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McDowell, Dr. Ephraim, House

Danville, Kentucky
County of Boyle.
125-129 South Second Street
National Register Number: 66000355
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Domestic - single dwelling. The threat level was Satisfactory in
Congressional District: KY-6 Certified Local Government: YES
This NHL offers public access.
Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: House Museum; http://www.danville-ky.com/BoyleCounty/mcdowell.htm.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 12, 1965):
Here, in the two-story frame house that served as both home and office, Dr. Ephaim McDowell (1771-1830) performed the first successful ovariotomy. In December 1809, Dr. McDowell was called to treat Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford of Greensberg, Kentucky, whom he diagnosed as suffering from an ovarian tumor. After warning his patient of the risks involved, Dr. McDowell asked her to make the journey to his office (Mrs. Crawford traveled the distance on horseback), where, assisted by his nephew James, Dr. McDowell excised the tumor. The complete recovery of his patient did much to dispel the misconception among both physicians and laymen that exposing the inner wall of the abdomen invariably produced fatal infection, and eventually led to the development of a new area of surgical practice.

McDowell House Museum is in fair condition. A new roof and tuck pointing bricks in the older sections are needed. Money is being raised to start this work. This will not affect visitor use.

There are no additional changes to the landmark.

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