Dr. Sappington Museum
The one modern building owned by the Friends of Arrow Rock and built in typical Greek Revival architecture, honors Dr. John Sappington, entrepreneur and pioneer doctor. Dr. Sappington (1776-1856) was one of the first doctors to use quinine to treat fevers, especially malaria. A nonconformist, Dr. Sappington attacked the common practice of bloodletting and began treating patients with his own “Dr. Sappington’s Anti-Fever Pills.”
Much more than a country doctor, Sappington was a frontier merchant, a land speculator, a progressive agriculturalist, a moneylender, and a political confidant in Jacksonian politics. Original portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Sappington, by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham, are on display at the Arrow Rock State Historic Site. The Site also cares for the Sappington Cemetery located five miles from Arrow Rock on Hwy AA. The Sappington Negro Cemetery is also located nearby.
We are indebted to the tireless efforts of the late Dr. Thomas B. Hall, Jr. for the gift of the Sappington Museum to the Friends of Arrow Rock along with publications about Dr. Sappington researched and written by Dr. Hall. Today his son Dr. Thomas B. Hall III, carries on his legacy by serving as a Friends of Arrow Rock trustee and chairman of both the Sappington Museum and the J.P. Sites Gun Shop, another project his father enthusiastically supported.
As the Friends celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1999, a complete renovation of exhibits at the Sappington museum was designated the anniversary project. The project is scheduled for completion in 2001.