The Definitive Dwiggins no. 94—W.A. Dwiggins’ Birth and Childhood (1880–1889)

Map of The City of RIchmond, Indiana 1884 (Boston: C.H. Bailey & Co., 1884).

Map of The City of Richmond, Indiana 1884 (Boston: C.H. Bailey & Co., 1884).

Moses and Eva Dwiggins were from differing religious faiths and, even after their marriage, continued to worship separately. Moses was a Quaker in good standing at the time of his death, which was recorded in the archives of the Whitewater Monthly Meeting. [1]  Typically, the entry makes no mention of his non-Quaker wife and child. Their respective families—including Rev. Siegfried—seemed to have accepted their interfaith marriage. Eva’s father, contrary to expectations, was apparently open-minded about other religions. Not only was he part of the non-denominational Temperance movement in Clinton County in the 1870s, but he preached to non-Baptist churches and chaired several interfaith Clinton County Sabbath School meetings. [2]

Dr. Dwiggins’ fortunes appeared to improve after his marriage to Eva. In July 1879 Gouger wrote that, “Dr. Dwiggins is becoming very popular in this section [Martinsville].” Then, just as it looked as if Moses had successfully established himself vis-a-vis Dr. Gould, another rival appeared on the scene. Dr. Phillip Cole moved to Martinsville that October. Two months later Gouger reported that Dr. Cole was “ingrafting himself in the estimation of the people”—but that “Dr. Dwiggins holds the fort.” [3] In early 1880 Dr. Dwiggins, continued to solidify his practice—he had joined the Clinton County Medical Society—”gaining in popular favor” in Gouger’s words. One measure of his acceptance can be judged from an incident that occurred in May when Moses, according to an account in The Clinton Republican, “was so unfortunate… as to lose his mare, a faithful beast that has been to him an almost indispensable helper in his business.” To a rural doctor the loss of his horse was a potentially damaging blow, but, as Moses wrote, “Before I had time to realize that I was ‘broke’, my friends removed the pressure by presenting me with another horse.” [4] The pressure on Moses was great since Eva was eight months pregnant at the time. [5]

The Local Intelligence column of the July 2, 1880 issue of The Wilmington Journal contained the cryptic news that, “Dr. Dwiggins, of Martinsville, has a new medical student. His name is Dr. Dwiggins, Jr.” The oblique reference was to the birth on June 19th of Moses and Eva’s first—and only—child. Rev. Siegfried wrote in his diary:

1880 Mon. June 21: Week opened favorably for harvest. Warm. Posting and preparing several things. Received word of Eva’s safe deliverance of son born Sat. evening. All doing well. Wrote some letters, and preparing for study. Made some calls in evening. Attended encampment at night. [6] The child was named William Addison Dwiggins. [7]

Six months after WAD’s birth, Dr. Dwiggins—despite the encouraging signs of success in his practice—moved his family to Richmond, Indiana, some eighty miles away on the Ohio border, to form a partnership with Dr. Edwin Hadley. “This business venture on the part of Dr. Dwiggins came about in rather a singular manner,” wrote The Wilmington Journal in its December 8, 1880 Local Intelligence column.

It appears that Dr. Hadley is getting old and unable to attend to his large practice. He had a patient at Richmond who, during treatment, moved to Martinsville, or near that place, and who fell into the hands of Dr. Dwiggins for further medical aid. He was extremely successful in the case. The matter got to the ears of Dr. Hadley who immediately wrote Dr. Dwiggins to come to Richmond to take charge of his practice. The Doctor went to Richmond several weeks ago to see what he thought of the outlook. He came home to wind up his affairs and has now gone for good. His family will follow him this week. [8]

Despite the newspaper’s prediction, Eva and her infant son did not leave for Richmond until the week before Christmas. [9]

Dr. Edwin Hadley (1826–1890) was from Clinton County originally. He was the older brother of William C. Hadley, the father of Eugene S. Hadley who was married to Eva Dwiggins’ sister Ella. Thus, it is highly likely that Moses and Dr. Hadley had some passing acquaintance prior to the 1880 incident. Dr. Hadley moved to Richmond (and the Whitewater Meeting House) in 1865. [10] The Hadley and Dwiggins families socialized together during the brief partnership of the two doctors. [11]

