Reputation of TMC Dental Department Questioned in 1894

Is He a Judge?  What Does Noon [sic], of Chattanooga, Know About Dentistry

Special to the Journal

Chattanooga, Tenn., March 2. — A decision was handed down by Judge Moon to-day in the mandamus suit of M. B. Williams, a graduate of the Tennessee Dental College at Knoxville, versus the state board of dental examiners, composed of S. B. Cooke, Chattanooga; J. L. Newburn, Memphis; J. Y. Crawford, Nashville; W. T. Arlington, Memphis; F. A. Shotwell, Rogersville, and H. A. Beach, of Clarksville, which disbars Plaintiff Williams from reputable dental practice in Tennessee, and brands the Tennessee dental college as an incompetent and unfit institution for the teaching of dentistry.

Some time ago Williams emerged from the college after a quick course with a diploma in hand ready to jump into paying practice.  But, appearing before the board of examiners, he was declared incompetent and his diploma was not recognized.  Suit was then instituted.  The case came up before Judge Moon several days ago.  To prove the school not to be reputable the board of examiners, as defendants, introduced as witnesses Dr. Crenshaw, of Atlanta, Drs. Brabson and Richards, of Knoxville, and Dr. J. Y. Crawford, of Nashville, whose testimony was so conclusive of Mr. Williams’ incompetency and the school’s method of turning out graduates that the former was disbarred from practice, and the standing of the latter seriously questioned, whereupon Judge Moon rendered the decision in favor of the board of examiners, as stated.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 3, 1894, page 1


The Dental College Trouble.  Dr. Williams Gives the Other Side of the Conflict Waging

Dr. M. B. Williams states that the Journal’s Chattanooga correspondent has mistated [sic] the facts as to his experience with the state board of dental examiners in several particulars.

First, he said he never was before said board.  That after he graduated, he sent his diploma to Dr. Cook, president of the board, for registration.

This was refused on the grounds that the college giving it, graduated students under a period less than three years and because the college did not belong to the national association of dental faculties.

So far as the board is concerned, it never knew anything of his qualifications because he never stood an examination before it.  He said he only saw the president, and he said he had made an excellent grade, running over seventy five per cent in all branches.  He also stated that Judge Moon said that if he would follow his personal feeling in the matter he would grant judgment in favor of the doctor.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 4, 1894, page 3


An Untruthful Statement

The statement made by our Chattanooga correspondent touching a decision alleged to have been made by Judge Moon, of Chattanooga, in which the Tennessee Dental college was denounced as “an incompetent and unfit institution for the teaching of dentistry,” seems to have been wide of the truth.  A copy of Judge Moon’s decision has been furnished this office, and it reads as follows:

“The proof shows the following facts:  The defendants are members of the state board of dental examiners; the petitioner has a genuine diploma from the dental department of the Tennessee Medical college; this is a reputable college; there was delivered in the same annually a full course of lectures on dentistry and dental surgery; the college was chartered, has trustees and faculties; the diploma has the genuine signature of the officers and faculty; petitioner attended college and took a regular course of lectures; the diploma was issued and delivered to petitioner by said college; the college is well equipped in every respect and is highly reputable and creditable; the percentage of examinations at the college is above the average required.

“The proof in this case in my opinion abundantly shows that the college of Knoxville from which petitioner obtained his diploma is in good repute; that its professors and officers are among the best men in the state; and if this court had the power to pass upon its reputation as a creditable institution, it would without hesitation pronounce that it was in good repute.  But that power by act of assembly, whether wisely or unwisely, has been lodged in a board of dental examiners and is beyond the power of this court to control the exercise of that discretion, and the peremptory mandamus is referred.  Judgement accordingly.”

John A. Moon, Judge

Our correspondent, we are sure, meant to report the exact facts, but the above shows that he was misinformed.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, March 10, 1894, page 2


Received a Certificate.  Dr. Williams, a Dentist, Finally Gets what He Considers His Liberty

About one year ago W. B. Williams, a graduate of the dental department of the Tennessee Medical college, applied for a certificate to practice from the state board of dental examiners.  The board declined to give him his certificate on his diploma and he commenced practicing anyway.  The board never entered suit in the courts because, it is claimed, they had no case.

The other day the young doctor concluded to capitulate and stand examination.  He thinks that they must have asked him a thousand questions — but he answered them all right.  Still they had a fine of $25 against him for practicing without the board’s certificate of authority.  So they took advantage of the situation and held his certificate back until he settled the fine, which he paid and July 4th he received his certificate.  He reminded the board that 119 years ago that day this nation gained independance [sic] and he was following suit.

Source:  Knoxville Daily Journal and Tribune, July 6, 1895, page 5

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