Mary Pearl Smith

MARY PEARL SMITH, D. O. The theory upon which osteopathy rests is that most diseases and pains are due to some mechanical interference not permitting a free flow of forces and nourishment between the parts of the human anatomy so as to establish normal tissue and harmony of conditions. This adjustment theory has long since passed the experimental stage, and osteopathy is now a widely recognized science. It is a sane factor in lessening the suffering of mankind, and through it, in many thousands of cases, there has been re-established harmony of conditions and action known as health.

A capable and enthusiastic exponent of this school of healing is Mary Pearl Smith, D. O., whose professional career has been characterized by truly remarkable results. She has been a resident of Fredonia since January, 1914, and during three years has built up a large and representative practice.

Doctor Smith was born at Jefferson, Montgomery County, Kansas, July 27, 1887, and is a daughter of Emery Erwin and Mable Dean (Simpson) Smith. She traces her lineage to an English family which came to America and settled in New York during the days of the colonies. Her paternal grandfather was Ephraim Lynn Smith, who was born about 1832 in Southern Indiana, where he grew to manhood. Later he became a pioneer farmer near Carlyle, Allen County, Kansas, in 1866, and then near Jefferson, Montgomery County, Kansas, in 1874. He continued farming until he retired, then taking up his residence at Jefferson, and his death occurred in 1910 while on a visit to Hitchcock, South Dakota. He was a republican and a member of the Presbyterian Church and was highly esteemed in his community as a progressive and reliable citizen. Ephraim Smith married Mary Troutman who was born in Indiana, a member of the Troutman family well known in Revolutionary history. She died in 1877 on the farm near Jefferson, Kansas, and all her six children are deceased. Mr. Smith married Mrs. Lucinda Wheeler in 1878. She died in 1909. His granddaughter Mary Pearl then helped care for him until his death in 1910.

Emery Erwin Smith, father of Doctor Smith, was born on a farm near Logansport, Indiana, in 1862, and was about four years old when he first came to Kansas. He had received a public school education and one year at Parkville College in Missouri. He was reared to agricultural pursuits and made those the basis of his own career. Later, however, he turned his attention to merchandising, and was thus occupied for a number of years. He finally retired to his farm and his death occurred shortly afterward in 1897. Like his father he was a republican, though not a seeker for office, being content to confine his political activities to the casting of his vote. He was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church and belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen. His wife Mabel Dean Simpson, who was born in 1869, is now a resident of Independence, Kansas, and a faithful member of the presbyterian Church. Her father, Joseph H. Simpson was born in Menard County, Illinois, in 1839, and received a college education at Monmouth, Illinois. He subsequently came to Kansas, in 1883, locating near Independence, where he carried on farming until his death. He was a well known and highly esteemed resident of his community and active in the Presbyterian Church in which he was an elder. His wife, Helen Dean, was born near Meadville, Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were the parents of six children as follows: Mary Pearl, born in 1887; Bruce Morton, born in 1890, now a salesman for a hardware firm at Bloomington, Illinois; Leslie A., born in 1892, who is connected with the offices of the Kansas Natural Gas Company at Independence; Hester A. born in 1895, who is attending the State Normal School at Emporia; her twin sister Helen E. is engaged in teaching music in the high school at Cheney, Kansas; and Erwin E., born in 1897, is a member of Company K, Second Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Infantry, now stationed with his command on the Mexican border. Four years after the death of her first husband Mrs. Smith married A. W. Witcher, a traveling salesman with a St. Louis firm, with headquarters at Independence, Kansas. They have one daughter, Mabel May, born in 1903.

Mary Pearl Smith first attended the public schools at Jefferson, Kansas, and later the high and normal schools at Independence. Following this for three years she taught in the schools of Montgomery County and during that time became interested in the subject of osteopathy, eventually deciding to prepare herself as a practitioner. In 1910 she entered the Still College of Osteopathy at Des Moines, Iowa, and in 1913 after pursuing a full course was graduated with the degree Doctor of Osteopathy. She began her professional career as assistant to Dr. Mada Oliver of Yates Center, Kansas, with whom she remained five months. In January, 1914 Doctor Smith opened her own office in the Smith Building on the north side of the square at Fredonia, where she also has a suite of living rooms. Her office is unexcelled in equipment, containing the most practical apparatus thus far discovered and invented, as well as the latest books and periodicals bearing upon the subject which is enlisting her best energy and thought. She is a student, and has striven to reach the highest point of proficiency in her chosen calling. She has built up an excellent practice, including some of the leading families of the city, and some remarkable cures have gained her public confidence and a wide following.

Doctor Smith is a member of the Presbyterian Church. She belongs to the Royal Neighbors and the National American Life Insurance Company of St. Louis, and also maintains an accident policy in the Central Business Men's Association.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written & compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs Middle School, February 25, 2000.

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