Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What I Found on My Desk: Isaac Ridgeway Trimble

I guess that should really read who I found on my desk. It’s a small comemmorative paperweight for Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, the surgeon. He was born in 1860 and died very young, in 1908.Trimble medal

Isaac Ridgeway Trimble was born at Wye House in Talbot County, Maryland on October 10, 1860. He was a member of an old Maryland family whose roots extended back to the early days of Maryland’s founding. He was the grandson of Major General Isaac R. Trimble, a hero of the Confederate Army. He was educated at Shenandoah Valley Academy and Johns Hopkins University. He received his M.D. from University of Maryland in 1884.

Dr. Trimble was a Resident Physician at the University Hospital, 1884-85; Assistant Surgeon, Fifth Regiment of Maryland National Guard from 1889 to 1899; Surgeon, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, from 1890 until his death; Professor of Anatomy and Operative and Clinical Surgery, Woman's Medical College, Baltimore, 1891-99; Dean, Woman's Medical College, 1894-96; Lecturer on Clinical Surgery, University of Maryland, 1894-99; Professor of Anatomy and Clinical Surgery, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, 1899-; Surgeon in Chief, United Railway and Electric Company of Baltimore.

Dr. Trimble was a member of many of the influential clubs and societies in Baltimore during his lifetime. He also had a large and influential medical practice, and gave what spare time he had to the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty. He died young from blood poisoning following surgery on an inflamed kidney on February 24, 1908. A lecture series was later established in his name, and from the program comes this explanation:


Oddly, there’s no information about Dr. Trimble in the Medical Annals of Maryland, although he would have fit in the 100+ year time-frame of the book.

The plaque or medal or paperweight is quite small, about 3x2.5 inches. It looks to be bronze and is beautifully detailed. He had quite a striking profile. Trimble 2Trimble 1If you look just behind Trimble’s shoulder, you can make out the words, J.M. Miller, 1916. I am informed by my sources that this is Joseph Maxwell Miller (1887-1933), a sculptor living and working in Baltimore at that time. Here’s a little information that I gleaned from the Archives of American Art:

Miller received his diploma from the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of Mechanical Arts in 1897; two awards, an Honorable Mention from the Society of French Artists, Salon 1902 and Silver Medal from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904; sculptor of the monument to the Confederate Women of Maryland;

Biographical/Historical Note: Sculptor; Baltimore, Maryland. Received his early art education at the Maryland Institute where he won the Rinehart scholarship to study in France. He showed at the Salon des Artistes and was made officer of the Academie Francais. He was a member of the National Sculpture Society and the Charcoal Club. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetary in Baltimore.


  1. I wonder if this medal was given to the Trimble series lecturers. Or perhaps some sort of prize was also established in his name. Otherwise, it seems odd to strike this eight years after Trimble's death.

  2. I need to hunt up when the lecture started. I have seen 1913, but maybe earlier. Our records aren't digital... yet.