Dr. George A. Byrns
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 341-342, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Dr. George A. Byrns was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, September 30, 1829. His father, John, was born in Pennsylvania, and his father, Michael, was born in Ireland, of Scotch ancestry. He came to America a young man and followed his trade of paper maker, and he met his death in 1825, by an accident in the mill in which he was working. John learned the same trade, followed the trade in Cincinnati for a few years and then began clerking on a steamboat running on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. In a very early day he came to Illinois as a member of a surveying party and assisted in making surveys in the middle of the State. In 1840 he emigrated thither with his family and settled four miles north of Mt. Sterling, bought a farm and followed farming until 1849. He then started with others for California, and after six months' travel with ox teams, landed there safely. He engaged there in mining for seven years and then returned to Mt. Sterling and lived retired until his death, in 1865. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. His wife was Harriet E. Hobbs, born in Scott county, Kentucky, daughter of Joseph Hobbs. She still lives in Mt. Sterling at the advanced age of eighty-six years.
  George was in his eleventh year when he came to Illinois with his parents. He received his early education in the schools of Cincinnati, advanced by attendance in the schools of Brown county, Illinois. At the age of eighteen he began teaching, and three years later began the study of medicine. In the winter of 1851-'52 he attended lectures at Rush Medical College. He then commenced practice at Cooperstown. In 1854 he returned to Rush Medical College and graduated in the class of 1855, then resumed practice at Cooperstown until 1862. In November of that year he entered the United States service as Assistant Surgeon of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Illinois Infantry, continuing in service until after the close of the war, participating in all the marches and campaigns of his regiment. He was honorably discharged and returned home and was in active practice at Cooperstown, with the exception of two years, 1866 to 1868, when he was in Mt. Sterling, until 1891, when he came to Mt. Sterling and has practiced here since.
  He married in 1854, Cynthia A. Henry, born in Cooperstown, Brown county, Illinois. She was the daughter of Orris M. Henry, one of the pioneers of Brown county, and for many years one of the most extensive business men. Dr. and Mrs. Byrns have seven living children: John H., Robert A., Elmer, Susan, Candace, Kate and Hattie. William, the second son, died at the age of thirty-three years. The Doctor is a member of Isaac McNeil Post, No. 289, G.A.R., and of Hardin Lodge, No. 44, A.F. & A.M.




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