Thursday, October 6, 2011
Dr. James Rufus Tryon, Surgeon General (1893-1897)
James Rufus Tryon (1837-1912) was appointed assistant surgeon in 1863 and joined the West Gulf Squadron. Following the Civil War, he served as an assistant to the Surgeon General and on the Asiatic Station he supervised a smallpox hospital at Yokohama. He also directed construction of the Yokohama Naval Hospital in 1872. Dr. Tryon became Surgeon General in 1893. During his tenure he revived and renamed the Naval Laboratory and Department of Instruction. As a great visionary, Tryon emphasized hygiene and preventive medicine, advocated a medical supply depot, suggested establishment of a hospital corps, promoted construction of more hospitals, and proposed giving medical officers higher rank. Fulfillment of his progressive ideas came in later administrations.