In many respects the background of Dentistry in U.S.A. set the stage for the development of a surgical specialty. The 1844 separation of dentistry from medicine to establish the first College of Dentistry in Baltimore identified the need for special concentrated training for health care for the mouth and jaws. Although basic medical sciences were retained as foundation, the clinical skills required more concentrated training for competence. Medical school clinical training centered in hospitals and the only way for a dentist to receive training in surgery was to turn to hospitals after completing the dental curriculum. Chalmers Lyons recognized this necessity and with the encouragement of Cyreneus Darling, Chief of Surgery at University of Michigan Hospital, established a one year residency program in 1917. Michigan, Cincinnati, and Pennsylvania programs all started about the same time, perhaps with the awareness of a need for this advanced education that came with the health care needs and advanced during World War I. Robert Ivy was an early trainee at Pennsylvania. Al Kany of the dental class of 1916 was the first trainee at University of Michigan Hospital. He was followed by Chester Robertson, John Lundberg, and C. Taylor Hall. Bill Cook left his dental practice in Coldwater, Michigan and brought his family to Ann Arbor so that he too could train with Dr. Lyons and also carry out anatomic research on conductive anesthesia. These early residents included J. Orton Goodsell, Don H. Bellinger, L. Drake, and Gordon R. Maitland, (First Secretary & loyal supporter until age 92).
The ingredients which went into the formula for an organized group were strong affection for "The Chief" and a demanding need for continuing education. There were no specialty journals, no seminars, and no state or national educational opportunities for the specialty of oral surgery. The American Association of Exodontists began in 1917 but it had a very small membership which included some controversial prima donna showmen who performed at state dental meetings and hotels.
The first Michigan trainees who tried to establish specialty practice had many problems. They had problems of being understood or recognized in the profession and in hospitals. Chal Lyons was an early advocate of local conductive anesthesia, a meticulous and gentle advocate of local conductive anesthesia, a meticulous and gentle surgeon, and a "doubter" of the popular Billings Rosenow dental focal infection theory that was sweeping the dental interests of the country. These put "Chal's Boys" "out of step" with the untrained, self-taught and stylized exodontists of the day who could rapidly extract buckets of teeth daily under nitrous oxide hypoxic general anesthesia with high economic productivity. The concepts of hospital trained dentists, performing oral cleft and facial fracture surgery, was puzzling to the medical and hospital community. So the pioneer oral surgeons of Michigan had need to gather together to commiserate, share strategy, and learn from each other at the side of their "Chief". They were enthusiastic students in every sense of the word, traveling great distances to Ann Arbor for weekly or at least monthly presentations of case reviews and lengthy discussions. The inquisitive spirit of Bill Cook and the demanding curiosity of Orton Goodsell joined the other loyal founders to make the early meetings frequent, popular, and sometimes heated. It was Bill Cook who suggested the formation of an official "Club" and he became its President and leader from 1927 to 1935. The founding members of Chal's Boys established the organization in 1927.
Dr. Lyons was modest about his accomplishments and often said that he wanted no tribute or memorial other than this group of his "Boys". His many warm personal qualities and his fine example are found in the eulogies that poured out from important sources at his untimely death in 1935. Some of these are excerpted in the following section from an earlier Academy booklet.
From "Our Heritage 1927-1973
Edited by Irwin Small, President
From the Journal of the Michigan Dental Society 1935
"Michigan dentists mourn the passing of their most beloved dentist, their most useful dentist and their most illustrious dentist." These words from the cover page are not mere sentimental exaggerations permitted at a time of bereavement, they are literally and accurately true.
There has been no time for many years when an expression of the leadership of Michigan dentistry as well as of the rank and file, would not have been practically unanimous in placing Dr. Lyons in all three classifications. The only dissenting opinion would have been from Chal, himself, as he was familiarly known.
These facts in themselves tell the story of a rare combination of qualities. It is not often that the most popular man in the profession is also the most useful and most noted. But the popularity was not a studied effort to win acclaim, it came naturally from a kindliness and sympathy and genuine interest. He was never too busy to see the lowliest seeking his help, and he put everyone at ease by a word or look that inspired confidence and esteem. He was the most useful dentist because of his well known tact and judgment and influence. He was not impulsive and his judgment was considered unusually sound. Consequently he was much sought as a counselor on important dental affairs and his exceptionally wide acquaintance and tact made him an invaluable ally.
His charm of personality as well as skill as an oral surgeon easily made him Michigan's most illustrious dentist. His fame as a surgeon had reached national and international proportions especially in the field of plastic surgery.
Because he occupied such an unusual place in Michigan dentistry, we believe it fitting to devote a considerable portion of this issue to a memorial and in addition to a biographical sketch we have asked a number of friends and co-workers to contribute short articles from various viewpoints.
In doing this we have confined our requests to Michigan residents, well knowing that scattered far and wide are many who would have considered it a privilege to add their word of tribute. But we would not have known where to begin or where to stop and consequently have not gone outside at all.
It is worthy of note to mention here that Chalmers J. Lyons was in fact the father of this Journal, for it was during his term as President of the Michigan State Dental Society in 1918-1919, and by his recommendation that a quarterly Bulletin was first published by the Society. As usual, he laid a wise foundation. The quarterly expanded to a monthly and later to the status of a Journal.
We are sure that we voice the sentiment of the entire membership when we extended to the bereaved wife, son and relatives the sincerest sympathy of the Michigan State Dental Society.
The University of Michigan
The death of Chalmers J. Lyons, D.D.S., D.D.Sc., Professor of Oral Surgery and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the School of Dentistry, has taken from us one whose technical skill had benefited many and had enriched the resources of his profession, whose friendly personality and honorable character had endeared him to hosts of associates, students, teachers, and practitioners, and upon whose tact, good sense, and wisdom we had come to rely in making arrangements for the instruction in dentistry and other health sciences. He was an alumnus of Michigan and a valued member of its faculty for the past twenty-eight years, during twenty of which he had held a full professorship. In every sense he belonged to this University and gave to it that type of devoted service which can never be purchased but comes about only when the individual makes the interests of the institution his own.
ALEXANDER G. RUTHVEN, President, University of Michigan.
by U.G. Rickert and John W. Kemper
Doctor Chalmers J. Lyons represented a type of personality that could have served well in any profession. The inspiration that he has given will continue to live. His counsels will always guide those of us who knew him best.
Doctor Lyons was born in Martinsburg, Ohio, April 30, 1874. He was the son of John P. and Manila (White) Lyons. At the age of seven he came with his family to a farm near Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. It was in the rural schools and at the Central State Normal College at Mt. Pleasant that he received his early education. A descendant of a long line of school teachers, he himself at the early age of sixteen also took up this vocation.
After finishing the Normal School he decided to study dentistry. His big problem was how to finance this. Few of us knew that Doctor Lyons was also a pen artist. With this talent and the ability he had, as a salesman, traveled from town to town taking orders of business men from the blacksmith to the haberdasher for an artistically designed directory. This directory was neatly and attractively penned and framed by the skilled young artist. Hanging in public places, it served not only as a directory, but also as creditable advertising.
After Doctor Lyons had covered a considerable part of the lower peninsula of Michigan he crossed the river and went into Ontario where he was equally successful. He occasionally reminisced with his friends of his experiences, accompanied by Doctor O. W. White of Detroit, in this Canadian business venture. Sufficient funds were thus earned so that he was able to attend the University of Michigan School of Dentistry from which he received the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1898 and the degree of Doctor of Dental Science in 1911.
In 1907 he moved to Jackson, Michigan where he became associated in general practice with his brother, Dr. J. W. Lyons. In 1909 he was married to Grace B. Driggs of Palmyra, Michigan. Their son, Richard Hugh, is now a senior in the Medical School of the University of Michigan.
From 1907 to 1909 Doctor Lyons was an instructor in Clinical Dentistry at Ann Arbor. In 1910 he became non-resident lecturer on Clinical Dentistry. In 1911 he was given the post-graduate degree of Doctor of Dental Science. From 1913 to 1915 he served as instructor in Oral Surgery and Consulting Dental Surgeon to the University Hospital.
Doctor Lyons took special instruction in cleft lip and cleft palate surgery from the late Doctor Truman Brophy of Chicago. Following this he began the notable task of building up the largest clinic of its kind in existence, to which many surgeons came from al parts of the world to observe his methods. In this pioneering work he had the cooperation of the late Doctors de Nancreed and Cyreneus Darling of the Surgery Department of the University Hospital.
He was made, Professor of Oral Surgery and Consulting Dental Surgeon to the University Hospital in 1915 and continued in this capacity until his death. During the past year he was made Chairman of the Executive Committee of the School of Dentistry, a position for which he was eminently qualified.
