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John Andrews Watling
The Michigan Alumnus 568


If one could lay out in advance the plan for his own life, he probably
 could ask nothing more than that his working period should be filled with 
agreeable work, beneficial to others and to himself, that his later years should
 be leisurely, and that they should witness manifestations of friendship and 
appreciation by those with whom he has been brought into contact. 

A life so ordered closed January 17, 1919, when Dr. John A. Watling 
died of pneumonia at the age of practically eighty years. 
 In the lives of some thousands of dentists, particularly those who were 
graduated from the Dental College of the University of Michigan, Dr. Wat
ling occupied the place of teacher, helper and friend. Their feelings for
him were a mixture of respect for his professional ability and zeal, and a 
personal liking for his lovable human qualities. This feeling led his former 
students in Europe and America to welcome him to their communities and 
homes during the travels of his later life. 

Dr. Watling was born in Illinois June 26, 1839. His parents moved to
 Ypsilanti, Michigan, when he was 12 years old. He early became interested
 in dentistry, and at the age of 17 or 18 years attended the dental college at
 Cincinnati, Ohio, from which he was graduated with honors. He returned 
to Ypsilanti, entered practice and continued in it until 1903.

Perhaps Dr. Watling's greatest influence was exerted through his pro
fessorship in the Dental College of the University of Michigan. The idea
 of this college seems to have originated, about 1865, in a group of dentists 
which included Dr. Watling. No practical progress was made until 1875 
when the Michigan Legislature was persuaded to appropriate $6,000 for a 
dental college. In this year Dr. Watling, after much hesitation, and at the
 request of many of those interested, accepted a professorship in the college
, which he filled with great satisfaction to all concerned, until he resigned in
1903. At this time he removed to Washington, D. C., and accepted a pro
fessorship in Dental Metallurgy in Georgetown University. He occupied 
this professorship for four years, and resigned to spend the rest of his life 
in leisure and travel. Accompanied by Mrs. Watling he traveled much in
 Europe and America, many of his journeys being a continual reception
 by professional friends and former pupils. —

The Dental Digest.