Major Harry Sturgeon Crossen, whose military title was won by active service in the World war and who is recognized as an eminent gynecologist of St. Louis, while his contributions to medical literature are rated as of high worth, was born in Appanoose county, Iowa, February 2, 1869. His father, the late James Crossen, was of Irish descent, the family, however, being founded in America at an early day. James Crossen devoted his life to merchandising and passed away in 1874. He married Affinity Sturgeon, who was of English lineage, although the family has long been represented on this side of the Atlantic. Mrs. Crossen passed away in 1873 and the only daughter of the family died in infancy, so that Dr. Crossen remains the sole survivor of his father’s household.
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Following the death of his parents Dr. Crossen was reared by his uncle, R. S. Morris, near Centerville, Iowa, and there pursued his preliminary education, his early life to the age of fourteen years being spent on the farm. He continued his studies at Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and was there graduated in 1889. He afterward took up the study of medicine in the old St. Louis Medical College, now the medical department of Washington University, and was graduated with the first class to complete the course after the former school was merged into the university. This was in 1892, at which time the M. D. degree was conferred upon him. For three years thereafter Dr. Crossen served in the St. Louis City Hospital as junior and senior interne and was also assistant superintendent during the latter part of that period. He next entered the St. Louis City Hospital for Women as superintendent and surgeon in charge, being appointed by the Hon. Cyrus P. Walbridge, then mayor, and serving in that connection for four years. Entering upon private practice he has since made steady progress, basing his advancement upon broad previous experience and thorough study. During his term of office as superintendent and surgeon in charge of the City Hospital for Women he was instrumental in having new buildings erected for the obstetric department. Since taking up private practice he has specialized in gynecology and obstetrics and is an acknowledged authority upon this branch of medical practice. He has been for many years a teacher of gynecology in the Washington University Medical School. He is also gynecologist to the Barnes Hospital and to St. Luke’s Hospital and consulting gynecologist to the St. John’s Hospital, Jewish Hospital and Bethesda Hospital and is recognized as a man of eminent skill along this line. He Is a fellow of the American Gynecological Society, of the American Association of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, and of the American College of Surgeons and is a member of the St. Louis Medical Society, the Missouri State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He is likewise broadly known in the field of authorship -because of his contributions to the literature of the profession, for he is the author o1 a work entitled “Diseases of Women,” which was published in 1907 by the C. V. Mosby Publishing Company of St. Louis and which is used as a textbook. He is likewise the author of a work on “Operative Gynecology,” published by the same house in 1915.
Dr. Crossen’s military record is an interesting one, for during the World war he was surgeon with the Twelfth Engineers, a St. Louis regiment, on duty in France. He went to France with this regiment in August, 1917, and was overseas until the close of the war. He was originally commissioned a captain and later promoted to the rank of major, receiving an honorable discharge April 22, 1919.
On the 28th of March, 1895, at Oberlin, Ohio, Dr. Crossen was married to Miss Mary Frances Wright of that place, a daughter of Chauncey D. and Mary (Jordan) Wright, both now deceased. Dr. and Mrs. Crossen have become parents of five children: Theodore W., Ruth V., Robert J., Virginia M., and David F.
Politically Dr. Crossen is an independent republican, usually supporting the measures of the party yet not feeling that he is bound by party ties. He belongs to Tuscan Lodge, No. 360, A. F. & A. M., has membership in the University Club and is a consistent member of the Pilgrim Congregational church. For recreation and diversion he turns to hunting and fishing and his varied interests outside of business maintain a well-balanced character. At the same time he holds to high ideals in his profession and utilizes every advantage that comes to him in the way of broadening his knowledge and promoting the efficiency that has already placed him with the men of wide learning and ability in professional ranks in St. Louis.