He was active through a most important developmental period of the dental profession and only those of us who knew him best and who observed the keenness with which he could look into the future and analyze situations with the probable outcome, can adequately appreciate the tremendous contribution that he made to the recent phenomenal advancement of dental science.
Doctor Lyons' chief ambition was to serve. His skill and ability would have permitted him to capitalize on his services, but not so with Doctor Lyons. He recently made the statement that the most satisfying compensation that he ever had was to see those youngsters upon whom he had operated in babyhood return in him years later to let him see the satisfactory results of the operations. The appreciative mothers who came back to him with the children whom he may have operated as much as five or six years earlier brought him the type of compensation that gave Doctor Lyons his happiest moments.
He was a frequent contributor to dental and medical literature. He was author of a textbook on "Fractures and Dislocations of the Jaws," and chapters in Ward's "American Textbook of Operative Dentistry," and Mead's "Oral Surgery."
Despite his busy life Doctor Lyons found time to participate actively in many organizations. He was a member of the American Medical Association, American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Plastic Surgeons, International Association for Dental Research, Fellow of the American College of Dentists, and Michigan State Advisory Council of Health. He was also a member of Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Kappa Upsilon and Delta Sigma Delta fraternities. He served as President of the American Association of Oral and Plastic Surgeons and the Michigan State Dental Society, also a Supreme Grand Master of Delta Sigma Delta fraternity. In 1933 he was awarded the Jarvie Medal given by the New York State Dental Society for outstanding dental service. Among the many honors that came to him the one which probably gave him the most personal satisfaction was the founding of the Chalmers J. Lyons club, an organization founded in his honor and made up of men who have served a three year internship under him in the Department of Oral Surgery.
Because of many inquires we believe a word should be added to this biography as to the cause of death. While he was carrying on as usual, close friends of Dr. Lyons have been quite concerned for some time in regard to his health. Three major operations in recent years had left their effects on a strong constitution. The first was for an appendectomy, later acute intestinal obstruction and the most serious of all some three years ago for the removal of a kidney. On the morning of May 14, he was suddenly taken acutely ill by what proved to be a perforated gastric ulcer. He was rushed to the hospital for an emergency operation but in his weakened condition he could not stand the shock and passed away on the following Saturday morning.----Ed.
Contributions to Surgery
Early in his professional career Chalmers J. Lyons' interest turned to the surgical aspects of dentistry. At that time, oral surgery as we now know it, was in an embryonic state and very few men were devoting their efforts to it. Plastic surgery of the cleft palate and harelip was done, often in an unsatisfactory manner, by the occasional surgeon because of his special interests or, more often, because no one else would do it. Extractions and treatment of infections of the maxillary bones were carried out by the practicing dentist without any special skill or knowledge. Dr. Lyons saw the need for special study of these problems and had the vision to foresee the future of such specialization.
After moving to Jackson, Michigan, in 1907 to practice in association with his brother, Dr. J. W. Lyons, he was able to begin the study and training that eventually gave him eminence in the field of oral surgery. At first he came regularly to Ann Arbor where, in addition to teaching in the School of Dentistry, he placed himself under the tutelage of Dr. DeNancrede and Dr. Cyrenus Darling of the Surgical Department of the University for instruction in surgery of the mouth. In 1908 he spent the major portion of the year with Dr. Brophy in Chicago. Dr. Brophy was one of the pioneers in the surgery of cleft palate and cleft lip in this country and had for those days a very active clinic in these conditions. Dr. Lyons returned to Jackson to continue his practice and to resume his relationship with the Dental and Surgical Departments of the University. His work in oral surgery soon was his chief interest and his work in other fields of dentistry steadily diminished. In 1913 he became Instructor in Oral Surgery and Consulting Dentist to the University Hospital which marked his complete transference to the specialty of oral surgery. He moved to Ann Arbor at this time for closer connection with the University and in 1915 was made Professor of Oral Surgery and Consulting Dental Surgeon to the University Hospital.
In 1917, with Dr. Darling, he founded the Department of Oral Surgery in the University Hospital, one of the earliest of such clinics in this country. In the early days of the clinic the work was largely extractions with a very few operations for congenital defects. But the excellent results secured by him in cleft surgery soon caused the clinic to grow rapidly until in late years he was correcting these deformities in about one hundred new patients each year, performing on them between three and four hundred operations yearly. With the institution of this clinic in the University Hospital he began the training of a group of oral surgeons and at the time of his death there were at least eighteen of these men of outstanding worth in oral surgery practicing this specialty over the entire country.
He was perhaps prouder of this group than of any other of his achievements, always saying that they would be his real contribution to the good of the world. About twelve years ago these men formed the Chalmers J. Lyons Club for their further improvement and as a monument to their Chief.
In the early half of his cleft work Dr. Lyons followed rather closely the methods of Brophy, that is, he used the direct wiring of the maxillary and premaxillary bones, the wire being supported by lead plates. However, he came to realize that there existed an underdevelopment of the upper dental arch that led to malocclusion of the teeth and not infrequently to the destruction of the premaxillary process. He first gave up the use of the wire and lead plates, replacing them by buried sutures and in 1926 broke away entirely from Brophy's method in favor of his own. He recognized the principles now used by the orthodontist that if nature were given a chance the pressure of the facial muscles as they are used would mold the arch to a normal contour and development. Therefore, he substituted for Brophy's mechanical pressure digital molding of the bones and closed cleft lips very early in life when the facial structures are plastic and most easily molded to normal by natural forces. After his mounting success in cleft surgery an attempt was made by the Eastman Infirmary for Children in Rochester to appoint Dr. Lyons and it took the efforts of Dean Ward, President Ruthven and Dr. Harley Hayes, Hospital Director to keep him at Michigan.
His contributions to oral surgery were many, appearing in standard textbooks and in journals devoted to his specialty. His skill in this field led to membership in many learned societies and he took a very active part in the American Association of Oral and Plastic Surgeons of which he was a Past President.
In his work he was deft and gentle, paying great attention to every minutia of technique. The patient was his greatest care and interest and no feature of the preparation and after care was too small to receive his personal attention. All in all he brought to his surgical work qualities of mind, hands and heart that together make the Great Surgeon.
FREDERICK A. COLLER, Professor of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Chalmers J. Lyons as a Member of the Faculty
Because of the amount of oral surgery, it was found desirable to introduce the discipline into the other clinical departments of the school and it soon became a fundamental subject. Practices and procedures which were formerly regarded as purely and separately mechanical soon became surgical. The relationships that were demonstrated between surgery and dentistry soon spread to other departments in the Dental and Medical Schools. From a recognition of these relationships the natural sequence of events accrued until dentistry was definitely related to systemic diseases.
During these changes in teaching and practice few persons offered any help to Dr. Lyons and me in the development of the departments in the Dental School and Hospital. Some claimed that oral surgery could be developed only in large cities. Others held that only those having both medical and dental degrees could satisfactorily practice oral surgery. Others advocated that only a full time instructor should attempt to teach the subject. In fact, at one time it appeared likely that the subject would be taken from the Dental School and given to the Medical.
It was during these times that I learned one of the principal, but not generally known, reasons for Dr. Lyons great success. It was his persistent efforts, often under embarrassing and discouraging circumstances, to develop himself and the department of oral surgery. Many teachers have come and gone since this work was begun, but none have shown greater determination than has Dr. Lyons.
The significant part of this reminiscence is that it brings out the fact that he was possessed of geniality and gentlemanliness in such abundance that they obscured his persistence which was such an essential factor in his success. I know many will doubt this observation, but if they had been in close enough contact with him during his own development and the development of the departments of oral surgery they would have realized that these characteristics obscured his persistence, ideals and courage.
He had another quality which made him an outstanding influence with the faculty and which has helped me over many barriers which always have been and still are difficult to ascend whenever changes in education have appeared to be in conflict with practice. It was the fact that he was an excellent practitioner for several years. If he were supporting an educational movement, practitioners were generally willing to waive first antagonistic reactions and accept his judgment. The same thing was true in the faculty. He was able to talk the language and understand the problems of clinical teachers.
His uncommon heritage of persistence, combined with geniality and his knowledge of practical dentistry enabled him to bring oral surgery, at it was developed, into the work of the school in a rapid and most effective manner.
The need for research in his own subject soon interested him in research and inquiry in other subjects to a degree not generally recognized. In much the same manner as his geniality obscured his steadfast adherence to ideals and ambitions, his practical work obscured his desire to see the school develop its teaching upon constant original inquiry. While he developed the work in oral surgery in both the hospital and the Dental School to an outstanding position, which will be extolled by others, his greatest contributions to dentistry were through the faculty and students by the inherent influence which he exerted during the transitions in dental education taking place during his connection with the School. Not only was he an oral surgeon in the Faculty and in the faculty's work with the profession, but an influential champion of sound things in education--an efficient harmonizer of theory and practice.
