The American College of Neuropsychiatrists

(An Osteopathic Institution)

By Floyd E. Dunn, D.O., F.A.C.N., F.A.A.M.D.

In the midst of preparations for the Atlantic City Meeting, the members of the College were saddened to learn of the death of Edward Strong Merrill, D.O., A.C.N., who had been head of the Department of Neurology & Psychiatry at the College of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons in Los Angeles until his retirement in 1948. He was a charter Fellow of the A.C.N., and with Drs. Dufour & Fuller in the east, and Drs. Hildreth and Gerding in mid- America made up the group of early D.O.’s who founded and operated neuropsychiatric hospitals. He owned and operated the Merrill Sanitarium in the 1920’s and remained its chief of staff until his death. Several of our California D.O. psychiatrists, notably Tommy Meyers, received their training under Dr. Merrill’s tutelage. He died peacefully on March 29th, 1951 after a long illness, which had forced him to give up his active participation in the A.C.N. almost a year earlier.

Then the secretary reported the subsequent letter from Dr. Tilley, dated Feb. 7, 1950 advising of the following action be the A.O.A. Board of Trustees (and following some masterful justification by several of the founding fathers of the A.C.N. – mentioned earlier in this history) “That the American College of Neuropsychiatrists, and osteopathic institution, be restored to full affiliate status”.

It was at this annual session that the first revision of the Constitution & By- laws of the A.C.N. were adopted by the vote of the members, and then voted to serve as the “interim rules of the organization” until written notice should be received of their official approval by the Board of Trustees of A.O.A., as required by the Basis Documents of the A.O.A. It was also voted to provide each member with a copy of the new documents and of the Articles of Incorporation in the State of Missouri, during the coming year, along with a directory of membership.

With the 1951 Annual Convention of the American Osteopathic Association slated for July 16th to 20th in Milwaukee, it was decided to hold our Fourteenth Annual A.C.N. sessions at Macon again. Where else could we get the free use of such admirable facilities, and such gracious treatment? And it was relatively easy to go to Milwaukee via Macon Missouri on the Burlington, or the Santo Fe (we still had good trains in those days) or by automobile. Additionally, it was convenient for our trainees to take their clinical exams in neurology or in psychiatry using Still- Hildreth patients as subjects. Those of us in the first generation of the A.C.N. Family will never forget those sessions in Macon with the picnics at the Pavillion, the complimentary lunches in the dining room, the Italian Dinners at “Johnny & Mary’s”, out “on the gravel”; and above all, the sense of integration and unity we came to feel as a result of those sessions in the relative seclusion of the Still- Hildreth “campus”.

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