Burger, Jacob
Memorandum Book with Medical Lecture Notes of Dr. Jacob Burger, of Franklin Square, Columbiana County, Ohio, graduate of the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio, 1854-1895

small quarto, 73 manuscript pages, plus blanks, bound in contemporary ¼ leather and marbled paper covered boards, binding, worn, rubbed and scuffed, entries are written in ink, in a legible hand.

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Dr. Jacob Burger (1832-1903)

       Jacob Burger was born in October 1832 in Ohio. Burger’s 1903 death notice in the American Medicine Journal, states that he graduated from the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1856. Eclectic medicine was a branch of American medicine which made use of botanical remedies along with other substances and physical therapy practices, which was popular in the latter half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. The term was coined by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1784-1841), a physician who lived among the Native Americans and observed their use of medicinal plants. Rafinesque used the word eclectic to refer to those physicians who employed whatever was found to be beneficial to their patients.

         Burger is said to have settled at Franklin Square, Columbiana County, Ohio in 1859, where he established a medical practice. In the 1860 Census we find a “Jacob Burger,” physician, enumerated at Salem, Columbiana County. The post office for this area of Salem was “Franklin Square.” We learn also from the 1860 Census information that Burger was married, his wife’s name was Emma. The couple had two children, Sarah, aged 3, and an infant aged three months, who was at the time still unnamed. The family was still living at Franklin Square in 1880, when that census was taken. Burger was listed as a physician surgeon. Dr. Burger spent the rest of his life at Franklin Square engaged in the practice of medicine, he died there of a stroke on January 27, 1903.

       Description of the Memorandum Book

        The first page of the volume bears the inscription “Coroners Witness Fee Certificate The State of Ohio Col. C. 1890.” This note states that “Dr. J. Burger,” acted as a witness and was to receive $ 10.00 for attendance as witness at the inquest of the death of a woman whose death was caused by “violence.”

        The next section of the volume contains a two page discourse on “intellectual powers,” and consists of a disquisition on the “brutishness” of the South Seas Islands people as compared to those “with intellectual powers.” Following this is a fourteen page essay on politics headed: “Resolved: That in times of political discussion it is the duty of every citizen to express his sentiments freely, and attach himself to some party.” This essay was written as the “first debate with the Senior Class, and finished on Saturday morning Oct 7th 1854, Wittenberg College, D. Burger.”

           The above section is followed by a fifty pages with notes on the “Lectures of Prof. King,” consisting of sixteen different medical lectures for the school year of 1855-1856. The lectures were given by Prof. John King (1813-1893) who lectured at the Eclectic Medical Institute in Cincinnati, from which Dr. Burger graduated. King published books on “women’s diseases,” as well as guides to health. He was professor of Obstetrics at the institute. The lectures cover various diseases, their symptoms, treatment, with medical prescriptions.

The final section of the volume includes a twelve page list of names and dates. The first date is 1859, the last year is 1895. There are 276 entries and are presumably the names of his patients of Franklin Square. There are also eight pages of medical recipes scattered throughout the volume.