Ohio Biographies

Dr. Reuben Lamb

Dr. Reuben Lamb, the first doctor to locate in the county, is most interesting and entertaining, and we would be only too glad to tell of some of the many heroic deeds and dangers he passed through while visiting the sick, as related by Dr. Ralph Hills, who knew him intimately. Dr. Lamb was born and raised in the East (New York). As to just where he secured his medical education, little is known. But that he read under a careful student of medicine was proven by his thorough preparedness. He left home, relatives and friends in 1805 for the far southwest — New Orleans as his destination. When he reached Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, he chanced to meet Colonel Moses Byxbe. who persuaded the young physician to go with him to Delaware County, Ohio, and locate in Berkshire, the new and only town in the county. The trip down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers was abandoned, and in a few weeks they landed at Worthington, Franklin County, where they were entertained over night by some settlers who had located there a year before. The next day they arrived at Berkshire, where the young physician found work at once among those who had preceded him. Dr. Lamb had brought some well selected text books, and a fine set of surgical instruments with him. After a short time he was called to Worthington to see a sick lady. Soon the attraction to this village became stronger, and the following year he moved there and married a belle of the village. The following year he returned to Berkshire to join his old friend Colonel Byxbe. The next year he and the colonel and other friends laid out Delaware on the Olentangy River in 1808, Dr. Lamb acting as the first physician and first recorder for the county. His practice increased rapidly and extended from Delaware to Portland on the north, now Sandusky City on Lake Erie; and from Delaware to Chillicothe on the south. Through the woods and along the bypaths, through bridgeless streams, midst dangers from the wild beast and Indian, he traveled with and without escort to administer to the afflicted. His surgical skill and education was sought for far and near. They said he disliked surgery and was only too glad to loan his set of fine instruments to his professional brothers who needed and would use them.

Dr. Lamb was born in about 1775, and died in 1850. He was married three times. First to Miss Campbell of Worthington; after her death to a Miss Sloper of Delaware, Ohio, in 1815. They then moved to Galesburg, Illinois. The following year he lost his wife and at once returned to Delaware, and soon after married a Mrs. Piatt, a sister of his last wife. His first home was on the site of the present "Home for the Aged Women" the new home for the first settlers fittingly succeeded by the last home for the aged. The deed for the land where the Lamb block is standing is the same today, having never been changed, except from the Doctor to his son Reuben Lamb, who was known to many living today. Dr. Ralph Hills stated that Dr. Lamb was a man of few words, very sympathetic, generous and kindhearted. Professionally and socially very reticent, he was often believed to be cold and distant.


20th Century History of Delaware County, Ohio, and Representative Citizens, Edited and compiled by James R. Lytle, Delaware, Ohio, Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1908