Dr. John Van Duyn

Dr. Van Duyn, Dean of Syracuse Physicians College and oldest living graduate of Princeton University, responded to the call of the “Great Commander” January 16, 1934 at the advanced age of 90 years, terminating a long busy life devoted to the service of his country and humanity.

He served in both the Wars of ’61 to ’65 and the
World War. Having resolved to study medicine,
in the early days of the War of the Rebellion, at
the first opportunity, he enlisted as a medical
student in the United States Army, thus gaining
knowledge of practical surgery and medicine
which he never forgot, finding time, meanwhile
for a course of medicine at the University of
Louisville, KY from which he graduated in 1865.

Success came quickly, for his skill in surgery
caused him to specialize in this branch of the
profession and he was ranked with the greatest
surgeons in central New York.
Upon the entrance of the United States into the World War, he formed the John van Duyn
Ambulance Unit, a medical corps in which he served as a volunteer surgeon at a hospital in

Records reveal he was the only Civil War veteran to see service in the World War.

Dr. van Duyn, one of the earliest members of Root Post No. 151, Grand Army of the
Republic in Syracuse, was Department Commander in 1926-27.

“Great spiits never with their bodies die.”

Source: 1934
NY Dept. Journal, Woman’s Relief Corps, Aux. to the GAR