Holyoke, Dr. Edward A.

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  • Edward Augustus Holyoke (1728-1829) physician and scientist was a much loved figure in Salem, as a doctor, founder of libraries and historic institutions.
  • He entered Harvard at age 14, graduating in 1746.
  • Holyoke made the first connection between the use of pewter dishes and lead poisoning.
  • He was the first to use the smallpox vaccination successfully.
  • Holyoke helped organize the Massachusetts Medical Society and was awarded the first M.D. degree ever given by Harvard Medical School.
  • Locally, he helped found both the Social and Philosophical Libraries in Salem, and was an incorporator of the Essex Historical Society, later the Essex Institute, in 1821.
  • Holyoke, a near vegetarian, died in 1829 at 101 years old. He left behind many journals and diaries.
  • The Holyoke Mutual Insurance Company was named for Dr. Holyoke.

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Holyoke Mutual
  • "How Holyoke Square got its name" Salem News, Aug. 1, 2012, p.4