While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


SPOHN, ARTHUR EDWARD (1845–1913). Arthur Edward Spohn, physician, was born at Ancaster, Ontario, on April 27, 1845, and attended McGill University, Montreal, where he won the senior prize for practical anatomy in 1865. He attended medical school at the University of Michigan and trained at Long Island Hospital, New York, where he was assistant professor of surgical anatomy in 1867–68. In 1868 he was sent to Texas as United States surgeon in charge of the military quarantine at Galveston. In 1870 he invented a tourniquet for bloodless operations that was used as a field instrument by many armies of the world. He moved to Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and in 1872 to Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1876 he married Sarah J. Kenedy. Shortly thereafter he took postgraduate courses at Bellevue Hospital and the University of New York. In 1888 he visited a number of clinics and hospitals in Europe. On November 20, 1891, he performed the first Porro-Caesarian delivery of osteomalacia in the United States, saving both the mother and child. In 1892–93 he studied in Philadelphia, where in 1894 he was elected to the board of censors of Medico Chirurgical College. The Spohn Sanitarium, built in 1905, was named in his honor. In 1903 Spohn was sent as government representative to investigate sanitary conditions in the Mediterranean area. For fifteen years he was in charge of the United States Marine Hospital at Corpus Christi. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United States Association of Military Surgeons, the Second Pan-American Congress, the International Tuberculosis Association, the Texas State Medical Association (later the Texas Medical Association), and the Central Texas Medical Association. He was also chief surgeon of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway. He died at Corpus Christi on May 5, 1913. See also SPOHN HOSPITAL.

Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Nueces County Historical Society, History of Nueces County (Austin: Jenkins, 1972). George Plunkett [Mrs. S. C.] Red, The Medicine Man in Texas (Houston, 1930). Texas State Journal of Medicine, July 1913.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "SPOHN, ARTHUR EDWARD," accessed July 02, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsp15.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...