The details of the partnership between Dr. Hadley and Dr. Dwiggins are unclear. In 1881 Dr. Dwiggins had an office at his home at 114 South 12th Street while Dr. Hadley had an office at 1111 South A Street, next door to his residence. Yet only Dr. Hadley was included in the business section of the Richmond directories, suggesting that Dr. Dwiggins was not yet practicing on his own but working with the older doctor. [12] A year later Dr. Hadley was stricken with paralysis and forced to discontinue his large practice. Whether he inherited Dr. Hadley’s patients or not, Moses had become established enough to move his office—still combined with his residence—closer to the center of town in the spring of 1882. The sign he commissioned for his practice became a source of local amusement as the young sign painter made a spelling error:

A funny pun was got off in front of Dr. Dwiggins’ this morning. Egbert had just painted medicus a new gilt sign, and it was very pretty, but by some oversight the “D” was left off of the word Dwiggins. Egbert looked at it a minute and then broke out around the mouth in an awful way. A bystander spoke up with: “Do you know why that reminds me of a lady with paint on her face?” “No,” “Why, one is a d—d shame, and the other is a sham dame.” [13]

Despite the errant sign, Moses’ practice was gaining strength. In 1882 he earned $1505. Early in the next year he became certified as a medical examiner for the National Life Association of Columbus, Ohio, providing him with an additional source of income. [14]

When Moses moved to Richmond he joined the Wayne County Medical Association whose membership included the city and surrounding area. But he did not become actively involved in the organization until 1884, indicating that he had not felt firmly established before then. In May of that year, the association, calling him “one of our livest young physicians”, nominated him to the Board of Health. His growing reputation was solidified the following year when he delivered a series of talks to the medical society—including one entitled “Limbs vs. Sawbones” [15] By 1888, he had become an established member of the community, regularly cited in the The Richmond Item for his medical activities, ranging from helping people who ate poisonous mushrooms to assisting another doctor remove an eyeball. One sign of his increasing prominence was a paper he read before the Tuesday Club “showing the folly of the claims of the Christian Scientists.” At some point Moses  joined Webb Lodge no. 24 of the Free and Accepted Masons, an important vehicle for social advancement. [16]

Undated prescription by Dr. Moses F. Dwiggins. Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Undated homeopathic prescription* by Dr. Moses F. Dwiggins. Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Advertisement for Wampler, the Druggist at 730 Main Street (1885). From Kramer Publishing and Advertising Company's City Directory of Richmond, Indiana 1885–1886… (Lafayette, Indiana: Kramer Publishing and Advertising Co., 1885), p. 352.

Advertisement for Wampler, the Druggist at 730 Main Street (1885). From Kramer Publishing and Advertising Company’s City Directory of Richmond, Indiana 1885–1886… (Lafayette, Indiana: Kramer Publishing and Advertising Co., 1885), p. 352.

Eva S. Dwiggins' organ (stripped of its superstructure). Photograph by Richard Benson (1970s). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Eva S. Dwiggins’ organ (stripped of its superstructure). Photograph by Richard Benson (1970s). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Eva undoubtedly helped out Moses in his practice, doing clerical and other office work for him; an arrangement that was common in the 19th century, especially for a doctor with a home office. [17] At the same time she was busy with church affairs and musical activities—in addition to taking care of Willie, as WAD was known as a child. Eva participated in programs of the Christian Church, women’s meetings at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church and the YMCA, and benefits for the poor. She sang and played the organ for Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, the YMCA, the Knights of Pythias and others. One of her performances, probably a solo event, was described as a “grand concert.” [18] Eva was so popular as an organist that several churches vied for her services. Grace Church offered her $300 per year in 1887. [19]

Moses and Eva visited their families in Clinton County, Ohio and their families visited them in Richmond on a frequent basis. The social columns of the newspapers in both Wilmington and Richmond chronicled many of the visits back and forth (e.g. “Misses Carrie Siegfried and Lizzie Dwiggins spent last Saturday and Sunday in Martinsville, the guests of Mrs. Dr. Dwiggins.”) One visit in August 1881 may have been a harbinger of things to come. “Dr. M.F. Dwiggins and wife, of Richmond, Ind., are back at their old home again visiting friends and relatives,” said The Clinton Democrat, “The Doctor has not been in as good health as he could hope for, but is enjoying a state of improvement.” [20]

