The mission of the Columbia Medical Society is to improve the profession of medicine through education, empowerment, support and information that builds knowledge, skill levels, and camaraderie among all physicians in the Midlands.


John L. Manning was Governor of South Carolina. Columbia was growing and prosperity was evident in the handsome homes being built. The beautiful State House was being constructed of Carolina granite and horsedrawn carriages made their way down unpaved gaslit streets.

On Monday, March 13, 1854, a meeting of the physicians of Columbia was held at the Town Hall. Those present were

D.H. Trezevant
R.W. Gibbes, Sr.
A.H. Nagel
J.H. Boatwright
Joseph C. Crane

A.W. Kennedy
J.H. Thompson
L. Huot
T.H. Wade
W.P. Geiger

T.J. Goodwyn
A.N. Talley
J. McF. Gaston
J.W. Powell
W. Reynolds

Dr. Trezevant was called to the chair and Dr. Gibbes requested to act as Secretary. The meeting was then organized and Dr. Gibbes offered the following resolutions which were unanimously agreed to:

Resolved: That it is expedient and important that a Medical Society should exist in Columbia.

Resolved: That we proceed to its organization.

Dr. Gibbes then submitted a draft of a Constitution which was read, and after a few amendments, was adopted. Thus the Medical Society of Columbia was organized.

The objectives of this Society shall be “the advancement of medical knowledge, the elevation of professional character, the protection of the interest of its members, the extension of all measures adapted to the relief of suffering, and the promotion of means to improve the health and protect the lives of the community.”

The picture grew dark with the coming of the Civil War, and on the memorable 17th of February 1865 the beautiful city of Columbia was almost totally destroyed by General Sherman’s army. The books containing the minutes and proceedings of the Medical Society of Columbia were destroyed in the conflagration as well as the dwelling offices of every physician, except two.

Again, the physicians of Columbia met together on May 23, 1865, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon at Shiver House which was located at the southwest corner of Gadsden and Laurel Streets, to try to pick up the pieces and continue the Society which they had begun.

Following the war, Columbia was to experience the most tragic years in history – the period of want, devastation, disease, depravation and poverty…

Throughout the years, the Columbia Medical Society has continued to maintain the “spirit of progressiveness” and to uphold its objectives.

The minutes of the Columbia Medical Society, 1854-1937 are in the South Carolinian Library on the historical horseshoe of the University of South Carolina campus. A more detailed history based on these minutes has been published in The Recorder, Volume LVII, Numbers 1-5 (January – May, 1992). The remaining minutes (1938 to present) are at the Columbia Medical Society office.

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