David C. Stahlman

DAVID C. STAHLMAN, M. D. The kind of energy, resource and large-mindedness required of the man who would succeed in any of the learned professions in these days of strenuous effort seem to be an integral part of the equipment of Dr. David C. Stahlman, a medical and surgical practitioner, who with the exception of two years has been engaged in the practice of his honored calling at Potwin, Butler County, since 1900. The recipient of a patronage that is as remunerative financially as it is satisfying intellectually, Doctor Stahlman is an enthusiastic and careful thinker, and notwithstanding his well known caution and respect for tradition is not afraid of untrod paths or of independent individual effort.

Doctor Stahlman was born January 10, 1867, in Steuben County, Indiana, and is a son of Ernest and Rachel (Handley) Stahlman. His father was born in 1819, on the Rhine River, Germany, and was twenty years of age when he immigrated to the United States, first locating in the State of Pennsylvania and later removing to Steuben County, Indiana, where he became a pioneer farmer. He passed the remaining years of his life in agricultural pursuits in the Hoosier State, and died in Steuben County June 7, 1871. He was politically a republican, and his religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By his first wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Rupp, he had three children: John Henry, who is now deceased; Charles William, who is a retired farmer of Steuben County, Indiana; and Artie A., who is a farmer of that county. By his second marriage, to Louisa Underwood, Ernest Stahlman had one daughter, Gertrude, who is the wife of George Henry, a Steuben County farmer. Mr. Stahlman's third marriage was to Rachel Handley, who was born in Crawford County, Ohio, in 1830, and died July 29, 1891, in Steuben County, Indiana. They became the parents of four children: Esther Lillian, who died at the age of two years after accidentally receiving severe burns; Elmer Edwin, who was engaged in farming in the vicinity of Gage, Oklahoma, at the time of his death, September 8, 1916; Lettie J., who died February 2, 1886, as the wife of Allen Johnson, a Steuben County, Indiana, farmer; and Dr. David C.

David C. Stahlman received his early education in the rural schools of Steuben County, Indiana, following which he attended the normal school of Angola, Indiana, for one year. From boyhood it had been his ambition to follow a professional career, but he was the youngest in the family, his father had died when he was only four years old, and the financial assistance necessary for his professional training was not forthcoming, so it was left to him to make his own way. In pursuance of his ambition, in 1887 he came to Marion, Kansas, where for two years he was engaged in teaching school, and during the vacation periods added to his income by doing carpenter work, working as a farm hand, and following whatever other line of honorable employment appeared. Thus he was able in 1889 and 1890, to attend Baker University, following which he again took up school teaching, and followed this vocation in Johnson County until 1896. He then traveled during the summer months for three years, in order to help pay his way, and in the regular terms was a student in the Kansas City Medical College, Kansas City, Missouri, from 1896 until his graduation with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1900. For six months Doctor Stahlman practiced at Mound Ridge, Kansas, but in the fall of 1900 changed his field of operation to Potwin, where he remained until July, 1906. At that time he went to Hollene, Curry County, New Mexico, and remained there until June, 1908, then returning to Potwin. He is now the only physician of this thriving little Butler County community, and has built up a large and lucrative practice not alone at this place, but in the surrounding territory. He has established himself firmly in the confidence of his patients and has shown himself a thoroughly learned, careful practitioner. He owns his offices and residence on Main Street, and is secretary of the Potwin Mutual Telephone Company, in addition to which he has other business interests. Doctor Stahlman belongs to the Butler County Medical Society, and is prominent fraternally, being past noble grand of Potwin Lodge No. 525, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a member of Diamond Camp No. 1838, Modern Woodmen of America, of which he is camp physician and has been clerk for the past ten years and belongs also to El Dorado Camp, Woodmen of the World, and El Dorado Lodge, Knights and Ladies of Security. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is a trustee. His political views make him a republican, and his public services have included two years of membership on the Plum Grove Township School Board.

On June 6, 1901, Doctor Stahlman was married at Olathe, Kansas, to Miss Esther Robinson, daughter of James W. and Margaret (Reeves) Robinson, retired farming people of Olathe. Doctor and Mrs. Stahlman have been the parents of four children, namely: Margaret, who died at the age of four and one-half years; Mildred, born February 19, 1904; Marian, born June 10, 1911; and Eleanor, born June 30, 1915.


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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