James, Moses’ younger brother, visited twice in November 1882, presumably scouting out job opportunities in Richmond. The following year he and his wife Sallie moved to Richmond, sharing the house at 202 North 8th Street with Moses, Eva and Willie. James worked as an insurance solicitor for Samuel Bellis, one of the founders of The Provident Life Association. He and Sallie found their own place a year or so later before moving in May 1885 to Cincinnati. [21]

Moses and Eva’s home was also the site of two marriages involving family members. Moses’ younger sister Lizzie was married to William A. O’Neall of Waynesville in their parlor on December 17, 1884; and Ida M. Elster, a niece on Eva’s side of the family, and William Neall were married by the Rev. B.Y. Siegfried at their home in November 1885. The Richmond Item reported that a “sumptuous repast” for the guests followed the ceremony. [22]

Moses, Eva and Willie Dwiggins (c.1883). Photograph by G.W. Stigleman, Jr. (Richmond, Indiana). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Moses, Eva and Willie Dwiggins (c.1886–1887). Photograph by G.W. Stigleman, Jr. & Bro. (Richmond, Indiana). Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Outwardly all seemed to be going well for Dr. Dwiggins and his family, other than the loss of a “fine driving horse” to colic. [23] But, in fact, Moses’ health was becoming a serious concern—though he did not know what the problem was until 1886 or so. The following June he wrote his father, “I am satisfied that my trouble dates back to the time I was overcome with heat in Uncle Robert’s wheat field….” After working very hard, Moses had collapsed. “I was so prostrate I couldn’t work, I went to town and a drug clerk gave me a bottle of sweet spirits of mitre,” he continued, “and that started my kidneys, and cured me in a short time, I did not then know what the matter was, but I now know that I was in great danger of dieing [sic] from uraemic poisoning.” [24] What Moses suffered from was Bright’s Disease (now known as adult-onset diabetes)—an incurable disease in the 19th century.

Coping with the disease—trying to delay the inevitable—brought out the best in Moses’ medical skills. A contemporary account described Moses’ predicament and the special diet he fashioned for himself:

He [Dr. Dwiggins] is one of the younger physicians [in Richmond], a man who has made a success of practice, has a charming family, and wants to live. Some three years ago [1886 or earlier] he found himself affected with diabetes. He knew that anything with sugar or starch in it, aggravated the disease, and if he persisted in eating articles of such a nature, death was simply a question of time. His safety lay in eating meats, and the few vegetables a diabetic liver is not offended at. But unfortunately, many of these few vegetables do not agree with him, and so his diet is wholly of meats. Roasts, steaks, cutlets, three times a day, twenty-one meals in a week!… His drink is water. He does not feel as strong as he used to be, but otherwise he is perfectly well, and does a large amount of work day and night, as a successful doctor must do. He is making a gallant struggle, is a winner and may yet reach the allotted score of man. [25]

Indeed, Moses’ all-meat diet—while succeeding in controlling his diabetes—had caused him to lose weight and, consequently, strength. Yet, Moses felt himself to be in excellent health, writing to Zimri in October 1887, “…I never felt better in my life, I am much lighter than I was a year ago, not so much belly; but I feel better for it, I don’t get much physical exercise.” [26]

Moses’ battle with diabetes took more than a physical toll on him; it affected his practice. “This year [1887] has been behind last nearly all through,” he wrote in the same letter to Zimri, “so far as work is concerned, there has been very little sickness consequently bills have been small, my percent of cash is better than ever. I will only loose [sic] a small portion of my bills, but they are little ones. I am going to be pushed for money before the year is out.” [27] (Despite his worsening financial situation Moses was still able to find some humor in it, considering it fortunate that he ate only meat since the butcher owed him money.)

