Dr. Simon Pollack: Early Jewish Pioneer Doctor of St. Louis, Missouri, 1840’s+

Dr. Simon Pollack

Dr. Simon Pollack

Dr. Simon Pollack

Values Codes: I-E-L-P

Simon Pollack was born in 1814, in Tauss, Bohemia.

Simon Pollack was educated in the classics at the University of Vienna.

In 1835, he earned his medical degree, at the age of 21.

Along the way . . . .

In 1838, Dr. Simon Pollack came to America.

Dr. Pollack began his career in New York, owning a mercantile firm that was not successful.

This prompted him to head for New Orleans, to help people suffering from the Yellow Fever outbreak.

St. Louis

In 1845, Dr. Simon Pollack moved to St. Louis, Missouri, becoming the second Jewish doctor in the city.

In 1849, a cholera epidemic allowed Dr. Pollack to use the skills he acquired in Europe during its cholera outbreak of the 1830s.

Dr. Pollack returned to Europe to study blindness.

In 1850, he came back to St. Louis and helped establish the Missouri Institute for the Education of the Blind.

The Institute was the first to adopt the Braille System in the United States.

Missouri Institute for the Blind, Vintage Postcard

Missouri Institute for the Blind,
Vintage Postcard

During the late 1850s, Dr. Pollack returned to Europe, once again, to continue his studies as an oculist and an aorist.

In 1861, he founded and eye and ear hospital in New York.

Then, Dr. Pollack opened an eye and ear clinic in St. Louis.


During the Civil War, Dr. Pollack worked with other doctors to create the Western Sanitary Commission, which brought sanitary conditions, hospitals and trained nurses to military camps.

This organization founded fifteen hospitals in St. Louis.

Dr. Pollack also championed a place for female doctor’s in the St. Louis medical community.


Dr. Simon Pollack married Sallie Perry in 1873.

Together they had two sons.


Dr. Simon Pollack died in 1903 in St. Louis.



  • Ehrlich, Walter. Zion in the Valley: The Jewish Community of St. Louis.  Volume 1. Columbia, Mo: University of Missouri Press, 1997.
  • Schwartz, Ellen Jane Freund. Freund Family Chronicles. 1992. http://home.earthlink.net/~anschwartz/personal/genealogy/freund/chronicles.htm

Samantha Silver is Curator of this Dr. Simon Pollack Exhibit.

Appropriate pictures would be appreciated.