William G. Muir, M. D., the present mayor of Harper, is a pioneer physician of Harper county, and for thirty years was one of the leading doctors of southern Kansas. He retired from active practice in 1913, to devote his entire attention to his vast private interests in Harper county, and elsewhere. Dr. Muir is a native of Michigan, born in Monroe county, September 7, 1857. He is a son of James H. and Lydia G. (Gould) Muir. The father was born at Williamsport, Md., November 28, 1814. His parents were also natives of Maryland, and of Scotch descent. James H. Muir was a cabinet maker in early life, in his native State, and in 1835 removed to Michigan, when that State was practically an unbroken wilderness, and long before it was admitted to the Union. Here he followed farming as it was done on the frontier until his death, which occurred at Erie, Mich., in 1897. He married Lydia Gould, July 4, 1844. She was a native of Connecticut, and of English descent. The Gould family was founded in New England at a very early date, and were among the first settlers at Ipswick, Mass. To James H. and Lydia (Gould) Muir were born nine children: Anna, widow of Francis Wendel, Toledo, Ohio; Margaret, unmarried, a retired teacher, Indianapolis, Ind.; Richard L., died at El Reno, Okla., in 1910; James B., a prominent lawyer of Chicago, Ill.; Helen B., professor of ancient languages at the State Normal school, Ypsilanti, Mich.; Rose M., married Jerome B. Maltby, a wholesale grocer of Corning, N. Y. She died in 1890, leaving one child, Helen; William G., the subject of this sketch; Charles H., born July 10, 1869, now Lieutenant Colonel in the U. S. Army. He received the appointment to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, in 1881, and graduated, eighth in his class, in 1885, and commissioned a second lieutenant in the Seventeenth Regiment, United States infantry. His first active service was with his regiment, against hostile Sioux Indians, and he participated in the Battle of Wounded Knee, where Sitting Bull was captured in 1891. He entered the Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., and graduated at the head of his class in 1894. He was then an instructor at that institution for a time, and when the Spanish American war broke out his regiment was one of the first to he ordered to Cuba, going to the island on the same transport with Colonel Roosevelt's Rough Riders. He was with his regiment in all of the important battles that took place in the Cuban campaign, and during that time was promoted to captain. At the close of the campaign in Cuba, his regiment was transferred to the Philippine Islands, where he served for some time. Captain Muir served on the staff of General Chaffee in China, during the Boxer uprising, and was correspondent for the war department. Later he was called to Washington, where he served as aide on the general army staff four years, and in 1914 was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and is now serving in that capacity. Colonel Muir was married in 1887 to Miss May Bennett, a daughter of Colonel Bennett, U. S. A., now deceased. To Colonel and Mrs. Muir have been born three children: James, a lieutenant in the U. S. Army, being a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, in the class of 1911; Helen and Charles. The youngest brother of Dr. Muir, Franklin I., was born June 4, 1864, and died June 2, 1892. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and was taking the Master Degree course in that institution at the time of his death. Dr. Muir received his medical education in the Medical Department of the University of Michigan, which he entered in 1881 and was graduated in 1884 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. In July of the same year, he came to the new town of Harper, Kans., and engaged in the practice of his profession. He met with success from the start, and his skill and ability as a physician soon became known, and in a short time his practice extended throughout Harper county, and he was frequently called to other parts of the State. He started life in Kansas without capital, but as his practice developed, his income grew with it, and he invested in land, from time to time, until he is today the largest individual tax payer in Harper county, and owns 7,500 acres of well improved farm land. Dr. Muir was united in marriage February 22, 1888, at Straughn, Ind., to Miss Lizzie J. Palin, a native of Indiana, born July 18, 1865 at Straughn. To this union was born one child, Donald, born July 24, 1891, at Harper, Kans. He was educated in the Harper High School, graduating in the class of 1907. He then entered Kansas University, where he was graduated from the law department in the class of 1913, and admitted to the Kansas bar that year. In November of the same year, he was elected prosecuting attorney of Harper county, on the Democrat ticket, being the youngest man ever elected to that office in the State of Kansas. He was united in marriage November 10, 1913, to Miss Blanche Barkdull, of Lawrence, Kans. She is also a graduate of Kansas University. Dr. and Mrs. Muir also raised one adopted child, Pearl Gray Muir, born December 12, 1894, and is now the wife of Victor R. Larsen, of Lawrence, Kans. Dr. Muir is a Democrat, and since coming to Kansas has been prominent in the councils of his party. He has been elected mayor of Harper seven times, and is now serving in that capacity. In 1898 he was elected one of the county commissioners of Harper county, serving three years. His fraternal affiliations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias. Since retiring from active practice, Dr. Muir has traveled a great deal, and for some time has spent the winters in Texas, where he also has extensive land interests.Pages 149-150 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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