John Magoun, a resident of Magoun Square and renowned physician and researcher, was known for his many accomplishments. He conducted research on the motion of skull bones to better understand human movement.
He was an innovator in osteopathic medicine and developed craniosacral osteopathy. Additionally, he served as a teacher of this therapy.
Early Life and Education
On August 21, 1861, John Magoun was born in Somerville, Massachusetts to John A. and Ella C. (Woodbury) Magoun; both from distinguished New England families.
He began as a young man working at the West End Street Railway Company. Subsequently, he moved on to become an executive head at Sioux National Bank of Sioux City – which after various reorganizations has become his employer today.
He is a Mason of great distinction and has held various prominent positions, such as supreme council (thirty-third degree) of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Additionally, he serves as Noble of Mystic Shrine affiliated with Abu-Bekr Temple in Sioux City.
John Magoun has had an illustrious career in banking. He holds the title of president for Sioux National Bank, a hefty institution with resources of six million dollars that requires its most responsible officer, as well as membership on the board of directors for Terminal Grain Corporation – one of America’s largest grain marketing companies.
He is well known in Sioux City’s social scene, in addition to banking. As an active member of his local Kiwanis club and longtime supporter of the community, he has made a name for himself as one of its key businessmen.
Achievements and Honors
Magoun was an inspiring visionary who spearheaded and established the Brain Research Institute at UCLA, making it a global center for neuroscience research. Additionally, he co-founded the Neuroscience History Resource Program and served on multiple committees dedicated to furthering neuroscience education.
Magoun was awarded many honors for his work, including the National Medal of Science from President Harry S. Truman in 1958 – the first award of its kind given to a scientist. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1969, followed by receiving the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service to Science in 1990.
He was a native Somervillian who served in numerous civic capacities, such as serving as town assessor for 34 years and Overseer of the Poor for 22 years. Additionally, he was an active charter member of the First Unitarian Society and captain in the local militia until his passing in 1991 at age 82.
John Magoun was a long-time Somerville resident and active participant in numerous civic endeavors. He founded the First Unitarian Society of Somerville and served as town assessor for 34 years, all during an illustrious career.
He served as Overseer of the Poor, collecting poor taxes and administering relief money for Somerville’s most needy citizens. To this day his name is synonymous with Magoun Square neighborhood of Somerville.
He and his wife Sarah Ann Adams Magoun were some of the most illustrious residents of Somerville during its earliest days, with their house at 438 Broadway remaining one of its oldest structures – built from timbers salvaged from Winter Hill fort. This achievement is especially remarkable considering its age at such a young age.