Frank G. Runyeon

1935 to 1936

Thirty-seven years ago on June 6th, a group of thirteen physicians met in Columbus, Ohio, at the Great Southern Hotel and organized the American Proctologic Society. Prior to that time Proctology was practiced here and there by ethical, thoughtful and conscientious men. More frequently it was practiced by irregulars, quacks and charlatans. The formation of this organization was the signal for this specialty to emerge from its medieval state into the beginning of its renaissance.

The success of this first meeting was largely clue to the energy and perseverance of Dr. William M. Beach of Pittsburgh. and to the activity of Dr. Samuel T. Earle of Baltimore and Dr. Thomas Charles Martin of Cleveland. These three men seem to have been the pioneers in the formation of the Society. Dr. James P. Tuttle was the temporary Chairman and Dr. J. Rawson Pennington the Secretary pro tem. Dr. Joseph M. Mathews was elected the First President and Dr. William M. Beach the first Secretary.

In looking back over the records we find the Presidential addresses were started in 1900 and have been continued ever since.

A small volume of Transactions was published the first year, then discontinued. In 1908 the publication was revived and appeared annually for a period of three years. In 1908 The Proctologist, a magazine published by Dr. Rollin H. Barnes in St. Louis was given the privilege of publishing the papers presented before the Society. This was continued to my knowledge, as late as June 1917.