Biography of Rutherford B. H. Gradwohl, M. D.

Dr. Rutherford B. H. Gradwohl, a St. Louis physician who has won prominence as a bacteriologist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, March 4, 1877, and is a son of Emanuel Gradwohl, a native of Strassburg, Germany, who came to America in 1856. He was a member of the first cavalry regiment organized in the United States in the latter ’50s and later became a Civil war veteran, serving in the First United States Cavalry throughout the entire period of hostilities between the north and the south. He was made a sergeant and rendered valuable aid to his adopted country. He afterward entered upon commercial pursuits which he successfully followed until he retired from business in 1906. He has made his home in St. Louis since 1890. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Wetzler, was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and a representative of one of the old families of that city of German lineage. She passed away in 1910 at the age of fifty-four years. By her marriage she had become the mother of eight children, seven sons and a daughter, and of this family seven are living.

Rutherford Birchard Hayes Gradwohl was the youngest son and seventh child and was educated in the public and Central high schools of St. Louis until graduated from the latter in 1895. He then entered the Washington University Medical School and won his M. D. degree upon graduation with the class of 1898. He afterward spent two years as junior interne and bacteriologist in the City Hospital and later went abroad for post-graduate work in Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany, and Paris, France, spending two years in study in European medical centers, pursuing his studies in the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Following his return to the new world he began practice in St. Louis as a regular physician and also took up bacteriological and pathological laboratory work. He was autopsy physician in the coroner’s office of St. Louis from 1902 until 1905. For four years he taught bacteriology in the Marion Sims Beaumont Medical College, now the St. Louis University Medical School and in 1908 established the Gradwohl Laboratories and Pasteur Institute in connection with which he also conducts branch laboratories in Chicago and Bloomington, Illinois, and in Paducah, Kentucky. The latter institutions are diagnostic laboratories and were the first of the kind established in the cities named. Dr. Gradwohl has thus been a pioneer in the field in which he labors and his position is one of eminent ability and authority. Dr. Gradwohl is the author of a standard textbook entitled “Newer Methods of Blood and Urine Chemistry,” (C. V. Mosby Co., St. Louis) second edition, 1921, and has contributed numerous monographs to current medical literature. Dr. Gradwohl belongs to the St. Louis, Missouri State and American Medical Associations, also to the Society of American Bacteriologists and is a member of the American Public Health Association and likewise president of the Pasteur Institute.

On the 10th of July, 1914, Dr. Gradwohl was married in St. Louis to Miss Ida Emmons, a native of New York city and a daughter of Frank and Lottie (Stanbridge) Emmons, both of whom are deceased.

Dr. Gradwohl is a member of St. Louis Lodge, No. 20, A. F. & A. M., has taken the thirty-second degree in Scottish Rite Masonry and has become a member of the Mystic Shrine. He likewise belongs to the Missouri Athletic Association and to the Riverview Club. During the war he was lieutenant commander of the Medical Corps of the United States Navy and had his headquarters in the Eighth Naval District, serving from August, 1918, until June, 1919, when he was placed on the inactive list, subject to call, being now a member of the United States Naval Reserve force. Steadily he has advanced in his chosen field, actuated at all times by a laudable ambition and his close application and thorough study have brought him to a notable point of professional success.



Stevens, Walter B. Centennial History of Missouri (The Center State) One Hundred Years In The Union 1820-1921 Vol 6. St. Louis-Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1921.

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