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Dunlap, Dr. Livingston


Came to this place in July or August, 1821, a young physician, in search of a location to commence the practice of his profession.  He was from Cherry Valley, New York, where I think he was born and raised. 

When he first arrived in this place he stopped at the house of Dr. Samuel G. Mitchell, who lived on the southwest corner of Washington and Tennessee Streets, where the State offices now stand.  The Doctor was not long here when he had the most indubitable evidence that this was a first-rate place for a physician.  Not only the whole family with which he stayed were taken down with chills and fever, but himself, so bad he could neither render assistance to them nor they to him.  In this situation my father found them one day when he called to see what he could do for them; although our own family were nearly all sick, Mr. Blake and himself were still able to wait on them.  My father at once proposed to take the Doctor home with him.  But how was he going to get him there? queried the Doctor.  "Take you on my back," was the answer; which he did, something like the squaws carried their children or pappooses.

The Doctor remained an inmate of our house for some time.  After he recovered, he rendered valuable service, not only to our family, but to those that were sick that fall.  Physicians did not think their duty done when they merely had prescribed and given the necessary medicine (as now-a-days), but to their duties was added that of nurse.  This portion the doctors performed well and cheerfully.

If I were writing only for the eye of those that knew him during his long career of usefulness in after years, it would be unnecessary to say he stood at the head of his profession.  He was for many years the leading physician in this place, and there were very few doubtful or dangerous cases in which he was not consulted by his brother in the profession.

He was councilman of his ward in 1834, and for several years after.  He was physician for the Deaf and Dumb Asylum for several years; also, one of the commissioners of the Insane Asylum.  He was appointed postmaster by President Polk in 1845, and held the office until April, 1849.  All the duties of the different offices he held he discharged with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the public, and his numerous friends of both political parties.

Dr. Dunlap was a man of very warm feelings and friendship, and would go any length to serve a friend; but if his displeasure was once incurred, and he had reason to believe his confidence had been misplaced, he would hardly ever forget it.  Although he was not a revengeful man or bore malice, he would steer clear of those whom he thought had mistreated him.

He died in 1862, leaving a small family in very comfortable circumstances, with some fine city property.  Of his three sons but one is now living, Dr. John Dunlap, of this city.  James, his eldest son, and a portrait painter, died in 1865.





Nowland, John H. B., “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of Its Early Citizens, and of a Few of the Prominent Business Men of the Present Day,” 1870, pp. 44-46

also at,

Nowland, John H. B., Sketches of Prominent Citizens of 1876, with a Few of the Pioneers of the Cityand County Who Have Passed Away, A Sequel to “Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis.” 1820-’76, c. 1877, Indianapolis, Tilford & Carlon, Printers., p. 49-50.
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