Transcribed from 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


Joseph David Pettet

JOSEPH DAVID PETTET, M. D. With scientific progress shown on every side, medicine has been making wonderful strides forward, discoveries and inventions almost changing methods of practice and broadening the viewpoint of both practitioner and patient. The modern man of medicine no longer confines his efforts to alleviating the temporary ailment, but searches for the seat of the trouble, and prescribes right living, exercise and open air quite as often as medicine. To practice according to the enlightened idea of the present century, requires not only more careful training, but a certain, sure aggressiveness, and no physician of Crawford County has this and other admirable qualities more fully than has Dr. Joseph David Pettet, of Arcadia. Doctor Pettet is practically a newcomer to Arcadia, but has already impressed himself upon the people of the community not only as a thorough, learned and enlightened practitioner, but as a citizen desirous of assisting his adopted locality to better things.

Born in Daviess County, Indiana, April 16, 1875, Doctor Pettet is a son of George W. and Nancy E. (Greer) Pettet. The family originated in France and its early members were pioneers of Indiana, where the grandfather of Doctor Pettet, also a physician and surgeon, passed his life. George W. Pettet was born in 1839, in Boone County, Indiana, where he was reared and educated, and as a young man removed to Morgan County, in the same state, where he was married. Subsequently he went to Daviess County, Indiana, and engaged in farming until 1877, in which year he brought his family to Kansas and located as a pioneer farmer in Montgomery County, seven miles west of Independence, the county seat. For more than twenty years he continued to cultivate the soil of that locality, overcoming many obstacles and stubbornly fighting his way to success, typified by the ownership of a large and valuable farm. In 1898 he retired from active labor, and since then has lived in comfort at his attractive home. Mr. Pettet is a republican. He was reared in the faith of the Quakers, or Society of Friends, a sect which does not believe in war, but when the call came for troops to defend the Union, his patriotism overcame his religious scruples and he enlisted, in 1861, in Company E, Twenty-sixth Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Mr. Pettet served as a soldier for nearly five years and established an excellent record for bravery and faithful performance of duty. Among his battles were such notable ones as Pea Ridge and Vicksburg and he also took part in the Red River campaign. Mr. Pettet married Miss Nancy E. Greer, who was born in 1849, in Morgan County, Indiana, and they became the parents of three children: Jennie, who is the wife of L. L. Garr, a farmer near Havana, Kansas; Lou, who is the wife of John Ross Blair, a real estate man, who has made a fortune out of the promotion of the Town of Columbus, New Mexico, where they have their home; and Dr. Joseph David, of this review.

After securing his primary educational training in the public schools of Montgomery County, Joseph D. Pettet entered the high school at Independence, but remained only one year. He had determined upon a career in medicine, doubtless inheriting his predilection for this profession from his grandfather, and after some preparation entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at St. Louis, Missouri, from which he was duly graduated in April, 1900, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. This was later supplemented, in 1910 and 1911, by post-graduate work at the Kansas City Post-Graduate School. Doctor Pettet began practice as a physician and surgeon at Mound Valley, Kansas, in 1907, and that continued as the scene of his labors for seven years. From that time forward, for about eight years, he was located in various communities, gaining experience and adding to his store of knowledge, so that when he came to Arcadia, in the fall of 1915, he was well prepared to take his place among the leading practitioners. He has built up an excellent practice during the short time he has been located here, and has won the confidence of the people by a strict adherence to high principles in his professional work. A man of broad and comprehensive reading, he is eager to grasp new ideas, but does not put them into general use until he has convinced himself as to their efficiency and merit.

Doctor Pettet has attractive offices on Race Street, where he has a large and valuable medical library and all instruments and appliances for the performance of even the most delicate operation. He realizes the value to the physician of membership in organizations of the calling, and belongs to the Crawford County Medical Society, the Kansas State Medical Society, the Southeastern Kansas Medical Society and the American Medical Association. His fraternal connections include membership in Arcadia Lodge No. 329, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; the Modern Woodmen of America, at Humboldt, Kansas; and the Knights and Ladies of Security, of Arcadia. How strongly he has taken hold of affairs here is shown in that he is one of the foremost citizens of the place in promoting the city's welfare, in the capacity of secretary of the Arcadia Boosters' Club. Doctor Pettet is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a republican in politics, and at various times has held public office, having served as coroner while a resident of Labette County, county health officer there, and a member of the city council at Mound Valley.

Doctor Pettet was married December 9, 1900, at Mound Valley, to Anna M. Williams, daughter of R. H. and Emma Williams, residents of Humboldt, Kansas, where Mr. Williams is a carpenter and builder. Doctor and Mrs. Pettet have one son, Joseph W., born April 1, 1906, who is attending school.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1862-1863 of 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; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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