The skill of Dr. Priest, as a physician and surgeon, is acknowledged by all who know him and has placed him in the front rank of not only the medical fraternity of Cloud county but of the state. He owes his success in some degree, perhaps, to the fact that his life has been spent in the two greatest commonwealths of the country, Ohio and Kansas. Ohio is the place of his nativity and the latter his adopted state since 1886. Dr. Priest began the study of medicine in the Ohio Medical College, which is located in the city of Cincinnati, and graduated from there the same year and just prior to coming to Kansas in 1886. He is a post-graduate from the Chicago Post-Graduate Medical College in 1895. It may be a revelation to many of Dr. Priest's friends to learn that, as a youth, he had aspirations and strong tendencies toward a ministerial career, being inclined in that direction for several years, or until he had reached his majority.
Had the visionary idea clung to him Dr. Priest would, in all probability, have discharged his duties as conscientiously and labored as indefatigably to have promoted the welfare of the souls of his parishioners as has been dominant in his character toward saving the lives of the patients entrusted to his care. At the age of twenty-two our subject began reading medicine and in the meantime taught several terms of school very successfully. In the city of Concordia Dr. Priest laid the foundation of a practice that has increased steadily until it extends far over this section of the country. The success he has attained as a skillful and expert surgeon has elicited favorable comment from all classes of people, and his time and strength are taxed to the utmost in attending to his professional duties. For several years Dr. Priest has supplied the only hospital service in Concordia, which will be discontinued inasmuch as he will be identified as the attending physician and surgeon at the hospital now being instituted by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Dr. Priest takes a profound interest in all the plans for the usefulness of this long needed enterprise. Besides his general practice Dr. Priest is the physician for the Ancient Order of United Workmen of the State of Kansas, examining surgeon of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and has filled the same position for the Santa Fe Railway for about a dozen years. He is vice-president of the National Railway Surgeons and ex-president of the Kansas Medical Society. Dr. Priest has recently added fresh laurels to his career by being elected general medical examiner of the Fraternal Aid Society during the session of their national convention, which convened in Topeka in May, 1903, and this honor was not won without rivalry, for there were six candidates in the field.
Dr. Priest was married in 1887 to Miss Mary Fitzgerald. To their union a son has been born, an extremely precocious and interesting little fellow, J. Michael Priest, aged five. Socially Dr. Priest is identified with almost every lodge and order except the Woman's Relief Corps. Coupled with our subject's acknowledged ability as a professional man are other qualities that render him popular among his friends. He is genial, frank and honorable, with a generous sprinkling of humor that has been transmitted from his Irish ancestry, for the grandparents of Dr. Priest, both paternal and maternal, were emigrants from the Emerald isle.
Dr. Priest has three brothers, one of them a prosperous merchant, another an attorney and the third a successful member of the medical fraternity, of Emerson, Iowa.
To Dr. Priest's good qualities will be added last but not least a tribute to the professional aid he has rendered the young and aspiring physicians, several of Cloud county's rising practitioners owing much of their start in life to his sincere friendship and advisement.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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