The Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest medical society in the country. It was formed in 1766, ten years before independence from British rule was declared. Its existence was recognized by law in 1783, and in 1790 it adopted its official seal and was incorporated by an act of the Legislature.

The Union County Medical Society came into existence in 1869. This may seem relatively late, but Union County itself did not come into existence until 1857 when it broke away from Essex.

On Monday, May 9, 1869, a preliminary meeting was held at the office of Dr. Terrill in Elizabeth. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the organization of a medical society for the county of Union. The following officers were appointed pro tem:

Chairman: Dr. J. S. Martin  
Recording Secretary: Dr. T. Terrill Jr. 
Corresponding Secretary: Dr. E. Wiley

Dr. Wiley was asked to notify Union County physicians of the Society meeting, and Drs. Hough, Wiley and Martin were appointed as a committee to draft the Constitution and Bylaws. A notice was place in the Elizabeth Daily Monitor stating that the next meeting would be held on Wednesday, May 19th.

At that meeting, the Constitution and Bylaws committee reported that they had reviewed the constitution and bylaws of the Hudson County Medical Society, and recommended adoption of a similar document in Union County. The recording secretary was authorized to write out a form of application for admittance into the state Society.

The first regular meeting of the District Union County Medical Society was held at the Court House in Elizabeth on Monday, June 7, 1869. A reply to the application for admission to the state Medical Society was read:

Your application requesting that a District Medical Society might be instituted consisting of Dr. S. Abernathy, William W. Whitehead and others above-mentioned in the county of Union was duly considered at a meeting of the Medical Society of New Jersey, held at Jersey City the 26 th day of May Anno Domini 1869, and it was thereupon voted that your request be granted, provided that this grant is not to be extended beyond the period of one year.

In testimony whereof, the President, pursuant to the aforesaid vote of the Society, subscribed his name and affixed the seal of the corporation at Orange, this 27 th day of May Anno Domini 1869.

William Pierson Jr.
Recording Secretary

William Pierson 

The Union County Medical Society was incorporated in 1935. Minutes of all meetings from its inception are on file at the Society office.