A.L. Blunt

A.L. BluntabortionistsmaleArthur Blunt.jpgDr. Arthur Blunt
On January 13, 1915, 23-year-old Mrs. Beulah Rehm died at Wesley Hospital after an abortion perpetrated that day at Dr. Arthur L. Blunt’s Chicago practice. Blunt, a general practitioner, was held by the Coroner but the case never went to trial.

On October 11, 1913, 28-year-old Frances Odochowski, a married woman, died in Chicago at the scene of an abortion perpetrated that day by Dr. Arthur L. Blunt. Bunt was arrested and held by the Coroner on November 7, and brought before a Grand Jury, but the case never went to trial.

For more information on Dr. Blunt:

He was born Dec.4, 1854 in Johnstown, Wisconsin to Frank and Delilah (Cheney) Blunt, the second of seven children..

Dr. Arthur Blunt’s Profile in The Portrait and Biographical Album of Rock County, Wis., 1889. It seemed that Dr. Blunt got his career off to a good start.

However, things evidently went downhill for Dr. Blunt.

The Chicago Daily Herald, Dec. 10, 1915, noted that Blunt, then 61 years old, was found guilty along with druggist William E Wallace for violating the narcotics act. Blunt was sentenced to two years of prison and a $2,500 fine.

The January, 1916 //Bulletin of Pharmacy// made this entry:

A case that has attracted considerable attention is that of Dr Arthur L Blunt of Chicago. In spite of repeated warnings Dr Blunt persisted in violating the law and after several trials he was convicted on a number of counts. He is an old man comparatively 61 and on his sixty first birthday he stood up to receive a sentence of two years of penal servitude in the Federal prison at Leavenworth Kansas and a fine of $2500. Dr Blunt made a long and somewhat eloquent plea in his own behalf claiming that his medical diploma and his State registration as a physician gave him constitutional as well as moral rights of which he was being deprived by the enforcement of the Harrison antinarcotic law. He seemed to hold the belief that a physician should be subjected to little if any restraint in prescribing narcotics. In sentencing him Judge Landis stated that he took his advanced age into consideration Dr Blunt was released under $5000 bond pending appeal to a higher court

The May, 1919 //Southern Pharmaceutical Journal// had this to say:

Arthur L Blunt, aged Chicago physician, called by Federal agents one J the most successful violators of the Harrison anti narcotic law, must serve a prison term, it was learned today. Convicted four years ago, Blunt managed to avoid punishment. When the United States Supreme Court had denied him a writ of certiorari he was sentenced to five years at Lenvenworth Kan. From the witness stand Blunt admitted selling more than $100,000 worth of dope to 850 drug fiends in a single year.

The Mar. 27, 1919, Oskosh Daily Northwestern noted that blunt, “one of the most successful violators of the Harrison anti-narcotic law,” was sentenced to prison. “Convicted four years ago, Blunt managed to avoid punishment.” The SCOTUS denied his appeal and he was sentenced to five years at Leavenworth. He admitted to selling $100,000 worth of drugs in a single year. The 1920 US census actually lists him in two places: at home with his wife and at Leavenworth, where he was assigned duty as an orderly.

The Journal of the American Medical Association had this to say about Dr. Blunt in 1920:

Blunt Paroled.—Dr. Arthur L. Blunt, sentenced to imprisonment in the federal penitentiary, Fort Leavenworth, a year ago, on many charges of trafficking in drugs, is said to have been paroled and to be in Chicago. It is stated that the parole was granted on Dr. Blunt’s promise to reveal the inside story of the graft alleged to have been paid to William H. Sage, former chief of the narcotic squad.

Not so good.

More about Blunt’s drug case can be gleaned from United States Circuit Courts of Appeals reports. In short, he got busted in a drug sting and tried to beg off on the grounds that as a doctor, he could prescribe any amount of narcotics to anybody he pleased.

Blunt died on Nov. 17, 1932, in Chicago, at the age of 77.