MARCUS L. WARD, School of Dentistry, Ann Arbor. June 1935
Chalmers J. Lyons Club
The Chalmers J. Lyons Club was founded in March, 1927, and it was made up of men who have had the prescribed course of training in Oral Surgery under Dr. Lyons at the University Hospital, Ann Arbor. The Oral Surgery Department was started in 1917 in the old University Hospital, and at that time Dr. Lyons picked one graduating student to intern for one year. In 1922 his Department added two interns for a period of two years each. in 1923 his Department had become the largest Oral Surgery Clinic in the world and he increased his service to three years. Dr. Lyons always referred to these men as "His Boys", and from this group the membership of the Chalmers J. Lyons Club is made. Honorary members have been added. He is immortal to "His Boys." Such a life cannot be replaced.
We know him as a man, who was a sterling lover of truth. He had a scorn for pretense and show and a courageous faith in his own convictions blended with a kindly spirit. These are some of his attributes.
With the passing of our beloved Chief, Dr. Lyons, it was unanimously voted to continue the activities of the Chalmers J. Lyons Club as a memorial to him. The membership follows: Drs. A.W. Kany, Frederick F. Pfeiffer, C.J. Robertson, New York City; M.L. Drake, Cleveland; Homer Porritt, Pittsburgh; Joseph Tolan, Milwaukee; Leroy F. Hill, Pontiac; Joe Sullivan, Toledo; Philip M. Northrop, V.H. Eman, Grand Rapids; J. Orton Goodsell, Saginaw; G.E. Anderson, Bay City; John Kemper, Reed Dingman, Ann Arbor; C. Taylor Hall, Don H. Bellingsr, William Cook, John Lundberg and G.R. Maitland, Detroit, Mich. The present interns are Drs. McConnell, Rehfield, Bruce Cook.
G.R. Maitland, Secretary, Detroit.
Chalmers J. Lyons: The Oral Surgeon
Chalmers J. Lyons: His passing is too recent to permit completely unemotional rationalization on his work as an oral surgeon. We, who owe a great share of our present lives to his inspiration, teaching and friendship, can never cease thanking the One who looks over us for our good fortune, and the sadness in our loss cannot but give way to joy over having known him. Separation of a man from his work is never an easy task and, in this case, the superimposition of a rare personality over a highly developed and intelligent surgical skill makes it almost impossible.
Of the many superlative surgical qualities which Dr. Lyons possessed I think that the ones which stood out were his rationality and conservatism. His technique was, of course, superb but one could not help being impressed by his intelligent and mature judgment. This was shown many times in the reliance of dentists and physicians on his opinions. Their faith was something at which to marvel. On the other hand, his was a venturesome spirit which never failed to grasp an opportunity for progress if nonconformity had a basis in logic. This admixture of rational conservatism and progressivism led him to employ technical innovations in his practice of oral surgery which have proved of value to his patients, his students and the professions. The literature bears ample record of his accomplishments.
Dr. Lyons' world-wide reputation was largely developed through his efforts to aid those afflicted by clefts of the palate and lip, although his work on jaw fractures, root-resections and all other phases of oral surgery received not a little attention. He developed, at the University Hospital, the largest cleft lip and palate clinic in existence and visitors from abroad, as well as the United States, made the trek to Ann Arbor to observe his skill. His desire to improve his technique led to many innovations and changes from time to time. The present writer watched Dr. Lyons operate on many occasions during the past fifteen years and never failed to be impressed by the continuous parade of technical refinements during that period.
Mention of all of them is impossible so reference to a few will have to suffice. He, at first, used lead plates and silver wires on bony clefts--then changed to wire alone and finally forsook the use of both, in most instances, relying on lip and tongue pressure to mold the parts. This change eliminated one complete operation. With the soft palate he exhibited the same inclination to experiment. First he packed relaxation incisions and then he sutured them together; he used diverse suture materials and methods; he used flap operations and no flaps; he used push-backs, etc. To this writer it seems that his introduction of the use of buried gut sutures in the approximation of the levator and tensor veli palati muscles was one of his most important contributions to the success of staphylorrhaphy although his observations on the relatively superior importance of the posterior blood supply over the anterior were extremely valuable. His lips were something to behold and when given any kind of a "break" by nature he was pretty sure to produce a normal appearing lip. There are, of course, limitations in any plastic surgery and no cut-and-dried technique is possible. Dr. Lyons could adapt his methods to the various problems as they arose and he produced many phenomenal results in the face of very discouraging conditions, but he also had his failures, although they were few. One of his characteristics which we all admired was his willingness to show his errors as well as his accomplishments despite the fact that most of his defeats were caused by nature and not by himself. His ability at self-analysis was one of the chief reasons for his success.
Cyrenus Darling and Truman Brophy were the early important influences over the career of Dr. Lyons just as he, in turn, affected the lives of many others, particularly those who were associated with him, at some time or other, in his work. Dr. Lyons said many times that he could want no better monument than "his boys"--those who went forth from his service in Ann Arbor. Those "boys" would like nothing better than to be able, in some small degree, to measure up to his hopes and expectations. One of them recently remarked. "It is said that no matter who one may be, he can be replaced, but I doubt if ever, in our generation, we will see his (CJL's) equal."
Those who were frequent visitors at his clinic may have noticed that when Dr. Lyons became confronted by an operative hurdle which required a pause for study, he would emit a rather tuneful whistle until he had arrived at a decision for the proper procedure. We never learned the tune, and perhaps there was none, but it won't quite be home without it.
Chalmers J. Lyons as a Teacher
Doctor Chalmers J. Lyons was especially endowed by heredity, environment, education and temperament to become the superior teacher that nationally and internationally he was known to be. On both maternal and paternal sides his ancestors were teachers and ministers. His grandfather was a teacher during the pioneer days in Ohio. His father and mother taught school in their early days in Ohio. When Doctor Lyons was seven years old the family moved into the timber country near Winn, in Isabella County, Michigan and there during the winter months his father taught school. This teaching inheritance, linked with the home environment of righteous parents, his kindly temperament and ample knowledge of the subjects he taught, blended to build the signal class-room master that he was.
That he was far above the common order of instructors, more than two thousand who have been his students will bear witness, but his influence as a teacher did not stop with imparting to his class the technical facts of theory and practice, he taught the finer tenets of life, and among his professional tenets were: that there is a high purpose in a dentist's career and that when one begins the study of dentistry he assumes the responsibility of good citizenship and professional integrity. These principles he taught unconsciously by exemplifying them in his daily life. His thoughts on these truths were comprehended early by his students and were the basis of the profound respect which they had for him, and no teacher was ever respected by his students more than he.
He taught not only in the dental school but also in the medical school and the inspiration which he imparted to his students, to set high ideals and labor to achieve them, is a heritage which has already borne fruit and will continue to bear as long as memory of him lasts.
Doctor Lyons impressed his classes with his simple, sincere, direct, dignified and thorough teaching methods. In his classroom there was never an occasion for lightness either in speech or manner and as his everyday life he was completely separated from ostentation and affectedness. He was kind to his students. He understood their problems and they could take their problems to him without fear, because they knew him to be fair and just and that he would receive them with an open mind and a paternal will to help them. He was never too busy to listen to a student's troubles and from him they always received sound advice and encouragement.
That he was reverenced by his students is shown by the following incident: At a meeting of the Chalmers J. Lyons Club, one of his former students was there as a guest, and in paying his respects to Doctor Lyons stated, that when he was in Ann Arbor as a student, if the boys were on the street and saw Doctor Lyons approaching on the opposite side, they would cross and meet him just for the joy of speaking to him. It is plainly apparent that those boys recognized in Doctor Lyons the true friend that he was to them, and they, in their boyish way, were expressing their gratitude to him. No greater compliment could be paid a teacher by his students.
Chalmers J. Lyons' work as a teacher did not end with graduation of the student. The same spirit of wishing to help extended also to the profession at large and it is well known by those close to him that he sacrificed both time and strength to fulfill what he believed to be his the student. The same spirit of wishing to help extended also to the profession at large and it is well known by those close to him that he sacrificed both time and strength to fulfill what he believed to be his obligation as a teacher, to counsel and advise whenever it was sought. In his specialty he became the expert consultant and advisor to both the medical and dental professions in Michigan and surrounding states. Also from far away places he received requests for counsel and advice from his former students. Thus he continued to teach many, long after they had gone out into private practice. Naturally his greatest efforts have been directed to the professions in Michigan and there is not a corner in the state that has not benefited from his teachings.
To those who had the opportunity to be associated with him as staff members on his hospital service, he became more than a teacher and benefactor. To all of them he became a friend and to many he became an ideal which encompassed the attributes of a teacher, a friend, a brother and a father. Doctor Lyons called those who have trained with him "My Boys" and they loved him as if he were their own father. His attributes were the cardinal virtues of a truly great man and he left the world much richer for having lived and taught in it.
