CHARLES A. McWILLIAMS, D. V. S. - Although his parents and grandparents lived in and contributed to the growth and development of several different states of the American Union, Dr. Charles A. McWilliams of Kansas City, Kansas, the leading veterinary surgeon in that community, is himself a native of Richardson county, Nebraska, where he was born on June 29, 1868. The history of his ancestry suggests the restless activity of the American people in their days of conquest over the wilderness. Then persons from widely distant sections of the country came together on the frontiers and became members of the same household, repeating in the new region for opportunity they had invaded what their forefathers did in other regions under similiar circumstances in their days of adventurous and aspiring effort.
Dr. McWilliams is a son of John B. and Mary E. (Barnes) McWilliams, the father born in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 20, 1839, and the mother in Brown county, Indiana, on June 22, 1849. The parents of the father were James W. and Conney (Calvin) McWilliams, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of North Carolina. The mother's parents were Ephraim and Abby (Roberts) Barnes, both born and reared in Brown county, Indiana. The Doctor's father and mother were married in Little Rock, Arkansas, after the father had served through the Civil war in the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry. Soon after their marriage they located on a farm in Richardson county, Nebraska, where they remained until 1875, then moved to another farm in Brown county of the same state. For fifteen years they occupied and worked this farm, but in 1890 a desire for another change took possession of them, and selling out their interests where they were, they took up their residence in Washington county, Kansas, remaining five years. In 1895 they moved to the farm on which they now live, with one of their sons as a member of the family circle, in Johnson county, this state. They own the farm, which is highly improved and valuable, and the son who lives with them is the only one of their offspring who is still with them. They have had six children: Henry, who died on October 2, 1895; Dr. Charles A., the primary subject of these paragraphs; Frank, who resides at Rosedale, Kansas, and is an extensive breeder and shipper of hogs; George, who died on November 16, 1905; Anna, who passed away in 1874, at the age of two years, and the one who is still at home with his parents.
Dr. McWilliams was reared on his father's farms to the age of eighteen, then started farming on his own account on a farm he rented in Brown county, Kansas. Three years later he left this farm and moved to Washington county, this state, where he drilled wells and operated a threshing outfit. On July 25, 1895, he disposed of his property in Washington county and took up his residence in Kansas City, where he now lives, this being his second residence in this city. During his former residence here, which lasted from 1895 to 1900, he conducted a flourishing business in buying and shipping horses and other lines of enterprise. During this period, also, his experience made manifest to him the need of a veterinary surgeon in the city and the excellent field available there for the practice of the profession. Accordingly he took up the study of that branch of surgery in Western Veterinary College and completed the course in two years, then practiced in Kansas City until 1900. In that year he returned to farming in connection with his professional work, locating at Hoge, Leavenworth county, on a rented farm for the purpose.
The next year the Doctor changed the base of his operations to Tonganoxie in the same county, and at that point he continued both his farming and his professional work until the spring of 1905, then sold all his interests there and moved to Miami county, this state, where he remained engaged in farming and practicing veterinary surgery until 1908. In that year he sustained serious internal injuries in being thrown by a mule he had under treatment. This incapacitated him for further work on the farm, and induced him to again locate in Kansas City, Kansas, and start an active business as a real estate dealer in connection with his practice. He deals extensively in farm lands and city and suburban property, and is very successful in his operations, using excellent judgment and showing a considerate care of the welfare of his customers on all occasions.
On August 8, 1894, the Doctor was joined in marriage with Miss Minnie Fitch, a native of Washington county, Kansas, born on June 17, 1872, and a daughter of Frank and Charity Fitch, natives of Pennsylvania. Three children have been born in the McWilliams household, all sons and all living: Lloyd Russell, whose life began on February 14, 1896; Charles Roy, who was born on July 4, 1900; and Herschel Harold, who first saw the light of this world on January 11, 1907.
Dr. McWilliams is a devout and zealous member of the Christian church, a member of the National Union and the Order of P. A. P., belonging to lodges in both in the city of his home, and a pronounced Democrat in politics. He served one year as school director in Leavenworth county, and in all localities and many ways has been energetic in contributing to the welfare and advancement of the people around him by the faithful performance of every duty of good citizenship.
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