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News & Press: History of the Osteopathic Profession

Everett & Hezekiah "Hezzie" Moore - History of the Osteopathic Profession

Monday, April 21, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhiannon Orizaga
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Everett and Hezekiah “Hezzie” Moore
Early DOs in the State of Oregon

Like many osteopathic physicians at the time, the Moores were a married couple who practiced together.   Together they ran a sanitarium from around 1910 to 1925 and were active members in the osteopathic community as well as the Oregon Osteopathic Association and the American Osteopathic Association.  In 1907 Everett was appointed to Oregon Board of Medical Examiners - the first osteopathic member of the Board. Dr. Frederick Moore and Dr. Hezekiah Carter Purdom married in 1903, it is unknown if they had children.

The earliest news of Dr. Frederick Everett Moore comes from the “Journal of the American Osteopathic Association”, vol1.  Dr. Moore was a member of the AOA with a practice on Third and Washington Streets in Baker City, Oregon.  Making him arguably the first DO to practice in Oregon.  He was one of four Oregon members of the AOA and is therefore known to us.  F.E. Moore attended the Northern College of Osteopathy in Minneapolis, the second osteopathic school opened after the American College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri.  Northern College was established in 1895, so Moore may have been one of the first osteopaths to graduate from that school.   In 1898, he was elected a Trustee of the American Osteopathic Association.  He may be related to Dr. A.C. Moore, who founded the Pacific School of Osteopathy, in San Francisco in the same year, and was also active in the AOA.  We do know that Moore had family in California and San Francisco where A.C. Moore practiced.

Hezekiah “Hezzie” Carter Purdum was from Kansas City, and seems to have come from an osteopathic family.  Her sister Zudie was a DO who practiced in Kansas City.  Both Hezzie and Zudie graduated from the American College of Osteopathy; Hezzie probably in 1901. Hezzie was elected Secretary of the Missouri Osteopathic Association in 1902 at which point she was based in Kirksville.  Later she was practicing with a “Mrs. T.E. Purdom” possibly her mother or aunt?  “Mrs. T.E Purdom”was elected to the AOA in August 1902 ,the same year that Hezzie was elected as Assistant Secretary of the AOA.

On June 1, 1903 Hezzie and Frederick married.  It is likely that they met in Kirksville at AOA headquarters.  From November 1901 to May 1902 F.E. Moore was located in Kirksville possibly taking a post-graduate course.  In 1903 he was now listed as a graduate of the American School rather than Northern College.  After their marriage the couple moved to LaGrande, Oregon.  Shortly after their marriage, on July 17, 1903, they sent a telegram to the National Convention expressing their regrets at being unable to attend.  In 1904 Hezzie attended the National Convention held in St. Louis.  Hezzie published an editorial in the “JAOA” commenting that she would like to see more “practical” papers being presented at future conventions.

In 1907, Frederick Moore was appointed by governor Oswald West to be the first osteopathic member of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners. In 1908, 67 DOs were granted licenses including Frederick and Hezzie.  In 1911, the couple embarked on a tour of major European and American hospitals and to study various treatments and practices.  At the same time, Hezzie served as Treasurer of the Oregon Osteopathic Association from 1911-1912.  During their travels, they attended the 13thannual Meeting of the New York Osteopathic Society.  Afterwards, they visited their families in Missouri and California.  In early 1912, they returned to Oregon in new offices in the newly constructed Selling Building in Portland.  Their office suite was designed to their personal specifications.  (Today the Selling Building is on the National Register of Historic Places).

In 1912, Frederick was reappointed to Board of Medical Examiners.  He also served as the Chair of the Program Committee of the OOA.   Hezzie served as Treasurer and later Editor of the OOA newsletter.  In 1912 the OOA extended an invitation to the AOA to have the annual convention in 1915 in Portland.

In 1917 Frederick retired from his position on the BME and was replaced by Dr. D.D. Young. During the same time period Frederick had become a firm believer in the “milk cure” and presented a paper at the annual OOA meeting entitled,” The Milk Cure for Certain Chronic Diseases.”  At this time the Moore’s were treating patients with this method while maintaining their office in the Selling Building.  By 1919 a travel diarist referred to Moore as the “Milk Man” of Portland.  By 1922 they had established the Moore Sanitarium on Hawthorne Street in Southeast Portland.   Advertisements for the Moore Sanitarium appeared regularly in journals like “The Western Osteopath” with slogans like “How Does Milk Cure?”  Milk cures disease simply because it supplies elements required to make new blood in abundance.  Combined with osteopathic treatment, rest, in a few weeks wonders can occur.  While the Milk Cure may have been combined with osteopathy, the advertisements hint that the Moore’s were no longer interested in “pure osteopathy.”

The early 1920s seem to have been a tumultuous time for osteopathic medicine in Oregon and indeed the entire country. DOs insisting on treatment using “pure osteopathy” verses those who began to incorporate alternative methods into their treatment programs such as the Electronic Reactions of Abrams (ERA).  Frederick Moore was one of the many DOs who became interested in the ERA method and combine it with osteopathy in his own practice. There is little evidence that Hezzie was in favor or personally endorsed this method.  While their practice had been thriving and while some in the osteopathic community respected them, many in the community were not in favor of ERA and regarded DOs who did use the method with suspicion.  Elections in the AOA reflected a conservative trend and after 1920, neither of the Moore’s served in any capacity in the AOA or OOA.

At the annual meeting of the AOA in June 16, 1923, Frederick Moore delivered a short address to the 75 members who were present.  That same year, he attended a ceremonial laying of the cornerstone for the new ERA school in San Francisco. Hezzie was attending the Pendleton Roundup in Oregon.  Upon return to Oregon the couple continued to practice together, running their office and the Sanitarium.  The Moore’s began to advertise the addition of ERA to their Sanitarium practices.  

In 1923 the editors of “The Western Osteopath” called for submissions on either side of the ERA debate to defend their positions.  The same year the Missouri Osteopathic Board passed a resolution making it clear that osteopathy and ERA were not to be mixed.  “Whereas, The so-called E.R.A. system of diagnosis and therapeutic is claimed by its representatives to be osteopathic, is not taught or endorsed by any associated colleges of the AOA such practice shall not be engaged in by any osteopath under the name of our beloved profession, osteopathy.”
In January of 1924, Frederick Moore attended Albert Abrams as he was dying.  He spent several weeks in San Francisco attending the funeral and spending time at the Abrams College.  In April he was offered the post of President of the Abrams School renamed the College of Electronic Medicine and accepted.  He moved to San Francisco without Hezzie who closed the Sanitarium.  Information about the Moore’s after 1924 is scarce.   Their career trajectory is sad and could be a cautionary tale.

Abrams and his “Electronic Reactions” were eventually proven to be complete nonsense and are regarded by the profession as part of regrettable era in which quacks preyed upon a gullible people with much success.  While the Moore’s were not the only DOs or MDs from Oregon to subscribe to Abram’s ideas and other strange notions they were a high profile and there is a substantial information about them.

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