WM. A . COOK, Detroit.
By: Don Bellinger
The University's theme for its Sesquicentennial namely, "Knowledge, Wisdom and the Courage to Serve" most aptly describes the man after whom this organization is named and who was responsible for the founding of the University of Michigan training program in oral surgery and for its administration from its founding until his death eighteen years later.
Chalmers J. Lyons was born April 30, 1874 in Martinsburg, Ohio, the son of John P. and Manila (White) Lyons, the third of four children. At the age of seven his parents moved to Michigan and settled on a farm near Mt. Pleasant. It was in the rural schools and at Central State Normal College (now Central Michigan University) that he received his education.
He was descended from a family of "school teachers"---a vocation that both his father and his mother had pursued, and at the early age of sixteen he began teaching in the rural schools. His teaching career was interrupted when he returned to the Central State Normal College to procure the necessary credits for admission to the college of Dental Surgery, University of Michigan. He entered the University in 1895 and was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1898. As an undergraduate he was described by his fellow students as being objective, affable, generous and extremely well-developed mentally. Among his undergraduate activities was his hobby for penmanship, mastery of which is attested to by the fact that during vacation periods he practiced it professionally. Even to one who had never known him, much could have been learned of him from his hand writing. Characteristically, it was careful, exact and devoid of display. Truly, it might be said that his hand writing revealed his character as indeed it should, considering how much of one's mental life flows from his pen.
Following graduation Dr. Lyons began the practice of general dentistry in Adrian, Michigan. In 1907 he moved to Jackson, Michigan where he became associated in general practice with his older brother James W. Lyons.
Porcelain was then coming into quite general use through short courses of instruction given, for the most part, by practicing dentists of which he was one. The University recognized the need for including this instruction in its undergraduate curriculum and, because of the prominence and skill he had attained in the field, he was appointed instructor of clinical dentistry in 1907 to teach this subject while still carrying on a private practice in Jackson. This contract with the University furnished him the opportunity to begin study and training in oral surgery and the major portion of the year 1908 was spent with Dr. Truman Brophy of Chicago, who had pioneered in the surgical correction of oral clefts together with other oral and maxillofacial diseases and deformities. Upon his return from Chicago, further instruction in this field was obtained by association with Drs. DeNancrede and Darling of the University Hospital Surgical Staff.
At this time oral surgery was in no way considered a specialty of either medicine or dentistry. It was through Dr. Lyons' perseverance that the principles of surgery and the practice of dentistry became interrelated to a degree that the subject of oral surgery was made a part of the dental curriculum. In 1915 he became instructor in oral surgery and consulting dentist to the University Hospital. This marked his complete transference to the teaching and practice of this branch of dentistry. He transferred his residence to Ann Arbor at this time and was made Professor of Oral Surgery and Consulting Dental Surgeon to the University Hospital.
Aided and encouraged by Dr. Cyrenus Darling he founded the Department of Oral Surgery in the University Hospital in 1917 under the administration of the College of Dental Surgery, thus making the specialty one of dentistry rather than medicine. In the beginning the training service was limited to one year of instruction. In 1922 it was lengthened to two years and in 1923 it was increased to three years of clinical and basic science instruction with the added option advantage of the degree of Master of Science in Oral Surgery. At the time of his death, twenty-three men had availed themselves of this training service and the Chalmers J. Lyons Academy was organized by several of these early trainees. Before his death this group commissioned the making of the portrait of him that hangs in the dental school. The painting had not been completed at the time of his death and was finished from photographs. It was presented to the University at the formal opening exercise of the Dental School in the fall of 1935.
Dr. Lyons' influence upon his pupils was profound and overpowering. He was especially endowed by heredity, environment, education, and temperament to become the great teacher for which he was known. In both the dental and medical schools he impressed his students with his simple, dignified and thorough teaching methods. His words were carefully chosen and deliberately uttered. He carried his students along with him and perhaps no teacher was ever better remembered. Earnestness was his eloquence and his desire to instruct, his motive power. His influence as a teacher extended much farther than the classroom. Unconsciously, he taught the finer tenets of life by exemplifying them in his daily existence.
He was vitally interested in the affairs of the dental school and as a member of the faculty and an advisor in matters of policy his council was invaluable. He was unquestionably the outstanding figure of the dental faculty. Other professors were eminent and left their mark but Dr. Lyons' striking personality, embodied in a frame of manly proportions, his expressive features suffused with a tenderness peculiarly his own, combined to inspire confidence and endear him to all who were associated with him.
He developed a national and international reputation in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. His oral surgery clinic at the University Hospital grew to be one of the largest in the world, and surgeons from the four corners of the earth were in attendance at his surgical clinics. He contributed generously to the literature and was greatly in demand as a lecturer and clinician throughout the United States and abroad. In 1925 he visited the surgical clinics of Europe and returned greatly impressed with the superior type of work being done in this country in the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery. He often said that the best thing he saw on this trip was the railroad tunnel under the Detroit River on the way home.
He was a frequent contributor to medical and dental literature. He was author of a textbook on "Fractures and Dislocations of the Jaws" and he contributed chapters dealing with oral surgery in Wards "American Textbook of Operative Dentistry" and in Mead's "Oral Surgery". His bibliography of published articles was in excess of sixty.
In his writings he possessed good style. The information was imparted in such a manner that the reader at no time found it difficult because of ambiguous phraseology or doubtful expressions, to grasp the meaning. Despite his busy life, he participated actively in many professional and civic organizations.
Dr. Lyons was twice married. His first wife died of tuberculosis not long after their marriage. His second wife was Grace B. Griggs of Palmyra, Michigan to whom he was married in 1909. A son, Richard Hugh, was born to this union. He is now Professor of Medicine at the University of Syracuse, New York.
It is granted to few men to see the fruits of their labors; usually it is left to posterity to recognize and evaluate their worth and raise monuments to their honor. Also, each generation may be inclined to forget or fail to appreciate the labors of their preceptors that contributed so much to their own well-being. Our own generation of dentists, however, can never forget that it was Dr. Lyons who built so well and left so much. Truly, it can be said that he was a pioneer of the specialty of oral surgery and developed one of the first, if not the first, comprehensive programs of instruction, the effect of which is worldwide.
For his industry and his vision, hundreds and hundreds of dentists living today and for generations to come and thousands on thousands of patients will be better for his having lived.
Dr. Lyons referred to his trainees as "his boys" and he often said that he wanted no other monument. This organization is a living memorial to him. Had it not been this Academy, it would have been something else for a great and dedicated man is a dispensation of Providence, whose influence is not only immediate, but continuous, progressive and never ending. It survives the man who possessed it; survives his age, perhaps his country. For those of us who knew him personally and those of you who know him only as a name, it will be a great thrill to meet him in the hereafter and hear his ever modest evaluation of his self-righteousness and the magnificent role he played in the profession of dentistry generally and oral surgery especially.
Bill Cook was the first staff oral surgeon, but he asked Don Bellinger to take over and to organize a complete Division in 1930.
Drs. Leroy Peterson and R. Bruce MacIntosh have supplied the following:
Henry Ford Hospital staffed a complete Dental Department with all specialties and a dental laboratory. "Pete" recalls taking Henry Ford's denture to the lab for replacement of a broken tooth and delivering it without much appreciation.
Trauma from busy Detroit traffic brought in many fractures and Fred Henny was developing the cancer surgery and TMJ surgery for which he was famous. Fred was Don Bellinger's second resident, after Fred Coggan, who practiced in Kalamazoo. Don's operating activity at that time was chiefly cleft lip and palate repair. The outpatient clinic was busy with exodontia under local anesthesia. The 1940' found large tuberculosis and psychiatric floors. There was no Anesthesia Service and generals were administered by nurses with primitive techniques and no endotracheal.
Dr. Peterson learned anesthesia at Percy Jones Army Hospital and advanced maxillofacial and reconstructive surgery at Valley Forge Army Hospital. He developed a very close friendship with Fred Henny that continued throughout their careers.
With so many oral surgeons away during WWII, the demands at Ford Hospital were great and Fred Henny reminisced about regularly operating into late evening hours. Fred was deferred from military service because of his essential role at the hospital.
It was in these years of close association with General Surgery that he developed skills and reputation in the management of oral cancer and head & neck surgery. Osteomyelitis was a common complication of fractures in those days.
As we review the list of trainees from the Ford programs of Bellinger and Henny, notice in their successful careers the surprising number who also directed training programs.
This started with James B. Smith who left in 1944 to direct the training program at Geisinger Clinic in Danville, PA.
In these years Ford Hospital was a leader in treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders. Fred first favored meniscectomy for dysfunctional pain problems. He later turned to high condylectomy (condylar shave) as the treatment of choice. Fred was a natural leader for the Am. Society of Oral Surgeons and the Journal.
