Joseph B. Blades

JOSEPH B. BLADES, M. D. For a period of twelve years the health and sanitation of Randall, Jewell County, has been safeguarded by the zeal and skill of Dr. Joseph Brewer Blades, whose entire professional career has been passed in this community. He is one of the men who have brought to their honored calling high scholarship, thorough training and equipment and a full realization of the importance and responsibility of their profession, and his professional associates and the public generally have been prompt to testify to his ability and to the value of his services in their midst.

Joseph Brewer Blades comes of a family that has lived in America since prior to the War of the Revolution and was born July 5, 1876, on a farm in Ottawa County, Kansas, being a son of Harrison and Thirza Augusta (Brewer) Blades. His grandfather, Samuel Thomas Blades, was born in the East, probably in Maryland, and followed a seafaring life, his death occurring in 1887 at Baltimore. In that city, in 1845, was born Harrison Blades, who was reared there and received his education in the public schools. In his youth he followed various pursuits without getting any real start in life, but in 1870 came to the West, settling on a homestead farm of 160 acres in Ottawa County, which he proved up and cultivated for several years. After his marriage he settled on the homestead of his wife, a tract of eighty acres in the same county, and in later years disposed of his 160 acre property by sale and rounded out his career on the smaller farm, where he died in 1895. Mr. Blades was one of the men of Ottawa County who laid broad and deep the foundations for the building of a lasting prosperity, and who through persistence and continued industry overcame hardships and made possible the establishment of a modern civilization. He was a republican, but did not take any active part in public life. An active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he took a helpful part in its work during his early years, but after coming to Kansas his opportunities were fewer in this direction, although he always lived his faith and gave a helping hand to religious movements. Mr. Blades was married in Ottawa County, in the early '70s, to Thirza Augusta Brewer, who was born in Athens County, Ohio, in 1849, and who still survives her husband and resides on the homestead in Ottawa County. She was a girl when she came to Ottawa County, and has lived to witness numerous wonderful changes in the country to which she came when it was still largely as it had been left by the westward moving Indians. To Mr. and Mrs. Blades there were born the following five children: Samuel Thomas, a graduate of the University Medical College, Kansas City, Missouri, class of 1903, with degree of Doctor of Medicine, and now a practicing physician and surgeon of Scottsville, Mitchell County, Kansas, Joseph Brewer, of this notice; Harrison, who died at the age of five years; Charles Augustus, who is an agriculturist of the locality of Minneapolis, Kansas; and James, an expert lard man and resident of Chicago, where he has charge of 250 men in one of the great Chicago packing plants.

Joseph Brewer Blades was educated in the rural schools of Ottawa County, Kansas, and the high school at Minneapolis, from which he was graduated with the class of 1894. Like many of his professional brethren in Jewell County, Doctor Blades started his career in the school room, for during a period of five years he taught in the rural districts of Ottawa County, and in the meantime found time to give to assisting his father in farming and to attend Salina University. He was graduated from this institution in 1898. For two terms, 1901 and 1902, he attended Kansas University as a student of the literary department, and in 1902 and 1903 studied medicine in the same institution, following which he entered Kansas City Medical College. Graduated in 1905, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in that year he came to Randall and started in practice, and here has continued to add to his reputation and his clientele with the passing of the years. He has a general medical and surgical practice and is considered a skilled and thorough practitioner and a careful, steady-handed surgeon, and his success in many difficult cases has won him public confidence. He is the owner of Randall's chief pharmacy, located on Main Street, in which his offices are located, and owns likewise a building for offices on Main Street, his residence at Randall and 240 acres of valuable farming land three miles northwest of Randall. In politics he has always preferred to use his own judgment in the choice of principles and candidates, and for this reason has refused to be bound by party ties, taking an independent stand and voting rather for man than organization. He has done his share of public service, having served capably as a member of the school board of Randall for seven years, and has also been a member of the city council for four years, and his official record is as worthy as that which he has made professionally. Doctor Blades is social in his tendencies and out of his busy life finds time for the relaxations and diversions which rest the mind and invigorate the body. He is fraternally connected with Randall Lodge No. 304, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is past master; Jewell Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and Randall Camp, Modern Woodmen of America, while as a member of his calling he belongs to the various medical organizations. Professionally he belongs to the emancipated class whose mind is open to light, and who sanction the beliefs of the past only so far as they are in harmony with the greater progress and enlightenment of the present. He takes time to investigate the new order of things, and has the breadth of mind to judge wisely yet conservatively. One might say that a great capacity for painstaking effort constitutes one of his chief mental assets, as well as a genuine liking for the enormous amount of work entailed by his supreme allegiance to a fascinating and inexhaustible science.

Doctor Blades married in 1907, in Jewell County, Kansas, Miss Goldie Lenora Buckles, daughter of Thomas A. and Katherine (Engle) Buckles, who reside at Ames, Cloud County, Kansas, in which community Mr Buckles is engaged in agricultural pursuits. Mr. and Mrs. Blades are the parents of two children: Josephine Lenore, born November 21, 1908; and Roger Thomas, born November 20, 1913.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed 1997.
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