Dixi Crosby, M. D. by S. P. Hadley

Dr. Dixi Crosby, fifth son of Dr. Asa Crosby, was born in Sandwich, February 8, 1800, and died at Hanover, September 26, 1873. He married Mary Jane Moody, daughter of Stephen Moody, of Gilmanton, a distinguished lawyer, July 2, 1827. His academical preparation for his profession was quite limited; but being quick to learn, and with uncommon powers of memory, he made rapid progress in the study and practice of his profession and early became a prominent surgeon and physician, practicing in Gilmanton and Laconia till called to fill the chair of surgery in the Dartmouth Medical College, as successor of Professor R. D. Muzzey. He was placed at the head of the Medical College, in 1838, and held the place with great ability and distinction until nearly the time of his death.

His son, Prof. Alpheus B. Crosby, a young man of remarkable distinction, who died August 9, 1877, succeeded him. Another and older son is an eminent physician in Concord, N. H.

"Dr. Crosby, though a surgeon by nature and by preference, was in no modern sense a specialist. His professional labors covered the whole range of medicine. His professorship included obstetrics as well as surgery, and his practice in this department was exceptionally large. His surgical diocese extended from Lake Champlain to Boston. Of the special operations of Dr. Crosby we do not propose here to speak in detail. It is sufficient to mention that, in 1824, he devised a new and ingenious mode of reducing metacarpo-phalangeal dislocation. In 1836 he removed the arm, scapula, and three-quarters of the clavicle, at a single operation, for the first time in the history of surgery. He was the first to open abscess of the hip-joint. He performed his operations without ever having seen them performed, almost without exception. Dr. Crosby was not what may be called a rapid operator. "An operation, gentlemen," he often said to his clinical students, "is soon enough done when it is well enough done." And with him it was never done otherwise than well.

At the outbreak of the rebellion, Dr. Crosby served in the provost-marshal's office at a great sacrifice for many months, attending to his practice chiefly at night. As years and honors accumulated, Dr. Crosby still continued his work, though his constitutional vigor was impaired by the severity of the New Hampshire winters and by his unremitting labor. At length, having reached man's limit of threescore years and ten, he withdrew from active practice, and in 1870 resigned his chair in the college.

Dr. Crosby furnishes a beautiful and rare instance of a completed life. He early fixed his aim,—he reached it; he did all he attempted, and he did it well. 'Nihil tetigit, quod non ornavit.'

To those of us who had been most intimately associated with our departed friend, who had enjoyed his teachings, his counsels, and his generous kindness, the news of his death came as a heavy shock. But he still lives in the remembrance of his distinguished services, in the unfading affection and gratitude of his pupils, and in the many hearts whose burdens he has lifted. Verily, 'Extinctus amabitur idem!'"—Obituary notice of Dr. J. W. Barstow.