ACKLEY, HORACE A. (Aug. 1810-26 Apr. 1859), was a surgeon, the first local physician to use ether in surgery, and a founder of the Cleveland Medical College, now the medical school of CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY. Born in Genessee County, N.Y., he attended lectures at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of the Western District of the State of New York from 1833-34, a student of JOHN DELAMATER and classmate of JOHN LANG CASSELS.
After being licensed in 1834, Ackley moved to Akron, Ohio in 1835, then to Toledo, and in 1839 to Cleveland. He performed the first ether-assisted operation in the WESTERN RESERVE only 3 months after it was first publicly demonstration in Boston in 1847. By 1850 Ackley confined his practice to surgery, becoming so well known that in 1855 Stephen A. Douglas had him operate on his throat, removing his uvula. In addition to his practice, Ackley worked at Cleveland's City Hospital and UNITED STATES MARINE HOSPITAL and helped found the Northern Ohio Insane Asylum in Newburg in 1851.
Ackley demonstrated anatomy at Willoughby Medical College from 1835 to 1842 when, due to a dispute among the faculty, he and Drs. Cassels, Delamater, and JARED POTTER KIRTLAND left, founding the Cleveland Medical College under the charter of Western Reserve University. Ackley taught surgery and conducted clinics in surgery and medicine until his resignation in 1856.
Ackley was a member and warden of Trinity Church. In 1837, he married Sophia Howell of Willoughby. They had 1 son, Horace Hall Ackley (1846-1905). Ackley, first buried at ERIE STREET CEMETERY, was reinterred at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY in 1915.