Samuel Denton


Theory & Practice of Medicine 1850-1860

Dean of Medicine 1851-1853

Following Sager, Samuel Denton served as dean from 1851-1853, and again from 1857-1858. Denton earned his medical degree in 1825 at Castleton Medical College in Vermont. He was a successful physician, and his dedication to his patients is evident in the following advertisement posted in the Michigan State Journal in 1835:

[Dr. Denton] has removed his office to the Court House, in the South Room on the East side of the Hall. Those who call after bedtime will please knock at the window if the door is fastened.

Denton was influential with the Board of Regents, of which he was one of the inaugural members in 1837. He was politically active, serving as a senator in the Michigan legislature from 1845-48. Denton had been trained by Zina Pitcher, and became the professor of physics in the University of Michigan Medical Department when it opened in 1850. His rich professional experience and medical training were an asset in the Medical School’s formative years. Corydon Ford wrote that he “bore an honorable part in shaping the policy and giving reputation to the school which was destined to soon create, by its success, so rapidly rising to fame, no little sensation in the medical world” (Ford, Corydon L. “Memorial Address on Alonzo Benjamin Palmer.” Physician and Surgeon 10 (1888): 245-253, 297-302, 355-360).


Professor of Medicine in the University of Michigan for ten years from 1850. He taught Pathology and the Theory and Practice of Medicine. Born July 2, 1803, at Wallkill, New York, he studied medicine at Castleton, Vermont where he received the M.D. degree in 1825 and came to Ann Arbor. He was elected to the state senate and the Governor appointed him Regent of the University, an office he held for four years. He died on August 17, 1860. With the calm faith of a Christian, he departed into the peace of the dead.