Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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Dr. Thomas Franklin Dryden

Dr. Thomas Franklin Dryden was born in Adams County Ohio, October 20, 1835, the eldest son of Isaac and Martha Boyles Dryden. His father was a native of Delaware and his mother near Wheeling, now West Virginia. At a young age his father died; his youth was spent on a farm in Huntington, Brown County, Ohio, attending the district schools. After his mother married William Nathan Gilbert, the family moved to Indiana in 1852. The brothers worked a farm near Brooklyn, Morgan County Indiana.

Dr. Dryden had desired from boyhood to become a physician. He hailed with delight the opportunity given him to study medicine with Dr. Hutchison, of Mooresville, Morgan County, Indiana. He afterward attended a course of lectures at the Medical Department at Michigan University in Ann Arbor. He then went to Detroit, Michigan, where he was a private pupil of Dr. William Brodie, an eminent surgeon, remaining with him about six months. He subsequently entered the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, from which he graduated in 1859. In addition to his M.D. degree, in 1875, he had an honorary degree conferred on him by the Indiana Medical College, and certificates from the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Department at Ann Arbor and the Clinical Department at Detroit.

He began the practice of his profession at Northfield, Boone County, Indiana in 1859, remaining there until the breaking out of the Rebellion, when he enlisted in the 3-months service as a Private. He afterward entered the 3-years service as Hospital Steward of the 15th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry (the same regiment of his half brother, Robert B. Gilbert), but always acted in the capacity of Assistant Surgeon or Surgeon. He was at many important engagements including Rich Mountain, Shiloh, Murfeesboro, and Mission Ridge, Tennessee. A record dated June 14, 1861, when he is 25, is found with him enlisting in Company S, 15th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry; and a record noting he mustered out June 25, 1864. Another record is found dated July 1, 1863 with both his and his brother William H. Dryden noted. After he mustered out, he was immediately appointed Post Surgeon at Johnsville, Tennessee, where he remained until August 1865. In 1866, he is found in Clayton, Hendricks County, Indiana, where he built a large practice and made an enviable reputation both as a physician and surgeon.

On March 24, 1868, he married a widow, Mrs. Sarah E. Johnson in Hendricks, Indiana; she being referenced as a lady of culture and refinement. In the 1880 census in Liberty, Hendricks County, Indiana, Dr. Dryden is noted as a Physician and a widower. He and Sarah had no children. His wife died in 1872. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and also a Mason. In politics, he was a Republican. The last record for Dr. Dryden is a Pension Record dated October 15, 1887, in which he is noted as applying as an invalid and lists him with having served with the Indiana 15th infantry as a hospital steward. No date of his death or location has been located.

Photograph and information submitted by Dr. Dryden's Great grandniece Ann Swayze.


Dr. Thomas Franklin Dryden (front row, left)

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