Source: Record# 86395 in database 19th Indiana Century Physicians
Riffle, John S
Rank: Asst. Surg.
Civil War Regiment: 40th Membership in Medical
Orgz.: Indiana State Medical Society 1882-83
County: Montgomery (Crawfordsville)
Source: Beckwith, H. W. History of Fountain County, Indiana. Chicago: HH Hill, 1881, p. 282.
John S. RIFFLE, physician and surgeon, Newtown was born near Piqua, Ohio 1832. He was left an orphan when quite young but was kindly provided a home in a family by the name of Hilliard, who resided in Piqua. By an arrangement of his guardian he was sent to the academy in Piqua 3 years. After having completed a scientific course he began school teaching and the study of medicine in 1849 and was engaged in notable schools in 4 different states in the Union. He sailed in 1851 with an invalid brother to the isthmus of Panama and returned across the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans then went to Houston, TX. He taught in the HS there 14 months and continued study of medicine under Dr. Parker. He started home in 1853 crossing the Gulf the 3rd time. Arriving at New Orleans he found navigation stopped on account of yellow fever except that a single steamboat bound for St. Louis would start in 3 hours. Having a little time he visited some of the hospitals to see the patients suffering from the disease and as far as possible to study its cause and nature. Deaths at that time were about 100 a day. He took passage on the Bunker Hill for St. Louis at 4 o'clock in the evening. He remained there two weeks after arrival, then crossed the river to Alton, ill; thence to Jerseyville where he continued the study of medicine under Dr. Harriman until the beginning of the session at the Missouri Medicial College of 1853. There he received his first medical degree at the close of the session of 1855. His last was obtained at Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, NY. He entered the Union Army as a private soldier in 1861 in 40th Reg Ind Vol. Inf. he was promoted hospital steward and soon after assistant surgeon and served as such until he was honorably discharge at Texanna, Texas in 1866. Thence he crossed the Gulf making his 5th passage across that body of water; 3 times before the war, twice during. After the close of the rebellion he located in Newtown, Indiana in the practice of medicine and surgery where he still remains. - kbz