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STALNAKER, JOHN WILLIAM (1831–1883). John William Stalnaker, physician, son of Randolph and Carolyn (Zoll) Stalnaker, was born in Lewisburg, Virginia, in January 1831. He attended Washington University and the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his M.D. degree in 1855. He practiced medicine in Wytheville, Virginia, and was Smithsonian meteorological observer at Lewisburg from 1858 to 1861. He joined the Confederate Army as assistant surgeon in the Second, Eleventh, and Twenty-third Virginia Cavalry regiments and was collaborator and compiler of the official book of instruction on surgery and first aid, A Manual of Military Surgery (1863), in general use in the Confederate Army. From 1867 to 1870 he was meteorological observer at Snowville, Virginia. He moved to Texas in the early 1870s and was city physician at Austin from 1874 to 1876. He was one of the first members of the American Medical Association in Texas and was the first secretary of the Archaeological Society of Austin when it was founded in October 1876. About 1875 he performed an abdominal paracentesis without sepsis. Stalnaker was married twice, first to Mary Snow of Snowville, Virginia, who died soon after the Civil War and left two children, and second to Mrs. Anna Brigham Cloud Black, named for Asa Brigham. Anna Stalnaker was the daughter of John Wurts Cloud, Sr.; with her Stalnaker had three children. He died on November 11, 1883.


Austin Statesman, November 13, 1883. S. W. Geiser, "A Century of Scientific Exploration in Texas," Field and Laboratory 7 (January 1939). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (John William Stalnaker, Stalnaker Family).


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

"STALNAKER, JOHN WILLIAM," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 29, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.