Daviess County, Missouri Genealogy Trails


The Medical Profession

The first doctor to practice in this part of the Grand River country was William P Thompson.  He was a native of Sourth Carolina.  Coming west he settled first in Ray County.  In 1833 he made his home in what afterwards became Madison Township in Grundy County.  His services as a physician wre soon in demand and for years he had a most extensive practice.

Dr. Smith, Dr. Robert Ellis, Dr. Hoover and Samuel Venable, were the pioneer physicians in Union Township.  Dr. Ellis went to California in the early days.  The first resident physician in Jamesport Township was Dr. Kehr.  After practicing for some ten years, he moved to Memphis, Tennessee.

Dr. William Henderson came from Kentucky in 1835 and was the first doctor to reside in Benton Township.  Soon afterwards Dr. Yater settled in the same township.  Both enjoyed a splendid practice.

Dr. D. B. Hill was the first physician to make his home in Lincoln Township  He came from Adams County, Illinois, and settled near Bancroft.

Drs. J. W. Hightree and Whitley Miller were the first to practice in Marion Township.  Dr. R. B. Ellis, a native of Vermont, was the first physician to settle in Jackson Township in 1838.   Dr. William Livey, a native of Virginia, came to Liberty Township in 1838.  He remained only two years and then moved away.

Dr. John Cravens came to the county in 1837, settling first at Adam-ondi-Ahmon, or Cravensville, as the town was later called.  Some years afterwards he moved to Gallatin and lived on the corner now occupied by the Farmers Exchange Bank.  He was a native of Rockingham County, Virginia.

Dr. William Allen, who came from Carroll County, was the first practicing physician of Harrison Township.  After a few years he removed to Oregon.

A Dr. Watts, from Maine, practiced for a few years in Salem Township, being the first resident physician there.

In 1860, the following physicians were practicing in the county:  E.M. Breeden, G.D. Pyles, R.M. Robertson, K. Scott, all of Cravensville.

G. W. Brosius, John Cravens, F.M. Estes, W.M. Givens, and C.C. Hogan all of Gallatin.

J.T. Allen, Jesse Bright of Jamesport.

J.W. Pyle, Thomas Simms, Pattonsburg.

This list is taken from a state gazeteer published in that year and the data is probably incomplete.

The life of a physician was in those days no easy task.  Long rides in all kinds of weather, poor roads to travel over or none at all.  Little training was necessary, only a comparative few medicines were used, calomel, quinine, rhubarb and a few other being standbys.  But most of the phyysicians were, according to the standards of the day, well educated, and when we consider how little was known of the causes and treatment of diseases, the wonder is that they were so successful.  Even rather difficult operations were sometimes performed

Source: History of Daviess and Genry counties Missouri, Daviess County portion by: John C. Leopard and Buel Leopard
Submitted by Melody Beery




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