Danville in Boyle County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Dr. Ephraim McDowell House
The pioneering spirit of Dr. Ephraim McDowell-father of abdominal surgery and most prominent surgeon west of the Alleghenies in the early 19th century-is celebrated today at McDowell House.
On Christmas Day 1809. Dr. McDowell performed the world's first successful ovarian surgery.
Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford, a 46-year old Green County housewife, had been told that she was pregnant with twins. Two doctors had not been able to help her deliver, however Dr. McDowell traveled from Danville to assist. He diagnosed her with a tumor, not a pregnancy and suggested that she come to his home for an experiment.
Using no anesthesia, Dr. McDowell removed a 22 and one-half pound tumor. Mrs. Crawford recovered in 25 days and lived for 32 more years to the age of 78.
Throughout his career, Dr. McDowell performed many surgeries; including one on future United States president, James K. Polk, who traveled from Tennessee to Danville.
Dr. McDowell's house, built Georgian style, has been restored to look as it did during his lifetime. Original McDowell family portraits from the period adorn the walls. Other unique features of the House include the shake roof, reproduction draperies, and a medicinal herb garden similar to the one the McDowells would have tended.
Location. 37° 38.697′ N, 84° 46.262′ W. Marker is in Danville, Kentucky, in Boyle County. Marker is on 2nd. street south of Main Street (Kentucky Route 34, 52), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 169 South 2nd. Street, Danville KY 40422, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ephraim McDowell House (here, next to this marker); African American Business District - Doric Lodge No. 18 (F. & A.M.-P.H.A.) (within shouting distance of this marker); Alban Gilpin Smith Goldsmith (within shouting distance of this marker); First USCT Recruits at Camp Nelson (within shouting distance of this marker); Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Isaac Shelby (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Log Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Science & Medicine • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2014, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 376 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 1, 2014, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. 4. submitted on August 11, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.