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W. R. Tipton Papers

Identifier: MSS -281-BC

Scope and Content

The collection contains 2 ledger books which Dr. W.R. Tipton used to track the payments received from his patients for medical services rendered. The recorded transactions are handwritten and document activity between 1893 and 1917. Both volumes have an A-Z index of patients' names and are organized chronologically. Both volumes reflect Tipton's practice around Las Vegas, NM.


  • 1893-1917

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.


Dr. William R. Tipton, doctor and surgeon in Las Vegas, New Mexico, was born in Missouri in 1854. He came to New Mexico with his family in 1860, settling at Watrous. He attended elementary school in Santa Fe and Tiptonville, New Mexico (name predates Dr. Tipton), and later attended medical school at the University of Missouri and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, graduating in 1877. His first practice was in Moberly, Missouri, where he was the Assistant Chief Surgeon for the Wabash Railroad. Soon after, Tipton returned to New Mexico and opened a private practice in Tiptonville, 1877-1880. Tipton spent most of his career practicing medicine in and around Las Vegas, New Mexico. His specialties included trauma surgery and, later in his career, neuropsychiatry.

Tipton's medical career was long, distinguished, and had a major impact on medicine in New Mexico. He used his Spanish fluency to lobby politicians in Santa Fe for a medical society and, later, as a simultaneous translator at the society's functions. He founded the Las Vegas Medical Society in 1882 and helped establish the New Mexico Medical Society as well. He was superintendent of the Las Vegas Hospital for the Insane (1897-1906), Regent of the Normal University at Las Vegas from 1902-1906, and helped establish medical standards as President of the New Mexico Medical Society in 1885, 1888, 1893, and 1895. He was also Vice-President of the American Medical Association three times.

Tipton married Elizabeth Duncan in 1878. He died in Las Vegas, New Mexico, in 1924.


2 Volumes


The William Reuben Tipton Records consists of two ledger books in which Dr. Tipton kept track of the accounts of his patients, 1893-1917.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Spidle, Jake W., Jr. Doctors of Medicine in New Mexico: A History of Health and Medical Practice, 1886-1986. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986.
Finding Aid of the W. R. Tipton Papers, 1893-1917
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Tad McIlwraith
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 281 BC::W. R. Tipton Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss281bc.sgm.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131