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Stanford E. Chaille, M.D.

09 Jul 1830 – 27 May 1911

(submitted by Gerald & Tammy Westmoreland)



Chaille, Stanford Emerson, A. M., M. D., one of the most eminent physicians in the South and for more than 40 years a member of the medical faculty of Tulane university, was born at Natchez Miss., July 9, 1830, a son of William H. and Mary Stanford Chaille.


His paternal ancestry dates back to Moise or Pierre Chaille, a Huguenot refugee from La Rochelle, France, after the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685. The descendants of this Pierre Chaille lived along the eastern shore of Maryland, several of them, among whom was Peter Chaille, the great-grandfather of Dr. Chaille, were prominent patriots of the Revolutionary war. Dr. Chaille's mother was a daughter of Clement and Anna (Dashiell) Stanford, and a niece of Hon. Richard Stanford, who was a member of Congress from North Carolina from 1797 to 1815.


Dr. Chaille's early education was acquired under the direction of private tutors. In 1847 he graduated at Phillips' academy, South Andover, Mass., then entered Harvard college and received the degree of bachelor of arts from that institution in 1851. His medical education was acquired in the medical department of the University of Louisiana (now Tulane), where he was graduated with the degree of doctor of medicine in 1853, and the following year he received the degree of master of arts from Harvard. Subsequently he spent 3 years in Paris and other European cities in various lines of medical research. From 1851 to 1853 he was resident in the New Orleans Charity hospital and after graduating in medicine he was for about a year the resident physician in the United States marine hospital.


For the next 6 years he was resident physician of the Circus (Rampart) street hospital, and in 1862 he became acting surgeon-general of Louisiana. The same year he entered the Confederate army as a surgeon and served until the close of the war, having been medical inspector of the Army of the Tennessee in 1862-63, surgeon in charge of a hospital at Atlanta, Ga., in 1863-64, and the surgeon in charge of a hospital at Macon, Ga., until the end of his army service.


In 1857 he became coeditor and proprietor of the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal and remained in that capacity until 1868. From 1858 to 1867, except for the time he was in the army, he was demonstrator of anatomy in the medical department of the University of Louisiana. In 1867 he was appointed to the chair of physiology and pathological anatomy, which position he filled with signal ability until his retirement in the spring of 1868. In 1876 he was appointed professor of obstetrics, which position he declined, and from March 31, 1885, to the time of his retirement he was dean of the medical faculty of the university.


Dr. Chaille was a member of the American Public Health association; the American Medical association; the Louisiana State Medical society, in which he served on the committee on state medicine; and the Orleans Parish Medical society. He was an honorary member of the International Medical congress held at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1876, and delivered one of the ten addresses on medical jurisprudence before that body. He was an associate fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; was appointed by Congress one of the experts to investigate the yellow fever epidemic of 1878; the following year was sent by the United States national board of health to Havana as president of the yellow fever commission; from March, 1881, to October, 1882, he served as supervising inspector and executive agent of the national board of health in New Orleans; in 1885 he was appointed a member of the national board of health by Pres. Arthur, and served on that body until it went out of existence in 1893.


For more than half a century Dr. Chaille has been a contributor to medical journals on such subjects as "The History of the New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1858," "The Invention of the Laryngoscope," "Spectrum Analysis,'' ''Ovariotomy,'' ''Medical Colleges, Medical Profession and the Public," "Opium and Opium Mania Cures," "Physiology of Cerebral Circulation and of Cerebral. Ventricles," "Post Mortem Changes vs. Ante Mortem Lesions," "Vital Statistics of New Orleans," "Origin and Progress of Medical Jurisprudence, 1776 to 1876," etc. The last named article appeared in the "Transactions of the International Medical Congress of 1876-77," and was the address delivered before that body as above mentioned. He was also the author of various papers on miscellaneous subjects. Among these may be mentioned "Laws of Population and Voters," "living, Dying, Registering and Voting Population of Louisiana," which was written and published during the reconstruction era.


Dr. Chaille was twice married, in 1857 to Laura E. Mountfort, daughter of Lieut.-Col. John Mountfort of the United States army, whose father, Joseph Mountfort, was one of the historic Boston tea party on the night of Dec. 16, 1773. She died in 1858, leaving 1 daughter, Mary Laura, the wife of Dr. David Jamison. In 1863 Dr. Chaille married Mary Louisa, daughter of Leroy Napier of Macon, Ga., and she died in 1873.


Throughout his long and highly useful career Dr. Chaille was a diligent and persistent student of all subjects pertaining to his chosen profession, during the time that he held the chair of physiology and pathological anatomy in the medical department of Tulane university, he gave instruction on those subjects to hundreds of young men, many of whom have become eminent physicians, and all those living cheerfully bear testimony to his ability and thoroughness as an instructor. Though he took a commendable interest in questions of public policy, his highest ambition was to excel in his profession, and to, that end he devoted his time and energy.


Source: Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form, volume 3, pp. 745-746. Edited by Alc e Fortier, Lit. D.
Published in 1914, by Century Historical Association.



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