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Errol Payne Palmer, Sr. Papers,1907-1969 (bulk 1935-1952)

MS 688

Collection Summary

Creator: Palmer, Errol P. (Errol Payne) Sr., 1876-1960
Collection Name:Errol Payne Palmer, Sr. Papers,
Inclusive Dates: 1907-1969
Physical Description:1.75 linear feet (4 boxes)
Abstract:This collection contains materials which represent different facets of Dr. Palmer’s long and illustrious career in Phoenix, Arizona. This collection consists primarily of correspondence, speeches, writings and publications, and newspaper clippings.
Collection Number:MS 688
Language: Materials are predominantly in English. Materials in Spanish and French are indicated at the folder level.
Repository: University of Arizona Libraries, Special Collections
University of Arizona
PO Box 210055
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6423
Fax: 520-621-9733

Biographical Note

Dr. Palmer was born in Mississippi where he passed the Mississippi Pharmacy Board at the age of seventeen and became a duly licensed pharmacist. Soon thereafter he moved to St. Louis, passed the Missouri State Pharmacy Board, and earned his way through medical school to graduate from what is now the Washington University School of Medicine in 1895. After graduation, he began practice in St. Louis.

In 1900, he had a severe bout of pneumonia and influenza and was advised to seek a better climate He arrived in Phoenix, Arizona on April 1, 1900 where he ultimately situated himself, his family, and his practice. His Arizona medical license was no. 102. In the early 1920s Dr. Palmer organized the Southwest Clinic and during the next decade he was associated in this practice with several physicians, among them Dr. Frank Milloy, gastroenterologist, the first specially trained specialist in this field in Arizona; Dr. Charles Vivian, urology; Doctor Spencer Whiting, chest disease; Dr. Elton R. Charvoz, obstetrics; and Dr. Charles N. Ploussard, surgery.

Dr. Palmer was a firm supporter of organized medicine and served as president of the Maricopa County Medical Society, the Southwestern Medical Association, and the Arizona Medical Association. Moreover, Dr. Palmer was a charter member of the American College of Surgery and was governor of the college for twenty years for the state of Arizona. He is known to have played a seminal role in standardizing hospital practices across Arizona.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials which span Palmer’s career in Phoenix, Arizona. This collection documents his contributions to Arizona medicine in its early days, his extensive involvement in professional societies, his high standing and recognition in the profession and his numerous contributions to the body of medical scholarship. It also documents his key role in the formation of Arizona Blue Cross & Blue Shield and his lifelong interest in educating the general public on any number of important public health issues through speeches and radio broadcasts. This collection consists primarily of correspondence, speeches, writings and publications of Dr. Palmer. It also includes newspaper clippings highlighting his professional activities and recognitions he received. It is especially rich in materials relating to his professional activities in the various medical societies he contributed to. Other materials include ephemera, honors and certificates, and miscellanea. Formerly collection number HT 004.


This collection is organized into 5 series:
Series 1: Correspondence,1907-1958
Series 2: Professional organizations,1931-1959
Series 3: Dr. Palmer's professional development, network, entrepreneurial endeavors, and legal documents,1924-1969
Series 4: Dr. Palmer's presentations and writings,1926-1948
Series 5: Publications,1907-1960





It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or his/her transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Arizona Board of Regents for the University of Arizona, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright.

Related Material

History of Arizona medicine; collections of Orville Harry Brown, M.D. [AHSL Special Collections WZ 70 AA7 H673]

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
DeBakey, Michael E. (Michael Ellis), 1908-2008
Palmer, Errol P. (Errol Payne) Jr., 1909-1987
Palmer, Errol P. (Errol Payne) Sr., 1876-1960
Palmer, Paul V. (Paul Vincent), 1911-1981

Corporate Name(s)
American Association for the Surgery of Trauma
American Cancer Society
American College of Surgeons
American Medical Association
American Red Cross
Arizona Lead Company
Arizona Medical Association
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona
International College of Surgeons
Maricopa County Medical Society (Ariz.)

Geographic Name(s)
Phoenix (Ariz.)

Medical Policy
Medicine--Societies, etc.
Public Health
Public Health Administration

Administrative Information

Credit Line

Palmer, Errol Payne, Sr. Errol Payne Palmer, Sr. Papers, 1907-1969 (bulk 1935-1952). MS 688, Special Collections, Arizona Health Sciences Library, Tucson, AZ.

