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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 9(2); 2000 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2000;9(2): 205-211.
제중원 2대 원장 헤론(John W. Heron, M. D.)의 생애
김동건1, 김태수2
1연세대학교 의과대학 피부과학교실
2천안대학교 기독교 상담학과
The life of Dr. John William Heron, the second superintendent of Chejungwon
Dong Kun Kim1, Tae Soo Kim2
1Department of Dermatology Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea.
2Department of Christian Counselling Cheonan University, Korea.
The purpose of this paper is to overview the life of John W. Heron, M. D. who was the first appointed medical missionary to Korea by the Presbyterian Church USA. Although he was a competent doctor as well as a devoted missionary, he is not well-known yet, because he died early after 5 years' service in Korea. Dr. Heron was born in Derbyshire, England on June 15, 1856. His father, Rev. E. S. Heron, was a Scotch Minister of Congregational Church. His family emigrated to America in 1870 when he was fourteen years old and settled in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1881, he was admitted to the University of Tennessee Medical School and graduated with highest honors in 1883. After training in New York University Hospital, he refused the offer of professorship from the University of Tennessee to become a medical missionary to Korea. He arrived in Seoul on June 21, 1885 and began to work in Royal Government Hospital, Chejungwon, the predecessor of Severance Hospital. In 1887, he became the superintendent of the Hospital following Dr. Horace N. Allen. He also worked for the Royal family and sometimes traveled to the rural areas to care for the patients. He started Chejungwon Church which later became Namdaemoon Presbyterian Church. In 1887, Dr. Heron worked as a member of the Bible translation committee and in 1889, he was elected as the chairman of the Public Committee of the Presbyterian Churches. In 1890, he established 'The Korean Religious Tract Society (Chosunsyungkyoseohoi) with Underwood and Ohlinger. The society published and replenished Christian books, periodical magazines and booklets. In the Summer of 1890, Dr. Heron did his best to take care of the sick suffering from an epidemic dysentery and himself got infected because of the terrible overwork. He passed away on July 26th, 1890. On his deathbed, he told his soldier and native friends around him as follow: "Jesus loves you. He gave His life for you. Stand by Him!" The martyrdom of Dr. Heron should be remembered in the Korean history of mission, because he was the first victim among the foreign missionaries who had lived and worked in Seoul for Korean mission. Dr. Heron's mind of love, service and devotion should be remembered by the medical doctors working today in caring for the patients suffering from physical and spiritual illnesses.
Key Words: John W, Heron, first appointed medical missionary, second superintendent of Chejungwon
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