The history of medicine in Crawford county, when gauged by the standard of some of our eastern states, is necessarily very modern, Crawford county having been embraced in the Cherokee strip, or neutral lands (which are explained in other sections of this history), settlement was retarded so that this now populous and wealthy county, until within a comparatively recent date, was a vast virgin prairie inhabited only by a few squatters who obtained their precarious livelihood by tilling small garden patches and hunting. Such environments would only induce kindred spirits, thus the earliest doctors were migratory and but little is known of them.
The conditions above mentioned continued until the close of the war, when ex-Union soldiers began to come in to take advantage of the homestead laws, and with these permanent settlers came a more permanent class of physicians, many of these having done military service. Some idea of the sparseness of the population even as late as 1867 can be obtained when I recall the fact that at the first county election, which was held this year, the greatest number of votes polled was but 202. Up to this time and for some time afterward, most of the practice was done by doctors who were living on and "holding down" claims. There were few town doctors, because there were few towns. Some of these "farmer doctors" were college graduates and men of considerable attainments, though necessarily rough in exterior, and although handicapped for want of appliances, were perhaps as fully competent to combat the diseases incident to those conditions as our more modern physicians are to combat our more modern diseases. For it is a well known scientific truth that many of the so-called refinements and advantages of modern civilization are really violations of the natural laws, which bring about their own diseases or punishment.
The diseases of those times were principally malaria caused by lack of drainage of the country; bronchitis and pneumonia, due to exposure incident to their mode of life, and diarrhoea and dysentery induced by their coarse fare. Contagious diseases, on account of isolation of the settlers, had little opportunity to spread. These diseases were heroically met by our predecessors. One instance being handed down, where a patient suffering from "a blocked bowel" was given one hundred grains of calomel at a single dose. The patient recovered and experienced no bad effects from this heroic dosage.
In those early days the relationship existing between "the family doctor" and the people was much closer than it is at the present time. The pioneer doctor was the personal friend and adviser of his patrons. This relationship is best explained by quoting from a communication from Dr. J. M. Mahr, now of McCune, who came to Cherokee county in 1867. He says: "He has a warm place in his heart for the early pioneers, where neighborly ties reached out so as to include everybody for miles around, and when a neighbor was sick and needed nursing you didn't hear the question asked, Where is his post G. A. R.? or Where is his lodge? or Where are the church members? They did not need to ask these for the reason his neighbors were there to do their duty. Oh! those old settlers! God bless them! They were 'true grit;' and the old pioneer doctors, they remember them well and kindly."
The profession is not alone responsible for these changed relations, but the sordid desire for gain, the devotion to style and fashion and the organization of clubs and lodges have so modified the whole people that the word neighbor has almost lost its original signification.
Perhaps the first permanent physician to locate in Crawford county was Dr. J. W. Wallace, who located on a claim near the present town of Arcadia in 1865. He continued in active practice in Lincoln township until 1898, when, having lost his wife by death, he retired and is now living with his children. At present he is in Oklahoma. At the age of eighty-nine he is still more sturdy and strong than many much younger men. He was a member of the first board of commissioners of Crawford county, which was elected in 1867.
Dr. W. H. Barber located on a farm in Washington township, near the present town of Mulberry, in 1866. Five years later, when Mulberry established, he moved to that town, where he continued in active practice until about 1894, when, after a short stay in Pittsburg, he removed to Missouri, where he now resides. The doctor was a heroic medicator and there are many stories still extant, among the old settlers, about his voluminous doses.
Dr. H. D. Moore, an able physician, located on a farm near where Monmouth now stands in 1866. The doctor, notwithstanding a very large practice, found some time to devote to politics. He represented Crawford county in the state senate from 1870 to 1872. He has since died. An experience is given by Mr. Georgia of Pittsburg which illustrates the danger and hardships to which these pioneer doctors were exposed. He and Dr. Moore were lost on the prairie and were compelled to remain out all night in a terrible storm. As the month was January, their sufferings can be imagined.
Dr. A. W. Doan, a Canadian, was a confrere of Dr. Moore, having located on a farm near by in 1866. He continued in active practice until his death, which occurred in 1892.
At the old town of Jacksonville, located near the present town of McCune, were located, during the sixties, Drs. Dement, Thurman and Robinson, all now dead. Dr. Ed Mosteller was also located here in 1870 and for several years afterward. He is now located in Iowa. In 1865 and 1866 Dr. Hunt, an English graduate, was located near the present town of Hepler. The doctor was connected with a large cattle ranch.
In 1866 Dr. Yingling, a "preacher-doctor, located one-half mile west of the present city of Pittsburg, remaining about a year, when he removed to Arkansas. The doctor is remembered as a pompous gentleman, loud of big words.
