Dr. Simon Gratz Moses: The First Jewish Physician in St. Louis, Missouri in the Early 1840’s

Simon Gratz Moses

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Dr Simon Gratz Moses of St. Louis

Dr. Simon Gratz Moses of St. Louis


Simon Gratz Moses was born in 1813 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1832, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Then, he studied medicine with Dr. Isaac Hayes.

Dr. Simon Gratz Moses graduated from medical school in 1835.


Along the way . . .

Dr. Moses became the personal physician to Joseph Bonaparte, former King of Spain (and brother of the former emperor), who was living near Bordentown, New Jersey.

He traveled with Bonaparte throughout Europe.

In 1840, Moses returned to Philadelphia.


St. Louis

In 1841, Moses moved to St. Louis, Missouri, becoming the first Jewish general practitioner there.



In 1842, Dr. Simon Gratz Moses helped establish the first dispensary in St. Louis.

Moses was a lecturer at Kemper College’s medical school.

At Missouri Medical College, he was Chair of the Obstetrics Department until 1853.

As a Confederate sympathizer, Dr. Simon Gratz Moses volunteered in medical facilities in Savannah, Georgia during the Civil War.



Simon Gratz Moses was a member of the St. Louis Medical Society.

He helped found the Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and the Medical-Chirurgical Society.



Simon Gratz Moses married Mary Porter Ashe (1812-1853) in 1838.

They had 4 children: Dr. Gratz A Moses (1839-1901), Elizabeth (b.1841), John S. (b.1844), and Mary Ashe (b.1847).

Moses married Marie Papin (1822-1901) in 1855, after the death of his first wife.

Home of Dr. Simon Gratz Moses, St. Louis

Home of Dr. Simon Gratz Moses, St. Louis

Dr. Simon Gratz Moses died in 1897.

He is buried at the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, 2010s

Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, 2010s


Samantha Silver is curator of this Dr. Simon Gratz Moses exhibit.