Dr. James B. Gardner, physician and surgeon of Girard and health officer of Crawford county, is one of the most successful professional and business men of this city and county. He located here in 1888, and since leaving the drug business has taken a foremost place among the medical men of the county, being favored with a large and constantly increasing practice among the best citizens. Although he is now in the prime of life, his active career really extends over many years, for he was an energetic and progressive worker in the affairs of life when still in his teens, and his industry and hustling qualities have found full scope in various spheres ever since.
Dr. Gardner was born in Hanover county, Virginia, June 17, 1855, being a son of Thomas M. and Sallie B. (Quarrier) Gardner, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Charleston, West Virginia. His father made his most prominent success in the practice of law, although he was also a newspaper publisher. He made quite a reputation by the publication of his work on "Knownothingism," which was well received by a large circle of readers. He also owned a farm, which was adjacent to the Patrick Henry estate. He died in 1860, at the age of thirty-two years. His widow married Rev. Joseph Cross, D.D., LL.D., an Episcopalian minister. She died in 1881 at the age of forty-eight. Dr. Gardner has a younger brother, Charles P., who has been cashier for the United States Express Company for the past fifteen years, and is a resident of Washington, D. C.
Dr. Gardner received his education at the hands of private tutors in Virginia and in the public schools at St. Louis, Missouri, but finished his education at the age of fourteen. From that age until seventeen he was employed in a tobacco factory in St. Louis. For the following five years he was of the firm of Gardner and Gaines, which published city directories. In 1877, with Ezra Cass, he conducted the Lee County Times at Paw Paw, Illinois, and after that for fifteen months had charge as foreman of the printing office at Russellville, Kentucky. In order to carry out his determination to become a physician he attended the Louisville Medical College, from which he graduated in 1881. He at once began practice in Franklin, Kentucky, under the firm name of Edwards and Gardner, and remained there with successful results until 1888, in which year he arrived in Girard. In connection with his practice he also conducted a drug business, with Dr. V. T. Boaz as the pharmacist. Two or three years later this partnership dissolved, and Dr. Gardner has since carried on a general practice in the city and county. He has been county physician for several terms, and for the past two years, as health officer of the county, was in official charge of the conduct of a thousand or more cases of smallpox, which was epidemic in the county, and his careful attention did much for the prevention of the further spread of the disease. He is examiner for several insurance companies, and for twelve years has been local surgeon for the Santa Fe Railroad. He has a full share of the practice of the county, and has made a most creditable record in his profession. He is a member of the State Medical Association and the National Association of Railway Surgeons. He is devoted to his work, and is well read and constantly delving deeper into the great science of healing. He affiliates with Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is past chancellor of the former order.
Dr. Gardner was married at Dixon, Illinois, Novermber 29, 1881, to Miss Jennie A. McKenney, a native of that town and a daughter of Henry and Eusebia A. (Nash) McKenney, both deceased. Her father was one of the first settlers at Dixon's Ferry, as Dixon was formerly called, and hauled from Chicago, ninety miles distant, the lumber with which to erect one of the first houses. He died in 1856, and his wife in 1888, and of their seven children three still survive. Dr. and Mrs. Gardner have three children: Thomas Gaines, who is ship's-writer on the United States Steamship Nevada; Henry Perry, a graduate of the Girard high school in 1904, is now a nurse at the Santa Fe Hospital at Fort Madison, Iowa, preparatory to entering medical college; and Aville Quarrier, a pupil in the public schools. The family are Episcopalians.Pages 377-379 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 students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in April, 2003.
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