Acquisition Information:

Gift from Edward “Butch” O’Hare MD, grandson of E. Payne Palmer (accession no: 2006-01)


No further accruals are expected.

Container List

Series 1: Correspondence, 1907-1958
Series includes correspondence Dr. Palmer had with professional colleagues, associates, and in matters pertaining to personal affairs. Correspondence with professional organizations and medical socieities are not included (See: "Series 2: Professional Organizations").
11 General, 1907 January 9-1958 October 13
12 Genealogical research, 1950 October 3-1952 July 31
13 Camp Hyder, Arizona, 1943 July-August
14 Personal
Series 2: Professional Organizations, 1931-1959
Series includes materials which correlate to the specified professional organizations and medical socieities that Dr. Palmer was affiliated with. Materials include: correspondence, publications, reports, by-laws, and ephemera.
15 American Association for Surgery of Trauma, 1952
Twelfth Annual Session program, 1952 September 18-20
Thirteenth Annual Session program, 1953 October 1-3
16 American Cancer Society, 1946-1947
17 American College of Surgeons, 1934-1959
38th Annual Clinical Congress Program Guide, 1952 September 22-26
Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, 1959 January-February
18 American College of Surgeons--6th Inter-American Congress, 1949 October
19 American Medical Association, 1936, 1939, 1941-1942
110 Arizona Medical Association, 1936, 1948-1950, 1953
Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the Arizona Medical Association, Inc., 1953
"Toward Better Health-Arizona Blue Shield" by Dr. E. Payne Palmer Sr. in Health Activities Bulletin, 1949 January
111 Blue Cross Blue Shielf of Arizona, 1950, 1955-1956
112 Blue Shield of Arizona--Annual Meeting of Board of Regents, 1949
Transcript of Dr. Palmer's speech, 1949
Annual Report to the Board of Directors, 1949 May 8
113 Inter-American Congress of Surgery, 1948 October, 1949 October
Note: Some materials are in Spanish.
Photograph. Passport of Dr. Palmer
114 International College of Surgeons, 1936 January 2-1936 December 31, 1937, 1941
Note: Some materials are in French.
21 "Our Society" by Dr. Errol P. Palmer, Sr., probably 1936
Roundup newsletter, 1955
"Service men of the Maricopa County Medical Association" by E. Payne Palmer, Sr., undated
Series 3: Dr. Palmer's professional development, network, entrepreneurial endeavors, and legal documents, 1924-1969
Contains Dr. Palmer’s patient diagnostics, business cards, business trip records, some professional development coursework, honor and certificates, bequests, as well as some newspaper clippings pertaining to his mining company. Also, included are some of Paul Palmer and Edward Palmer’s patient records.
22 Honors & Certificates, 1924-1960
23 Ephemera
24 Dr. Palmer in pratice, coursework, and business
Photograph. Dr. Palmer with his colleagues and their spouses, undated
25 Arizona Lead Company
26 Dr. E. Payne Palmer, Paul, and Edward's patient records, 1938-1956, 1967-1969
Correspondence between Dr. E. Payne Palmer, Jr. and Dr. M.E. DeBakey regarding case summary of a patient at Texas Medical Center, 1967 July 11
36 Dr. Palmer's Bequests, 1940-1950
Series 4: Dr. Palmer's presentations and writings, 1926-1948
Contains writings and transcripts by Dr. Palmer that were intended for publication, were addressed to audiences by way of public forum or radio broadcast.
27 Presentations--Speeches
Index of Articles written by Dr. E. Payne Palmer, Sr.
"Address to the graduating class, Saint Joseph's School for Nurses Class of 1933," by Dr. Palmer, 1933
"For whom much is given much also will be demanded," By Dr. Palmer before St. Mary's High School, 1926 May 31
“Our Association,” President’s address at the annual meeting of the Medical and Surgical Association of the Southwest, held in El Paso, Texas. 1930 November 6-8
"The Challenge of the Hospital Standardization Program of the American College of Surgeons," by Dr. Palmer before the Sectional Meeting of the American College of Surgeons. Houston, Texas, 1938 February 2-4
"The Medical Aspect of Birth," By Dr. Palmer before the Phoenix Catholic Women's Club, undated
