Medical School

In the 19th century, Jamestown was home to a series of medical schools, the earliest of them run by Dr. I. J. M. Lindsay, known as Madison Lindsay.

Lindsay's students "read medicine" with him in the house built in 1817 by his uncle, David Lindsay. It stood at the southwest comer of Scientific and Federal (Main) streets.

The house is very interesting architecturally in that many earlier components were used in its construction.

The original cedar shakes and rafters are still intact under a more recent roof and can be seen above the east porch.

The beams in the upper attic are handcarved porch posts, possibly the work of an apprentice. Many hand-hewn timbers can also be seen in the attic.

The back section of the house was added at a later date. It may have been "built on", or it may have been another, earlier, intact building that was attached.

Inasmuch as the house was occupied from the time it was built until the time it was moved - from 1817 until 1983--no attempt has been made to restore it to the original date. Instead, it has been treated as an on-going project.

-- Martha Hay

DAVID LINDSAY
Both David Lindsay, and his young nephew Madison, were members of the large Lindsay clan of Guilford Co. which was headed by the patriarch Robert Lindsay, who had operated the old Buis Ordinary in the western part of the county in the 1770s. David was the youngest son of Robert.

In 1816, David Lindsay bought his first lots in Jamestown. One of the deeds mentions the comer where "Lindsays Store house now stands", indicating that David was a merchant The following year he bought two more lots, and these were at the southwest comer of Scientific and Federal. and were the lots the house was built upon.

David and his wife Sarah Dillon were buried at the graveyard adjoining the old brick meetinghouse now in City Lake Park. The tombstone dates were recorded as follows: David: 14 Dec. 1793 - 16 Feb. 1860; Sarah, 1 Feb. 1796-20 May l864.

DR. MADISON LINDSAY
He was I.J.M. Lindsay, whose full given name was Isaac James Madison. He was born 19 March 1804, and died Nov. 1854. He was the son of Samuel Lindsay and Hetty E. Causey Lindsay, who lived in the Stinking Quarter area of Guilford Co.

Madison Lindsay probably established his "college" in Jamestown soon after he reached his majority in 1825. And he was elsewhere by 1830, when the federal census shows him as "Dr. J.J. Lindsey", a householder, living alone, and not in Jamestown.

Two of his known medical trainees, Shubal G. Coffin and John Milton Worth, were enrolled in the Transylvania University Medical Department, in Lexington, Ky., in 1831-2, to complete their studies. However, there is no record of Joseph A. Weatherly and George D. Mendenhall, two of Lindsay's other known students.

Details of Lindsay's own medical education are also unknown. It may have begun with a kind of apprenticeship with a family member or other mentor, as was then common. In Madison's case, it could have started with another uncle, Dr. Joseph Wood. His formal training did not take place at Transylvania, according to its records, but several American colleges and universities had established medical departments by the time Lindsay would have been attending.

 

On 18 April 1832 Madison married Jane E. Dick, a daughter of Thomas and Jane Erwin Dick. By 1833, Lindsay had established his "practice of Physic, Surgery and Midwifery" in Greensboro, as his advertisement stated. Dr. Lindsay continued until his death to practice medicine in Greensboro, and served for some years as the town's postmaster.

Jane, who was born 2 May 1810, died 17 May 1848. Following Madison's death on 6 Nov. 1854, his death notice in the Greensboro Patriot says that he left an orphaned daughter. Madison's and Jane's graves are in Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro.