History of the Society



The first Scioto County Medical Society was born in 1857 and lasted until 1859. Another was begun in 1865. It was chartered under the laws of Ohio on February 6th 1882, as the Hempstead Academy of Medicine. This organization was renamed the Scioto County Medical Society on April 24th  1951. 

The first recorded female physician was Dr. Margaret Fulton, elected to membership in 1901. In 1905 the society urged the citizenry to obtain an approved water supply. In June 1905 the society took steps to promote the acquisition of a city hospital. This was “Park Hospital” on 9th Street, in the vicinity of Tracey Park. In that same year a local physician, Dr. S. S. Halderman was elected President of the Ohio State Medical Association. He was Instrumental in establishing the Ohio State Medical Journal which continues publication to this day.

In 1904 the first of a series of joint meetings with the Portsmouth Bar was held in Millbrook Park. In 1905 the first annual Christmas banquet was held at the Washington Hotel; forty-one members and wives attended.

In January 1906 the society moved its meeting place to the new Carnegie Library. Records of the society from 1916 to 1932 have been lost. In 1935 the roster records 45 members. In 1940 there were 69 physicians members; in 1985 the membership was 83.

In 1941 the Women’s Auxiliary to the Hempstead Academy of medicine was established and during the war while the men were away, the ladies ran a services canteen at the N. & W. railroad Station. In this year the Auxiliary maintained a regular weekly radio program on health matters.

In the 1950’s the Society established a commission to exhort city Council to alleviate the crowded condition at Portsmouth   General Hospital by remodeling and acquiring new and modern equipment. In the 1960’s these same members worked hard to help launch the Scioto memorial Hospital.

In 1969 the Scioto County Medical Society was incorporated under the laws of Ohio and that same year an office was established with full time secretary and a part time executive secretary. Shortly thereafter, the SCMS began the emergency room service which led to full time physicians coverage in the local E.R.’s. In 1970 the society began its annual effort of a postgraduate medical seminar which has attracted physicians from the tri state area. In 1970 the SCMS established Core medical libraries in three area hospitals. On February 13th 1973, they established the Alden B. Oakes Scholarship Fund to honor the first formally trained orthopedic surgeon in this area, and to provide educational opportunities in the health care field to the area’s young. 

In November 1970 the medical society was instrumental in causing the State to restructure health care delivery at the Portsmouth Receiving Hospital.

In 1974 the medical society provided the impetus for the creation of Social Service Department in the local hospitals. Later the society was supportive of efforts of the medical community to acquire the first CT Scanner in Portsmouth. During the years of physician shortage, the society was a participant in the Physician Recruitment Program. 

Located in one of the most picturesque regions in the state surrounded by rolling hills, lush hardwood forests and scenic waterways lies Scioto County. 

Portsmouth is located at the meeting of the Ohio and Scioto rivers at the southernmost tip of the state. The City of Portsmouth is approximately 80 miles south of Columbus and 110 miles east of Cincinnati, with easy access to major metropolitan areas in the Tri-State Region. Portsmouth is a town of rich past and promising future.