Roscoe Townley Nichols, the leading physician and popular mayor of Liberal, Kan., is one of the men of the medical profession endowed by nature with marked mental powers, a comprehensive knowledge of medicine and sympathy as wide as the universe, thus meeting all the requirements of the ideal doctor, and today is the respected and loved family physician of many homes in his city and surrounding country. He was born in Wayne county, Iowa, February 20, 1881, the son of Herman Vedder and Alice Townley Nichols. Dr. Nichols's paternal grandparents were of German stock, a race that has furnished this country so many excellent citizens. His father was born in New York State April 6, 1851. He chose medicine as his profession and while still a young man removed to Wisconsin, practicing a few years in Waukesha. In 1872 he located in Wayne county, Iowa, where he was engaged in professional work nine years, and then opened an office at Trenton, Mo., living there until 1889. That year the doctor and his family came to Seward county to settle on government land near Liberal. Dr. Nichols gave up medicine and engaged in farming until 1895, when, with his family, he went to Manhattan, Kan., to place his five children in the State agricultural college. Three years later, in 1898, he returned to Liberal and resumed the practice of medicine. In the meantime he read law and was admitted to the bar in Seward county, but never practiced. Dr. Nichols ever took an active part in the life of his community and politics, representing his district in the State legislature. He was a stanch member of the Republican party, being elected on that ticket. In 1901 he went to Alaska, where he was engaged in the active practice of his profession until November 3, 1907, when he died of heart failure, and was buried at Fairbanks. During his life the doctor was a member of the Masonic order. On June 25, 1872, Dr. Herman Nichols married Alice Townley at Waukesha, Wis. She was the daughter of Robert and Mary Townley, residents of Wisconsin. Mrs. Nichols was born near Boston, Mass., March 23, 1851, and became the mother of seven children: Schuyler, born November 14, 1875, a graduate of the Kansas State Agricultural College, with the class of 1898, a graduate of the Barnes Medical College of St. Louis in 1901, and now practices medicine at Herrington; Harriet Grace, born December 22, 1878, a graduate of the Kansas Agricultural College in 1898, now the wife of Rome P. Donahoo, a prominent Democrat of Tucumcari, N. M.; Roscoe; Lillian, born February 5, 1886, died on December 14, 1888; Gladys Irene, born April 23, 1888, a graduate of the Kansas Agricultural College in 1910, now the wife of Edward Dearborn, an electrical engineer who lives in Kansas City, Mo.; Jessie, born December 8, 1891, a graduate of the Kansas Agricultural College with the class of 1912, and Victor, born May 16, 1896, who died January 30, 1901.
Roscoe Nichols received his elementary education in the public schools of Liberal, and in 1895 entered the State agricultural college, graduating there in 1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Science. Having determined to become a physician he entered Barnes Medical College, at St. Louis, where he studied two years before entering the medical department of Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill., graduating there in 1902. Upon leaving college the young doctor returned to Liberal, forming a partnership with his brother, Schuyler, who removed to Herrington in 1905, since which time Dr. Roscoe Nichols has assumed sole charge of their practice, which has increased in a flattering and satisfactory manner. Today Dr. Nichols is recognized as one of the leading members of the medical fraternity in the Southwest. He is a man of great mental ability, which was recognized by the people of Liberal when they elected him mayor of the city in April, 1911, an office he has filled with merit. In addition to his practice, the doctor is also the local physician of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific railroad. He is a Knight Templar Mason, and belongs to the Wichita Consistory, No. 2. On May 3, 1903, Dr. Nichols married Osa, the daughter of L. F. Clark, of Seward county. Mrs. Nichols was born at Unionville, Mo., October 12, 1881. She has three children: Harry Dale, born March 15, 1904; Alice Cecelia, born August 22, 1905, and Roscoe Townley, Jr., born December 14, 1907. November 5, 1912, Dr. Nichols was elected representative from Seward county to the State legislature on the Democratic ticket, in a county normally Republican.Pages 586-588 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 LM467. It is a single volume 3.
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