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William Gilman Thompson


Centurion, 1892–1927

Born 25 December 1856 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 27 October 1927 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Proposed by Francis P. Kinnicutt and James A. Roosevelt

Elected 6 February 1892 at age thirty-five

Century Memorial

The outstanding service of William Gilman Thompson to the medical profession was his introduction into hospital work of the principle of “re-education.” Experience and observation had taught him that there might be a future both of usefulness and happiness for the “chronic incurables” among hospital patients, but that to leave them to shape their own destiny was mere needless cruelty. The opportunity for demonstrating his own solution of the problem came with the physical wreck and destruction of the war. He then organized his clinic for functional reeducation, expanding it after the war into the Reconstruction Hospital, where chronic sufferers, often refused admission to a regular hospital, were taught to acquire a craft by which they could occupy and support themselves. It would be difficult to exaggerate the value to the great body of afflicted patients of this humane reform.

Alexander Dana Noyes
1928 Century Association Yearbook