|Aram G. Hejinian, M.D.
Born July 25, 1863
||Ability will come to the front anywhere and the circumstances of a man's birth or early environment have little to do with the position to which he may attain if he wisely develops his native powers and talents and directs his energy by sound judgment and discrimination. This is evidenced in the record of Dr. Aram Garabed Hejinian, one of the foremost physicians and surgeons of eastern Iowa, practicing in Anamosa.
He was born July 25, 1863, in Arabkir in the province of Harpoot, Armenia. His parents were Garabed A. and Surmaly Y. Hejinian. The father was descended from an aristocratic family of that country and his life was a most active, useful and honorable one. During the Crimean war he was appointed by the English government as a local agent for the province of Harpoot, which important position he held until the war was over. For several years he was the civil head of the Protestant community of Harpoot, representing it before the Turkish government. For many years he was a member of the city council of Arabkir and for about ten years was a member of the court of commerce in Constantinople. For more than seven years he was judge of the court of commerce at Van for the same province in eastern Armenia, being appointed by Sublime Porte at Constantinople. He was born in the ancient Armenian church but became one of the first Protestants of Arabkir and was one of the first to invite American missionaries to establish an American mission at that place. He had a prominent and responsible position in the church and also in educational lines and was one of the foremost men of the city and province in which he lived. His death resulted from a severe mental shock caused by events of the Armenian massacre of 1895, in which he lost the old family home and estate by fire and pillage but worse than that in the same massacre lost one of his sons, who was a distinguished lawyer, a linguist of fame and had been advocate in various courts, even being recognized as an advocate of the English courts of Cyprus. His wife's maiden name was Surmaly Yaqubyan. The Yaqubyan family is one of prominence in Arabkir and representatives of the name are now bankers in Cairo, Egypt. Mrs. Hejinian was a devoted member of the old Armenian church until her death.
The life history of Dr. Hejinian is one of interest because of the wide and varied experiences which have been his. His primary education was acquired in the schools of Arabkir, supplemented by a high-school course at Harpoot, while in 1885 he was graduated from Euphrates College at Harpoot. Before his graduation C. H. Wheeler, D.D., the president of the college had chosen him from a large class and invited him to fill the vacancy in the chair of higher mathematics during a leave of absence of the regular professor who had gone to America for further study. Dr. Hejinian accepted the position and taught at the college for two years, after which he decided to come to the United States to prepare himself for his life work. On the 17th of September, 1887, he left Armenia and made his way to Cairo, Egypt, where lived a brother and a sister. They requested him to pass the winter season with them and in the following spring he came to the United States, landing at New York City on the 22nd of May 1888. He then visited a friend in Philadelphia for a few days, reaching Chicago on the 4th of June. As it was then vacation time he prepared to enter the Chicago Theological Seminary in the fall and was graduated therefrom in 1890
Immediately afterward Dr. Hejinian entered Rush Medical College with the intention of returning to his native land well equipped in medicines as well as in theology. He completed his course at Rush in 1893 and was elected class chaplain. In all collegiate courses he held a leading position in his classes. Following his graduation from medical college he accepted a position in the Chicago health department as health inspector during, the World's Colombian Exposition. That summer the Armenian massacres began and the condition of his native country was such that it would not warrant safety of life for him to return as he had always intended doing. Being compelled to remain, he reentered Rush Medical College, where he pursued a special post-graduate course in 1893-94 with the intention of preparing himself not only for the active practice of medicine in this country but also that he might compete with the leading members of the medical fraternity here. Through the influence of the late Dr. Nicholas Send, one of Chicago's most famous surgeons and the head professor in surgery at Rush Medical College, he entered St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, as resident physician and surgeon, remaining there for about two years-from 1894 until 1896 during which time his broad experience in hospital work greatly augmented the knowledge which he had acquired through collegiate training. Dr. Send was in charge of the hospital and thus almost daily Dr. Hejinian was in close touch with that master surgeon Laid master mind, from whom he received not only his practical surgical knowledge but also stimulated his ability for keen observation and accurate diagnosis in complex cases.
After leaving the hospital in 1896 Dr. Hejinian went to Monmouth, Iowa, for a short vacation and rest, visiting a friend who was a physician at that place. While there a colleague at Wyoming, Iowa, requested him to take care of his practice during a three months' absence and Dr. Hejinian acceded the request. Then he left Wyoming for Chicago, intending to locate in that city and make it his future home, but after reaching the metropolis by the lake he received some communications from Iowa which caused him to return to this state, settling in Anamosa on the 4th of August, 1896. Since then he has been surgeon in charge of the local hospital at this point and has, moreover, enjoyed a lucrative practice. His success, especially in surgery, has been equal to that of anyone in the state. Almost every year he visits some of the chief medical centers of the world to keep himself abreast with the advances of the time. He took post-graduate work in surgery in 1902-03 in London, Berlin and Vienna and when abroad was accompanied by his wife and little daughter, Lucea. He not only studied while in Europe but visited many points of ancient and modern interest, including the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cologne, Paris, Dresden, Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples. He likewise went to Alexandria and Cairo in Egypt and after an absence of eight and a half months returned to the United States. In his practice he has displayed marked ability and familiarity with the most advanced methods and processes of surgical work and has performed some very important and difficult operations. In addition to his hospital work and his private practice he is now medical examiner for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the Aetna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut; the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Provident Life & Trust Company, both of Philadelphia; and the Central Life Assurance Society of Des Moines. He is also medical examiner for the Modern Woodmen of America and the Mystic Workers of the World and he is one of the original stockholders of the Citizens Savings Bank of Anamosa and has been one of its directors since its organization.
On the 14th of September, 1898, Dr. Hejinian was married in Anamosa to Miss Bertha S. Stacy, a daughter of Judge John S. and Charlotte A. K. Stacy. Her father has been prominently identified with the growth of Anamosa and Jones county, being recognized as one of the leading residents here through many years. His wife is a descendant of Governor Bradford, of Massachusetts. Mrs. Hejinian is a graduate of the Cornell College art department and has taken post-graduate courses in the Chicago Art Institute and Cowles School of Art in Boston, Massachusetts. For several years she was at the head of the art department of Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Dr. and Mrs. Hejinian have two children: Lucea M., born June 18, 1899; and John S., born July 2, 1904.
Dr. Hejinian received his final naturalization papers on the 31st of May, 1895. He has always been, a republican in his political views and cast his first presidential vote for William McKinley in 1896. He belongs to Anamosa Lodge, No. 42, A.F.&A.M.; Mount Sinai Chapter, No. 66, R.A.M.; Olivet Commandery, NO. 36, K.T.; and Moriah Chapter, No. 16, 0.E.S. He is also connected with the Modern Woodmen Camp, No. 167, M.W.A., and Anamosa Lodge, No. 171, of the Mystic Workers of the World. His religious faith is that of the Congregational church, in which he is serving as a deacon and trustee. In specifically professional lines he is connected with the Jones County, the Iowa Union and the Iowa State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association. Dr. Hejinian is a man of earnest purpose and of high ideals. He has kept to high standards in his profession but not more so than in every relation of life, being actuated in all that he does by the principles that govern upright and honorable manhood and Christian citizenship.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 78.
© Copyright 1997–2013, The Art Department, © Copyright 2014–2016, Richard Harrison.