The 1950's brought growth and innovative change. Don Bellinger retired as Chief in 1952 after 22 years of service. Fred Henny succeeded him and asked Marvin Revzin of NY, who completed training at Detroit Receiving Hospital, to join the staff. Marv served in that position for almost 10 years. These were times of turmoil for the specialty in all hospitals and medical circles and Fred was in the center of the fray.
The in-patient activities of the Division expanded and gained strength in the management of malignant disease, trauma, and temporomandibular joint surgery.
After completing a year of graduate study at the U. of Michigan, S. Elmer Bear completed the Ford 2 year training program in 1951. He returned to Virginia to succeed his father as Chairman and Program Director at the Medical College of Virginia. Malcolm (Hoot) Gibson--1952, established his practice in Port Huron. Albert Antoni--1953, returned to Canada to direct the Oral Surgery Program at University of Toronto. James O'Brien--1954, went to Dubuque, Iowa to join the practice of Leslie FitzGerald. (Honorable Member) Robert Craig--1955 went to a practice in Lincoln, Nebraska with a teaching position.
Cesar Sabstes, of Camaguey, Cuba came in 1955 for one year of training before going to St. Louis for an additional year with Leroy Peterson. Dr. Sabates returned at a later date for additional training at Ford Hospital.
The clinics and offices of Ford Hospital moved to a magnificent new tower in 1958. Oral Surgery shared the 10th floor with Ophthalmology, fostering a fine relationship between the two services. The new clinic provided modern general anesthesia facilities which were safe and had the endorsement of the Anesthesia Department. Drs. Henny and Revzin recognized the benefits of training in anesthesiology and began negotiations with Leonard Monheim of the University of Pittsburgh. They developed an integration of anesthesia training and the oral surgery residency, taking the first year at Pittsburgh.
National standards of that time were only 2 years of oral surgery training. Richard Baumbach--1960, was the first to finish the 3 year program. The national mandate for 3 years did not take effect until 1968. James B. Edwards--1960, returned to practice in South Carolina. Jim later became Governor of that state, then Secretary of Energy in the first Reagan Cabinet, and ultimately Chancellor of the Medical Center, University of South Carolina. Edward Henefer, Paul Mathews and David Ford all finished in 1961. Ed was appointed to teach at University of Pennsylvania, Paul opened practice in Cleveland, Ohio, and Dave went to Columbus where for several years he made sure that Fred Henny had tickets when the Wolverines played the Buckeyes at Ohio.
The program in the 1960s remained strong with the guidance of Fred Henny and Marv Revzin. Fred completed his 13 years as Editor of the Journal of Oral Surgery in 1965. In the hospital there was a great influx of trauma as the social mosaic changed in Detroit. Although Dr. Henny repaired an occasional cleft on direct referral, most cleft cases were managed by Plastic Surgery. The antipathy between our service and both Plastic and Otolaryngology became more intense while relationships with all other services and personnel throughout the hospital were excellent.
Oscar Villegas of Bolivia arrived in 1962 to spend 18 months in training. 1962 saw Marv Revzin appointed as Chairman, Dept. of Oral Surgery at University of Detroit Dental School with a part-time practice in Grosse Pointe. About that time, Ralph Merrill came from Boston where he had trained under Kurt Thoma. Ralph completed an additional residency year and joined the senior staff. The Division of Oral Surgery became active in laboratory and clinical research. Research was directed by Frederick Wertheimer, staff oral pathologist and periodontist.
Ralph Merrill was the first staff member to engage in organized research. Fritz Wertheimer contributed didactic and microscopic sessions in oral pathology. There was great support from the 15-man senior dental staff in all clinical phases of dentistry. After Fred Henny and Sir Terence Ward had established the International Society many guests from overseas visited Ford Hospital. Some stayed for weeks or months! James Oosting--1964, spent 3 months with Sir Terence Ward at East Grinstead, returning to our staff for a short time before practicing in Grand Rapids.
In May, 1965, Fred Henny organized the first national Conference on Research in Oral Surgery in Detroit with Dr. Harold Krogh as Chairman. 80 educators and training Conference was an important stimulus to research in training and certainly improved the range and quality of basic and applied research. As part of his research interest, resident William Grau gained an off-service rotation in medicine's Division of Oncology.
Several months later Ralph Merrill started a rotation of General Surgery but this was promptly stopped by an increasingly malevolent new Chief of Surgery. The number of unpleasant disagreements with Plastic and Otolaryngology Services increased and there was blatant disregard, on their part, for established emergency room policies.
The service progressed, however, in patient volume and research activity. The 1965 graduates were Robert Bruce, William Grau, and Robert Bruce MacIntosh. Bob Bruce joined the Oral Surgery faculty at University of Michigan and established a practice in Adrian. Bill Grau opened a practice in Newport, Ky. and became Director of the oral Surgery Program at Cincinnati General Hospital. Bruce MacIntosh sought additional training at professor Hugo Obwegeser's Institute at Zurich. Upon his return, Bruce joined the senior Ford staff. Orthognathic and pre-prosthetic surgery quickly were incorporated into the program and in 1967 the hospital hosted the first regional conference on these fields.
Research on temporomandibular joint problems continued with Ralph Merrill while Bruce Epker, a senior resident, conducted basic bone research in conjunction with the laboratory of Harold Frost of the Orthopedic Department.
The summer of 1967 was blighted by the Detroit riots which found Ford Hospital in the center of action. The National Guard command post was in the garage and patients and staff moved about the grounds under military escort. A later congressional investigation identified one of the victims with a fatal head injury was under the care of Oral Surgery.
Bruce Epker--1968, was appointed to a teaching position at Parkland Hospital in Dallas with Dr. R.V. Walker. Guy Catone--1968, went to a teaching fellowship at University of Alabama before going to Pittsburgh to eventually direct a training program there.
In 1968 Ralph Merril of the senior staff was appointed Chairman of Oral Surgery at the University of Oregon. Bruce MacIntosh had increased responsibility for the training program as Fred Henny's national and international responsibilities multiplied.
Clinical activity increased in all areas but the load of malignant disease surgery remained prominent. In one week the staff examined 20 new cases of oral carcinoma!
Darryl Pirok--1969, was the first 4 year trainee before he entered practice in Chicago. Later he was on the faculty for awhile with Elmer Bear in Virginia. Ted Jastak--1969, joined Ralph Merril's faculty at Oregon.
In the early 1970s erratic administrative policies, changing social climate, and growing opportunities in suburban hospitals drained the senior staff of most departments. Internal disharmony was caused by the Chief of Surgery who had become the ultimate authority. His arbitrary and capricious attitude toward Oral Surgery lead to the demise of the Division.
There was unwarranted restriction of long-standing privileges, restriction on outside professional activity, and antagonism which lead to almost weekly conflict. Fred Henny began to pay too high a price physically and in 1970, after 35 years of service, he left Ford Hospital to join the practice of Tom Torgerson and Irwin Small in Birmingham.
Bruce MacIntosh continued the attempt to restore curtailed privileges but there was no improvement and he finished the training of the last two residents before leaving in 1971 to join the faculty of Boston University. The last residents were: Andrew Balta who started his practice in Washington, Pa. in 1971, and Cesar Sabates who had returned for more training. Cesar remained for a few months at Ford Hospital and then entered practice in Miami, Fla.
Fred Henny opened his own office in 1972 and took on the Acting Chairmanship of Oral Surgery at Sinai Hospital after the retirement of Herbert J. Bloom. Later that year, Bruce MacIntosh returned from Boston to teaching responsibilities at the University of Detroit and also joined Fred Henny in practice and Sinai activities. The complete list of residents who trained at Henry Ford Hospital appears in a later section of this Academy record.
Meetings of the Academy were often held in the old Allenel Hotel on Main Street. Dinner was served in an "upper room" and the current residents enjoyed the excellent dinner away from the hospital cafeteria. There were speakers from the medical school and hospital with excitement over penicillin from Whitie Curtis, antihistamines with John Sheldon, and ACTH and steroids with Jerome Conn. Case reports and discussion from members in Saginaw, Grand Rapids and Bay City always were stimulating to the residents. problems with mandibular osteomyelitis, deep lethal neck infections, and septicemia were frequent topics. Non-union and mal-union of fractures were discussed and there was great trepidation about open reduction and the hazard of osteomyelitis. Antibiotics changes all this focus and more time was spent on new anesthetic agents and influences of systemic diseases.
In 1942 and 47, J. Orton Goodsell kept the Academy informed about the development of our own specialty journal, the Journal of Oral Surgery. He served on a special committee to launch the publication with sponsorship of the ADA. The first issue was published in January 1943, and members of the Academy contributed to a special issue, November 1944, edited by Dr. Kemper.
