Dr. John W. Waughop

From 1897 to 1903, Dr. John W. Waughop (1839-1903) was the government physician on Kauai in charge of the Koloa Hospital and, later, a physician at Lihue and Kealia.

During his six years on Kauai, he also performed special work in the field of tuberculosis for the Hawaii Board of Health.

Born on a small farm in Illinois, Waughop knew from an early age that he wanted an education, and by the time he was 21, he’d studied, worked and saved enough money to enter Eureka College in Illinois in pursuit of his ambition.

He chose medicine as his profession at college, but when the American Civil War erupted, he postponed his plans to become a doctor in order to enlist as a private in the Federal Army in response to President Lincoln’s call for 75,000 men for 90 days service.

The future medical doctor was then sent off to war in Company B, 17th Regiment, Illinois Infantry with about 100 of his fellow volunteer Eureka College classmates and one of his professors.

Private Waughop subsequently re-enlisted and fought Confederate Army forces in the battles of Fort Donaldson, Shiloh and Vicksburg.

Between fighting and whatever other little free time there was available to him as a soldier, he read medical books provided to him by a friend, the brigade surgeon.

Later in the war, he was assigned to the hospital service.

When his term of enlistment ended, he entered the University of Michigan Medical School and completed his medical training at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, New York, graduating in 1865.

Dr. Waughop practiced medicine in Chicago for a year before moving to the Territory of Washington, where he was made Superintendent of the Western Washington Hospital for the Insane, a post he held for 17 years, after which he moved to Kauai.

He died on shipboard in 1903 while traveling from Hawaii to the Mainland.


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