SITE OF FIRST SUCCESSFUL CAESAREAN
SECTION IN INDIANA
On the kitchen table of this house, the morning of November 6, 1880, Mrs. Luther Lucas, a farmer's wife, was delivered of a healthy infant son, after a mid-line incision made by Dr. Moses Baker, a pioneer physician-surgeon of Stockwell. Observed by six attending doctors who refused responsibility for its success or failure, it became the first in Indiana medical history in which both mother and child lived.
Donated by Tippecanoe Medical Society
Erected by Tippecanoe County Historical Association.
Located in front of the old Baker residence near Stockwell on U.S. 52.
Dr. Moses Baker, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29, 1823, came with his parents to Stockwell, Indiana, at the age of eight years and spent the remainder of his life as a practitioner of medicine and surgery within its boundaries. His education was obtained in the public schools of the time. Choosing the medical profession, he entered the medical college at LaPorte, Indiana, from which he was graduated in 1848, and in 1852 he completed the prescribed course in medicine and surgery at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Dr. Baker was a skilled surgeon as well as physician, and performed many critical operation, notable among which was one known to the profession as a case of Caesarean section, which went down in medical journals as most historic. This operation was undertaken and successfully performed by Dr. Baker who assumed the entire responsibility, though many other physicians were present. This miracle in surgical science was successfully performed and both the mother survived for many years. Afterwards, the latter, a robust man living today, (1909). This operation was performed November 6, 1880, upon Mrs. Emma Lucas, wife of Luther Lucas of Wild Cat Prairie, near Stockwell in Tippecanoe County. Dr. Moses Baker died at his home in Stockwell, August 16, 1888.
Below, in his own words, is an accounting of Dr. Baker's examination of Mrs. Lucas and the resulting surgery.
"On the third of November 1880, I was called to attend Mrs. Emma Lucas, a primipara, aged 34, a white woman of English parentage, wife of Luther Lucas, a farmer living on Wild Cat Prairie, near Stockwell, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. On examination, I found it necessary to perform a Caesarean section."
"On the morning of November 6, 1880, I performed the Caesarean operation in the presence of, and assisted by, Drs. J. Crouse, D.H. Crouse, and L. Strother, of Dayton; Drs. A.A.Wells and William C. Lambert of Stockwell; Drs. John Simison and Pike of Romney--all of Tippecanoe county. I was given to understand the majority of my consulting brothern [sic] that the patient would probably die during the operation or from the effects of it; but as there was no other chance for her delivery, they did not advise me not to operate, as long as I would assume the responsibility, which I was willing to do. The patient rallied well and soon expressed herself as much relieved both in body and mind."
"I examined her May 1, 1882, found in perfect health, baby still living, healthy and well grown. At the time of the present writing (June 10, 1883) both mother and baby in perfect health and good spirits."
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