Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Where Detroit's History Endures
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Dr. Zina Pitcher

Zina Pitcher was born at Fort Edwards, Washington County, New York, April 14, 1797. He received a common-school education, and at the age of twenty went to the Castleton School to attend medical lectures. After having completed his term at Castleton he went to Woodstock, Vermont, (Middlebury College) where he graduated in 1822. Dr. Pitcher was married in 1824 to Ann Sheldon of Kalamazoo County. They had two children. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the U. S. Army by President Monroe in 1822. He was promoted to the position of Surgeon by President Jackson. In 1835 he became President of the Army Medical Board. He resigned, after fifteen years of service.

In 1836, Dr Pitcher was appointed Regent of the University Of Michigan, a position that he held for fifteen years. During that time he took an active interest in the establishment of the Medical Department.

He held the office of Mayor of Detroit in 1840, 1841 and 1843. During this period he influenced the development of public school system in the city.

During the years of his public service he did not neglect his medical commitments. He served his private patients, found time to prepare professional and literary papers for publication. He attended nine American Medical Association meetings and was elected the tenth President of the Association.

From 1848 to 1867, Dr. Pitcher served as a physician at St. Mary’s Hospital and also as a surgeon at U.S. Marine Hospital in Detroit. In 1859 he was appointed Examiner of the Mint by President Buchanan.

Doctor Pitcher was an active member of the Territorial Medical Society, forerunner of the first Wayne County Medical Society, of which he was a founding member and trustee. He became the first President in 1866. In addition, he was a director of the Detroit Savings Fund Institute (later Detroit Bank and Trust and now Comerica Bank). He served as trustee of the Kalamazoo Asylum, later the Kalamazoo State Hospital.

During his long residence in Detroit he possessed the confidence of the people of the city. His integrity and faithfulness to every obligation were proverbial. In his social life he was ever the courteous gentleman.

Dr. Zina Pitcher died April 4, 1872.

Born: April 12, 1797
Died: April 5, 1872
Buried: Section G, Lot 10