John Ross Newman

JOHN ROSS NEWMAN. In the large metropolitan cities are found a number of men who are able to confine themselves exclusively to some one specialty in medicine or surgery, but in the smaller cities, however much a professional man may incline to specialization, he is almost invariably engaged in general practice. An exception to this rule is the case of Dr. John Ross Newman of Fort Scott. Doctor Newman is a surgeon of rare attainments and ability. For the past six years he has handled only surgical cases. He is one of the very few men in the entire state who can be properly designated as surgeon without implying that they also handle general medical cases.

The character and abilities which have since matured into professional fame were developed while Doctor Newman lived on a Missouri farm. He grew up in the country, was graduated from the Lockwood (Missouri) High School in 1901, and afterwards entered the Central Medical College of St. Joseph, Missouri, where he was graduated in 1905. In that year he came to Fort Scott, practiced general medicine for six months, and then returned to Lockwood, Missouri, where he continued in the same line of practice until 1908.

His early experiences as a physician were such as to confirm his ambition and desire for surgery. On leaving Lockwood in 1908, it was with a determination to make a special study of surgery, and the two following years he spent in the clinics of some of the greatest hospitals of Chicago, Philadelphia and New York, and for a time served as assistant surgeon in one of these hospitals.

With this equipment and experience Doctor Newman returned to Fort Scott in the fall of 1910, and since then has confined his attention to surgery. His reputation as a surgeon is now state wide. No surgeon in Kansas has performed more successful operations at his age than Doctor Newman. Cases come to him from all over his section of the state. He has stood by the operating table and attended to eight different cases in a single day, and seldom a day passes when his services are not called upon to perform one or more operations. He is the only exclusive surgeon in Fort Scott. Every year Doctor Newman gets away from his practice and takes advantage of the clinics held in some of the largest cities of the United States. :He is a member of the State and County Medical societies, of the American Medical Association, and occasionally contributes papers to medical journals. He is a man of very pleasing personality, frank and approachable, and has the faculty of inspiring confidence, one of the greatest assets of the capable surgeon.

Doctor Newman was born in Dade County, Missouri, December 12, 1881, and is not yet thirty-five years of age. His parents were Joseph Vernon and Elizabeth (Workman) Newman. His father was born at Akron, Ohio, but when a child was taken to Dade County, Missouri, by his widowed mother. Grandfather Joseph Newman was a Union soldier in the Civil war and died of pneumonia while in the service. Joseph V. Newman had one sister, Sarah, who later married Joseph Slutz, who was a pioneer from Ohio to Dade County, and lived on a farm. Joseph V. Newman was a farmer in Dade County until 1892, when he sold and moved his family to Lockwood, Missouri, and continued farming there for a few years. He finally went to Lockwood, Missouri, was in the livery business, but in 1905 moved to Fort Scott, Kansas, and is a traveling representative for the International Harvester Company. When that party was strong he was an ardent populist and very active in its interests. Later he became a democrat. Both he and his wife were devoted members of the Presbyterian Church. There were four children: Charles F. Newman, who is now counselor for the Interstate Commerce Commission in the Southwestern District in the land department, his headquarters being at Kansas City, Missouri; Dr. John Ross; Jessie Ruth, wife of Roy Cobbs of Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Sadie, who died at the age of two years.

Doctor Newman is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner. On August 13, 1909, at Springfield, Missouri, he married Miss Josephine Buffington, who was born at Golden City, in Dade County, Missouri, daughter of Walter and Josie (Gentry) Buffington. Her father, who was a successful farmer and representative citizen of Dade county, who died at Golden City in 1901, while his widow now resides on the old farm near that town. Doctor and Mrs. Newman have three children: One that died in infancy, unnamed; Katherine Ruth, born in Fort Scott, April 6, 1912; and John Ross, Jr., born December 25, 1914.


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 October, 1997.
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