Biography of J. Carroll Montgomery, M. D.

J. Carroll Montgomery, M. D. In the office of Doctor Montgomery at Manhattan is a large map of Riley County showing in detail all the features of the county and particularly those which are the work and evidence of man’s activities. A number of different colored pegs or pins are usually found dotted about over this map.

It is in this way that Doctor Montgomery as county and city health officer of Manhattan and Riley County keeps track of the district under his jurisdiction, a glance at one of these charts indicate the location of all infectious diseases prevalent in the county at the time, and other pegs show the status of sanitary conditions as to drainage, sanitary equipment, etc. By means of this and other methods Doctor Montgomery has a complete and immediate record or census of health conditions in the county.

He has himself inaugurated many measures for the protection and safeguarding of public health and has introduced other systems which have been tried and approved elsewhere in the state or in other states. His own work may be credited with an important share in the reduction of the death rate of the county. At the same time a campaign of education has been carried on not only among the older but particularly among the younger generations. Many of the facts of hygiene and sanitary standards are now familiar knowledge where a few years ago they were either unknown or ignored. It was Doctor Montgomery who originated the so-called “Junior Health Officer System” in the public schools of Riley County and in the state at large. Under this system every school elects from its pupils one to whom Doctor Montgomery issues a certificate naming him junior health officer. Twice each week Doctor Montgomery sends out a bulletin which is read and posted in each school, and this is of vastly more benefit than all the old time methods of instruction in physiology and hygiene. Under his supervision during the past few years the cess-pools of the towns and cities have been reduced to a minimum. All the privies and water-closets of the public schools have either been regulated in accordance with standard sanitary policies or have been connected with sewer drainage. His office has also extended to the improvement of other conditions, and all of this has contributed to the noticeable decline of the death rate in Riley County. In every school of the county Doctor Montgomery annually delivers one or more lectures on hygiene.

For many years the name Montgomery has been one of influential associations in the medical profession of Manhattan and Riley County. Dr. J. Carroll Montgomery was born at Macon, Missouri, April 25, 1874, the only son and child of Dr. Edward R. and Mary E. (Walker) Montgomery. His father was born in Ohio and his mother in Missouri, and they were married in the latter state. Dr. Edward R. Montgomery took up the medical profession comparatively late in life, and was graduated in 1886 from the American Medical College of St. Louis. He did some preliminary practice in Missouri, but in 1886 came to Kansas. After about six years he moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where he was located three years, then lived for two years in Clay County, after which he was in active practice at Manhattan until his death in 1901 at the age of fifty-two.

In the various localities where his father practiced Dr. J. Carroll Montgomery received the advantages of the public schools. When only a boy he had made up his mind to become a doctor, and he carried on his studies under the direction of his father. In 1896 he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Kansas City, Kansas, and his studies there were supplemented by some valuable practical experience for two years under his father at Manhattan. In 1901 he graduated M. D. from the College of Kansas City, and then located at Tampa, Kansas. In the fall of 1904 he returned to Manhattan, and that city has since been his home and the center of his large work and influence as a physician and surgeon. Doctor Montgomery has been city health officer since 1907 and county health officer since 1909. By virtue of this office he is also secretary of the County Board of Health.

He is widely known as a sanitarian and was formerly president of the Kansas State Association of Public Health Officers and has always taken an active part in that organization. He is a member of the Riley County and the Kansas State Medical societies, and is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a member of the Congregational Church and in politics a republican. In 1901 Doctor Montgomery married Miss Delpha M. Hoop.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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