Moses was still in economic straits in November 1889. Early that year he had been forced by his landlord to move his house (and his office) a block away; and to do the renovations on the new office himself. [28] But Moses attributed his problems primarily to the fact that there were too many doctors in a city that still had too little sickness. [29] And he had a valid point: for a doctor Richmond was very competitive—even if not as cut-throat as Martinsville. In 1880—prior to Moses’ arrival—there were thirty-two physicians among its population of 12,749. Three years later the population had boomed to 17,323 and the number of physicians (now including Moses) had increased to thirty-eight. The general population and the medical population continued to climb together throughout the decade and by 1889 there were 44 doctors in town. [30]

Moses’ economic difficulties and his physical difficulties were closely entwined, as he himself realized. In July 1889 he presciently wrote to his father that “…the thing which worries me is what will become of the others when I am a burden—a thing—or time which is inevitable, unless I am caught by pneumonia, or acute trouble like it.” [31] The letter was written from Clarion, Michigan—a small town situated several miles south of Petoskey along the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad—where Moses had gone to take a cure for some unspecified intestinal troubles. The cure worked, but the lack of fresh meat and the mid-summer heat combined to produce a recurrence of his diabetic trouble for a short time. Although Moses had successfully managed to control his diabetes for several years, it was a delicate balancing act that was always in danger of being upset by other physical ailments or even the stress induced by financial troubles.

In the winter of 1889/1890—a harsh one across the country—Moses’ fears of pneumonia came true. Just after Thanksgiving, in a postcard to Zimri, he wrote that:

Willie is sick, his illness has culminated in a severe attack of pneumonia, it has only developed in the last 24 hours, and the inflamation [sic] is limited to the lower portions of the left lung, there is no telling where the limit will be, if may involve the whole lung, and jump to the other; if it should be extensive we have a big fight on our hands for he has been sick now two weeks and is poorly able to combat such a severe disease as pneumonia.

If Willie becomes as bad as he is likely to we will become very uneasy about him, I commenced giving him whisky & milk tonight, We have had a time to get him to take milk, but he has come to it, he don’t know he has taken any whiskey, and don’t expect to tell him, When he finds he is very sick, he will do any thing I want him to. [32]

The whiskey must have worked since Willie quickly pulled through. [33] But a little more than a month later, Moses himself came down with pneumonia. Already weakenend by his restricted diet and another flare-up of his diabetes, the pneumonia proved fatal to Dr. Dwiggins. [34]

Early in 1890, Rev. Siegfried wrote in his diary: “1890 Fri. Jan. 3: The ‘Russian Grippe’ is prevailing over this country and extending into every city and town.” In subsequent entries he noted that many in the East were dying from influenza and others from pneumonia. By the middle of the month Eva had written to say that “La Grippe” had reached Richmond and that the situation was very bad. [35] Events moved swiftly after that.”For over three years Dr. Dwiggins has been fighting for life against diabetes, which was killing him inch by inch,” wrote one of the local Richmond newspapers. “No morsel of food with starch or sugar in it could pass his lips for his very life. He lived wholly on a meat diet, the most succulent and tempting vegetables being denied him. With love of wife and child before him, he bore up patiently and bravely, and friends watched the gallant but unequal combat with admiration. Daily he grew weaker, but he kept as closely, indeed, even more closely at work, than was best for him. And when last Wednesday [January 15, 1890] la grippe struck him, it found him so debilitated as to offer a fatal opportunity. Congestion of the lungs then set in, his case became alarming and with a doctor’s fatal prescience at 10 o’clock in the evening he said to Dr. [James F.] Hibberd: ‘Doctor, I am dying of congestion of the lungs. Is that not so?’ Dr. Hibberd could only maintain silence, knowing the truth. He became unconscious at 11 p.m., and at 4 in the morning the spirit left the body, surrounded by his distracted wife, the physician and Mr. Hamlin Lemon.” [36]. At his death Dr. Moses F. Dwiggins was three months shy of his thirty-eighth birthday.

Moses Dwiggins (c.1889). Photographer unknown. Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

Moses Dwiggins (c.1889). Photographer unknown. Courtesy Special Collections, Boston Public Library.

