Spohn, Arthur Edward (1845–1913)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Arthur Edward Spohn, physician, was born at Ancaster, Ontario, on April 27, 1845, and attended McGill University, Montreal, where he won the senior prize for practical anatomy in 1865. He attended medical school at the University of Michigan and trained at Long Island Hospital, New York, where he was assistant professor of surgical anatomy in 1867–68. In 1868 he was sent to Texas as United States surgeon in charge of the military quarantine at Galveston. In 1870 he invented a tourniquet for bloodless operations that was used as a field instrument by many armies of the world. He moved to Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and in 1872 to Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1876 he married Sarah J. Kenedy. Shortly thereafter he took postgraduate courses at Bellevue Hospital and the University of New York. In 1888 he visited a number of clinics and hospitals in Europe. On November 20, 1891, he performed the first Porro-Caesarian delivery of osteomalacia in the United States, saving both the mother and child. In 1892–93 he studied in Philadelphia, where in 1894 he was elected to the board of censors of Medico Chirurgical College. The Spohn Sanitarium, built in 1905, was named in his honor. In 1903 Spohn was sent as government representative to investigate sanitary conditions in the Mediterranean area. For fifteen years he was in charge of the United States Marine Hospital at Corpus Christi. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United States Association of Military Surgeons, the Second Pan-American Congress, the International Tuberculosis Association, the Texas State Medical Association (later the Texas Medical Association), and the Central Texas Medical Association. He was also chief surgeon of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway. He died at Corpus Christi on May 5, 1913. See also SPOHN HOSPITAL.

Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Nueces County Historical Society, History of Nueces County (Austin: Jenkins, 1972). George Plunkett [Mrs. S. C.] Red, The Medicine Man in Texas (Houston, 1930). Texas State Journal of Medicine, July 1913.
  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners
  • Peoples
  • English

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Spohn, Arthur Edward,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/spohn-arthur-edward.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995

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