Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nebraska Veterinary History Part III


By Dr. Leo L. Lemonds

The year 1896 has been accepted as the official beginning of the NVMA (Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association). However, from the pages of the American Veterinary Review, it is clear that the NVMA was active for several years before 1896. As early as 1888, the NVMA had a meeting and adopted a constitution and by-laws and elected a set of officers. At that meeting Dr. Julius Gerth Jr., adequately stated the objects and purposes of establishing the NVMA.

Again in 1891, the American Veterinary Review gives reports on three NVMA meetings that year. The first meeting in January never mentions the 1888 original organization of the NVMA. Again it adopted a constitution and by-laws and elected a set of officers. This group also discussed having only graduate veterinarians as members of the NVMA and to obtain legislation favorable to professional veterinarians. The earlier meeting that put out a call to veterinary surgeons to meet, apparently included reputable or established non-graduates also.

At this time it is not known whether the 1888 and 1891 groups failed to keep going or for what reasons the 1896 meeting claimed to be the first official meeting. It may be that the first charter was then granted and that legally that was the first years of the NVMA.

The following report on the 1888 NVMA meeting taken form the June, 1888, American Veterinary Review:

"Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association
Pursuant to a call issued some time since, a meeting was held at the Paxton Hotel for the purpose of forming an organization of the veterinary surgeons of Nebraska. The following gentlemen were present: Drs. L.H. Simpkins (Kearney), WS.M. Osborn (Fremont), C. Brittel (St. Edwards), M.A. Bailey (Albion), A.W. Carmichael (DeWitt), W.S. Brayton (Beatrice), G.R. Young, Richard Ebbitt, H.L. Ramacciotti (Omaha), J. Gerth Jr. (Lincoln)."

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Julius Gerth Jr., who was made temporary chairman. In taking his seat Dr. Gerth stated that the object of the proposed Association was to promote a fraternal feeling among the members, elevate the standard of the profession by scientific discussion and intellectual intercourse and that by organization it would bring the profession into notice and add to it more responsibility and give it more dignity and honor. He thought the profession a very important one, and that organization was necessary to keep it from retrograding.


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