1. Encyclopedia of American Genealogy, vol. VII: Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana, Part One edited by Willard Heiss (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1962), p. 20.
2. For examples see The Clinton Republican, 20 April 1871; and 19 October 1871 and 26 October 1871 (microfilm, roll no. 13961 The Clinton Republican from from November 17, 1870 to September 14, 1876; Ohio Historical Society).
3. The Wilmington Journal, 23 July 1879, 8 October 1879, 17 December 1879 (microfilm roll no. 42049 / J4 The Wilmington Journal July 4, 1877 to December 31, 1879; Ohio Historical Society).
4. The Clinton Republican, 13 May 1880 (microfilm, roll no. 13962 The Clinton Republican from September 21, 1876 to November 17, 1881; Ohio Historical Society). The account in the newspaper was apparently based on a letter written by Moses Dwiggins to the editor.
5. In mid-April Carrie Siegfried and Lizzie Dwiggins had traveled together to visit Moses and the pregnant Eva. The Wilmington Journal, 28 April 1880 and 9 June 1880 (microfilm, roll no. 13968 The Wilmington Journal April 30, 1879 to April 27, 1881; Ohio Historical Society).
6. Rev. Siegfried was not present at WAD’s birth. The religious encampment he was at is not identified in the diary but may have been at New Vienna, eleven miles east of Martinsville. Although the weather at the encampment may have been calm, elsewhere in Clinton County there were tornados that day (and the week before). See The Clinton Democrat, 18 June 1880 (microfilm, roll no. 42067 The Clinton County Democrat from May 21, 1880 to December 29, 1882; Ohio Historical Society) and The Clinton Republican, 24 June 1880 (microfilm, roll no. 13962 The Clinton Republican from September 21, 1876 to November 17, 1881; Ohio Historical Society). The “diary” of Rev. Siegfried is actually a comb-bound, typescript of excerpts (from 1880 to 1897) that Dorothy Abbe prepared in 1970. (See the entry for 20 August 1970 in her day book for 1968–1972 Folder 2, Box 12, 2001 Dorothy Abbe Collection, Boston Public Library.) The typescript is in Folder 2, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. The whereabouts of the original (and complete) diary are unknown. This diary excerpt is the only record of WAD’s birth. He is not in the 1880 census nor in the 1868-1890 Probate Records in the Clinton County Courthouse in Wilmington. Although the enumerator for the 1880 United States Census went through Clark Township between June 1 and June 23, he began his task with Martinsville on June 1, nearly three weeks before WAD was born. His omission from the census is due to the census rules which state (capitalization in the text): “Note B—All persons will be included in the Enumeration who were living on the 1st day of June, 1880. No others will. Children BORN SINCE June 1, 1880 will be OMITTED. Members of Families who have DIED SINCE June 1, 1880 will be INCLUDED.” See p. 4 which includes Moses F. Dwiggins and Eva S. Dwiggins. The Surrogate Court clerk made a canvass once a year through the county recording births and deaths. He may have come through Martinsville earlier in the year and then—because Moses had moved his family to Richmond, Indiana in the interim—missed WAD in the 1881 canvass. It is also possible that WAD’s birth was missed because the court changed its manner of recordkeeping that year from alphabetical by entry date to chronological. See email 25 July 2003 from Sharon L. Lane, Clinton County (Ohio) Archivist and Records Manager.
7. WAD received his middle name from his mother’s oldest brother, but the source of his first name is unknown.
8. The Wilmington Journal, 8 December 1880 (microfilm, roll no. 13968 The Wilmington Journal from April 30, 1879 to April 27, 1881; Ohio Historical Society). Also see The Wilmington Journal, 3 November 1880; and The Clinton Republican, 9 December 1880  (microfilm, roll no. 13962 The Clinton Republican from September 21, 1876 to November 17, 1881; Ohio Historical Society).
9. See Gouger in The Wilmington Journal, 22 December 1880 (microfilm, roll no. 13968 The Wilmington Journal from April 30, 1879 to April 27, 1881; Ohio Historical Society). Previous biographies of WAD have erroneously said that he moved to Richmond in September 1880. Also see Archives for Dover Monthly Meeting, pp. 56–57 (microfilm, Wilmington College Library) for records of Moses’ move from the Dover Meeting House in Clinton County to the Whitewater Meeting House in Wayne County, Indiana. Mabel Dwiggins mistakenly claimed that the family moved to Richmond in September 1880; and that Moses was “given a medical practice” there. Unfortunately her account has been accepted by others. See the manuscript “Biography of WAD: Second Section—Boyhood. For MSS Club Feb. 1, ’58” by Mabel Dwiggins. Folder 1, Box 8, C.H. Griffith Papers, Margaret King Library, University of Kentucky, p. 1.