At one memorable 1946 meeting after some arguments about the best technique for oral cleft repairs, we had a talk from Howard Miller of Chicago. He reported on the establishment of the new American Board of Oral Surgery in that year. His charm and adroit presentation inspired those present and radiated his strength of leadership. Unfortunately, Dr. Miller died within a short time and during his Presidency of the Board. Leadership of the new Board then depended upon James R. Cameron of Philadelphia and Leslie FitzGerald of Dubuque, who were also Academy visitors on several occasions and both became Honorary Members.
At several Academy meetings in 1946 the recent impressive writing of Kurt Thoma of Boston was reviewed. He strongly advocated open reduction of subcondylar mandibular fractures and claimed superior results. This received heated discussion, and it was decided by Kemper, Goodsell, Cook and Bellinger that a research project should be sponsored by the Academy on this subject. A study of results from closed reduction of these fractures would include long-term follow up data with x-rays and patients responses to a questionnaire. It was hoped that this would put the treatment of this common fracture into proper perspective. The job of organizing the study and analyzing the data was delegated to a junior resident named Hayward. The membership submitted 400 cases; 275 of these cases included satisfactory pre and post reduction and follow up film. The result was prepared first as a thesis and then rewritten as an article submitted for the Academy to the Journal of Oral Surgery. The project met its goal and this interest of the Academy for investigation and published research was an important precedent for the milestones ahead.
The training program at University Hospital continued to enjoy the special Oral Cleft Ward on 6-Center where each resident got a special course informally from Helen Hebeler, the motherly matriarch and close co-worker of Dr. Lyons and Dr. Kemper. We all had a turn at the removal of silk sutures from repaired cleft palates of screaming children, subdued by Helen in the faint glow of flashlight with old batteries.
New techniques for minor oral surgery were demonstrated by Academy members in the old amphitheater of the old Dental School. This small white room had gallery seats for all to get close to the action. Several dramatic presentations in this setting saw Phil Northrop masterfully sedating a patient with smooth intravenous nembutal and, after local anesthesia, making an incision over the unerupted impacted third molar, only to realize that he was on the wrong side. Without a pause in his verbal description of the case and his special technique, Phil injected the contralateral side and completed his usual smooth performance with some comment about the x-ray.
A more dramatic scene one warm afternoon in that room was a demonstration by V.H. "Red" Eman of Grand Rapids, a President of the American Society of Oral Surgeons. Brief general anesthesia with divinyl ether was growing in popularity with its rapid induction and apparent safety among inhalation anesthetic agents. It had a rather objectionable odor and "Red" had the brilliant idea of correcting this by using oil of orange dropped on the mask before the Vinethine. The patient was a large, athletic young black man who was very carefully restrained before induction by straps which held him securely to the black antique iron dental chair. With "Red" giving out with his best salesmanship crooning lingo and in the aroma of orange blossoms in the gallery, the excitement stage of general anesthesia hit abruptly in classic form! With a loud moan the patient pulled on the arm restraints, broke off both of the cast iron arms of the chair and flailed around like a departing helicopter. Everyone took cover while "Red" tried to calm the bedlam and, claiming wide individual responses to the new technique, finished the case under local.
Goodsell was still spending one day per week in Ann Arbor and was always good for a jovial but sometimes pointed critique of these demonstrations. He greatly enjoyed kidding John Kemper, who always remained dignified and was more reserved that some of the more vocal and colorful Academy personalities. Goodsell's memories of Academy origins follow.
In his recollections of Academy Origins on the 50th anniversary of the University of Michigan Residency Program in 1967 J. Orton Goodsell wrote: "Wednesdays were operating days at University Hospital and those of us who could make the trip-came to Ann Arbor to watch Dr. Lyons operate and to learn at the side of that kind master. Anyone who held a retractor for the Chief knew when he was pondering through some difficulty because a soft whistle would come through his mask. When the whistling stopped he had figured it out and all was well. We stayed in the evening for dinner with Dr. Lyons and soon Bill Cook and Connie Maitland had the Club going. We met weekly and as the organization grew we had speakers as well as case discussion. It was the greatest educational program that ever existed. Later we met only monthly with dinner at the hotel or Michigan Union.
We were pretty close and jealous of our opportunities so no one outside the Michigan trainees was invited to join until 1937 when Fred Henny finished Don Bellinger's new residency at Ford Hospital. Thereafter, as we had a brother member who trained oral surgery children, we adopted them into the fold-by individual vote, of course. So several years later, Herb Bloom, who trained with John Kemper, began his training program in Detroit, Herb's trainees were then taken into the fold. Jim Smith and several others have done the same. Very few of our members have come from other sources and only after careful deliberation. Honorary membership was rare indeed.
With the untimely death of John Kemper, our present Chief, Jim Hayward inherited the toga and we all know how lucky we have been in having at the helm over the last 50 years three of the best men in our field as guides. They all have been cast in the same mold; great people, fine students, excellent teachers, kind friends, and fighters for oral surgery-sometimes under difficult circumstances. The fact that I have been personally close to all three of these University of Michigan program Directors since its inception is one of my most prized possessions. The fact that I could also participate in some of this action gives me joy in the knowledge that I have at least had a grandstand seat during great moments in oral surgery. I envy most of you for your youth, but I also will permit you to envy my past in the C. J. Lyons Academy.-J. Orton Goodsell. Few men have given the loyalty and support to the specialty and to the University of Michigan as this great leader, J. Orton Goodsell.
The conservative and frugal attitude of the organization probably stemmed from its long-term Scottish Secretary, "Connie" Maitland. The annual dues of $5 were increased to $10 in 1952 at the time of the 25th Anniversary, observed in a program at the State Dental Meeting in Detroit. The dues remained $10 until 1968 (the Academy is great for tradition). At that time they were increased to $20 and were not changed again until 1977 when they were raised to $50.
From 1947, Bloom and Hayward came to the Dental School on Wednesdays to help in teaching a basic science review course to residents and to lecture and demonstrate for postgraduate courses. Academy outings in June were held alternately for a time between Barton Hills Golf Club and Herb Bloom's cottage, where John Kemper particularly enjoyed the long poker games.
John Kemper directed the program at University of Michigan Hospital from 1963, when he followed Dr. Lyons, until his sudden death in 1952 on May 9. Great turmoil followed regarding the program which was threatened with extinction. Dean Paul Jeserich had asked J.R. Hayward to return from service in the Army to direct the program starting in September, 1952. A problem was that Hayward was not due to get out of service until November. However, letters to the Army from Cook, Goodsell, Bellinger and the University effected a miracle of early discharge at the end of August. Dean Jeserich had his hands full of controversy that fall since there had been great criticism of the Oral Surgery Program. A sub-rosa companion program in Plastic Surgery had been started by Dingman and Kemper without the approval of the Chief of Surgery at the hospital, Dr. F. A. Coller. The heated debate over the definition and scope of oral surgery was at a peak of acrimony nationally between political forces in the AMA and ADA. National summit meetings were common and it was a very insecure time for oral surgery generally and the training program at Michigan particularly. Members of the Lyons Academy, arguing from a position of prestige and service to Michigan citizens, made appointments with President Harlan Hatcher and other Hospital and University officials. They appealed for the continuance of the program at the Hospital as a valuable resource to the public and progression. The role of strong alumni such as J. O. Goodsell, W. A. Cook, and D.H. Bellinger gave helpful support to Dean Jeserich in his battle to preserve the Oral Surgery Program. They also generated support from the Michigan Dental Association. Dr. Coller was convinced and with the approval of Dean Furstenburg of the Medical School made Oral Surgery a Section of the Department of Surgery at the level of Sections of Orthopedics, Urology, and Neurosurgery--a status enjoyed in the educational programs of dentistry & medicine for the next ten years under Dr. Coller as Chief of Surgery.
In addition to storing up the foundation of the Academy in Ann Arbor through dedicated support, the Academy contributed regular support for purchase of reference texts for the resident library in the hospital. The Academy was always host to the residents and their wives at Academy banquets which were times of great pleasure and inspiration.
The great and lasting "sparkplug" of the Academy was its first and long-term president, Bill Cook. He left his general dental practice in Coldwater to bring his family to Ann Arbor for some very lean years of study with Chal, operating at St. Joseph Hospital and spending long hours in the Anatomy Department. He completed very extensive research on landmarks for conductive local anesthesia in the maxillofacial region. His techniques, based on that study, were taught at the University of Michigan Dental School from 1920 to the present. Bill was a fierce fighter for dentistry and oral surgery. His sincerity and integrity were soon recognized and he served in the officer positions of the Michigan Dental Society, local dental societies and several Detroit hospitals. He had a very distinguished military career in World Wars I and II. Bill had a droll enthusiasm for life and curiosity for scientific matters that excited him. He was a man of many talents and indulged the rustic side of his nature by buying and fixing up old farmhouses as a satisfying hobby.
