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Sanford, John F.

Born: 1823-04-XX Chillicothe, Ohio

Died: 1874-08-01 Iowa

John F. Sanford was a physician and state senator. After attending schools in his native Chillicothe, Ohio, Sanford began studying medicine with Dr. John S. Prettyman. In 1839 and 1840, he completed two courses of study at the Cincinnati Medical College. Too young to graduate after completion of the second course, Sanford moved in 1841 from Ohio to Farmington, Iowa Territory, and began practicing medicine. In 1844, he married Martha A. Craig. From 1846 to 1850, Sanford represented Van Buren County in the Iowa Senate. He furthered his medical training in 1847 with lectures at the Philadelphia College of Medicine. In 1848, Sanford became professor of midwifery at the Rock Island Medical School. A year later, the college moved to Davenport, Iowa, and Sanford became professor of surgery at the newly-christened College of Physicians and Surgeons. He attended the second meeting of the American Medical Association as a delegate from this institution. In 1850, he helped found the Iowa State Medical Society and, using his position in the Iowa Senate, secured a charter for a medical college. Under this charter, the College of Physicians and Surgeons became the Medical Department of the State University of Iowa, and Sanford moved with the school to Keokuk. In 1850, he established the Medico-Chirurgical Journal, the first medical journal west of the Mississippi River.

Benjamin F. Gue, History of Iowa from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (New York: Century History, 1903), 3:459, 460; "John Fletcher Sanford," The Iowa Legislature, accessed 23 April 2020,; Nelson C. Roberts and S. R. Moorhead, Story of Lee County Iowa (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1914), 1:311-12; Ferdinand J. Smith, The Transition from Franklin Medical School to the Keokuk College of Medicine of the State University of Iowa and History of Drake University College of Medicine ([Milford, IA], n. p. [1913]), 27; Gravestone, Oakland Cemetery, Keokuk, IA.