Richard Bloss, M. D.
Richard Bloss, M. D.

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

DR. RICHARD BLOSS was born in the town of Royalton, Windsor Co., Vt., April 13, 1798. His father was a respectable farmer in that town. His education up to his fifteenth year was confined to a common village school; at that age he commenced a preparatory course for college. Form the age of eighteen to twenty-one he taught school during the winter, and pursued his academical course the remainder of the time. He commenced the study of medicine under the instruction of Dr. Joseph Dension, studying and attending lectures for the next three years. He graduated at Dartmouth College, Hanover, in 1823. He commenced the practice of his profession in the town of East Bethel, N. Y., where he remained six years, and then returned to Royalton, his native town, where he soon established an extensive practice, which he retained up to the time of his removal to the city of Troy, in 1840. Here he formed a copartnership with Dr. R. S. Bryan, under the firm-name of Bryan & Bloss. This copartnership was dissolved at the end of five years, after which he continued the practice alone until his son, Jabez P., was associated with him; and on his removal from the city, his son, Richard D. Bloss, was connected with him in practice to the time of his decease.

On the first day of January, 1841, he received a slight wound on his thumb and forefinger, while engaged in a post-mortem examination of a case of puerperal peritonitis. The inflammation extended up the right arm and formed an abcess under the pectoral muscle, which discharged enormously. Nothing but an iron constitution carried him through this first struggle with disease. He never entirely recovered the free use of that arm and hand. In 1849 the disease again appeared in his thumb. In 1858, through the effects of a severe cold, it again appeared in the form of a carbuncle on the upper lip. In the spring of 1859 he was thrown from his carriage, fracturing his skull and three ribs. He recovered from these injuries and resumed his practice, but not with his wonted energy and assiduity. In 1861, while getting out of his carriage, he had the misfortune to fall and break his arm, which, for want of recuperative power, united slowly and troubled him while he lived. In March, 1861, again a small tumor made its appearance on his under lip. Its growth was slow, unaccompanied with pain, and checked by the use of chloride of zinc. In 1863, Dr. March pronounced it scirrhus and removed it. Finally a tumor formed near the angle of the jaw, which was very hard, painful, and of a purple, shining appearance. It bled profusely and reduced him very fast. He suffered excruciating pain, but retained his faculties unimpaired until his death, Sept. 13, 1863.

Love was the mainspring of his life. As a citizen he loved his country, her institutions, and her greatness. He ws loyal and patriotic. He loved his fellow-man. To the talented he gave his admiration; to the wealthy, his coutesy; to the poor, his advice, his services, and his substance; they never sought his aid in vain. His mission was to heal the sick, and he never inquired of the prospect of renumeration. He loved science, and sought out her hidden mysteries.

He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and enjoyed all the offices and honors of their gift, being successively Master of a lodge, High-Priest of a chapter, Illustrious Master of the council (which was named after him), Commander of the encampment, and member of the grand body of the State; he was also Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York at the time of his death.

He became a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church at the age of twenty-one, and for many years prior to his death he was senior warden of Christ Church in this city, and contributed liberally to its support. He built a church edifice almost entirely from his own means in his native village, Royalton.

Forty years of his life he gave to the practice of medicine, - the first half as an allopathist, the remainder in faithfully testing the truth of the principle, "Similia similibus curantur;" how successfully, the thousands whom he treated can testify. He began the practice of homeopathy in 1842, and used frequently to relate anecdotes of his early experience, of the ridicule, obloquy, opposition, and almost violence he encountered; but these things only brought forth greater and more persevering effort, which met with abundant and enduring success.

Dr. Bloss was one of the delegates in July, 1858, when Rensselaer County asked admission to the Homeopathic Society of Northern New York. At the next annual meeting he was chosen president of the same. His presence in that body was soon felt, and the organization rose from a merely social and colloquial gathering to the dignity of a parliamentary body. He felt a deep interest in its prosperity and success, and labored for its advancement. In all his intercourse he was dignified and gentlemanly, yet familiar and approachable, ever willing to aid all who were seeking for knowledge. He gave members of the fraternity confidence in the principles, and much of the success of homeopathy in Northern New York may be contributed to his encouragement.

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