Joseph E. Hawley, M. D., Burr Oak, Kan., is one of the leading physicians and surgeons of the State. Dr. Hawley is a native of the State of New York, having been born at Walton, Delaware county, June 1, 1852. His parents were Edward and Angeline (Gee) Hawley, both natives of Delaware county, New York, and descendants of Revolutionary ancestors. Edward Hawley was a son of Harvey Hawley, whose father was a soldier in Washington's army. Angeline Gee was a daughter of James Gee, whose father, Peter Gee, was a soldier in the Continental army in the Revolutionary war. Soon after the war he settled in Delaware county, New York, near Downsville. In 1865, Dr. Hawley's parents came west with their family of six children and located in Chickasaw county, Iowa, and in 1872 they went still farther west, this time locating in Webster county, Nebraska, where they homesteaded. The father died there September 17, 1879, and the mother survived until April 26, 1896, when she, too, passed into the great beyond.
Dr. Hawley received his early education in the public schools of New York and Iowa and the Bradford Academy at Bradford, Iowa. He was employed in a drug store at Bradford and read medicine with a local physician at the same time. In 1871 he went to Spring Ranch, Clay county, Nebraska, which was at that time the edge of the frontier settlement. It was forty miles to the nearest doctor and young Hawley's knowledge of medicine was soon appreciated. From that time on he was known as "Doctor" and, while he did not feel competent in many cases, he was compelled to do the best he could, and on acount[sic] of the great distance to any other doctor he had many calls and built up quite a practice. He was well supplied with medical books and devoted all his spare time to study and often took Druett's work on surgery with him as a guide when called to attend a patient with a fracture or a dislocation. Such were the circumstances under which Dr. Hawley began the practice of his profession. In 1877 he sold his homestead improvements in Nebraska and removed to Burr Oak, Jewell county, Kansas. On July 25, 1879, he passed the examination before the State Board of Medical Examiners and was admitted to practice under the act of 1879, Laws of Kansas. During the years 1880, 1881 and 1882 he attended the St. Joseph Hospital Medical College, where he was graduated, February 28, 1882. In 1901 he attended Post-Graduate Medical College, Chicago, Ill., and in 1904 he attended the Chicago Polyclinic, during which time he spent six months in laboratory and hospital work in Chicago and Kansas City. Thus Dr. Hawley commenced his professional career as a pioneer doctor, riding over the plains in all kinds of weather, night and day, carrying aid and comfort to the afflicted, while yet a mere boy in his teens. He has never ceased to be a close student of the science of medicine and surgery and his career has been one of progress. He continued the general practice until the fall of 1911, since which time he has devoted himself especially to surgery. He also conducts a drug store in Burr Oak, which he has owned since 1885.
Dr. Hawley has been twice married, first, November 21, 1871, to Alice J. Stephenson, of Chickasaw county, Iowa. To this union were forn[sic] four children, Bert A., in the mercantile business at Leedy, Okla.; Edward F., merchants, Traer, Kan.: Seth D., one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Oklahoma, resides at Tulsa, Okla., and Julia, now Mrs. Charles F. Anderson, Burr Oak. Alice J. Hawley died December 25, 1910. Dr. Hawley was married May 3, 1912, to Miss Rella M. Lambert, of Kansas City, Mo., and former resident of Burr Oak. Notwithstanding Dr. Hawley has always had an extensive practice he has at the same time taken a keen interest in the public affairs and the promotion of the best interests of the community. He is now serving his fifth term as mayor of Burr Oak; has served on the city council eighteen years; a member of the school board nine years, and was coroner of Jewell county one term. He was the Republican candidate for the legislature, but was engulfed by the Populistic wave that swept the State. During Harrison's administration he was appointed United States Pension Examiner and served six years, and in 1910 was appointed by President Taft to the same position, which he still holds. He is local medical examiner for several of the largest insurance companies and has been the local physician for the Missouri Pacific railroad for twenty years. Dr. Hawley is a member of the American Medical Association and the National Geographical Association. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order and the Independent Order of Foresters. He is a Republican and a member of the Christian church and a strong advocate of prohibition.Pages 32-33 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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