28 Presentations--Transcripts
"A Surgeon Speaks on Cancer," by Dr. Palmer. Broadcast before KTAR, Phoenix, 1938 April 15
"First Aid," by Dr. George A., Leland, Jr. and Dr. Palmer, undated
Radio Transcript. Dr. Palmer's report on the educational activities of the American Cancer Society, 1948 January 3
Radio Transcript. Dr. Palmer's discussion on detecting cancer for KPHO, undated
29 Essays by Dr. Errol P. Palmer, Sr.
"Abbreviated history of cancer," undated
"Airway and highway first aid stations," probably 1935-1936
"An inventory of your health," undated
"Argentaffin (Carcinoid) Tumors of the Small Intestine," undated
"Basic Intravenous Anesthesia with Pentothal Sodium," undated
"Campaign against highway accidents," Radio Broadcast for Ardmore, Oklahoma, 1938 January 14
"Climate and its relation to cancer (with remarks of anatomic sites)," undated
"Climate and its relation to different types of cancer," undated
"Cancer of the alimentary canal," undated
"Cancer problems of today," undated
"...Carcinoma of the Pancreas..." (untitled), undated
"Control of Cancer," undated
"Death," undated
"Discusion with Professor Carter Wood," 1936 September 25
"Evidence of a Satisfactory Family," undated
"Fractures of the spine," undated
"Getting well and keeping well," undated
"Normal saline solution: A review of some of its clinical uses," undated
"Phoenix, Arizona--A Health Resort," undated
"Red Cross," undated
"Salt River Valley climate," undated
Note: Newspaper clipping attached: Phoenix Gazette "Guest Editorial" by Dr. Palmer, 1945 July 23
"Shangri-La of the Navajo's," undated
"Shock: Its Prevention and Treatment," undated
"The surgeon's interest in hospital organization, management and its problems," undated
210 Dr. Palmer's Guest Editorials for the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette newspapers
"Arizona's Pioneer Physicians," undated
"A Crusade Against Cancer," undated
Discussion on Dr. Lucien A. LeDoux's "Some comments on the harmful effects of birth control practices," by Dr. Palmer, undated
"Volvoids of the Stomoid," undated
Discussion on Dr. W.O. Johnson's "Polypous Cervical and Vaginal Hyperplasias in Association with Pregnancy," by Dr. Palmer, undated
"Early Signs of Cancer," undated
"The incidence of cancer in the United States," undated
"What is Cancer?," undated
"The Emergency Treatment of Fractures," undated
Note: Newspaper clipping attached: Phoenix Gazette "Guest Editorial," undated.
"Carcinoma of the Colon," undated
"Fractures of the Distal Portion of the Radius," undated
211 Dr. Palmer's notes and reflections
31 Inventory of glass lantern slides (see Box 4); vernier electrocardiograph caliper; and several short lists of slides
Includes: "Directions for the use of the Vernier Electrocardiograph Caliper" by Harold Raoul Wainerdi, MD.
4 Glass lantern slides, undated
slides dimensions: (3.25"x4")
See also: inventory in Box 3, Folder 1
Tucson Airway First Aid Station
Chino Valley Highway First Aid Station
Equipment at Tucson Airway First Aid Station
Fracture apparatus for first aid work
"No good business..."[regarding reular health inventories, i.e. annual physical exams]
"Good health is..."
"Inheritance is..."
"There are life shortening..."
"Physical diagnosis..."
"one should attempt to grow old..."
"The wise man's real hope..."
"Twenty-five years ago there were 42,464 deaths from cancer..."
Series 5: Publications, 1907-1960
32 Newspaper clippings, 1907, 1930-1948, 1958-1960
33 Newspaper clippings--Dr. Palmer's scrapbook, 1922-1947
Note: Clippings mostly correspond to Dr. Palmer's trip overseas in 1936.
American College of Surgeons Twenty-Sixth Annual Session program, 1936 October
Photograph. Image of unidentified man of royalty sitting in chair, undated
34 Publications--Featuring or Written by Dr. Palmer, 1930-1937, 1949-1960
"Cancer of the Breast," by E. Payne Palmer, MD., 1930
"The Incidence of Cancer Among the Indians of the United States and Canada," with specific reference to Arizona by E. Payne Palmer, MD., F.A.C.S., Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A., 1950
35 Publications--References