As outdoorsman and fisherman he radiated sheer happiness bouncing along on a woods hike. As the elder statesman for the Academy, Bill brought great dignity to the specialty. He was a driving force for the 1939 Michigan specialty law which designated licensure for oral surgery. He worked for many years as examiner for the Michigan State Board of Dentistry, keeping standards high and demanding professional principles. Bill presented the Memorial Lecture as the ASOS meeting in 1965 with a fine scientific presentation on syndromes, seasoned with nostalgic slides of his "Passenger Pigeon Story". He retired from Detroit practice but moved to a new one in Midland, where his dental and medical colleagues appreciated his help and wise counsel in hospital and community. He had no ambitions for wealth and kept his practice a personal concern for his patients. He was a giving and caring person who inspired many dentists to better performance and pride in their profession. Certainly if there is a "father" of the Academy, it was Bill Cook who set the fine example.
John Willard Kemper
The second Chairman of the Department of Oral Surgery at the University of Michigan (1936-1952) was a kindly Hoosier from Richmond, Indiana. John was a big man in many ways. He graduated from University of Michigan Dental School in 1917, serving for a time in the Army Dental Reserve Corps. His early practice was in Detroit where he was associated with a very busy and successful exodontia group, Dr.'s. W. Giffen and Lloyd Rogers. The hazards of nitrous-oxide hypoxic general anesthesia were common in those days but the death of a patient in his office in 1922 brought a profound reaction in John, who left the practice and enrolled in the University of Michigan Medical School, graduating in 1927.
John's anxiety about general anesthesia never left him and it had a singular effect upon those who trained with him. Anesthesiology did not become a medical specialty until World War II and anxiety about the crude and rocky administration of primitive agents in those days was well-placed. These conditions were a great strain on Dr. Kemper when he was in the operating room. There he was nervous, abrupt, and short-tempered under pressure while, in great contrast, outside the operating room he was calm, kind, warm and as friendly a personality as one could imagine. With his huge frame he dominated the room and would often come behind a young struggling dental student working on an extraction and wrap his large hand over that of the student's on the forceps exerting intense leverage and muttering some reassurance while the tooth rolled out.
After Medical School, John trained in OB-GYN at University of Michigan Hospital and was a good friend of that program Director, Norman Miller. Dean Marcus Ward prevailed upon John to return to the Dental School and to join Dr. Lyons, whose health was a concern. John's many friends in Dentistry joined in the call and he associated with Dr. Lyons and became very accomplished in oral cleft surgery. At the time of Dr. Lyons death in 1935 Dr. Kemper was appointed Chairman. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Oral Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of many dental and medical societies. He was Chief of Staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. He was the author of the Oral Surgery Chapter in Ward's Text of Operative Dentistry. He contributed numerous articles on oral cleft surgery and other oral surgery procedures, assembling the University of Michigan issue of the journal of Oral Surgery, November 1944.
In 1917 John married Marjorie Meagan who was his close life companion and charmed many social gatherings. His hobbies were stamp and coin collecting, but his favorite past time was a good game of poker. He also believed that rug-hooking was good for digital dexterity and took up that hobby.
John Kemper's untimely death from a ruptured aortic aneurysm on May 9, 1952 was a great loss to the Dental School and to Oral Surgery in Michigan. His wife, Marjorie, continued to be interested in the Academy and attended special functions at Barton Hills. She lived to be 92 years and was a constant friend.
In 1969 the summer meeting featured Sir Terrance Ward and Elmer Bear as speakers. At the ASOS meeting in San Francisco, the Academy Cocktail Party was followed by a dinner for the Hayward's, sponsored by his residents and recognizing his year as ASOS President. A silver punch bowl with the residents' engraved names was the happy symbol for the occasion and was presented by the Academy President, Allen Weiss. These now reside in the Faculty & Alumni Lounge of the Dental School.
At the business meeting of 1969 the term of officers of the Academy was lengthened from one to two years. This accounts for the decrease in the number of past presidents in recent time.
At the Hidden Valley meetings of those years the speakers were Don Kerr, Professor of Oral Pathology, and Emil Steinhauser of Austria.
The minutes of 1971 indicate the problems at Ford Hospital that culminated with the resignation of Fred Henny and the eventual collapse of the program which remained dormant for several years.
One of the memorable out-state Academy meetings was held in 1973 in Williamsburg, Virginia, arranged by Elmer Bear and Krik Hamilton. The By-Laws of the Academy were changed in that year to identify the nominating committee as the current and two past presidents.
While scanning the meeting minutes we get indications of transitions as the Academy adapted to the "fast-changing times". With the proliferation of local, state, regional and national oral surgery societies with their scientific programs and with the expansion of journals and short courses, the original needs that attracted members to Academy meetings were diluted with much competition. Attendance barely held the organization together in some years. The teaching staffs of Michigan, Ford, and Sinai Hospitals provided excellent programs in basic and clinical science and so a tradition of only three scientific meetings and one more social summer resort meeting became the established pattern. This simulated the three institutions to bring out their best teachers with current advances in medicine and dentistry. Residents presented their most instructive cases of the year with fruitful discussion by Academy members. Residents continued to enjoy the hospitality at the banquets.
The future will yield an adequate documentary on the creative imagination, foresight and outstanding leadership qualities of Fred Henny. Fred often opened the eyes of Academy members to their potential to bring about important milestone improvements in the specialty. Following Don Bellinger at Ford Hospital, he directed an excellent residency training program and inspired his students to excel far beyond their own expectations.
Fred generated the concept of a Chalmers J. Lyons Memorial Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Society of Oral Surgeons in 1952. This tradition has brought recognition and honor to both our founder and the organization bearing his name. There was always some grumbling about the expense involved, but this inauguration at the meeting in New Orleans was a great start. With a touch of special loyalty, the first Memorial Lecture was presented by Richard, the only son of Chalmers and at the time a Professor of internal Medicine at Syracuse University. The Memorial Lecture has become a very significant highlight at the national meeting of the specialty.
Fred appealed to a nucleus of members to generate change and needed movement in the membership of the American Society of Oral Surgeons. L. Peterson, E. Bear, G. Kruger, J. Hayward, L. Bishop, E. Thompson were the team. Fred was serving part of his long and illustrious term as Editor of the Journal of Oral Surgery and was working with, and being inspired by, the genius of Harold Hillenbrand, Executive Director of the ADA. Fred pointed out the urgency of getting a central office into Chicago, where affiliation and contact with the ADA would take Oral Surgery into the "mainstream" for organization growth and efficiency. This was not an easy task since the meeting of the ASOS was still of "townhall" type and the old guard resisted the change from the small sentimental operation in Kentucky and Virginia. Fred and his crew finally carried off the move and then nursed the struggling central office through a series of Executive Secretaries and some very difficult and shaky years.
A great example of Fred's creative imagination and organizing skill is recorded in the establishment of the International Association of Oral Surgeons in 1962. After indulging his scholarly and "good life" tastes with travel in Europe and forging a bond of close friendship with Sir Terrance Ward, he convinced the American Society to sponsor a meeting at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, June 1962. The international Association has survived and increased the stature of the specialty immeasurably.
Fred was instrumental in arranging a Research Workshop for Oral Surgery in Detroit in the early 60's. Needed research had long plaqued our content clinical specialty and Fred always expounded the role of research as the only true hope for a future of the specialty. Harold Krogh chaired the conference. The development of the Educational Foundation also felt Fred's guiding hand. The 1984 meeting of the AAOMS in New York was dedicated to Fred A. Henny. He received the Distinguished Service Award of the AAOMS, the Foundation Torch Award and many other great honors.
He received the Distinguished Service Award of the MDA and was recognized as Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Michigan.
In the fall of 1991 Dr. Gilbert S. Small. Past President of AAOMS and the Academy and loyal Michigan leader wrote: "For those of us inducted into the Academy from the early 1950's to the early 1980's the name James R. Hayward has been synonymous with the Academy and the specialty. The reasons for this transcend simple accolades of time in office. Many are in a position for a long time. This may be by appointment, tenure, or quiet servitude. Such tenure does not signify achievement. Achievement only occurs when competence, quality of teaching, dedication to ideals and professional growth are combined with time in service. Dr. Hayward fulfilled that definition at Michigan. In 1991 a retrospective view of the Academy and our specialty identifies a number of men who followed the ideals of Dr. Lyons. Lyons believed in educational foundations, continuing study and research which meant professional growth. Michigan was fortunate in providing many leaders who sculpted the progress of the specialty. Those of us who participated on his faculty always addressed him as "Dr. Hayward" at the school and hospital-out of respect. At basketball games and social events he was "Jim", but at work the formality was testimony of personal respect and also the respect that Dr. Haywrd had for our specialty and for teaching. Intense in the OR and verbose on the lecture platform he challenged many to excel. As his teaching team, we-Jerry Bonnette, Dick Gordon, Ted Kielts, Al Weiss, George Upton, Jim Gallo and I felt privileged to participate-and let's not forget Bob Bruce who always was loyal but challenged Dr. Hayward frequently.
