Dr. Joseph McKeaif Pound had a rich life and history. He was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1826, and was the seventh of eleven children. His father, Jonathan Pound, was a veteran of the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk War. Mr. Pound moved his family about 1830 to Columbus, Adams County, Illinois. In 1846, America was at war with Mexico and Joseph Pound and his elder brother enlisted in the First Illinois Volunteers. The Volunteers traveled to Mississippi to board a boat to Port Lavaca, Texas. When the Volunteers arrived in Texas, they first marched to San Antonio and then headed to Montclova, Mexico to join up with General Zachary Taylor, and not knowing his rank, Robert E. Lee. His company was discharged in February 1847 and Dr. Pound returned to Illinois.
In October 1851 Joseph Pound began his two-year course to become a doctor at the Kentucky School Medicine. He traveled the Oregon Trail at some time and it is thought he made the trip between his medical school semesters. He met Jim Bridger on his Oregon trip and had some hair raising experiences with some wolves. One other piece of information - Dr. Pound was about 5' tall.
If you have finished gasping at the idea that a medical degree was granted after a two-year course, you might be interested in his apothecary.
The mortar and pestle were used to grind and mix his potions.
The metal canisters were used to ship drugs in the mail to Dr. Pound.
In addition to the pharmaceuticals in the medicine cabinet, Dr. Pound grew medicinal herbs.
A doctor on the frontier traveled on horseback in all kinds of weather and in territory where hostile Indians lived, hunted, and traveled. There were three tribes living in the area - Kiowa, Comanches, and Tonkawa. In fact, an Indian trail went past the house, but the Pounds were never attacked because he treated any and everyone who needed his services. He was respected and known to the Native Americans as a medicine man and he and his family were never harmed. There is a story that Dr. Pound was at a men's meeting in Dripping Springs when all horses were stolen but his by a band of Indians. In addition to being a doctor, Dr. Pound was a farmer/rancher. And, they were very active in building Dripping Springs for they were strong supports of education, church and founders of community organizations .
I certainly did not realize just how mobile the pioneers were if Dr. Pound's travels are any indication. He went from Kentucky to Illinois to Mississippi to Texas to Mexico to Illinois to Kentucky to Oregon to Mississippi to Texas. And, people, he was not traveling in a car, in a plane, or even by rail. It had to be walking, wagon, horse back and by water as in his trip to Texas from Mississippi when he was a Volunteer. Wouldn't you have liked to known this man, Sarah, and his family of nine?
Until next time, God bless.