10. Encyclopedia of American Genealogy vol. V Ohio by William Wade Hinshaw (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973, 1994; originally published 1938 and 1946 Ann Arbor), pp. 63, 565 and 567.
11. For example, see The Clinton Republican, 18 August 1881 (microfilm no. 13962, The Clinton Republican from September 21, 1876 to November 17, 1881; Ohio Historical Society).
12. See both Urquhart’s Directory of Richmond, Indiana, 1881–82… vol. II by William A. Urquhart (Richmond, Indiana: Daily Palladium Steam Printing House, 1881) and Bond’s City Directory of Richmond, Wayne Co., Ind. 1881–’82… by Charles F. Bond (Richmond, Indiana: M. Cullaton & Co., [1881]). In Urquhart’s Directory for 1879–1880 Dr. Hadley’s office and residence—located on Walnut Street east of Eighth Street—were one and the same. His decision to open an office separate from his home in 1881 may have been one step in establishing the partnership with Dr. Dwiggins.
13. Obituary of Dr. Edwin Hadley, The [Richmond] Evening Item, 13 October 1890 (microfilm, Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond). Moses Dwiggins’ office and residence were at 202 North 8th Street by 1883; and, for the first time, he had a telephone. Richmond City Directory for 1883–84: Comprising a List of the Inhabitants of the City and Suburbs Above the Age of Fifteen Years together with a Classified Business Directory, and Other Useful Information compiled by M. Cullaton & Co. (Richmond, Indiana: M. Cullaton & Co., 1883). From 1883 to June 1884 Moses and Eva shared their house with James and Sallie Dwiggins as well as Moses’ office. See the Cullaton Directory 1884–1885 and The [Richmond] Evening Item, 11 June 1884 (microfilm, Morrison-Reeves Library). The assertion that the move occurred as early as the spring of 1882 is based on this news item from The Richmond Item 16 March 1882, p. 1.
14. Folder 6, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. Moses’ assocation with the insurer did not last many years since it appears to have folded by 1889. See Wiggins’ Columbus City Directory 1887–8.; and the Account book of M.F. Dwiggins 22 December 1881–31 December 1882. Folder 2, Box 34, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. As a comparison to Dr. Dwiggins’ annual income for 1882, the salary of the Mayor of Richmond that year was $1400. Richmond City Directory for 1883–84: Comprising a List of the Inhabitants of the City and Suburbs Above the Age of Fifteen Years together with a Classified Business Directory, and Other Useful Information (Richmond, Indiana: M. Cullaton & Co., 1883). For some insight into Moses Dwiggins’ practice as a doctor see the account book pages—used later by WAD as drawing paper—in Folder 2, Box 34, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. They are from 1882 and have entries for patients: e.g. for Carey McWhinney the entries include “[July] 12 By cash $3.00″—paying for a series of previous visits—and “[July] 31 by Mdse [merchandise] .50”. WAD’s drawing on that page is of a “Disappearing Gun-Carriage”.
15. See The Richmond Telegram, 15 September 1881 (microfilm, The Richmond Telegram; Richmond Public Library) and The Richmond Evening Item, 21 May 1884 (microfilm, The Richmond Evening Item; Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond). Moses’ talks to the medical society took place on 12 January, 14 and 16 April, 12 and 20 June, and 13 November 1885; see The Richmond Evening Item, 14 January 1885, 15 April 1885, 22 April 1885, 17 June 1885, 24 June 1885 and 18 November 1885 (microfilm, The Richmond Evening Item; Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond) for details.
16. For the talk on Christian Science see The Richmond Item 4 April 1888, p. 1. For Moses’ activities as a Mason see Folder 7, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library contains Moses Dwiggins’ Masonic Lodge Book for 1887. He participated in the lodge’s programs, including one in which the “Grand-Final Bust-up… Last Heat, Home Stretch” was performed by “Little Mose Dwiggins.”
17. William G. Rothstein says that doctor’s wives often acted as secretary, bookkeeper and nurse. American Medical Schools and the Practice of Medicine: A History by William G. Rothstein (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 68.
