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Dr Dexter D. Ashley

Dr Dexter David Ashley
Dr. Dexter David Ashley

Jennie Tagg Ashley
Jennie Tagg Ashley

Dexter Ashley Children
clockwise from left
Dexter D. Ashley Jr (1898-1933)
Dr. Homer Champion Ashley (1896-1975)
Helen Carolyn Ashley (1899-1992)

Obituary (1949)


Surgeon Treated Armour's Daughter After 'Bloodless Operation' by Dr. Lorenz

WINSTED, Conn., 15 (AP) -- Dr. Dexter D. Ashley orthopedic surgeon of New York and Winsted, died today at Litchfield County Hospital after an illness of two weeks. His age was 85.

A native of Middletown, Conn., he was a graduate of Peru (Mo.) Academy, the University of St. Louis, and Bellevue Medical School of New York.

After studying in Berlin and Vienna, he became associated with Dr. Adolph Lorenz, Vienna orthopedic surgeon who, in 1905, performed the famous "bloodless operation" on Barbara Armour, daughter of the meat-packing magnate.

Dr. Ashley treated Miss Armour after the operation. Another of his patients was the actor, Lionel Barrymore, whom he treated for bursitis of the right knee.

Although his home and office were in New York, Dr. Ashley and his family spent the summer here on his farm, Ashley Acres, where he commercially grew peaches and apples.

Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Jennie T. Ashley; a son, Dr. Homer Ashley of Winsted; a daughter, Mrs. Walter Fred Jr. of Jersey City; a sister, Mrs. John Almquist of Keene, N.H.; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Former chief orthopedic surgeon to the Stuyvesant Polyclinic Hospital, New York, Dr. Ashley had been also consulting orthopedic surgeon to the Litchfield County, the Winsted and the Waterbury (Conn.) Hospitals. He belonged to the American Medical Association and the New York Academy of Medicine.

 Dr. Dexter Ashley, Orthopedist, Dead, New York Times, New York, New York, 16 Oct 1949

Dr Ashley Visits Syracuse Nebraska
Dr Dexter D. Ashley
likely taken during a visit back to Syracuse NE, circa 1936

Ashley Acres Group Photo
Group Photo at Ashley Acres
(Dexter & Jennie Ashley with children)

News Article (1936)


Dr. Dexter D. Ashley Writer of Note on Orthopaedic Research; Hobby is Agriculture

Dr. Dexter D. Ashley, the son of W.D. Ashley who lived southwest of Syracuse on the farm owned by John Anderson and occupied by Kelly Lockhart, has grained renown in New York City as one of its most prominent orthopaedic [sic] surgeons. Dr. Ashley's family were residents of Nebraska from 1867-1897 and Dr. Ashley himself, was one of four boys from Syracuse who attended Peru Normal in 1884 -- E.D. Campbell, of Omaha, Lambert Beasley, and Dr. W. Ramey of Lincoln who passed away a few years ago.

Some years ago, Dr. Ashley purchased a farm of 112 acres in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and since has made the management of this farm, his hobby. He has made it a successful hobby, making this fine farm pay. Rather than take up golf such as many do when they reach their declining years, Dr. Ashley turned to agriculture and being close to nature, he has found a better way to lose his cares and worries.

At his fine, old estate, he has found time to write articles of note on his specialty in surgery and these articles have appeared in the Medical Journal.

These articles dealing with the criticisms of the modern shoe and the heel have taken him over two years to bring to the point where they were fundamentally correct. The eminent doctor criticized the high heel of today, saying that the high heel is an impediment to graceful walking. He says that any work requiring agility, stability, and sure footedness requires a low heel.

The doctor's work as an orthopaedic surgeon is that of straitening the body and correcting incorrect posure in both child and adult. His years of practice have made him an authority on his chosen line of work.

Dr. Ashley sent this office a magazine entitled "The Lure of the Litchfield Hills" which contains an account of the doctors home. The periodical contains a number of pictures of the farm home of Dr Ashley and the surrounding territory. The well-kept appearance of the place speaks well of Dr. Ashley's success as an agriculturist as well as a surgeon.

The editor of this paper thanks Dr. Ashley for the privilege of pursuing his article on his criticism of the shoe and for the account of the doctor's farmstead.

Former Nebraskan Noted Surgeon, Unknown Newspaper, Syracuse, Otoe Co., Nebraska, 18 Sep 1936.

Dr Lorenz & Dr Ashley Photo
Dr Dexter Ashley (seated left),
Dr. Adolph Lorenz (seated, 2nd from left); Mrs. Jennie Tagg Ashley (seated right) and Helen Carolyn Ashley (standing left)

Dr Graves & Dr Ashley Photo
Dr. Graves from Waterbury CT (left)
Dr Ashley from New York City
Atlantic City (circa 1905)

Who's Who in American Medicine (1925)

ASHLEY, Dexter David:

Orthopedic Surgeon; born. Meriden, Conn., Mar 19, 1864; son of William David and Adeline Dunn (Carpenter) Ashley; educated:. Nebraska State Normal School [Peru, NE]., B. E.; Missouri Medical [College], Washington University [St. Louis], M.D., 1896; married in Waco, Nebraska, Jennie Tagg; children: Homer C., Dexter David, Helen C. Trustee: Stuyvesant Polyclinic, N.Y. Visiting orthopedic surgeon., St Mark's Hospital., N.Y.; visiting orthopedic surgeon, Peoples Hospital, N.Y.; consulting surgeon., St. Joseph's Hospital, Elmira; St. Francis, Poughkeepsie; Waterbury Hospitals; Litchfield Co. Hospital, Memorial N.Y. Academic Medicine: A.M.A., N.Y. County Medical Association., Sons of the Revolution. Recreation: Farming; Residence and office: 346 Lexington Ave, New York, N.Y.

Loyd Thompson, editor, Who's Who in American Medicine (New York: Who's Who Publications, Inc., 1925).

Grove Center School
Grove Center School

Nebraska State Normal School
Nebraska State Normal School

Ashley Genealogy by Francis Bacon Trowbridge (1896)

Dr. Dexter David Ashley (William, D., William, Eli, Joseph, James, Joseph, David, Robert), born 19 Mar 1864 in West Meriden, Conn.; resides in Grandin, Mo.; married 20 Jun 1893 in Waco, Neb., Jennie Tagg, daughter of Thomas Coultas and Mary Elizabeth (Bodine) Tagg, born October 1868 in Holden, Mo.

Dexter David Ashley was graduated at the Nebraska State Normal School in Peru, Neb., in 1890. During the two following years he was professor of natural sciences in the Beatrice (Neb.) High School. He then entered the Missouri Medical College in St. Louis, at which he was graduated in March, 1895, and has begun the practice of his profession in Grandin, Mo.

Francis Bacon Trowbridge, The Ashley Genealogy, History of the Descendants of Robert Ashley of Springfield, Massachusetts, (Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor; 1896), page 290