Dr. William Nicholas Hobbs, one of the leading veterinary surgeons of the State, and a member of a pioneer family of Smith county, is a native of Appanoose county, Iowa, born September 5, 1861. He is a son of William F. and Sara Ann (Williams) Hobbs, natives of Kentucky. The paternal and maternal grandparents of Dr. Hobbs came from Kentucky together, and settled in Pike county, Illinois, and later both families removed to Platte county, Missouri, where they engaged in farming and lived neighbors to each other. Here William F. Hobbs and Sara Ann Williams were married. Shortly afterward the Civil war broke out and, on account of the strong slavery sentiment in that locality they removed to Iowa, where they remained but a short time, when they decided to return to Pike county, Illinois, and made the trip in a wagon. Dr. Hobbs was but two months old when his parents made this trip. To William Hobbs and Sara Ann Williams were born eight children: Veturia, married J. O. Rubin, a contractor and builder at Boise City, Idaho; Florence, now the wife of D. A. Cline, a retired farmer of Holton, Kan.; Katherine, married A. C. Hobbs, who is now deceased, and she is now the wife of E. R. Rice, of Athol, Kan.; Emma, now Mrs. Tondro, of East St. Louis; William N., the subject of this sketch; Charles W., a personal sketch of whom appears in this volume; Daniel H., a personal sketch of whom also appears in this volume,[Transcriber's note: these sketches do not appear in this particular version of the supplemental volume.] and May, married E. A. Powell, of Kensington, Kan. She died in 1894. In the spring of 1872, William F. Hobbs, the father, left the Illinois home, with a view of finding government land suitable for the future family home, and finally located a claim in Smith county, Kansas, in what is now known as Valley township. He then sent for his family, who came as far as Kansas City by rail that fall, and shortly afterwards the father returned to Missouri and spent the winter with his family near Kansas City. In the spring he returned to his Smith county claim, taking with him two of the girls, Katherine and Emma, and in the fall of that year returned to Missouri for the rest of his family. He fitted out a wagon for the trip, and started west in February, 1874. They found the roads in bad condition, and encountered a great deal of severe weather, but finally, on March 12, 1874, they reached their new home, where the father, on his former visits, had built a little log house, 18x20 feet. The roof was made of poles, covered with bark from cottonwood trees, which was covered with sod and earth, and made a very comfortable pioneer home. But the family endured the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life of that section. They were poor, the father's entire capital consisting of $10 in money. The first year they planted a crop of corn, but in July the grasshoppers appeared and completely destroyed it, as well as every growing thing in that section. However, they had harvested about four acres of wheat, which left them in very good condition for the coming winter. The nearest mill where they could get grain ground was at Waterville, a distance of over a hundred miles. The father frequently made this trip. Later, when the railroad was built to Hastings, Neb., he frequently went there, which was also about 100 miles distant. The family continued to make their home on this place, which later became one of the highly cultivated and profitable farms of Smith county. The parents both spent their lives there. The father died in 1898, and the mother survived him twelve years, passing away in 1911.
Dr. Hobbs began his education in the subscription schools in a primitive sod school house. He attended the first school in that section, which was taught by Miss Nancy Dinwiddie. At that time the school year consisted of a term of only three months, but young Hobbs and his brothers were anxious to obtain an education and improved themselves by self-study, in addition to attending school. Early in life he became interested in the study of medicine, and he and his brother, D. H., began reading along medical lines by themselves, and later took up the study of veterinary medicine (and when mere boys were considered very capable practical veterinarians), and were frequently called to attend sick horses and stock in the neighborhood, and in this way got a great deal of practical experience in early life. In 1894 Dr. Hobbs entered the Kansas City Veterinary College, and was graduated from that institution in the class of 1896, with the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Surgery. He then located at Holton, Kan., and began the practice of his profession, and later opened a veterinary hospital, and was very successful. He remained in Holton until 1908, when he disposed of his business and removed to Lebanon, forming a partnership with his brother, Dr D. H. Hobbs, in the practice of veterinary surgery. They also operated extensively in real estate. From 1911 until 1913 he was professor of surgery, dentistry and obstetrics at the St. Joseph Veterinary College St. Joseph, Mo. In 1912 he was appointed by the Kansas Live Stock Sanitary Commission to study the horse plague, which swept over the State in that year. In 1911-12 he was president of the State Veterinary Association of Kansas, serving two terms. In 1913 he went to Omaha, as manager of the Hawkeye Serum Company, in the manufacture of a hog serum, and in July, 1913, disposed of his interests there, and came to Topeka and established the Topeka Serum Company, which he is conducting in partnership with his brother, Dr. Daniel H. Hobbs.
Dr. Hobbs was united in marriage August 19, 1886, to Miss Lizzie Smith, of Griggsville, Ill. She is a daughter of Spencer H. and Elizabeth (McWhirt) Smith, both now deceased. Mrs. Hobbs was reared and educated in Illinois, and is a graduate of the Griggsville High School, and was a teacher for a short time before her marriage. Dr. and Mrs. Hobbs have three children, Florence, now Mrs. Carl Adams, of Lebanon, Kan.; Alice, a teacher at Lebanon, Kan., and Russell, a student at Lebanon. The Hobbs family are members of the Christian church. Dr. Hobbs is a member of the State Veterinary Association, the Missouri Valley Veterinary Association and the American Veterinary Association. His fraternal relations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America.Pages 550-552 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.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project