Dr. Thomas B. W. Leland is among the younger representatives of the medical fraternity of San Francisco, but his years seem no bar to his progress and prominent position in connection with his chosen calling. He was born on the 19th of September, 1870, in Jamestown, Tuolumne county, California, and is a son of Gustavus A. and Fanny (McPhillips) Leland. The father was a native of Massachusetts and was of English lineage, his ancestors settling in the old Bay state in the seventeenth century. In the year 1850, attracted by the opportunities of the great and growing west where the recently discovered gold mines were also leading to the development of many fields of business activity, he came to California, settling in Jamestown, where he conducted a mercantile enterprise for a short time. He afterward became proprietor of a bakery, which he also conducted for a brief period, and then turned his attention to mining operations. He still resides upon the old family homestead and is now seventy-three years of age.
Dr. Leland is the youngest in a family of five children, three sons and two daughters. At the usual age he began his education in the public schools of his native town, where he pursued his studies until at the age of sixteen years he entered the state normal school at San Jose, California, being therin graduated with the class of June, 1890. Following completion of his literary course he engaged in teaching school for two years in Merced county, but regarded this merely as a preliminary step to other professional labor. In 1892 he entered the medical department of the University of California, and while pursuing his studies in that institution through the day he spent his evenings as a teacher. He was graduated in 1894 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and spent the succeeding year as house physician in St. Luke's Hospital, thus adding to his theoretical knowledge broad practical experience. He was also for one year resident physician and surgeon at the Railroad Hospital in Oakland, California, and throughout this period he was teaching in an evening school in San Francisco, becoming principal of the Hamilton Evening School, in which capacity he served until 1896. In that year he turned his attention to the duties of a private practice as a member of the medical profession of San Francisco, where he has remained to the present time. In 1896 he also was adjunct to the chair of physiology in the medical department of the University of California and was assistant to the chair of Medicine in the Post-graduate school of the University of California. He was appointed professor of internal medicine in the Post-graduate school, which position he still holds. As an educator he has gained high rank, and holds the esteem and good will of his students. In 1899 he was appointed autopsy surgeon to the coroner of San Francisco, and upon the death of Dr. Cole, the coroner, he was appointed to fill the vacant office. In 1900 he was elected to that office, this incumbency continuing from 1901 until 1903, when he was re-elected for a further term of two years. He has a large private practice and has gained success from a professional standpoint.
In 1897 Dr. Leland was united in marriage to Miss Florence McMahon, a native of San Francisco, and a daughter of P. P. McMahon, one of the pioneer settlers and native sons of California. The Doctor and his wife have two children, Dorothy and Sherman. He is identified with a number of the leading fraternal and social organizations of San Francisco, including the Native Sons of the Golden West, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Eagles, the Druids and the Foresters. He belongs to the Naval Militia of California, was first lieutenant in command of the first division and was afterward commissioned by Governor Pardee as chief surgeon with the rank of lieutenant commander. Dr. Leland in his professional service has been prompted by a laudable ambition for advancement as well as by deep sympathy and humanitarian princples that urge him to put forth his best efforts in the alleviation of suffering. He has gained recognition from the profession as one of its ble representatives, and the trust reposed in him by the public is indicated by the liberal patronage accorded him.
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