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Dr. Horace Tupper (1830-1902)
Native of Pine Plains, N.Y. and long-time resident of Bay City.

Biography. - Added May, 2010.

History of Bay County, Michigan, Gansser 1905.


The pages of a history of Bay County would lack completeness without the honored name of the late Dr. Horace Tupper, that good man, kind and genial gentleman and skilled and experienced physician. The late Dr. Tupper, whose portrait is here with shown, was born at Pine Plains, Columbia County, New York, October 2, 1830, and was a son of Dr. Archelaus and Leah (Strever) Tupper.

His father was a very prominent physician in Columbia County, and the young man seems to have been divided in his affection for medical and mechanics. After completing the public school course, he secured his father's permission to enter a machine shop where he could be instructed in mechanical engineering, spending his days among the whirring of wheels and the turning of great lathes, and his evenings in his father's study, just as much absorbed in works on physiology and anatomy. As a result of his work in the machine shop, he invented and patented a fare-box for cars and another being a street railway switch. The latter he introduced in the street railway system at Buffalo, New York, and it is yearly becoming more and more used in all street railway lines.

Until he was 20 years old, Dr. Tupper read medicine under his able father, and then entered the office of Dr. Frank Hamilton, who at that time was professor of surgery in the Buffalo Medical School. He thus enjoyed more than usual advantages, as he had full access during his term of study with Dr. Hamilton, to the Sisters' General Hospital. He then entered the Edward Street Female Hospital at Buffalo, where he combined study and practice for some two years and was graduated from the Buffalo Medical School in February, 1862.

The young surgeon found a coveted opening in the Civil War, then in progress, and, first as assistant and later as full surgeon, with rank of major, he entered an Ohio regiment and was assigned to service in a battery of the Sixth Division of the Army of the Tennessee. Dr. Tupper remained with this battery until he reached Corinth, Mississippi, participating in the meantime in the battles of Pittsburg Landing, Farmington and Corinth, and in many minor engagements. His preceptor, Dr. Hamilton, had gone into service in order to make a special study of gunshot wounds. Both subsequently left the army and Dr. Hamilton located in New York City, where he became a great surgical authority.

In 1863, Dr. Tupper became interested with Samuel Bolton, a capitalist and lumberman of Philadelphia, in the manufacture of salt in the Saginaw Valley, building and operating a salt-block in connection with a sawmill which they had purchased. Without technical language, their plan was to use exhaust steam from the mill and also use the slabs and sawdust to keep up the required amount of heat to crystalize the salt. The plan proved successful and was quickly adopted by others and is still used in the salt-blocks of the Saginaw Valley.

By this time Bay City had grown into quite a village and Dr. Tupper was recalled to his profession, for years being the only accredited surgeon in all this locality, for 15 years traveling all over this territory to answer calls for his surgical skill, and even continued to practice until the close of his life. After the graduation of his nephew, Dr. Virgil L. Tupper, from medical school, he had delegated his night work to the latter and had gradually retired from practice, but many of the older families could never feel safe in any other medical hands than those of the older doctor, who had so faithfully ministered to them. His death concurred on April 16, 1902.

On December 24, 1862, the year of this graduation from the Buffalo Medical School, Dr. Tupper married to Elizabeth Trinder, a refined and cultured English lady, who is a daugther of William Trinder, of Chadlington, Oxforedshire, England. After her father's death, her mother married again and died at Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dr. and Mrs. Tupper had one son, Horace Tupper, Jr., who is an attorney at Bay City.

The late Dr. Tupper was always identified with the Republican party and was something of a politician, although he never was willing to accept political honors. He was actively interested in the Grand Army of the Republic and served as commander of the H. P. Merrill Post at Bay City. In all medical progress in this section, he was a leader for years. With Dr. Thomas he organized the Bay County Medical Society and was one of the organizers of the Michigan State Medical Society. He was one of the valued members of the American Medical Medical Association and seldom missed one of its meetings and continually contributed to its literature. He had many pleasant social connections and the Tupper home has long been known as a center of literary refreshment and refined hospitality.

In this beautiful home; in the home of others to which his presence brought comfort and healing; along the city streets; in the conventions where men of science prove their marvelous discoveries; at the meetings of civic bodies and boards of public charities; and in a hundred other avenues of honor and usefulness, this great-hearted, kind, genial, able man will long be remembered.

1902 obituary. Contributed by Jim Petrimoulx - April, 2008.

The Bay City Tribune -- Thursday, December 30, 1893 (Page 5)

Passed To Eternity

Dr. Horace Tupper Died At His
Home Yesterday Morning

Had Been Confined to His Bed for Over Four Months
First Located in Bay City About Forty Years Ago
And Practiced Profession Continuously Since

Dr. Horace Tupper, a pioneer resident of Bay City, died at 8:15 yesterday morning at his home 1009 Washington avenue, after an illness of over four months, during which time he had been confined to his bed. The doctor had long been a sufferer from cancer, the results of disorders contracted while in the army during the civil war. His family was aware that he could not recover, but his condition did not become critical until a few days ago, a hemorrhage being the cause of death.