The Academy had been inspired and led by several U. of Michigan "Chiefs". Dr. Lyons was followed by Dr. Kemper, but the Director with the longest tenure was Dr. Hayward. Throughout all his accomplishments, I suspect that his greatest enjoyment was teaching. Although he enjoyed the simplicity of the undergraduate clinic he mostly enjoyed the instruction of residents and observing their accomplishments while in training and later in their careers. We believe that James R. Hayward has been a legacy that would have pleased Chalmers J. Lyons".--Gilbert S. Small.
The 1947 publication of the Academy on "Management of Subcondylar Mandibular Fractures" first demonstrated the possibilities of pooled clinical data from the Academy. Bob Bruce was a recurrent agitator for more dedicated research activity in the organization. Several projects concerned the use of antihistamines, antibiotic, and some resident research was reported and expanded for Academy interest. However, the two additional publications of Academy research were "Management of Fractures in the Atrophic Edentulous Mandible" and "Morbidity of Impacted Mandibular Third Molar Surgery Correlated with Patient Age," co-authored by George Frederickson, Gilbert Small, and Robert Bruce.
In 1983 the Academy established the James R. Hayward Research Fund to encourage resident research and to provide "seed funds" for young investigators. The Coordinating Committee were: Ray Fonsecca, Chr., Jim Gallo, Secretary-Treasurer, Robert Bruce, Tom Osborn, and Edward Ellis. The Coordinating Committee is composed of no less than 4 members, one of whom is the current Academy President. An Advisory Council to evaluate applications consisted of John Gregg, Jim Kelly, and Ray White. Since that time the Fund has supported wide meaningful research and publications.
As the "Tree" of trainees grew, the membership became scattered to all parts of the country and Canada. Attendance at the Michigan meetings was usually limited to those members within a reasonable traveling distance. In order to centralize a meeting opportunity for all members, the Chalmers J. Lyons Academy Cocktail Party was started at the ASOS (AAOMS) meeting. This brought old friends and fellow residents of all vintages together for a pleasant reunion opportunity. The common bond of training together for a pleasant reunion opportunity. The common bond of training philosophy bridges the years at these happy gatherings.
The summer meetings have also been great attractions for more distant members. These festive resort meetings have been held at Hidden Valley, Williamsburg, Point West and other fine resorts. Finally, a tradition of summer meetings at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has brought families together for wonderful meetings, both scientific and social. This innovation began at Williamsburg in 1973 and was repeated in 1979 at Lake Tahoe before the Association meeting in San Francisco. When in 1989 another Association meeting was scheduled for S-F, officers arranged a pre-meeting event in the Monterey Peninsula & Pebble Beach. Dr. Charles McCallum received Honorary Membership in the Academy. George Yellich and Richard Robert presented a fine program on the refinements possible in orthognathic surgery. Another Academy pre-AAOMS meeting was scheduled for 1992 on Maui, Hawaii.
Tom Torgerson, our President in 1962, was a loyal supporter of all Academy functions and enjoyed the close friendship of our members. A 1945 graduate of the University of Michigan Dental School, he completed a navy tour of duty before entering general practice in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dr. John Kemper had followed Tom's career and appointed him to the Oral Surgery Residency in 1950. There he acquired Dr. Kemper's gentle and compassionate approach to all patients. Also like Dr. Kemper, Tom had a love for humorous stories, a good game of poker, and an occasional flare of stubborn temper. Tom was a continuous student and after teaching at the U. of Michigan with Jim Hayward he completed a medical degree in 1959. This further knowledge of patient evaluation he applied throughout his professional career. Tom was a devoted family man, a lover of sports, and an enthusiastic fan of U. of Michigan teams.
After his untimely death in 1986, his family established the Thomas S. Torgerson Memorial Lecture, which is presented at the spring combined meeting of the C.J. Lyons Academy, the Detroit Academy, and the Michigan Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Tom was the first President of the Michigan Society in 1962. The Lecture is a fine tradition to honor Tom's leadership and warm personality.
The 1974 Ann Arbor Meeting was dedicated to Dr. Robert B. Hoek, one of our most loyal past presidents (1965). Bob's untimely and premature departure was a great loss. His family attended the meeting where Eddie Kahn, famed neurosurgeon of University of Michigan, was the speaker. The University of Michigan Training Program established the R. B. Hoeck Oral Surgery Resident Travel Fund in his memory. An Academy policy was started which orders the secretary to write a letter of condolence to the family of a deceased member and the treasurer forwards a memorial check of $50 to the training program of his origin.
About this time the construction of the new Dental School included the dedication of the J. W. Kemper Seminar Room in the Department, with Mrs. Kemper attending, and the D. H. Bellinger Reference Library. These facilities have been valuable for both undergraduate and graduate study.
The library houses the archives of the Academy; including the memoirs of J. Orton Goodsell, the complete volumes of the Journal of Oral Surgery from Leroy Peterson, original research papers, and a videotape deck and monitor donated by Fred Henny for self-instruction programs. A slide projector was donated by Wilbur Moorman of West Virginia.
The 50th Anniversary of the Academy was held in Ann Arbor in the fall of 1977. The Founding Members who had survived all gave colorful speeches. At the dinner program, President Frank Henny presented Director Hayward with an engraved watch from the Academy. In the same year, in order to clarify the situation at Ford Hospital, a policy was adopted to limit regular membership to those trained by chiefs whose lineage follows the "Lyons Training Tree".
The year 1978 found the fall meeting designated as "Connie Maitland Day" honoring our Founding Member and Secretary for many years. Both Connie and Frieda his charming wife, were able to attend and Bob and Pat Root battled off his soon-fatal illness to attend. Bob was a faithful member.
In 1978 a policy was established to change our name to include "______ and Maxillofacial Surgery". A rule also was adopted which required a new member to receive his or her membership plaque at the fall meeting in Ann Arbor.
Minutes of the 1980 meeting identify the contribution of $1,000 from the Academy to the Educational Foundation of the AAOMS. The committee for selection of the Memorial Lecture became a strain between the organizations in that same year. Correlating the Lecture with other parts of the AAOMS program was the objective and vented much emotion.
In 1981 Hayward announced his plans for retirement and made a special appeal to the Academy for continued support of the program during the transition to a new Director. The fall 1982 meeting honored Hayward for his 30 years of service to the Department with a program which included tributes by B. J. Degen of AAOMS, President John Helfrick, Gil Small current President AAOMS, Past President Thomas S. Torgerson and Professor L. George Upton, acting chairman. Dr. Raymond Fonseca became Director in 1983.
At the summer meeting at Mackinac Island, Ray Fonseca, new department Chairman at the University of Michigan, was put on the program and at the fall meeting he was elected to membership, preserving the training origins of the Academy at the University of Michigan. At the same meeting, one of our most distinguished members, Honorable James B. Edwards, former Secretary of Energy and Governor of South Carolina was honored by the group. Mr. B. J. Degen was elected into honorary membership at the same meeting in October, 1983.
Communication for the Academy has been enhanced by the labor of efficient Secretaries--Lonny Zietz 85-87, Edward Ellis 88-89, and Bruce MacIntosh 90-91 providing detailed minutes of meetings and an excellent NEWSLETTER. As Program Chairman, Bruce also provided the resource for continuity in the organization. Outstanding speakers such as Robert Marx, Bruce Donoff, John Gregg, John Helfrick Jens Pindborg, Scotty McCallum and Bob Walker brought stimulating programs. Memorable summer meetings at Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel were highlights for members and their families.
In May 1986, two of our members, Keith Linday and Al Swanson were Chairmen of Local Arrangements for the IAOMS Conference in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. They welcomed Academy members to that outstanding event.
Tom Osborn, Past President and our AAOMS Trustee, continued to negotiate on the selection of the C. J. Lyons Memorial Lecture for the annual meeting. (See list of Memorial Lectures)
In July, 1989 Ray Fonseca accepted the position of Dean at the U. of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry after 6 years of leadership of the OMS Dept. at Michigan. George Upton served as Acting Chairman until the appointment of Stephen Feinberg who was welcomed into Academy membership at the November 1990 meeting in Ann Arbor. The 1991 fall meeting in Ann Arbor featured a special combination with the Dental School and University Homecoming Events.
This has been the "Michigan Story of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery" as inspired by Chalmers J. Lyons of the University of Michigan and continued by the Academy bearing his name. These authentic and relevant traditions are firmly established and should work for a better future for this health care specialty and the people it serves.
--J. R. Hayward, Irwin Small, --Editors