18. For examples of Eva Dwiggins’ religious activities see The Richmond Evening Item, 25 February 1885, 4 March 1885, 3 June 1885 (microfilm, The Richmond Evening Item; Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond; for examples of her musical activities see The Richmond Evening Item, 5 March 1884, 8 October 1884, 12 November 1884, 18 February 1885, 25 February 1885, 1 July 1885, 30 December 1885 and 6 January 1886 (microfilm, The Richmond Evening Item; Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond). Eva was a Baptist—presumably she worshipped at the First Baptist Church. Her musical performances at other local churches brought in added income to the household and did not represent any change in her faith. She may have performed for the Knights of Pythias because Moses was a member. See Transactions of the Indiana State Medical Society 1890: Forty-First Annual Session Held in Indianapolis, May 14 and 15, 1890 (Indianapolis: Wm. B. Burford, Printer and Binder, 1890), p. 161.
19. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 27 October 1887. Folder 9, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
20. See The Wilmington Journal 28 April 1880; and The Clinton Republican 19 August 1881. Notices of several other visits, including one of several weeks by Lizzie Dwiggins to Moses and Eva in the summer of 1881, can be found in The Clinton Democrat 8 April 1881, 22 July 1881, and 23 June 1882; The Richmond Evening Item 22 November 1882, 11 July 1882, and 18 October 1883.
21. Richmond City Directory for 1883–84: Comprising a List of the Inhabitants of the City and Suburbs Above the Age of Fifteen Years together with a Classified Business Directory, and Other Useful Information (Richmond, Indiana: M. Cullaton & Co., 1883); Kramer Publishing and Advertising Company’s City Directory of Richmond, Indiana 1885–1886… and Wayne County vol. I (Lafayette, Indiana: Kramer Publishing and Advertising Co., 1885); and The Richmond Evening Item 28 May 1885.
22. See The Wilmington Journal 24 December 1884, p. 3; and 11 November 1885 respectively. Ida M. Elster was the daughter of Emma Siegfried (Eva’s older sister) and A.C. Elster. After Emma died in 1867, Ida ended up living with William and Margaret Hague. In the 1880 United States Census she is listed as adopted. For Emma’s death see the newspaper clipping in the Sunday School scrapbook in Folder 1, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. What happened to A.C. Elster is unclear as he cannot be found in any of the databases, though he does appear in The Highland Weekly News of Hillsborough, Highland County in 1871.
23. See The Richmond Item 22 November 1886, p. 4.
24. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 20 June 1887; Folder 7, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. The incident in “Uncle Robert’s wheat-field” must have taken place while Moses was still a teenager. (N.B. this letter implies that Robert J. Dwiggins was Zimri’s brother though—as indicated in earlier notes—there is no genealogical evidence directly linking the two men.)
25. “Will Power.” Typescript of an undated, unidentified article. Folder 1, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. Since Dr. Dwiggins died in early 1890 the article had to have been written in 1889 or earlier; thus Dr. Dwiggins’ regimen had to have begun no later than 1886. Local newspaper references to Dr. Dwiggins note that he was skating in late December 1884 which suggests he was feeling fit then; and that he suffered from an unspecified illness in September 1885. See The Richmond Evening Item, 31 December 1884 and 5 September 1885 (microfilm, The Richmond Evening Item; Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond). Thus, it is most likely that he diagnosed himself sometime in late 1885 or early 1886. Either way, previous accounts citing 1887 as the year Moses Dwiggins became diabetic are clearly inaccurate.
26. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 27 October 1887. Folder 9, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. This letter implies that Moses Dwiggins began his diet in 1886.
27. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 27 October 1887. Folder 9, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