The news of the death was a shock to the many friends of Dr. Tupper, who, while knowing of his illness, were unprepared for the announcement of its sudden termination. With him when the dissolution came were his wife and son, Horace Tupper, jr, and his brother and sister, Benj. S. Tupper and Miss Laura Tupper both of Pittsburg.

The funeral will take place at 2:30 Friday afternoon from the family residence.

Horace Tupper was born October 2,1830 near Pine Plains, Columbia county, N.Y. He studied with his father also a physician, until he was 21 and went to Buffalo and entered the office of Dr. Frank Hamilton as a student. He had full access to the Sisters general hospital, remaining there through the whole term of Prof. Hamiltonís charge of the surgical side of the hospital. He then entered the Edward Street female hospital in Buffalo, where he combined study and practice for two years. When the war of rebellion broke out he attached himself to the Fourteenth regulars and was soon changed to the Second brigade, sixth division, and was assigned to service in the batteries of the sixth division, Army of the Tennessee, as surgeon, with the rank of major. He remained with his battery until reaching Corinth, Miss., and saw service at the battles of Pittsburg Landing, Farmington, Corinth and a number of other places. Illness then forced him to retire from the service.

He came to Bay City in 1862 and became interested with Samuel Bolton in the Keystone mill property in West Bay City, building a salt block in connection with the mill. The plan of the salt block was to use exhaust steam from the mill; also to use the slabs and sawdust to make live steam to keep up the required heat to crystallize. The plan proved successful and was quickly adopted by others, and is still used by the salt blocks of the valley.

The doctor soon found that he was the only surgeon in the locality and his services were in great demand at the then village of Bay City and vicinity. In fact, he was the only surgeon in this part of the valley for 15 years and until within a very short time of his death was kept busy in professional work. He was a member of the G.A.R. and served as commander of H.P. Merrill post of this city. He was married at Buffalo, December 24,1862 to Miss Elizabeth Trinder. Daughter of William Trinder of Chadwington, Oxfordshire, England, who with their son Horace, jr., survives him. In politics the doctor was always an energetic Republican, but could never be induced to accept any political office.

Addition Notes.

    1880 - Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Tupper, Horace D. - b. 1830, New York - physician
  • Elizabeth T., wife - b. 1831, England.
  • Horace, son - b. 1871 Mich.
  • Tupper, Phoebe, sister - b.1820, New York.
  • Tupper, Selina, sister-in-law - b. 1840, New York.
  • Tupper, Benjamin S., brother - b. 1833, New York.
  • Tupper, Florence, niece - b. 1862, New York.
  • Tupper, Lara, niece - b. 1864, New York.
  • Tupper, Lea, niece - b. 1866, New York.
  • Tupper, Virgil, nephew - b. 1869, New York.
  • Shever, Albert, servant - b. 1838, New York.

    1900 - Census: Bay City, Mich.

  • Tupper, Horace - b. Oct. 1830, New York.
  • Elizabeth, Wife - b. Oct. 1831, England. (Married 38 years)
  • Virgil, nephew - b. Mar. 1869, Pennsylvania.
  • Horace, son - b. Feb. 1871, Mich.
  • Townsend, Georgia - Sister-in-law - b. Dec. 1840, England.
  • Stever, Albert - cousin, b. May 1833, New York.
Related Pages/Notes

Dr. Horace Tupper

Horace Tupper, Jr.

Related Pages:
Tupper, Virgil nephew
People Referenced
Bolton, Samuel
Hamilton, Frank Dr.
Shever, AAlbert (cousin)
Strever, Leah (mother)
Thomas, Dr.
Townsend, Georgia (s-inlaw)
Trinder, Elizabeth (wife)
Trinder, William (f-inlaw)
Tupper, Archelaus (father)
Tupper, Benjamin S. (bro)
Tupper, Florence (niece)
Tupper, Horace Jr. (son)
Tupper, Horace D. (subject)
Tupper, Lara (niece)
Tupper, Laura (sister)
Tupper, Lea (niece)
Tupper, Phoebe (sister)
Tupper, Selina (s-inlaw)
Tupper, Virgil Dr. (nephew)
Subjects Referenced
6th Div of Army
Amer. Med. Assoc.
Bay City, MI
Bay Co. Med. Society
Buffalo, NY
Buffalo Med. Sch.
Chadlington, England
Civil War
Columbia Co., NY
Cornith, MS
Edwards Sts. Female Hosp.
G.A.R. HP Merrill post
Keystone mill
Mich. Med. Society
New York, NY
Oxfordshire, England
Pine Plains, NY
Pittsburg, PA
Sisters Gen. Hosp.
West Bay City
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.