Transcribed from History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. 2 v. front., illus., plates, ports., fold. map. 28 cm. [Vol. 2 contains biographical data. Paged continuously.] p. 584-586 transcribed by Savannah Cotton, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, on 10/23/00.


Hugh Wilkinson

HUGH WILKINSON, M. D. - Though still a young man, the professional career of Dr. Wilkinson has been marked by a large and distinguished accomplishment, both in the domain of general practice and also in the educational field of his chosen calling. He is distinctively one of the leading surgeons of Wyandotte county, and his success and prestige are the more gratifying by reason of the fact that he is a native son of the Sunflower state and a scion of one of its honored pioneer families. He is engaged in practice in both Kansas Cities and his clientele is of an extensive and representative order, an indication of not only objective appreciation of his professional skill but also of his sterling attributes of character. Dr. Wilkinson has dignified his profession by earnest and effective service therein, and his technical attainments in both departments of medical science are of the highest order. He continues to be a close and appreciative student, and keeps in constant touch with the advances made in both medicine and surgery, so that he is admirably fortified for the duties and responsibilities devolving upon him in his exacting calling.

Dr. Wilkinson was born at Seneca, the judicial center of Nemaha county, Kansas, on the 27th of November, 1877, and is a son of Western E. and Mary (McLellan) Wilkinson, the former born at Berrien Springs, Berrien county, Michigan, on the 21st of March, 1846, and the latter at Brunswick, Cumberland county, Maine, on the 26th of June, 1845, their marriage having been solemnized at Buchanan, Berrien county, Michigan, on the 8th of April, 1869, where both were employed at the time. Western E. Wilkinson was but a boy at the time of the death of his father, Thomas Lee Wilkinson, in 1862, who was a native of Pennsylvania and who was one of the pioneer settlers of Berrien county, Michigan. Mary (McLellan) Wilkinson is a daughter of Hugh McLellan, who likewise was born in Maine, and who was a scion of a family founded in New England in the Colonial era of our national history. The original American progenitors were Hugh McLellan and his wife Elizabeth, who immigrated from Scotland about 1730, and who established their home at Gorham, Maine, thus becoming very early settlers of the fine old Pine Tree state.

In 1870, the next year after their marriage, Western E. Wilkinson and his wife came from Michigan to Waterville, Kansas, but established their permanent home in Seneca, Nemaha county, in January following, where they have continued to reside during the long intervening years, within which they have witnessed the development of that section of the state from the status of a primitive pioneer locality into one of the opulent and attractive portions of a great commonwealth. A man of strong individuality and excellent mental powers, Western E. Wilkinson was well equipped for leadership in thought and action in the pioneer community. He had learned the printer's trade when a young man, and purchased the Seneca Weekly Courier, the first paper established in Nemaha county. He continued as editor and publisher of this paper until 1884, and then disposed of the plant and business. For the ensuing fifteen years he served as cashier of the First National Bank of Seneca, and to his careful administrative policies was largely due the upbuilding of this substantial financial institution. At the expiration of the period noted he retired from active business and has since continued to reside at Seneca, enjoying the rewards of former years of earnest toil and endeavor. No citizen of Nemaha county is better known than he and none commands a more secure place in popular esteem. He came to Kansas poor, so far as financial resources were concerned, but by honest and well directed efforts in connection with normal lines of enterprise attained to substantial and gratifying success. He has ever been an uncompromising advocate of the principles of the Republican party and as a newspaper publisher he wielded much influence in connection with political, temperance, and other public affairs in Kansas in the pioneer days, though he never manifested aught of desire for public office of any description. He has been signally loyal and progressive as a citizen and has given support to those measures and enterprises tending to advance the material and civic welfare of his adopted state. As a compliment he was made postmaster of Seneca by United States Senator Ingalls, and served eight years. Though not formally identified with any home religious organization, he is a believer in conditional immortality as proclaimed by the Advent Christian church, and has been liberal in the support of Seneca church work. His wife is an active member of the Congregational church. Of their five children all are living except the only daughter, Prudie, who died at the age of five years; Paul, the eldest of the four sons, is an expert accountant by profession and resides in the City of Mexico; Hugh, of this sketch, is next in order of birth; Alvin is engaged in clerical business in Costa Rica; and Collins is still attending school in Topeka, this state.

To the public schools of his native town Dr. Wilkinson is indebted for his preliminary educational training. At the age of sixteen he was sent to Brunswick, Maine, the old home of his mother and her ancestors, and there he completed the scientific course in the high school, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1897. In preparation for the work of his chosen profession he availed himself of the advantages of in institution conceded to be one of the greatest in the entire Union, the celebrated Rush Medical College in Chicago which has of recent years been affiliated with the University of Chicago, constituting its medical department. In this college Dr. Wilkinson completed the prescribed four years' course and was graduated as a member of the class of 1901, with the well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. In November of the same year he located in Kansas City, Kansas, where he has been engaged in general practice and where he has gained distinctive precedence as one of the most skilled and successful physicians and surgeons of this part of the state. He held the chair of surgery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in Kansas City, and after its affiliation with the University of Kansas he continued incumbent of the same professorship for two years, at the expiration of which he resigned, owing principally to the exigent demands of his large and constantly expanding private practice. He is a specially skillful and resourceful surgeon, and in the institutions mentioned has proved a particularly valuable and popular member of the faculty. For the past seven years he has been physician and surgeon for the Kansas School for the Blind, having received his original appointment from Governor Bailey in 1903. In the same year he was also made a member of the surgical staff of Bethany hospital in Kansas City, Kansas, and is at present abdominal and gynecological surgeon for this institution, with which he has been identified continuously since the year mentioned. He is a valued member of the Wyandotte County Medical Society; the Northeast Kansas Medical Society; the Golden Belt Medical Society; the Kansas State Medical Society; besides which he is an honorary member of the Clay County Medical Society in his native state, and is identified with the American Medical Association. He has made valuable contributions to leading periodicals of his profession and his enthusiasm in his work is of the most intense order. Dr. Wilkinson is an honorary member of the Phi Beta Pi medical fraternity of the University of Kansas, and in the Masonic fraternity is affiliated with Kaw Lodge, No. 72, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. In his home city he is a member of the Mercantile and Union Clubs, and is deservedly popular in business, professional and social circles in Wyandotte county.

On the 21st of February, 1904, Dr. Wilkinson was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Sims, daughter of Ellington T. and Martha (Hering) Sims. Her father was for many years a well known business man of Kansas City, where he continued to reside until his death and where his widow still maintains her home. Mrs. Wilkinson was born at Sigourney, Keokuk county, Iowa, on the 28th of January, 1877, and was reared and educated principally in the city that is now her home. She was a well known Kansas City pianist previous to her marriage to Dr. Wilkinson. Dr. and Mrs. Wilkinson have one child, Elizabeth McLellan Wilkinson, who was born on the 30th of May, 1908.



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