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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

GUTHRIE, James R. Dr.

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Photo courtesy: University of Iowa

GUTHRIE, James R. (farm near Hopkinton, IA, July 22, 1858--Dubuque, 13, 1930). Physician. The son of Peter and Jane A. Guthrie, pioneer farmers in Iowa, James Guthrie entered Lenox College at the age of fifteen and graduated in June, 1873 with a bachelor's degree in science. Following post graduate work, he was granted the degree of Master of Arts by the same institution.

He entered the medical department at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. In 1881 at commencement he was honored being chosen class orator. Dr. Guthrie carried out post graduate work in New York City before settling in Dubuque in 1884 to practice medicine and surgery.

He outstanding abilities caused his reputation to spread widely. In 1889 he was asked by the Iowa State Board of Regents to chair the Physiology and Histology department at the University of Iowa. He reputation as an educator or lecturer grew. In 1893 he was appointed assistant to the chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with the former department under his complete control. He was promoted to become chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology and held professorship for many years in addition to a very successful private practice in Dubuque. On July 22, 1902, Dr. Guthrie was appointed dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Iowa eventually retiring as Dean Emeritus.

From the beginnings of his career, Dr. Guthrie worked diligently in the cause of the American Medical Society. He served as dean of the Dubuque County Medical Society. Honored several times by the Iowa State Medical Society, he was unanimously selected its president in 1901. He served on the Judicial Council of the American Medical Society and was active at its conventions.

In his later years, the study of cancer dominated his time. He was known to deliver two or three lectures each week in cities and smaller communities.

Outside of medicine, Dr. Guthrie served as a member of the exemption board which examined young men for military service. He was one of the organizers of the FEDERAL DEPOSIT & TRUST COMPANY and served as its first and only president. When the organization changed its name to the FEDERAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, he continued as president. With associates the FEDERAL BUILDING COMPANY was organized which owned the Federal Buiilding on 9th and Main STREETS. Dr. Guthrie was also the president of this group.



1. "Death Claims Dr. James Guthrie at the Age of 72," Telegraph-Herald and Times Journal, March 3, 1914, p. 1