical College.
It shares space with a police station.
Colors: Orange and Black
Team name: Medics
In September 1904 Dallas Morning News noted that an “enthusiastic” meeting of football players had been held at Dallas Medical College to organize a team. The notice specifically states that the team meeting was “among the students.” But subsequent notices show that most of the players were “old college men.” This “heavyweight” team was the first for the Dallas area, allowing it to enter the collegiate football ranks.
Coached by Dr. B. D. Choate, the Medics were able to play only three games in 1904. They defeated Fort Worth University 6-4 and the University of Arkansas 5-0 while playing a scoreless draw with Trinity University. Scheduled games with the Fort Worth Elks, Haskell Indians, and the University of Oklahoma were all cancelled for one reason or another.
With the energetic leadership of Dean Hugh McNew, enrollment reached 50 students in October of that year, of which 10 graduated in April 1902. By 1903 DMC was able to sever its relationship with Trinity University and to advertise itself as “the largest medical college in the Great Southwest.” Also in 1903, a dental department was added. Although fees were described as “somewhat higher than is customary,” enrollment reached 219 with 35 graduates in March 1904. However, that same year the Chickasaw Medical Association in Oklahoma refused to recognize degrees from DMC, a decision upheld in courts.
In 1902 Baylor University purchased the University of Dallas Medical College and moved its own medical department to Dallas. In November 1904 the deans of Baylor and Dallas Medical College reached an agreement consolidating the two schools. Baylor received the charter and good will of Dallas Medical College. Some DMC students “undoubtedly transferred to Baylor.” At that point the history of Dallas Medical College ended.
Other than commencement notices, the only newspaper coverage of DMC was the annual banquet of students and faculty.
Three Dallas Medical College students with a skeleton. Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Archives.