Nathaniel G. Slack, MD

From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 565-566, a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Nathaniel G. Slack, M. D., deceased, stood at the head of his profession in Schuyler county, and it is fitting that his name should be recorded in this history as one of the most skillful and benevolent practitioners. He was a native of England, born April 9, 1830, a son of John and Ann Slack; the father spent all his life in England, but after his death the mother emigrated to America and settled in Fulton, Illinois; she had married a second time, a Mr. Potts, who died a few years after they came to this country. Nathaniel G. was a mere lad when his father died, and still in his youth when he came to the United States with an older brother; he first settled in Rhode Island, and thence removed to Fulton county, Illinois. He attended Farmington Academy, and afterward went to Cedar Rapids; but the funds to defray his expenses were raised through his own efforts; possessing natural talent for painting, he secured pupils in this art, and taught until he had saved sufficient means to carry him through his literary course; he then taught school for a time, and choosing the profession of dentistry he was in due time engaged in practice. All his leisure time, however, was given to study, and he attended medical lectures at Keokuk later on; he finally abandoned the profession of dentistry, and began practicing medicine in Fulton county, Illinois. In 1859 he removed to Rushville, Schuyler county, and in November of that year entered upon a career, every action of which reflected honor upon his name. He was very successful in the practice of medicine and was a skillful surgeon. The poor found in him the truest and kindest of friends, and the best knowledge was as freely given to them in their distress as was expended in the care of the wealthiest patient.
  In addition to his professional duties, Dr. Slack found time to engage in mercantile pursuits, and was also interested in the woolen mills here.
  He was united in marriage November 12, 1858, to Eliza C. Berry, a native of Fulton county, Illinois, and a daughter of Henry C. Berry, who was a native of Berkshire, England; the grandfather, Joseph Berry, also a native of England, emigrated to America, accompanied by his family, and settled in Canada; he removed from the Dominion to Fulton county, Illinois, about 1839; he purchased a tract of land there on which he resided until his death; his wife's maiden name was Elizabeth Blanche; her death occurred in Fulton county. Henry C. Berry was a miller by trade, having mastered this vocation in England; he followed this pursuit after coming to America, and also engaged in farming. Later he disposed of his land and embarked in mercantile business in Fulton county, Illinois. Thence he removed to California, and lived in Santa Ana for a number of years; his death occurred there. He married Elizabeth Temple, a native of England, who emigrated to this country with an uncle. Dr. and Mrs. Slack had born to them six children: Clement L., Sheridan Grant, Flora M., Bessie, Clara and Henry.
  Politically, the Doctor affiliated with the Republican party. During the war he was United States Marshal, and passed through many dangers and perils in the discharge of his duty. He was a member of the Rushville Lodge, I.O.O.F., and also belonged to the Encampment. He continued in the active practice of his profession until overtaken by death, August 9, 1887. The country lost a loyal, noble-hearted citizen, the medical profession a skilled practitioner, and the family a beloved husband and indulgent father.

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