William Boswell (W.B.) Small was born on July 9, 1862, in New Bedford, Pennsylvania, the son of William D. and Mary Rosanna Smith Small.
As a child, he moved with his mother and sister to a farm near Aledo, Illinois. After attending country and secondary schools in Aledo, he began his long medical training. Dr. Small attended Illinois College and Miami (Ohio) Medical College before earning his medical degree from Northwestern University’s Chicago Medical College.
The day after his medical graduation, Dr. Small married Florence Alyea in the Aledo home of her parents. The young couple moved to Waterloo, where Dr. Small began practicing medicine. He became the first fellow of the American College of Surgeons from the city.
Two years later, Dr. Small received further training at the New York City Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Infirmary. From that time on, he specialized in otolaryngology (ENT). For 36 years, Dr. Small never missed an hour of work caring for his patients.
From 1915–1916, Dr. Small served as the president of the Iowa State Medical Association, where he’d also served as treasurer, trustee, and member of the editorial board. He was a charter member of the Waterloo Medical Society. He was also a lifetime member of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Small was forced to retire on April 23, 1926, due to health problems. While he was no longer able to practice medicine, Dr. Small continued to be an active citizen. He was a very dedicated member of Grace Methodist Church for almost a half century, serving on its board for many years. He also served on the board of the Waterloo Savings Bank from 1923–1938. He was an active Mason and member of both the Knights of Pythias and the Waterloo Rotary Club.
Dr. Small died in his home at 206 Iowa Street on October 9, 1939, of hardening of the arteries and other complications.
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