Dr. G. S. Monsteller located on a farm in Walnut township in 1866, where he practiced medicine until 1890. The doctor is a Mexican war veteran, having enlisted with an Indiana regiment. He is now, at the age of eighty-two years, living at Pittsburg.
During 1867 and 1868 a Dr. Baker was located at "Holes in the Prairie," near where the village of Midway now stands. He is remembered as being "rough in dress and speech."
Dr. G. W. Scholl, a regular graduate, located on a farm in Osage township in the sixties. His old mule and his buffalo overcoat were almost as well known as the doctor himself. He did an immense amount of charity work. At present he has retired from practice and is living quietly on his farm.
Dr. L. F. Crawford located at old Crawfordsville, near Girard, in the sixties, but later moved to Girard, where he remained until his death.
Dr. Bauseman located in Grant township in 1868, and for several years engaged actively in the practice of medicine, but is now at the age of seventy-four years living the life of a retired farmer.
Dr. Brooks, an Englishman, a kind of itinerant, made his home on a farm near Arcadia. It is related of him that he cured rattlesnake bites by the application of "fly blister."
Dr. A. Hall Smith located on a farm in Baker township, southeast of the present city of Pittsburg, in 1868, where he continued in practice for several years.
Dr. R. M. Stoops, in the later sixties, was located for a year or two, on a farm, four miles northwest of Pittsburg, and a Dr. Holmes about the same time at old Iowa City two miles south of Pittsburg.
Of these old-time doctors many are dead, some have retired, others have gone to other fields. A contemplation of the lives of these noble pioneers recalls these lines from Carleton's "Country Doctor"
"But perhaps it still is better that his busy life is done;
He has seen old views and patients disappearing one by one."
For with the building of the various railroads and the opening of the coal mines, and the consequent increase in population, villages and towns sprang up all over the country, and "The Farmer Doctor" was speedily supplanted by the village and town doctor, and the number of these latter who have appeared in and disappeared from the various villages and towns of Crawford county has been so great that a mere catalogue of their names would exhaust the space allotted to this chapter. Of the more prominent of this class of doctorsall of whom are now gonemay be mentioned the following:
Dr. A. B. Turner, an able physician, of fine personal appearance, a graduate from the Keokuk Iowa Medical College, located in Girard in 1868. Served as a member of the Crawford county pension board. Died in 1885.
Dr. W. H. Warner, an educated and popular physician, an ex-Union soldier, moved from Ft. Scott to Girard in 1869. Was one of the proprietors of the Girard Press in early days, secretary of Crawford county pension board for several years, up to time of his death, which occurred in 1894.
Dr. A. T. Huntoon, a graduate from Rush Medical College of Chicago, also an ex-Union soldier, located in Girard in 1876. Served as coroner and member of the Crawford county pension board. He is now located at Duluth and is reputed to be wealthy.
Dr. J. W. Alford an eclectic physician, was located at Girard for several years during the later seventies.
Of the later Girard physicians may be mentioned Dr. Miller, now of Joplin, and Dr. W. M. Griffin, a broad-minded homeopathic physician, who after fifteen or sixteen years' active practice at Girard, moved to a farm in Bourbon county in 1902. The doctor was secretary of the Crawford county pension board at the time of his removal.
Dr. A. C. Bailey, or "Cy," as he was familiarly called, was one of the founders of Cherokee, and built the first business house which he occupied as a drug store, which he conducted in connection with an extensive practice. Though a Kentuckian, he was educatcd in the north and served three years in the federal army. In 1884, on account of ill health, he removed to New Mexico, where he died in 1890.
Dr. W. W. Pritchard, an ex-Confederate soldier, a whole-souled, chivalrous, southern gentlemen, a graduate from the Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tennessee, located in Cherokee in 1882, remaining until 1892, when he removed to Clark county, Kansas, where he is engaged in stock-raising.
Dr. Boyd, who came to Cherokee early in her history, as a drug clerk, took up the practice of medicine and followed it for several years, up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1887.
Dr. S. B. Boyer, who also came to Cherokee as a druggist, graduated from a Philadelphia medical college in 1890, engaged in practice at Cherokee until his death, which occurred in 1899.
Dr. Forney, a graduate from the Keokuk, Iowa, Medical College, moved from Weir City to Cherokee in 1892, as successor of Dr. Pritchard. He remained in Cherokee until his death, which occurred in 1901.
Dr. J. B. Traylor, a pioneer McCune doctor, was earlier located at old Jacksonville. Although a successful practioner for many years, he did not receive his degree until 1888. He died in 1899.
