Wilson, Owen Harris Wilson Biographical File

Identifier: EBL-0959

  • Staff Only
Wilson, Owen Harris (1870-1960)


File contains newspaper clippings, hand written recollections, typescrips, articles, correspondence, and photographs reflecting the life of Owen Wilson


  • 1889 - 1948

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Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Historical or Biographical Note

Dr. Owen Harris Wilson one of the first pediatricians in Nashville, and author of the well known work, The Care and Feeding of Southern Babies: A Guide for Mothers(1920) had a long time association with Vanderbilt, and served actively as a member of the faculty for nearly 50 years. He was born in Sumner County, Tennessee July 20, 1870, the son of Thomas Black Wilson and Lucy Gwathmey Cragwall. He entered Vanderbilt University in September 1884, at the age of fourteen, and graduated as a Founder's Medalist in Engineering in 1889. He immediately enrolled in medical school, completing the two year course in 1891. He later pursued additional training at the New York Polyclinic. Upon his return to Nashville, he practiced with Dr. Richard Douglas, a prominent Nashville surgeon for several years before he decided to specialize in children's diseases. He established a large pediatric practice in Nashville and maintained this practice until he retired in 1948. He most likely gave copies of his very practical guide to his patients. Although first published in 1920, much of Dr. Wilson's advice to mothers is valid Dr. Wilson in the preface to the book stated "the excuse for adding another to the long list of Mother's Guides is the necessity for special restrictions in diet and clothing for Southern babies, for whom similar works written for cooler climates are inapplicable and unsafe." His long time association with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine continued after his graduation beginning in 1891 when he served as an Assistant in Gynecology. In 1893 he was a demonstrator of surgery until 1895 when he was appointed Professor of Anatomy. He held this post until 1904 when he became Professor of Pediatrics. He held this position until 1925 when the School of Medicine was reorganized, and he became Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. He served in this capacity until 1942 until he was elevated to Emeritus status. He died in Nashville May 10, 1960.


0.19 Cubic Feet

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Owen Harris Wilson Biographical File
Processed by EBL Special Collections Staff
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Description is inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the VUMC Historical Images and Biographies Repository

Eskind Biomedical Library
2209 Garland Ave.
Nashville TN 37232


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