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Dr. Susanna Way Dodds – Timeline


Dr. Susanna Dodds

1830: Susanna Way Dodds was born on November 10, 1830, in Randolph County, Indiana, to Anthony and Rhoda Way.

1852: The world’s first college of Hygeio-Therapy was founded in New York City and chartered by the state of New York in 1857. It inaugurated a new era in the care of the sick. The Hygienic school was the first school in the world, and so far the only one to adopt hygienic principles, rejecting them as unnecessary and positively dangerous, all the poisons of the allopathic schools of “medicine.”

1856: Susanna Enrolled in the University of Ann Arbor’s preparatory program. However, she had to return home to deal with sickness in her father’s family. 

1857: She married Andrew Dodds on November 10th in Wayne, Indiana. They made their home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and now Mrs. Dodds renewed her studies at Antioch, where she graduated afterward.

1861: Andrew Dodds enlisted in the Federal Army and, by exposure in the mountains of Virginia, contracted an unknown disease.

1864: Susanna also graduated from Russell Thacker Trall’s New York Hygeio-Therapeutic College and became the fourth woman in America to become a physician. 

In 1878, Dodds and her sister-in-law opened the Dodds’ Hygeian Home facility. In their practice, they used only hygienic or natural treatment methods, such as diet, exercise, massage, and hydrotherapy, and had phenomenal success in curing both acute and chronic patients.

1870: The family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and Dr. Dodds began practicing with her husband’s sister, Dr. Mary Dodds, with whom she remained associated throughout her life.

1872: Andrew died on May 5th, at 44, and was buried in Glen Forest Cemetery, Yellow Springs, Ohio.

1876: Dr. Dodds began practicing in St. Louis with her husband’s sister, Dr. Mary Dodds. She remained associated until her death. As physicians, they did much to redeem women physically.

1878: Dodds and her sister opened a sanitarium, the Dodds’ Hygeian Home. In their practice, they used only hygienic or natural methods of treatment: diet, exercise, massage, and hydrotherapy in all their manifold applications, and had phenomenal success in the curing of both acute and chronic patients. Except in cases for relieving pain, as in the last stages of cancer or other incurable diseases, no drugs were ever used. Though diseases of women and digestive disorders were their specialties, they also treated all other diseases. They lived in the house they built at 2826 Washington Avenue until 1900, when they erected the handsome structure at 4518 Washington Boulevard.

1884: Dr. Dodds published The Diet Question, the first part of a three-part book. Dr. Dodds covers the many aspects of a hygienic diet. Part one goes into the reasons why: health in the household, food, and physical development. It also deep-dives into the food groups (fruits, vegetables, bread, meats, milk, butter, eggs, salt, sugar, tea, coffee, alcohol, condiments, abstaining from drinking at meals, etc.), dietician rules, and cooking tips. 

St. Louis Hygienic College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded. 
Dr. Susanna Dodds was its dean and on the faculty.

1887: St. Louis Hygienic College of Physicians and Surgeons was founded The friends of hygiene called a meeting in St. Louis to consider the founding of a hygiene college. The result was a certificate of incorporation dated August 5, 1887, by the State of Missouri. Dr. Susanna Dodds was its dean and on the faculty. In addition to Hygiene, the college taught obstetrics and surgery. The courses of study include the branches of knowledge usually taught in medical colleges, together with Sanitary Engineering and Physical Culture. It also taught sufficient theory and practice of allopathic medicine to enable its graduates to pass the medical board examinations. It graduated several classes and was discontinued after a few years due to insufficient funds.

1891: Dr. Dodds wrote the book Health in the Household or Hygienic Cookery. In this book, Dr. Dodds covers the many aspects of the hygienic diet in a three-part series. Part 1 covers health in the household, part 2 focuses on bread, and part 3 includes ideas and recipes.

1910: Dr. Dodds wrote the book Race Culture: Mother and Child, published the year before her death at age 80. The book covers pregnancy, parturition, disorders of pregnancy, abortion, labor, abnormal presentations, care and feeding of infants, care and training of children, infantile and children’s diseases, and how to live one hundred years. The topic of water as a therapeutic agent is covered in the appendix.

1911: Susanna died on January 20th, 1911, at the age of 80, and was buried in Yellow Springs, Greene, Ohio. After Dodds died in 1911, Dr. Mary Dodds continued to manage the Hygienic College until she sold it in 1912. 

1915: The book Drugless Medicine: Hygeiotherapy was published. Susanna spent the last part of her life writing, and this manuscript was published four years after her death (January 20th, 1911).

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