H C. RUTTER, M. D., superintendent of the Ohio State Hospital for Epileptics at Gallipolis, was born in Virginia, on the 6th of February, 1849, and is a son of Dr. John H. Rutter, M. D., who died in Bellefontaine in 1856. He was a native of Giles county, Virginia, and a son of one of the old judges of that county. Being opposed to the institution of slavery he removed his family to Ohio and practiced his profession in Bellefontaine until his death. Deeply interested in the political situation of the country and the questions that were agitating the people, he studied the subject closely and viewed the matter from a broad standpoint. Realizing fully the evils of slavery he was opposed Lo its further extension and when the Republican party was formed to prevent that he at once joined its ranks and cast his last vote for John C. Fremont, its first presidential candidate. He had a family of seven sons, all of whom became strong Republicans, but only the Doctor is now living.
During his early boyhood Dr. Rutter accompanied his parents to Bellefontaine, where he was reared to manhood and acquired his literary educatien. At the early age of fifteen years he entered the Union army as a defender of his country, enlisting in 1863 as a member of Company B. One Hundred and Thirtysecond Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until September, 1864.
Wishing to prepare for the practice of medicine as a life work Dr. Rutter entered the Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati, where he was graduated in 1869. He then entered the hospital at Cincinnati, where he put his theoretical knowledge to the practical test and thus more ably prepared for his chosen calling. Subsequently he opened an office in Logan county and engaged in general practice, meeting with good success in his undertakings. He has been a close student of his profession, carrying his researches far and wide into the realm of medical knowledge, and pursuing his investigations along original lines, which have resulted in discoveries concerning the laws of health and the treatment of disease that have gained him eminent distinction in his profession.
He left Logan county to accept the appointment of superintendent of the hospital in Dayton, Ohio. He was for four years connected with the Dayton Insane Asylum, first as assistant physician and afterward as superintendent. He left that institution to accept the appointment of superintendent of the Athens Insane Asylum in 1875, to which he was chosen by the unanimous vote of the board of trustees. For four years he filled that position, with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the board, his efficient management and excellent understanding of diseases of that character enabling him to secure the best possible results in the treatment and care of the patients. He was then elected superintendent of the Columbus Insane Asylum, where he served four years. Returning then to Bellefontaine he followed the general practice of medicine until 1893 when the plans for building the new state asylum at Gallipolis were adopted and he was elected by the board of trustees to take the management and carry the work forward to completion. There is no man in Ohio who has more experience or is better qualified for the work than Dr. Rutter. For fifteen years he has had the care of insane patients, and his study of the malady has made him especially well fitted fir treatment of diseases of the mind. In 1877 he wrote much upon the need of separate buildings for insane asylums, advocated this on all proper occasions and in 1881 drafted a bill which passed the lower branch of the Ohio legislature, but failed in the senate. The new institution at Gallipolis is built after his idea, and is most complete in all its arrangements for sanitation, ventilation and other requisites of a large institution of this character. The Doctor has made many valuable contributions to the medical literature of the country, particularly along the line of his specialty, and to-day ranks among the foremost physicians in the treatment of the insane in the entire country. He has attained distinctive preferment in his profession and his successful investigations are deserving the commendation of all people.
The Doctor has also long manifested an interest in political questions.
Joseph P. Smith, ed., History of the Republican Party in Ohio (Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co.: 1898), pp.560-561.