William T. McKay

WILLIAM T. McKAY, M. D. In point of continuous service Doctor McKay is one of the oldest physicians in Southern Kansas, having located at Arkansas City thirty years ago. He has always maintained a position among the leaders of his profession, and besides his large private practice he has elevated standards of medical service and furnished additional facilities through Mercy Hospital, of which he is one of the proprietors.

Doctor McKay was born at Indianola, Iowa, September 4, 1860, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. His ancestors were pioneers in Kentucky. His father, Charles McKay, was born at Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1827, and is still livng[sic] at Indianola, Iowa, nearly ninety years of age. He went to Iowa in 1847, for a time was clerk in a law office at Des Moines and then removed to Indianola, where for ten years he served as county clerk. He was also a banker and dry goods merchant in Indianola, but for twenty-seven years, until 1910, he held a position in the postmaster general's office at Washington, D. C. He is a republican, a member of the Baptist Church and affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Charles McKay married Hannah Noble, who was born in Indiana in 1838 and died at Indianola, Iowa, in 1885. They were the parents of six children: Walter, a dentist at Miami, Florida; O'Neal, a horticulturist at Indianola, Iowa; Cora, who is unmarried and lives at Indianola; Dr. William T.; Charles, a traveling salesman with headquarters at Des Moines; and Frank, a druggist at Des Moines, Iowa.

William T. McKay was graduated from the high school at Indianola, Iowa, in 1878. He began the study of medicine under a physician at Indianola and subsequently entered Rush Medical College at Chicago, where he was graduated M. D. in 1881. Thus Doctor McKay's active experience as a physician and surgeon cover thirty-six years. In 1892 he was in the New York Post-Graduate Medical School, specializing in surgery, and he spent part of the year 1908 abroad, studying and visiting clinics in the great medical centers of Vienna and Berlin. After graduating from Rush Medical College he practiced for three years at Des Moines and four years at Milo, Iowa, but in 1887 removed to Arkansas City. While his practice has always been a general one he has found his service more and more in demand as a surgeon. His offices are in the Johnson Building.

In 1909 Doctor McKay, associated with Doctor Day and Doctor Rahn, acquired Mercy Hospital at 801 North First Street. This hospital had been established in 1908 by Doctor Hawk. It is one of the well equipped smaller institutions for hospital service in Kansas, and has been maintained on a high plane of efficiency under its present management.

Doctor McKay has prospered in a business way, owns city real estate, including his home at 325 South Butter Street, and several farms in Cowley County and elsewhere. He is a republican, was on the school board of Arkansas City three years and is now a member of the library board. In professional circles he is a member of the Cowley County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association. Doctor McKay is a firm believer in fraternalism, and is affiliated with Crescent Lodge No. 133, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, with Bennett Chapter No. 41, Royal Arch Masons, Arkansas City Commandery No. 30, Knights Templar, Ararat Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Kansas City, Missouri, with Canal City Lodge No. 352, Independent Order of Odd Follows, and Arkansas City Lodge No. 956, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Doctor McKay was married at Des Moines, Iowa, in 1888 to Miss Kate Adams, daughter of J. W. and Mary (Cox) Adams. Her father, now deceased, was a capable physician and surgeon. Her mother now lives at Long Beach, California. Doctor and Mrs. McKay have one daughter, Mary. She is the wife of Olyn D. Hemming, connected with the El Paso National Bank at Colorado Springs, Colorado.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed February 10, 2000.

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