Ohio State Navbar

About the Department

Death of Samuel Smith

In 1872 Dr. Smith survived what was thought to be a cerebral hemorrhage, resulting in partial hemiplegia. In January 1874, a second attack completely disabled him (28). He died in Columbus on Nov. 30, 1874, two days after his fifty-eighth birthday. At his autopsy no indication of cerebral hemorrhage was found, and reviewed today the findings seem more consistent with cerebral tuberculosis (29; 41).

Dr. Smith lived on the northeast corner of Fourth and East State streets--on the site where the Norwich Hotel was constructed--for many years prior to his death (35, p. 152). He was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery. His grave is close to the resting place of his teacher, Dr. Awl.

Following his death, Columbus newspapers printed eulogies by many leading citizens of Columbus and memorial resolutions by the faculty and students of Starling Medical College. One eulogy was delivered by Reverend James Poindexter of the Second (Colored) Baptist Church (sic). Reverend Poindexter, who later became the first African-American elected to the Columbus City Council, remembered Dr. Smith as a personal friend and a strong opponent to slavery "who was always willing to extend his home and his aid to the underground railroad" (20).

* Taken from Pinta, E.R. (1994). A History of Psychiatry at The Ohio State University, 1847-1993, pp. 3-12