Dentistry in Grant County
The practice of Dentistry in Grant County dates back to the year 1860. At least that is as far back as we are able to trace it. At or near that time Dr. David Cubberley began the practice of dentistry in Marion. A few years later a Dr. Braffet located here, for a short time only, leaving the work for Dr. Cubberley, who practiced for a number of years before retiring from active practice. The methods of practice in those days was very crude as compared with the modern methods employed at the present time, but a great deal of credit is due the dentists of the early days for the good work done with so few instruments to work with. Dr. A.W. Tripp was one of the early dentists to locate in Marion. Dr. Tripp did most of his practice by traveling from house to house over the country, doing his work at the homes of his patients. Dr. Zook was another of the pioneer dentist of the county. There is no record to show how long he remained in practice here. Dr. James S. McClain located in Marion in July of 1878, and has been in active practice up to the present time. Dr. Dan Jay practiced here for a number of years afterward forming a partnership with a Dr. Birch, the firm name being Jay & Birch. Dr. Wilkinson came to Marion about the year 1883and opened an advertising office, the first of the kind in the county. He sold his office to a Dr. Fitzgerald, who remained here a number of years and sold out to Dr. B.C. Brimacombe, who is still practicing in the same location. Dr. Benson was in practice here about 1884, only remaining a short time.
It was not an unusual thing for some one in the neighborhood to have a pair of forceps and extract teeth for his neighbors. This was usually done gratis, and only in cases of dire necessity.
Uncle Eli Hollingsworth, as he was generally known, had quite a reputation as a tooth extractor. He had only one pair of forceps, but used them to extract any tooth that came to him. The old time turn key was used in an early day, and I guess had anything beat as an instrument of torture that has ever been invented. Uncle Eli Thomas has one which he prized highly, having used it frequently when he was a young man. It ahs often been said by those having had experience with the turn key that the only thing that kept them from dying was that the tooth "let go" just before death relieved them. Improvements in dentistry have kept pace with progress in other things.
William Winslow was another early dentist who relieved suffering humanity in Grant county, but he went west after a few years of dental practice in Marion. Dr. Newton W. Hiatt, the writer of this article on dentistry located in Marion in 1889. He was in the office with Dr. Kinley for three years previous to graduating at the Kansas City Dental College in the spring of 1889.
As near as we are able to obtain definite information, there have been about sixty dentist who have practiced dentistry in Grant County up to the present time. The brief sketches given are of those that have been here from twenty to forty years. After the state had passed a dental law, requiring all dentist to register, we find the following names on the register: B.C. Brimacombe, J.W. Brimacombe, W.T. Brimacombe, J.C. Branham, John P. Brunton, Wm. K. Cumrine, Thurman Cole, Oswald Cartwright, Michael Casey, P.O. Dickey, Carey Doyle, Forest Freeman, John O. Fryer, O.M. Flinn, Thos. W. Forshee, Earl Gear, H.M. Gear, Harry Gregg, Elmer Grant, Newton W. Hiat, N.F. Hazletet, Geo. L. Hill, Edwin S. Hulley, Wilfred F. Kinley, Edwin Kimball, Charles Keener, Raymond C. Leslie, J.A. Loughry, James S. McClain, J.H. McClain, E. McElhancy, Walter Mott, E.J. Martin, L.M. Platt, L.G. Platt, C.W. Platt, James A. Pearcy, Charles Priest, Earl Ross, W.N. Ratliff, Miles E. Ratliff, Leonard Strange, S.E. Stouffer, A.H. Unthank, Fred Thomas, Guy Thomas, Clarkson M. Wilson, Wm. E. Wagoner, J.C. Whitney, J.E. Whitney, Roy Villars and Frank Yule.
Centennial History of Grant County, Indiana 1812-1912
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1914