Dr. E. P. Davis, a graduate from Rush Medical College, Chicago, located in McCune in 1879 and conducted a drug store connection with his practice.
Dr. E. C. Ohlwein, a graduate from a Cincinnati medical college, located in McCune in 1882. After several years he removed to Miami, Indian Territory, where he is now located.
Dr. Charles E. Taylor was located at Arcadia from 1880 to 1895. The doctor is a native of Canada, a graduate from the St. Louis Medical College and is now located at Orlando, Texas.
Dr. J. C. Pasley, a native of Illinois, graduated from the Keokuk, Iowa, Medical College, located in Arcadia in 1884 and remained until his death, which occurred in 1902. The doctor was deservedly popular.
Dr. J. T. Holman, a native of Kentucky, graduated from the University of Louisville, came to Arcadia from Garland, Kansas, in 1894; returned to Garland in 1903, where he is now located.
Dr. Julius R. Sloan, a native of Illinois, regular graduate, came to Arcadia in 1888, moved to Stanley, Kansas, in 1891, where he is now located.
Dr. T. L. Hobbs, a native of Kentucky, graduate from the Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, came to Arcadia, in 1889, where he died in 1897.
Dr. Petitt, an able and popular physician, located at Walnut with the establishment of the town, remained several years, when he removed to Joplin, Missouri, where he is still in practice.
Dr. Henry E. Rakestraw, an Ohioan, a graduate from the St. Louis Homeopathic College, located at Walnut in 1876, remaining until 1903, when he removed to Chanute, Kansas, where he is now making a specialty of diseases of the eye and ear. The doctor is popular.
Dr. Welch, an able physician, located in Walnut about 1870 and practiced until his death, which occurred in 1884.
>From 1887 to 1889, contemporaneously two able young physicians, Dr. Hite and Dr. Mudd, were located in Walnut.
Dr. J. R. Connell, the first doctor in Hepler, located there in 1869, where he conducted a drug store in connection with his practice. After several years he moved to Ohio, where he is now located.
Dr. J. R. Ball, a graduate from the Keokuk Medical College, located in Hepler in 1870, remained a year, when he removed to Missouri, where he has since died.
Dr. Pierce Gallagher, a young man, was located at Hepler from 1884 to 1893.
Dr. Isaac Barker was located at Monmouth for many years, until his death, which occurred in 1895.
Dr. J. C. Weibley, an able and popular physician, graduated from the University of Virginia, was located in Opolis from 1878 until 1887, the time of his death.
Another Opolis doctor was J. M. Dorsey, who located here in 1877 and remained until 1885, when he removed to Texas, where he has since died.
Dr. J. M. Summers, a graduate from the Keokuk Medical College, located in Opolis in 1889, continued in practice at this place until his death, which occurred in 1892.
Dr. Allen Wilson, a native of Louisiana, an educated and popular physician, graduated from the Missouri Medical College, located in Mulberry in 1876, built up perhaps the largest practice in the county, removed to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1893, where he is now located.
Dr. B. F. Wilson, father of Dr. Allen Wilson, a native of Virginia, a courtly southern gentleman, with a fine literary education, a graduate from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, an ex-Confederate army surgeon, located in Mulberry in 1882 and, notwithstanding his advanced age of eighty-three years, continued in active practice until a very short time before his death, which occurred in 1891.
Dr. J. M. Ennis, a Kentuckian and a graduate from the Kentucky School of Medicine, was located at Mulberry from 1882 until 1886.
Dr. W. H. Anderson located in Beulah with the establishment of the town. He was succeeded in 1884 by Dr. A. O. Blair, now of Pittsburg, who was succeeded by Dr. A. P. Giles, a graduate from Rush Medical College, in 1890. Dr. Giles was followed by Dr. H. H. Bogle, now of Pittsburg, in 1894.
Dr. C. C. Parker and his wife, Dr. Kate Parker, located in Farlington in 1876, and established a questionable institution called "The Health Home," which they conducted until 1888, when Dr. C. C. Parker, who was charged with criminal malpractice, attempted to leave, but was overtaken by the sheriff and his deputy in southern Kansas, but during the night he succeeded in removing his handcuffs and made his escape in the darkness. He has since died in Arkansas, reported to have been killed in a row. Dr. Kate Parker has also disappeared.
Dr. I. H. Addington, an able and honorable physician, was located at Farlington from 1878 to 1889, when after a short location in Girard he removed to Muncie, Indiana, where he has very recently died.
Drs. Harlan and Mills were located here for short periods during 1878 and 1879. Also Dr. Arthur Dunn during 1884 and 1885, and his father, who was also a physician during 1886 and 1887.
