Happy Birthday, Wyman (actually Wiman) Andrus

First of all, I’m not sure why he’s known as Wyman Andrus.  His middle name is actually his mother’s maiden name…

William Wiman Andrus was born to American parents who moved to Orono, Ontario, Canada for a period of time after the Civil War.  He arrived on 14 October 1858 to Edson and Mary (Wiman) Andrus.  It’s hard to say if he went by William or Wiman – both were seen at various times in the papers – but Andrus was both intelligent and athletic.  As a ballplayer, he played in Minneapolis, Hamilton, and Buffalo and other northeastern cities for various minor league teams as an infielder but occasionally as an outfielder.  In 1887, for Portland in the New England League, he batted .447 with 122 stolen bases, drew 77 walks and scored 165 runs in 103 games (!).  (I flipped through the season’s box scores – there were a couple of teams that weren’t really good enough to play with these guys.  Five regulars batted at least .386, and while Andrus led the team in batting average, another player had 141 stolen bases.)

What is consistent over the years is that box scores showed Andrus as the lead off hitter.  In 1885, he got to play in one game for Providence in the National League (making him briefly a teammate of Joe Start), which is how he makes it to our list of birthdays.  He went hitless, but played a flawless third base – and then he was back in the minors.  As his baseball career wound down, his medical career kicked off.   He completed studies at Trinity Medical School and then headed west.

“W. W. Andrus, the crack outfielder of last year’s Buffalo International Club, yesterday signed with Providence. Andrus has put in a successful winter season at Trinity Medical School, where he came out with honors in his first year examination…”

“Around the Bases.”, Buffalo Courier, 10 April 1891, Page 8.

1892 would be the last year Andrus was a professional baseball player – from now on, he would be a pioneer doctor in southeastern Montana.  After first moving to Billings, he took over a practice in Miles City in December, 1893.

Dr. Wiman Andrus, the genial young medico, who for the past two weeks has been holding down Dr. McDowell’s share of practice during his temporary absence, has gone to Miles City with the intention of establishing himself in the profession at that place. Dr. Andrus will have no difficulty in reaching the Miles City heart as amongst his other social accomplishments he is a magnificent base ball player. To the care of Will Savage and Joe Swerdtiger he is especially consigned. – Billings Gazette.

Yellowstone Journal, 30 June 1893, Page 3.

Wiman Andrus - Advert

Advert in Yellowstone Journal on 23 December 1893, Page 2.

Wiman Andrus“Dr. William Wiman Andrus, widely known Montana surgeon and physician, former state legislator and past president of the State Board of Medical Examiners and the State Medical association, died at his home here last night. He had been ill but a short time.

“Dr. Andrus was born in Orono, Ontario, October 14, 1858, and was graduated from Trinity University, Toronto.

“He came to Billings in 1891 and moved to Miles City two years later. There he was associated with others in the founding of the Miles City clinic, and for 35 years was surgeon for the Northern Pacific system in Southeastern Montana.

“Dr. Andrus also was medical examiner and physician for the state industrial school here; was Miles City health officer, and a fellow in the American College of Surgeons.

“He served two years in the Montana legislature and was mayor of Miles City for 10 years.

“Surviving are the widow, the former Corma Ireland, daughter of a pioneer Montana family, a son and a daughter.”

“Dr. W. Andrus of Miles City Dies Suddenly”, Missoula Missoulian, 19 June 1935, Page 3.

(AP Photo) Billings Gazette, 19 June 1935, Page 1.

Let’s take a second to fill in some details.  Andrus married Sarah Corma Ireland in November, 1895.  She was 15 years younger than the good doctor – they soon had a son, Edson, and then five years later a daughter, Kathleen.  They were relatively wealthy – the 1920 US Census showed they had a servant in their home.  (She wasn’t the first one – the first one I found was a young lady named Bessie Sandin, a Swedish woman who ran away from a man in Minneapolis and Andrus took in as a domestic servant in 1897.  Not long after her arrival, she must have taken a few implements from Dr. Andrus’ office and performed an abortion on herself – and she died.)   Andrus passed away on 17 June 1935 – his death made all of the major papers in Montana.  Sarah’s passing in 1943 noted that she was an active member of society and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Sources:

Baseball-Reference.com
1887 Portland Team Stats – Baseball-Reference.com
FindAGrave.com – William Wiman Andrus
FindAGrave.com – Sarah Corma (Ireland) Andrus

1850, 1880, 1900, 1920, 1930, 1940 US Censuses

Montana Death Certificates
Montana Marriage Certificates

“Dr. W. Andrus of Miles City Dies Suddenly”, Missoula Missoulian, 19 June 1935, Page 3.

(AP Photo) Billings Gazette, 19 June 1935, Page 1.

“Students Wed.”, Helena Daily Independent, 02 September 1925, Page 10.

“Local Notes”, Billings Gazette, 20 November 1895, Page 3.

“Around the Bases.”, Buffalo Courier, 10 April 1891, Page 8.

Box Score, Buffalo Express, 18 August 1889, Page 15.

“The World of Sport.”, Buffalo Express, 20 January 1889, Page 10.

Box Score, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 29 May 1888, Page 6.

Box Score, St. Paul Globe, 18 June 1884, Page 4.

“News of the State.”, Ravalli Republican, 20 October 1897, Page 2.

“Local Notes.”, Billings Gazette, 24 March 1899, Page 5.

Yellowstone Journal, 30 June 1893, Page 3.

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Wyman (actually Wiman) Andrus

  1. Pingback: Baseball History for October 14th | Mighty Casey Baseball

  2. Pingback: Baseball History for June 17th | Mighty Casey Baseball

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