28. Dr. Dwiggins’ new home/office was located at 31 North 9th Street. His new landlord proved to be worse than the old one. Dr. Dwiggins described him as “one of the meanest, grinding kind of men: he would almost let a house rot down before he would spend a dollar repairing.” Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 29 March 1889. Folder 14, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
29. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 29 November 1889. Folder 17, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
30. See the Richmond city directories for 1879–1880, 1883–1884 and 1891–1892 published by M. Cullaton & Co. for the city’s changing population and lists of its physicians. In the city directory for 1888–1889 the salaries of public officials were lower than in previous years which suggests that Richmond may have been experiencing a general economic downturn.
31. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 28 July 1889. Folder 16, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. The Richmond Item 12 August 1889, p. 1 announced that Moses had returned from Petoskey where he had gone for his health. Despite Moses’ worries, he was earning $3000 from his practice in 1889. See the unidentified newspaper clipping in note 32.
32. Moses Dwiggins to Zimri Dwiggins 29 November 1889. Folder 17, Box 27, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
33. Diary of Rev. B.Y. Siegfried. Folder 2, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. See entry for December 1, 1889 in which he received a letter from his daughter “saying that Willie was quite sick after our leaving them [after celebrating Thanksgiving Day]. Is better now.”
34. See entry for November 6, 1889 in diary of Rev. B.Y. Siegfried. Folder 2, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
35. See entries for 3 January 1890, 9 January 1890, 13 January 1890, 14 January 1890 and 17 January 1890 in the diary of Rev. B.Y. Siegfried. Folder 2, Box 25, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. The influenza epidemic began in Paris in late 1889, spread to England and from there to the United States and Canada by January 1890. In this country the flu was reported as as far west as Nebraska, as far north as Minnesota, and as far south as Tennessee. From January 3 to 11, 1890 “la grippe,” as it was nicknamed, was front page news in The New York Times. It continued to be an important story for the remainder of the month, often buried on p. 5 but occasionally resurfacing on the front page. The severity of the epidemic can be judged from a few random statistics reported by The New York Times: from January 1 to 11 the death toll in New York City from pneumonia, consumption, bronchitis and Bright’s Disease was double that of the previous five-year average for the same period; and in Paris 198 people reportedly died in one day from complications of the flu. Some New Yorkers were even reported as having committed suicide because of the flu! (See The New York Times, 3 January 1890). For a local perspective on “la grippe” see The Richmond Telegram, 20 January 1890 and 24 January 1890 (microfilm, Morrison-Reeves Library, Richmond).
36. Unidentified newspaper clipping in envelope marked Dwiggins Family. Clinton County Genealogical Society, Wilmington, Ohio. The article is not from The Richmond Evening Item whose account of Dr. Dwiggins’ death appeared 20 January 1890. It listed the cause of death as “a complication of la grippe and Bright’s disease.” Bright’s disease, nephritis of the kidneys, was—with pneumonia, bronchitis and consumption—one of the common side effects of the 1889/1890 influenza epidemic. It is caused by extensive and sudden chills that cause internal congestion. See Dieting, Diabetes and Bright’s Disease by R.L. Alsaker (New York: Frank E. Morrison, Publisher, 1917), pp. 62-65. Dr. Hibberd’s home/office was nearby at 102 North 8th Street. He wrote the obituary of Moses that appeared in the Transactions of the Indiana State Medical Society for 1890. Hamlin T. Lemon was a traveling salesman for the family-owned Richmond City Mill Works. (Perhaps he was present on behalf of the Masons.) See Emerson’s City Directory of Richmond, Ind., 1890–91… (Richmond: M. Cullaton & Co., 1890).

*The prescription is for “Fld. Ext. [fluid extract] Sanguin. can. [Sanguinaria canadensis] MX / Fld. Ext. Grindelia  R, ZV / Syr. Prun virg. [Syrupus Pruni Virginianae] ad. Z [?—should be IV] / Sig. Teaspoonful once in 3 hours [.]” For more information on prescription writing see Lessons in Pharmaceutical Latin and Prescription Writing and Interpretation by Hugh C. Muldoon (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and London: Chapman & Hall, Limited, 1916).