Dr. Charles N. Irwin
Biography

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 441-442, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Dr. Charles N. Irwin, a resident of Mount Sterling, was born in Fayette county, Kentucky, August 30, 1827. His father, John M. C. Irwin, was born in the same county, and his father, William Irwin, was born in Virginia, although his father was born in the north of Ireland, of Scotch ancestry. He came to America in Colonial times and settled in Virginia, where he spent the remainder of his days. His son, William, was reared in Virginia, and after marriage emigrated to Kentucky with his family. The removal was made with pack horses. He located in Fayette county, which was at that time very sparsely settled. When about to trade some horses for some land the horses were stolen from him by the Indians, who were numerous and sometimes hostile. He purchased a tract of land eight miles from Lexington, on the Lexington and Frankfort road. There was a fort in the neighborhood, where the people used to repair for safety. He improved his farm with hard labor, and resided there until his death. The maiden name of his wife was Catharine McClay. She was born in Pennsylvania, of pure Scotch ancestry. She died on the farm in Fayette county. Their son, John, followed agricultural pursuits, and spent his entire life in his native county. He died in 1857. The maiden name of his wife was Martha Nourse, born in Mercer county, Kentucky. Her father, William Nourse, was born in England, where his parents spent their entire lives. He came to America in Colonial times, and was one of the pioneers of Mercer county, Kentucky, where he spent his last years. Mrs. Irwin died on the home farm in Fayette county. She was the second wife of her husband and reared three of her five children, Martha, Charles N. and George.
  Charles was reared in his native State, receiving his early education there. In 1846 he came to Illinois, settling in Jacksonville, where he remained a short time and then came on to Mount Sterling, and commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Witty. He attended lectures at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and in June, 1850, commenced practice in Mount Sterling, which he continued until 1862, when he entered the United States army as Assistant Surgeon of the Third Illinois Cavalry, joining the regiment at Helena, Arkansas. They were with Sherman at the first attack on Vicksburg, and at the battle of Arkansas Post, in Grant's command at the battle of Milliken's Bend. Soon after this the regiment was detailed to do garrison duty on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, guarding different points. During that time the regiment made frequent raids into Mississippi. He continued with the regiment until he was honorably discharged in 1864. He then became Assistant Surgeon in the Provost Marshal's office of the Ninth Illinois District. Upon the resignation of Dr. Worthington as Surgeon, he was appointed his successor, continuing in this office until the close of the war.
  In 1865 he bought an interest in the drug and hardware store of Dr. Stone, Dr. Burch being his partner. One year later Dr. Burch sold his interest to George Irwin. In 1877 Martin O'Neil purchased the interest of George Irwin, and the firm became Irwin & O'Neil, and have so continued until the present time. They carry a full line of drugs, agricultural implements, hardware, etc. Since the Doctor engaged in the drug business he has abstained from practice as much as possible. He is frequently called in consultation, besides being called in by former patrons.
  He was married in 1851 to Isabella C. Dunlap, born in Fayette county, Kentucky. Her father, Rev. Latin W. Dunlap, was a native of New Jersey, but resided some years in Fayette county, Kentucky, from whence he came to Mount Sterling, and was the pioneer Presbyterian preacher here. He organized the first Presbyterian society here, where he was a resident until his death in 1889.
  Dr. and Mrs. Irwin have one child, Nellie R. Their only son, Charles D., died in 1890. They are members of the presbyterian Church, of which the Doctor is an Elder, and has been for many years. He is an ardent worker and takes a prominent part in the Sunday school. He formerly was a Whig, and has been a Republican ever since the commencement of the Civil war.




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