Thursday, October 6, 2011
Dr. William Grier, Surgeon General (1877-1878)
William Grier (1818-1911) emigrated to the U.S. from Ireland as a child, and was appointed assistant surgeon at age 20 in 1838. He first served at sea aboard USS Cyane, at the Naval Hospital in Brooklyn, and then with the North Pacific Squadron. During the Civil War Dr. Grier was attached to several vessels and a temporary naval hospital at Memphis, TN. He became Surgeon General in 1877 and retired in 1878. His 93-year life span witnessed every administration from President Monroe to President Taft, the railroad, telegraph, telephone, steam propulsion, and the transition from wood and sail to the all steel Navy.