Dr. B. A. Fuller removed from Cato to Farlington in 1888 and continued in practice until his death, which occurred in 1894.
Dr. Charles Loomis, Dr. Trimm and Dr. Briggs were also a part of the Farlington profession for short periods.
During the short time since the founding of the city of Pittsburg there have been located here for longer or shorter periods perhaps one hundred physicians. Of the more important ones who have passed away we note the following:
Dr. W. W. Watkins, the first doctor, a regular graduate and an able physician, located here in 1877, remained until 1888, when he went west.
Dr. T. D. Miller, a graduate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of St. Louis, located here in 1879, remained for several years, when he removed to Joplin, Missouri.
Dr. A. C. Jennis, a graduate from the University of Iowa, of Iowa City, located here in 1880, remaining until 1890, when he removed to Minnesota.
Dr. E. E. Hillis, an eclectic, located here in 1880 and remained until his death, which occurred in 1898. The doctor was a furious driver, and with him a trip to the remotest part of the county, by buggy, was a trivial matter.
Dr. M. L. Boas was located here from 1890 to 1898, when he received an appointment to a professorship in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of St. Louis. He removed to that city, where he has since died.
Dr. Vladimir F. de Neidman has had perhaps the most checkered career of any physician who has ever lived in the county; a native of St. Petersburg, Russia; a graduate from the University of Dorpat, Russia, and Howard University, Washington, D. C., with the degrees of A. B., Ph. D., D. D. S. and M. D.; served as a surgeon in the United States army from 1884 to 1888. Was located in Pittsburg from 1888 to 1898. Enlisted with the Twenty-second Kansas Regiment in 1898, almost immediately promoted to brigade surgeon. Sent to Cuba and later to the Philippines; served as brigade surgeon until 1902, when he was honorably discharged and employed as a contract surgeon, and is now stationed in California. In his early life he lived in Scotland and Australia. He speaks fluently the Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian and English languages.
Dr. H. Z. Gill, an ex-army surgeon, an ex-college professor, a classically educated physician, the author of a medical book, ex-secretary of the Kansas board of health, located in Pittsburg in 1893 and limited his practice to diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat until 1903, when he removed to Long Beach, California.
Dr. A. Harvey, a graduate of the University of Colorado, was located here for two or three years in the later nineties. He returned to Colorado, his former home, on account of the health of his family.
Dr. B. J. Hazelwood, a Canadian, a graduate of Trinity College, Toronto, Canada, a partner and successor of Dr. Harvey, was located here from 1900 to 1903, when he returned to Canada.
Dr. George C. Gilbert, a regular graduate, located at Litchfield as surgeon to Kansas and Texas Coal Company in 1887, removed to Pittsburg in 1889, was elected mayor in 1900, and in 1903 moved to Duluth, Minnesota.
In the mining camps adjacent to Pittsburg a large number of phyicians have been located at different periods. At Frontenac there was Dr. J. M. Giddings and Dr. Boaz; at Chicopee, Dr. J. A. Spick and Dr. Shauer; at Litchfield, Dr. White, Dr. Meinhardt, Dr. Black and Dr. Strong; at Yale, Dr. Bilyea, Dr. Snyder, Dr. McKelvie and Dr. Whittaker (Col.).
Of the physicians who at the present time are engaged in the practice of medicine in the county, three are located at Arcadia. Of these Dr. L. A. Runion, a regular graduate, is the oldest in point of residence, having lived here for over fifteen years.
Dr. R. W. Moore, a native of Missouri, a young man, an ex-school teacher, graduate of University Medical College of Kansas City, Missouri, an ex-hospital steward in the United States army, located here in 1899.
Dr. W. S. Fleming, a native Kansan, a young man, a graduate of Creighton Medical College, Omaha, Nebraska, has lately located in Arcadia.
Dr. A. F. Meyer, a native of Hanover, Germany, a licentiate of state board, has been the sole physician in Brazilton since its establishment. He located in Crawford county in 1868.
Dr. T. G. Tibbey, a young man, a graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago, located in Beulah in 1894.
Dr. R. D. Hayes, a native of Vinton, Ohio, born in 1875, a graduate of the University of Ohio and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore in 1891, located at Cambria same year, as physician and surgeon to the Central Coal and Coke Company.
Dr. M. Coryell, although living across the line in Bourbon county, attends to the practice of Cato and that part of Crawford county. The doctor is a graduate of the New York University of Medicine, class of 1880, and has for years been at his present location. He is a member of the Bourbon county pension board.Pages 139-150 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Justin Kemp and Brett Davis, students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in November, 2002.
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