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Dr. Ezra J. Reynolds, aka Dr. William C. Lispenard

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  • Dr. Ezra J. Reynolds, aka Dr. William C. Lispenard

    It's been awhile since I posted in these forums.

    I'm intrigued with Dr. Ezra J. Reynolds, aka Dr. WC Lispenard, the quack physician a young Francis Tumblety worked for in the early 1850s.

    I hope this isn't repetitive (I didn't see any other threads on this) but I've been searching and for a program I'm giving to our local Civil War Round Table on Tumblety and his 1865 arrest as a Lincoln Assassination conspirator and his later suspicion as a JTR suspect. In my research I've been looking for info on both Tumblety and Dr. Reynolds/Dr. Lispenard.

    The Hawley and Riordan books seem to lose track of Reynolds/Lipsenard in the 1860s. However as the below images show, Dr. Reynolds was apparently still using the alias/pseudonym WC/William C. Lispenard in Rochester, NY city directories as late as 1870 and in September, 1873 the good Doctor, "also known by the professional (?) name of Dr. Lispenard, of Rochester," was indicted in a US District Court for "depositing in the mails at Rochester certain circulars, books, articles and thing [sic] of an obscene character and for immoral use." To which Reynolds plead guilty and was fined $750.

    The 1870 Rochester, New York City directory lists Dr. William C. Lispenard's address as "Mill corner Market, house 7 Chatham." In fact, Reynolds/Lispenard was still listed/advertising as Lispenard from ca. 1863 until ca. 1870.

    According to docs on Ancestry, he was married to a woman named Georgiana Lucy and died on 24 June, 1875 and is buried in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester. He has 1850, 1860 and 1870 federal census enumerations, an 1855 and 1865 NY state census enumeration, an 1862 IRS tax assessment, several city directory entries (1863-1870) and a Find-A-Grave memorial:

    I can't locate an obituary for him.

    Below is Dr. Reynolds/Lispenard's ad from the Rochester city directory of 1868, p. 147, beneath that, Dr. William C. Lispenard's 1870 Rochester city directory entry, and on the right, the article from the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser of Sept. 16, 1873 reporting his indictment for posting obscene materials in the mails.