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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Griffin, Ezra Leonard 1821 - 1892

Definition: physician, b. Hillsboro, N.H. He attended Dartmouth College, and graduated from the Berkshire Medical School (1848). He practiced in the East from 1848 to 1855, and in 1855 moved to Fond du Lac, where he was a well-known physician for many years. In 1874 the state medical society appointed him chairman of a committee to petition the legislature for the creation of a state board of health. When it was found that much of the active lobbying had already been undertaken by the Sauk County medical society, Griffin left the initiative in their hands, and by 1876 the reluctant legislature and governor had been persuaded. The bill creating the board became law in 1876, and Griffin, J. B. Whiting, and Nicholas Senn were appointed to the first board. Griffin was president of the board from 1876 until his resignation because of ill health in 1882. Among the early advocates of preventive medicine in Wisconsin, he favored better hygiene instruction in the public schools, and maintained that vaccination should be made a prerequisite for admission into any state-supported school. In 1882 he retired to his home in Fond du Lac. Wis. Board of Health, Report, 32 (1926-1928); Hist. of Fond du Lac Co. (Chicago, 1880); Fond du Lac Commonwealth, Jan. 25, 1892; MS Hist. of State Board of Health, in C. A. Harper Papers.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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