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College of Veterinary Medicine

St. Joseph Veterinary College Graduates

Dr. John Henry Gillman (SJ 1916) was born in Jackson, Tennessee. He graduated from St. Joseph Veterinary College in 1916 and held Tennessee license number 224. Dr. Gillman served in World War I where he attained the rank of major. He practiced veterinary medicine at Somerville, Tennessee, and then established a clinic with Dr. E. B. Mount in Memphis in 1930. The last thirty years of his life he spent with Jensen-Salsbery Laboratories where he did research. While performing an autopsy on cattle in San Angelo, Texas, he contracted anthrax and recovered. In 1938, Dr. Gillman was influential in bringing to Memphis the 76th Annual Meeting of the AVMA in 1939, of which he was general chairman. At this meeting, he was elected a vice president of the AVMA.

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In 1944, the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association honored Dr. Gillman with “Honorary Membership.” He was past president of the Southern States VMA; a member of the AVMA, which he served as vice president and as a member of the Rabies Control Committee; a twenty year member of the Tennessee State Board of Veterinary Examiners; and served the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association as first vice president from 1931-32 and as president from 1932-33. Dr. Gillman died in Memphis on May 17, 1953 (extracted from History of Veterinary Medicine in Tennessee written by Patricia Barclay Kirkeminde).

Dr. John J. Riordan (SJ 1917) enrolled in the St. Joseph Veterinary College in the fall of 1914 and graduated from St. Joseph Veterinary College in 1917. On April 6, 1917 the United States entered the war against Germany and all eligible men were required to register for the draft. In August of that year, Dr. Riordan received a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Veterinary Corps with orders to report to Camp Sheridan, Montgomery, Alabama. He served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. After the war, he was in practice in Fillmore, Missouri and later in Tarkio, Missouri. His son, John F. Riordan thought he had one of the largest large animal practices in the state of Missouri. He stated "In the year 1951 alone, he "shot" over one million cc's of hog cholera serum in addition to vaccinating for swine erysipelas."

Dr. Charles T. Riordan (SJ 1918) was the co-owner of a hog cholera serum company in Des Moines, Iowa. He was killed in a gas explosion at the plant in February 1931.

Dr. Clarence H. McElroy (SJ 1919) served as the first dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University from 1947-53. He was born on March 26, 1886 in Tulsa. He enrolled for the fall semester of 1900 in the college preparatory school at Oklahoma A&M College. Money was scarce so he worked as a janitor in Old Central for ten cents an hour and his "room" was a bed in the attic of the building. He recalled, "My board and room cost $2.50 a week. One year I spent only $90!" He went on to study general science and received his B.S. degree in June 1906.

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Mac returned to the ranch for a while and then worked at a store in Jennings, Oklahoma for one and a half years. On February 1, 1909, McElroy returned to Oklahoma A&M College to work as an assistant to Dr. L.L. Lewis, head of the Department of Zoology and Veterinary Medicine. McElroy was urged by Dr. Lewis to become a veterinarian; he entered the St. Joseph Veterinary College where he received the D.V.M. degree in 1919.

After graduation, McElroy returned to Stillwater, Oklahoma, as an assistant professor in the newly formed School of Veterinary Medicine. Unfortunately, due to financial problems and politics, the school closed. McElroy became the dean of the School of Science and Literature in 1925, as well as professor of veterinary medicine and bacteriology. He served as acting president of Oklahoma A&M College in 1928 and dean of men from 1928-47. At the 89th AVMA Convention in Atlanta in 1969, Dean McElroy was installed as honorary vice president. The Oklahoma State University Veterinary Medicine Building, the oldest building in the veterinary medicine complex, was named McElroy hall to honor Oklahoma State University's first dean.

Dr. Joseph E. Weinman (SJ 1921) taught veterinary students at the Kansas City Veterinary College and the St. Joseph Veterinary College and served as head of the Department of Anatomy for three years at St. Joseph Veterinary College until it closed in 1923. He subsequently was in private practice for nearly 25 years and left his practice in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1946 to join the embryonic faculty when the School of Veterinary Medicine opened at the University of Missouri.

Dr. W.R. Lawrence (SJ 1923) was originally from Mississippi and in general practice in Kosciusko. He was president of his senior class at the St. Joseph Veterinary College. He served the federal government in tuberculosis eradication work and moved to Tennessee in the mid 1940's. He was assistant to the state veterinarian in 1949 and practiced until his death, April 14, 1964. Dr. Lawrence was president of the TVMA from 1949-50 and was named "Veterinarian of the Year" in 1961.

Dr. Grant Ackerman enrolled at St. Joseph Veterinary College in 1923, but transferred to Kansas State College and then Colorado State University when St. Joseph closed. His son, Ed Ackerman graduated from Kansas State College in 1955.