Dr. John M. Kitchen
Dr. John M. Kitchen
(July 12, 1826 – February 6, 1916)
John Kitchen was born in Piqua, Ohio, in 1826. The town was then a regional center of government and commerce with roots as a Native American settlement and trade center. He received his medical education from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and the University Medical College in New York City, graduating in 1846. Dr. Kitchen established a practice in Fort Wayne before responding to the California Gold Rush of 1849 by taking a seven-month boat ride around South America to California.
He practiced medicine in San Francisco until he established a hospital for gold miners near the headwaters of the Yuba River in March 1850. Due to its remoteness, Kitchen said that he served the hospital as its “cook, nurse, and physician.” He learned the use of many natural remedies which he continued to use when he returned to Indiana and established a practice in Indianapolis in 1851. He served as a general practitioner and surgeon for the next forty years before retiring. Kitchen married Mary Fullen Bradley in 1853 and the couple had a daughter, Anna in 1854, and a son, John in 1857.
From 1861 to 1865, Dr. Kitchen was the surgeon in charge of the United States General Army Hospital in Indianapolis. With Dr. Patrick Jameson, he was appointed by Governor Oliver Morton to oversee the medical care for all the soldiers who were in town, including the Confederate prisoners of war at Camp Morton. He later served on the Board of City Hospital, was a trustee of the Indiana Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, served as the doctor to the State Institution for the Blind, and was a consulting physician for other public institutions.
As a member of Crown Hill’s board, Dr. Kitchen traveled with John Spann, another board member, to procure Tennessee lumber used to make the first fence around the cemetery grounds. He was elected as one of the board’s annual directors as late as 1899 and served on the board until his death at age 89 in 1916.
In 1866, Kitchen built Crown Hill’s second mausoleum, constructed of white marble and the only one built into a hillside. Kitchen lived another fifty years before being entombed there. The mausoleum holds thirteen family members; the first five were originally buried in Greenlawn Cemetery and moved into the mausoleum after the structure was completed. Included within are his daughter who died in 1863 at age 9, his wife who died in 1911 at age 80, and his son who died in 1936 at age 79, as well as members of his wife’s family, the Bradleys. The last entombment was for Kitchen’s granddaughter in 1951. In 1957 the entrance was permanently sealed with Indiana limestone.
Entombed in the Kitchen Bradley Mausoleum in Section 6, Lot 30; GPS (39.8206668,-86.1745540)