(Jan. 2, 1865-Mar. 10, 1943). John F. Barnhill was a nationally known pioneer surgeon of the head and neck. A native of Flora, Indiana, Barnhill received his M.D. degree from the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1888. He did postgraduate work at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Central London Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, the University of Vienna, and in Paris.

A four-square brick house. It is two stories, with a portico entrance and a single gable centered at the front of the roof.
Dr. John F. Barnhill House, 1908 Credit: Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

Barnhill was a member of the faculty of the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons and played an important role in the negotiations that led to the establishment of the Indiana University School Of Medicine in 1908. He became Professor of Otolaryngology and served as first chairman of the department at Indiana University School of Medicine until his retirement. He created a course in anatomy of the head and neck that is still taught to physicians throughout the nation. Also, he was largely responsible for convincing Dr. Robert W. Long to provide funds for a teaching hospital for Indiana University. This was the first university-owned building and later the site of the Indiana University Medical Center at Iupui.

Barnhill was the author of numerous medical textbooks. He was an officer and a founder of several of the major national organizations in his field, serving as president of both the American Laryngological Association and the American Board of Otolaryngology.

Barnhill Drive on the IUPUI Indiana University School of Medicine main campus is named for him.

Revised February 2021

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