After months of researching local American hero Dr. Frank Erdman Boston, English major Leigh Ferrier ’22 will share what she’s learned at a panel on Thursday, Feb. 11 co-hosted by the Boston Legacy Foundation and Lansdale Public Library on Dr. Boston’s life and legacy.
Dr. Boston was an American physician from the Philadelphia area. Born in 1890, he served during World War I as a military surgeon with the 317th Infantry as part of the Medical Reserve Corps. After the war, Dr. Boston is credited with starting one of the first ambulance corps in the region and was a founder of Lansdale Hospital and the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale.
Ferrier started researching Dr. Boston as part of her work with George Whiteclair, chair and executive director of the Boston Legacy Foundation. Whiteclair is working on a book about Dr. Boston and brought Ferrier on after seeing her in action as a research assistant to Dr. Bernadine Ahonkhai.
“I’ve been in the mindset that, since it's my first year of college after community college, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on as much as possible,” Ferrier said, who transferred from Bucks County Community College to Arcadia over the summer. “One of the main goals of this project is to bring more national recognition to someone who's been lost in history, and Dr. Boston seems like someone who should be recognized.”
Ferrier was tasked with tracking down Dr. Boston’s lineage to see if he has any living relatives that could shed more light on the veteran. At this point, Ferrier said she has been unable to find any living relatives, as it appears Dr. Boston—or his siblings—didn’t have any children.
“The plans are to continue compiling information on the family, add to what we have, and pitch the project to schools like Penn to try and gain some support and also potentially access to other documents and archives we don't have access to,” Ferrier said. “Dr. Boston had his hands in a lot of progressive medical services. I want to stay on as long as I can to help with this project.”