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Dr. John Ridlon, Father of Orthopedic Surgery

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Catalog Information

Dr. John Ridlon, Father of Orthopedic Surgery
Accession Number
Date Added
11/24/2019 7:54:53 AM
Historical People
Gift of
Robert Underhill
Collection Title
Collection Description
Robert Underhill
Format Description
Search Engine Type
John Frederick Ridlon (1852 - 1936) grew up on West Tinmouth Rd in Clarendon and went on to become a pioneer in the science of orthopedic surgery, achieving great fame.  His story that begins with only sporadic education from age 8 to 12 and then being set on a far different path after the death of his father at age 14 speaks to a remarkable intellect and drive.  One of John's daughters, Jeannette Piccard went on to achieve great fame herself (see Jeannette (Ridlon) Piccard, 1st Woman in Stratosphere entry in this People collection for more on her).

See also entries in the Cellar Hole (Noel Potter Ridlon Site), Artifacts (Ridlon Artifacts), and Events (Noel Ridlon Hit by Train 1866) collections for more information on his homestead and family.  

The cover photo is an oil painting by artist Carl Bohnen (1872 - 1951).  It is housed in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.  The photo was unveiled in June 1927 at the dedication of the Montgomery Ward Memorial Building and was added to the collection of the Archibald Church Library. 

Sources for this narrative include History of the Ryedales  by G.T. Ridlon published 1884, Don Blauvelt (a descendant of John Ridlon's wife Emily Robinson's family), Northwestern University's 1930 yearbook, and numerous newspaper accounts.  

The narrative on Dr. Ridlon can be found here.  It was updated Dec. 2019.