Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.
Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.
JACOB KAUFFMAN EBERLE, M. D, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Pana, was born in Petersburg, Huntingdon County, Pa., May 17, 1824, and is the fourth son and seventh child born of the union of Jacob Eberle and Catherine Hewitt. The Eberle family emigrated to Pennsylvania from Switzerland with the Kauffmans, Neffs, Freylinghuysens, Muhlenburgs and Newcomes. Nicholas Hewitt, the maternal grandfather of our subject, was a Revolutionary hero and served under Washington. The paternal grandfather, Henry Eberle, accompanied by his two older brothers, emigrated from Switzerland and settled in Lancaster County, Pa., where he carried on a large gun factory in the interest of the State during the Revolutionary War. It is said that he was one of the most ingenious men in the working of iron in Pennsylvania, and his sons all inherited this trait. Jacob Eberle, father of our subject, was born in 1782, at about the time of the close of the struggle for independence. A prominent relative of our subject was Prof. John Eberle, one of the founders of Jefferson Medical College [ed., now Thomas Jefferson University], and who, with Prof. Drake, founded the first medical college in Ohio. He was the author of several standard medical works, and his untiring mind and industry marked out a way for many a befogged allopathic student to reach his mooring. He was also a thorough linguist, being familiar with eight languages. He died in Lexington, Ky., in 1836.
Dr. Eberle, whose name heads this record, spent four years in Alleghany College [ed., Allegheny College], of Meadville, Pa., with the intention of entering the ministry, and on returning home in July, 1850, was licensed as a local preacher. In January 7 , 1851, he was recommended to the Baltimore Conference, which would convene in February, but during the interval he visited a young lady friend who was at the point of death, and after conversing with her and her cousin the thought flashed through his mind that he could do much greater good as a local preacher and doctor. Telling this to his friends, they at once advised him to withdraw his recommendation to the conference and begin the study of medicine.
In April, 1851, he entered the office of Dr. John D. Ross, an eminent physician of Williamsburg, Pa., and fitted himself to enter the medical college of Philadelphia, from which he was graduated in 1854. He also graduated at the Warrington Obstetrical Institute, of Philadelphia [ed., probably refers to the Philadelphia Lying-in Charity for Attending Indigent Women in their Own Home founded in 1828 by Dr. Joseph Warrington, which eventually became Philadelphia Hospital]. Not long after, Dr. Eberle entered the office of Dr. Bishop, of that city, but as summer came on he left for Salladasburgh, Lycoming County. While there he received a letter asking him to go to Upper Canada and take a practice which an old physician wished to give up.
He, however, refused, and in the fall returned home, and from there he went to Martinsburg, Pa., where he spent the winter. It was his intention to remove to the West, but he was urged to go to Rays Hill and enter upon the practice of Dr. Hudson, who had just died. After a year and a-half, however, he came West and located in Sterling, Ill., but there was no need there for more physicians, so he spent the succeeding summer in Grand Detour, Ogle County, removing thence to Amboy, Lee County. After a year, however, he emigrated South.
Dr. Eberle married Miss Marab, daughter of Henry Shipley, of Baltimore. She lived in Cherry Grove, Carroll County, and was a niece of Gen. Winfield Scott. She was a woman of great force of character, determination and ability, and bore a strong resemblance to Gen. Scott, having the same firm mouth, indicating great decision, and her other features as shown in her portrait recall at once the fine physique and similar temperament of the old hero of the Mexican War.
She died September 26, 1888, in her fifty-seventh year. Beloved by all, a wide circle of friends mourned her loss. She was very beautiful in youth, and her loveliness of feature was an index to her greater beauty of character. Unto the Doctor and his wife were born the following children: William Winfield Scott, who engaged in law practice in Bloomington and Chicago, but is now an attorney of Portland, Ore.; Homer J., a railroad employee living in Mattoon, Ill.; and Grant, a jeweler of Portland, Ore.
After his marriage, Dr. Eberle removed to Louisville, Ky., but, on account of the excitement preceding the war, after a year removed to Terre Haute, Ind., where he remained for seven years, enjoying a large practice. He also preached each alternate Sunday, and was Superintendent of the Sunday-school, but his arduous duties affected his health and he went to Chicago.
Finding there was no lack of physicians there, he went Rockford, Ill., where he engaged in office practice, but his friends in Sterling requested his return, and he acceded, and there he remained till June, 1880, when he came to Pana, where he has since made his home. The Doctor was trained in the allopathic schools, but becoming convinced that the practice of the homeopathic line of the science is the only correct one, he made a special study of it. and has since given his patrons the benefit of his researches in that direction. He has had a wide practice, and for thirty-nine years has met with most excellent success a well-deserved tribute to his skill and ability. He is a member of the State Medical Society [ed., Illinois State Medical Society], and attended the World's Medical Congress in Chicago. His life has been an honorable, upright one, and he has been a healer of the mind as well as of the body, for his words of encouragement and Christian influence have aided many.
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