Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Thayer, Charles Paine, 1843-1910
|Charles Paine Thayer (1843-1910), professor of Anatomy and originator of the idea of establishing the Tufts University Medical College, and was one of the original seven members of the faculty. He also served as the school's first secretary and purchasing agent.|
Born in West Randolph, Vermont, on January 22, 1843, Thayer was the son of Doctor Samuel White, who is credited with reestablishing the Medical Department at University of Vermont. Thayer entered the university in 1860, but his studies were interrupted when he enlistedfor military service in the Civil War. Following the war, Thayer returned to Vermont to pursue courses in the university's medical department. He received his medical degree from there in 1865.
Following stints as a private practitioner and Northern Pacific Railroad Surgeon, Thayer returned to University of Vermont's Medical School as assistant in Histology and Physiology and instructor, and later, adjunct professor in Anatomy. By the time Thayer and his wife, Alice Bemis, moved to Boston in 1878, he was primarily concerned with the problems of medical education.
In 1893, when the policies of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Boston came into question, Thayer, along with six other physicians, removed himself from the corporation. Working with Thayer's idea to create a medical faculty in connection with a university, the physicians approached President Capen of Tufts College, who found the proposal quite favorable, and supported the founding of the Tufts College Medical School in 1893.
Thayer poured his energies into establishing the school, serving as its secretary, purchasing agent, and professor of Anatomy for the college's first twelve years. From 1905 until 1909, Thayer also held the position of emeritus professor of Anatomy. Thayer died of heart disease in 1910 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Thayer was Editor of the Atlantic Medical weekly, a Fellow of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and maintained several memberships in Vermont's medical organizations. He received an honorary Master of Arts from the University of Vermont in 1899.