Warren Bell Outten

One of the greatest physicians of the Nineteenth Century, and probably the most unique character of our family history, is the subject of this narration. He was the only child of Warren Outten and Mary Jane Morris, his wife, and the grandson of Thomas Outten who married Mary Stout. Dr. Outten was born on a farm about half way between Lexington and Georgetown in Fayette County, Kentucky, on December 3, 1845.

His father, Warren Outten, moved from his old home in Kentucky to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1857 when his son was twelve years old, and the boy was educated at Wyman’s Academy and Christian Brothers College. Here the young man decided to become a physician and matriculated at St. Louis Medical School, where he graduated at the age of 22. The same year of his graduation he became professor of surgery in Humbolt College. The next year he was elected professor of anatomy in St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In 1875 he organized a medical department on the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, the first established on any railroad west of the Mississippi River, and in 1880 he organized the hospital department on the same road. In 1883 he organized a hospital department on the Wabash Road, which was carried on in conjunction with that on the Iron Mountain System.

Dr. Outten was in 1885 appointed chief surgeon of the Missouri Pacific Railroad which was at that time the largest railroad system in the world operating over 7000 miles of road and requiring for the operation of the hospital department 257 local surgeons and four hospitals.

In 1886 Dr. Outten, with others, founded the Beaumont Hospital Medical College and was elected professor of surgery and Dean of the faculty. From its foundation this institution has taken deservedly high rank among educational institutions of the Mississippi Valley.

In 1890 he was elected president of the National Association of Railroad Surgeons.

He has not only been an educator in the science of medicine and an organizer of great institutions, but he has also gained distinction as a writer and publisher of medical pamphlets and journals throughout his entire professional career.

He has contributed to the literature of his profession, and was the author of many books and papers. He was editor of the “Railway Surgeon”, and one of his great books is entitled “Man’s Inherited Martyrdom or a Fitful Study of Degeneration”.

Dr. Outten was also a noted lecturer, a man of remarkable presence and of high moral character.

In his professional relations he was always modest, light hearted and faithful to his friendships.

Hating show and pretense and always exhibiting good common sense, he has not only maintained, but he has studiously, carefully, and conscientiously increased the talents with which nature had endowed him. While Dr. Outten was a skillful operator, and in the course of his vast experience performed almost every operation known to surgery, his greatest talent was in organizing and management of large enterprises.

He was associated in the establishment of nine hospitals at which have been treated, as the records show, 96,934 patients.

He was always a brilliant student and thoroughly abreast of the times on all questions pertaining to his profession. He was also an instructive lecturer, and animated and vivacious conversationalist and he was charitable and philanthropic by nature.

The writer has copied the facts which are here recorded, concerning the life and works of Dr. Outten from various books, papers and pamphlets which are found in all the city libraries, but he would especially refer the reader to Vol. 7, page 279 of the national Cyclopaedia of American Biography, edited by distinguished biographers from each state and published by James T. White &amp Company of New York City in 1879. This book may be found in any city library in the U. S. A.

Dr. Warren Bell Outten was married to Miss Mary Forder Burnet in 1877 and they were the parents of four daughters and one son. Sarah May, eldest daughter, married Clinton H. Fisk and they had five children.

Clinton Fisk Jr. married June Elkins, Mary Frances married Robert Bryant, Warren Outten Fisk married Helen Lawler, Mary Frances and Warren O. were twins. Virginia Fisk married Adolph Meier and Sarah Fisk married William Odell.

Mary V. Outten married Martin Lammert. Of that union are three children. Martin Jr. married Mary Bartow Hawes, Warren Bell married Henrietta Hadley and Mary Elise married Elliot K. Ludington.

Eliza Forder Outten married Stewart N. Clarkson. They have two children Elizabeth and Louise.

Olive V. Outten married Stephen Roy Culbertson. They have one child, Olive Mary, recently married to Gilbert H. Rank.

George Burnet, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Outten, was born in 1888. He married Winona Catherine Petring June 2, 1919, and they have four sons, Burnet Jr., born in July 1920, Henry Petring and William and Warren Bell Outten.

The writer regrets exceedingly that it has not been his privilege to be associated with Dr. Outten and his family while they have lived in St. Louis, Missouri. He has lived in Delaware and on the Eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, but we all descended from the original John Outten and Mary his wife, and the writer his found historical records that from his assertion John and Mary Outten were the parents of three sons who left large families. Thomas Outten, the eldest son born October 11, 1684, and Dr. Outten was his lineal descendent of the fifth generation. John Outten, the second son of John and Mary, was born May 23, 1687, and the writer is his lineal descendent, also of the fifth generation. While it was not the privilege of the writer to know Dr. Outten personally, he has received letters from Mrs. Outten which clearly reveal the personality and character of her distinguished husband. He also received two splendid photographs of Dr. Outten which he highly appreciates, and there is a striking resemblance and certain characteristic features in those photographs which obtain in very branch of the Outten family. But besides the similarity of the features there are other peculiarities that are especially evident. While Dr. reached the tip top notch in his profession, he did not seek any of the high offices, which he so nobly filled, for his honors were thrust before him and he labored for the benefit of others and not for personal aggrandizement. This also has been a characteristic of the entire Outten family from its origin.

Dr. Outten died March 18, 1911 in the 67th year of his age.

Mrs. Outten is still living in her 89 year of her age.

The writer is not in the habit of pronouncing eulogies upon members of his family but with all due respect for every Outten in the world, he will say without any equivocation or mental reservation that Dr. Warren B. Outten was the brainiest man and the greatest intellectual genius that the Outten family has ever produced. May his memory be a source of vital inspiration to all future generations.

Written by:
Rev. John Perry Outten
Laurel, Delaware


Written by Rev. John Perry Outten converted to Hypertext by Karen Stephens