Flavius Ralls Smith.In the profession which he selected as his life work Dr. Smith has attained a success that entitles him to rank among the foremost physicians of southern Kansas, and to the prestige which his reputation as an able physician and surgeon has given him there is added an exceptional standing as an enterprising and worthy citizen of Winfield, and as a Christian gentleman. Dr. Smith's career is interesting, for it tells of a contest and a victory gained unaided, save by individual effort. He was born near Peru, Madison county, Iowa, Nov. 22, 1862, and came to Kansas in 1874, with his parents, William and Ellen (Hollingshead) Smith, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of New Jersey. William Smith was a farmer by occupation and removed from his native state to Illinois, and from thence to Iowa. In 1874 he brought his family to Kansas and located on a homestead in Mitchell township, Rice county, where he continued to reside until his death, in 1906. Though born in Kentucky, his sympathies were with the Union during our great national conflict, in which he served as a soldier under Sherman, in that general's famous campaigns. He was an ardent Republican and an active participant in party work, both in his former home in Madison county, Iowa, and in Rice county, Kansas, in each of which places he was a well known and prominent citizen. He served one term as county commissioner while a resident of Madison county, Iowa. He was a zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church. Ellen Hollingshead, mother of Dr. Smith, was a daughter of Joseph Hollingshead, a farmer who was born in New Jersey and removed from thence to Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life.
Dr. Smith received his literary education in Lyons, Kan., where he attended the high school the first year it was established, and later was graduated in it. It was his ambition to become a physician and surgeon, and he did not patiently wait for the doors of opportunity to swing open to him, but persistently knocked at them until he gained admittance to the chosen profession. He earned the means to secure his professional education, partly by teaching, his first term of school having been taught in a sod school house. In 1887 he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, and upon graduating in that institution, in 1889, located at Mitchell, Rice county, Kansas, for the practice of his profession. After practicing there eighteen months he removed to Little River, a larger town in the same county, where he built up a good practice. In 1908 he bought the old Pilcher Hospital at Winfield, Kan., and renamed it the Winfield Hospital. During the first six months he did comparatively little, but by the end of the first year the business of the hospital amounted to $8,000, and from that time to the present its success has been all that could be desired. Dr. Smith's specialty is surgery, in the knowledge of which, by study, observation, and experience, he has become well grounded and thoroughly informed concerning every detail. Added to his business ability and professional skill in the management of the hospital are those personal qualities which have won him the confidence of his patrons. When he located in Winfield he was without a business there, but his practice in the city and the work of the hospital have now grown to such an extent that he has recently taken, as an assistant, Dr. J. H. Powers, and has found it necessary to increase the capacity of the hospital in order to accommodate his growing business. A great number of his patients are from Rice county, his old home and former field of practice.
In 1890 Dr. Smith wedded Miss Ella, daughter of A. R. Simmons, a prominent farmer and stockman now residing near Fort Scott, Kan. Dr. Smith affiliates fraternally with the Masonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, and Modern Woodmen of America. In politics he is a Republican and takes a warm interest in the work of his party. In the line of his profession he is a member of the Rice county and Kansas state medical societies and the American Medical Association, as well as a number of other leading medical fraternities. He also served eight years as a member of the United States pension examining board of Rice county. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which both take an active part, and of which Dr. Smith has served as trustee the past two years.Pages 1301-1302 from volume III, part 2 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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