The Medical Society of New Jersey, at its organization meeting July 23, 1766, attempted the formation of four district groups, which were to be known as the Inferior Medical Societies of Elizabethtown, Princetown, Bound Brook and Morris Town. This was for the purpose of securing wider interest in medical organization and more convenient and practicable meeting places. Nothing came of it, however, and four years later the project was abandoned by the young and struggling society.

For the next 50 years there was no further effort to establish district societies; but at the annual meeting of the New Jersey Medical Society, on May 24, 1816, district societies were authorized in Middlesex, Somerset, Monmouth, Essex and Morris counties, and a group of physicians named in each to assume the task of organization. Within a month the Morris group organized as the District Medical Society of the County of Morris. 

The minutes of the meeting follow: “Morris Town – June 11, 1816. In conformity to an appointment of the New Jersey Medical Society convened at New Brunswick the 14th of May last a number of Physicians assembled at Morris Town agreeably to public notice on the 11th inst. to organize a district Medical Society for the County of Morris, when the following officers were appointed: Doctor Lewis Condict, President; Doctor Jeptha B. Munn, Vice President; Doctor Charles E. Pierson, Treasurer; Doctor John B. Johnes, Secretary; Doctors Joseph Hedges, Hampton Dunham and William Pierson were admitted members of the Society. 

Resolved that Doctors Ebenezer H. Pierson, Lewis Condict and Charles E. Pierson be appointed a committee to draft rules and regulations for the government of the Society. Resolved that the Society adjourn to meet again at C. Swayzes Tavern in Morris Town on the first Tuesday  of July next at 3 oclk. p.m. and that Secretary be instructed to invite all regular licensed Practitioners of Physick and Surgery of the County of Morris to attend said adjourned meeting.”

In addition to those mentioned above the charter members included Ebenezer Pierson, William Canfield and John S. Dorsey (Darcy?).

The Society thus formed operated until 1857. A library of books and magazines was established and apparently flourished. The chief function of the Society in that time was the examination and certification of those desiring to practice medicine and surgery, and so far as the minutes indicate there was not much of clinical interest at its sessions. Two meetings a year were held until 1834 when the mid-winter meeting was abandoned owing to lack of attendance for several successive years.

From 1850 great difficulty was experienced in securing a quorum for the annual meeting; and on April 14, 1857, only three members were present - -R.W. Stevenson, Treasurer; I.W. Canfield, Secretary; and John B. Johnes. No further meetings were held through the Civil War period, but several doctors went from Morris as delegates to the State Society in 1857, ’58 and ’60. After a lapse of 14 years, on December 31, 1873, Doctors Stevenson, Thompson and Stiger , all three of the 1857 regime, called a meeting at Mendham, at which re-organization was effected under the same name and title as the old Society. 

Those present at the reorganization meeting were Doctor John S. Stiger, of Mendham, with Doctors Thompson and Stevenson, all of the old regime; also Doctors P.C. Barker, Stephen Pierson, Frank S. Sanders and Fred W. Own, all of Morristown, and John G. Ryerson, Boonton; A.A. McWhitney, Pompton; D.S. Ayers, Rockaway; F.W. Miller, Whippany; H. Hulshizer, Port Oram; P.A. Harris, Mine Hill; John Riches, Succasunna; J.B. Mattison, Chester; and I.W. Condict, of Dover. 

On February 4, 1874, a Constitution and ByLaws were adopted, and a flourishing and energetic period in the Society’s history began. All through the ‘70s and ‘80s the meetings were all attending, case reports aroused keen interest and active discussion enlivened the meetings. 

In 1903 a formal charter was received from the State Society, under which our organization operates today. The name and title was changed by this charter to the Morris County Medical Society. Extensive revisions of the constitution and bylaws have been necessitated from time to time, notably in 1904, 1922, 1929 and 1945, the 1904 revision establishing four regular meetings yearly for the first time.

The question of establishment of a library was brought up and discussed in 1904, but no action was taken, and it remained in abeyance until 1928 when a splendid collection of magazines was begun, which through the generous invitation of the librarian was kept on file at the Morristown Library. The Society’s Library, however, was discontinued December 20, 1934, as the use of it by the members of the Society did not justify the annual expenditure for its maintenance. 

The Society was well represented in government service during World War I and two members gave up their lives as a result of illness contracted in the line of duty. In World War II the Society was again well represented in the Armed Forces of the Country. 

The minutes of the Society are intact from its foundation, in a state of good preservation, and in the possession of the Society, with the exception of minutes from November 26, 1920, and September 21, 1933, which were lost – this loss being associated with the untimely death of Dr. Galasso.

An innovation in our Society was the publication of the Bulletin starting in the year of 1934 under the direction of Dr. A. J. Ward. This publication was discontinued for a short period of time. Under reorganization by Dr. G.J. Young it was given new impetus and has been issued regularly ever since.

In 1945 the Morris County Medical Society established the Emergency Aid Fund, the purpose of which was to help all members of the Society either in or out of the Armed Services. This Fund has grown rapidly and is considered an outstanding accomplishment.

The return of Servicemen, the growth of our community and the establishment of several new hospitals in Morris County has brought with it an increase in our members to well over 400.