Medina doctor shared knowledge with students in Southern California

By Matthew Ballard, Orleans County Historian Posted 17 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Photo from the Cobblestone Society Collection – Dr. George Jesse Lund in a photo taken at Medina

Photo courtesy of the Cobblestone Society Collection – Mrs. Lina Davis LeValley Lund, wife of Dr. George Jesse Lund

By Matthew Ballard
Co-director of Cobblestone Society Museum

George Jesse Lund was born July 8, 1859 in Genesee County’s township of Alabama. The son of Franklyn Lund and Martha Webster, George boasted a rich lineage dating back to Colonial Connecticut Governor, John Webster.

Lund attended Medina’s High School and received additional education at the prestigious Cary Seminary in Oakfield. Receiving his MD from Rush Medical College in Chicago, Ill. on Feb. 21, 1882, Dr. Lund returned to Genesee County where he began practicing medicine. Shortly after returning to Western New York, Dr. Lund removed to Medina where he purchased the “Alcorn House,” the first house west of the Hart House Hotel.

Although his stay in Medina was short, Dr. Lund became a well-respected man whom many Medina citizens relied on for medical assistance. A particular story the Medina Daily Register and Journal recalled one of the many unusual cases that Dr. Lund responded to on a regular basis.

In 1894, Henry Palmer of Ridgeway visited a local restaurant where he engaged in eating raw oysters. On this particular occasion, Palmer swallowed part of a broken oyster shell that became lodged in his throat. Restaurant patrons assisted Palmer in attempting to dislodge the piece from his esophagus but were unsuccessful. He was quickly transported to the office of Dr. Lund, who after several hours of labor, was successful in forcibly coaxing the shell fragment from Mr. Palmer.

In another peculiar instance, Dr. Lund was traveling along Main Street in Medina when the wheel of his two-wheeled gig fell of, discharging him from the carriage. He managed to not only land on his feet but catch and stop the horse as well.

Photo courtesy of Matthew Ballard – Dr. George Jesse Lund in a photo taken at Mt. Wilson, Calif.

In 1895 Dr. Lund moved his family to California where he purchased a lot and built his home at 1227 Maryland Street in Los Angeles. Receiving his certificate from the California Board of Medical Examiners on March 3, 1896, Dr. Lund made quick work of establishing his presence in Southern California.

We find George Lund’s name amongst the list of faculty at The College of Physicians and Surgeons of the University of Southern California (now known as The Keck School of Medicine). One of the earlier members of the faculty, Dr. Lund was the Associate Professor of Otology, Laryngology, and Rhinology (Ear, Throat, and Nose). His office was located in 414-417 of the Auditorium Building on campus.

Dr. Lund and his family were members of the Orleans County Association of Los Angeles, a society of displaced Orleans County residents who had relocated to Los Angeles. He was also a member of the Orleans County Medical Association and served as Genesee County Coroner before traveling to California.

Following in his steps, Dr. Lund’s only son, LeValley Lund, became a physician after graduating from the University of South California in 1916. After graduation, “LeVal” enlisted with the Naval Medical Corps as a Junior Grade Lieutenant/Assistant Surgeon on Nov. 17, 1917. Reenlisting on Dec. 1, 1919 he was given the rank of Lieutenant in the Medical Corps. Dr. LeVal Lund focused his studies in the same area as his father and it is likely that he received his education at the University of South California while taking classes under his father.

The Lund family is still prominently associated with the Los Angeles area. LeValley’s son, LeValley Lund, Jr. became a civil engineer focusing his studies on earthquake related construction methods.

Editor’s Note: The Cobblestone Museum will kick off a lecture series today at 4 p.m., featuring Dr. Ronald Batt, MD, PhD, of the University at Buffalo’s Medical School. He will discuss the development of medicine in WNY from 1800-1850. The lecture will be at the Cobblestone Universalist Church. For more on the Cobblestone Museum, click here.