Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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HORNER, William Edmonds, physician, born in Warrenton, Virginia, 3 June, 1793; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 13 March, 1853. His grandfather, Robert, emigrated from England to Maryland before the Revolution. William was educated at a private school, studied medicine, and received his degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1814. He had been commissioned surgeon's mate in the army in 1812, and served through the war with England on the Canadian frontier. After his resignation, in 1815, he practised at Warrenton, but in 1816 removed to Philadelphia. He became, in 1817, dissector to Dr. Casper Wistar, who was then professor of anatomy in the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1819 was made adjunct-professor of anatomy under Dr. Philip S. Physick. He now devoted himself with zeal to anatomical investigation, and in 1824 discovered the Musculus Hornerii, an important muscle of the eye, which he described in a series of articles in the "American Journal of Medical Sciences" of that year. When Dr. Phvsick resigned the chair of anatomy in 1831, Dr. Horner became his successor, and remained in this office till his death. He was an active member of the city sanitary board during the cholera epidemic of 1832, and was presented by the citizens with a , silver pitcher for his exertions. He united with the Roman Catholic church in 1839, and in 1847 founded St. Joseph's hospital. In 1848 he re-visited Europe, and was well received by scientific men. His health began to fail in 1841, and during his last years he suffered greatly, but he continued his lectures till two months before his death. He left his fine anatomical collections, valued at $10,000, to the University of Pennsylvania, and his large library to St. Joseph's hospital. Dr. Horner published "Special Anatomy and Histology" (Philadelphia. 1826; 8th ed., 2 vols., 1851); "United States Dissector" (5th ed., revised by Dr. Henry H. Smith, 1856); "Anatomical Atlas"; and numerous contributions to medical periodicals. He left manuscripts on theological and literary subjects.
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