"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

E. M. DANCE (M.D.)

E. M. Daxce, M. D. The medical practitioner whose aim is to succeed in his noble profession today must possess not only genius of mind and rare experience and skill, but an almost intuitive sympathy and native kindliness of heart. He must keep thoroughly posted in all the new methods used in the treatment of disease, and must be an earnest and zealous student, otherwise he retrogrades. For many years the medical profession of Moore county has numbered among its most eminent members physicians bearing the name of Dance, the late S. E. H. Dance, and his son. E. M. Dance, the latter of whom is now engaged in practice in Lynchburg. In practice here since 1900, Dr. Dance has won the respect and friendship of the profession, at the same time that he has made a place for himself in the esteem of his fellow-citizens, entirely by genuine merit He is a native of this city, and was born October 19, 1857, a son of Dr. S. E. H. and Miami (Berry) Dance.

Stephen Dance, the grandfather of E. M. Dance, was born in Parkersburg, Virginia, from whence he migrated to Tennessee in the early part of the nineteenth century, settling in Lincoln county. One of the circuit riding ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he followed his calling for many years all over the southern and central parts of Tennessee, and was so engaged at the time of his death. He married a Miss Smith, and they became the parents of three sons and three daughters, S. E. H. being the youngest child.

S. E. H. Dance was born in Lynchburg, at that time in Lincoln county, March 31, 1834, and grew to manhood in his native locality. His education was secured at Emory, Virginia, and the medical department of the University of Louisville, where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1855. Here he settled down to practice his chosen profession, but at the outbreak of the struggle between the North and South, he enlisted as surgeon in Peter Turney's First Tennessee Regiment, and later acted in a like capacity in the Eighth Tennessee, John D. Andersons regiment. On the close of his military service, he returned to Lynchburg, where he became known in subsequent years as one of the leading members of his profession and as a citizen who identified himself with all matters pertaining to the public and civic welfare. A physician of the old school, he steadfastly adhered to the ethics of his profession, and continued even into advanced years to ride horseback in making his calls. Widely known and highly respected, he gained the affection of his patients by his devotion and kindliness of heart. He became the owner of a farm and also conducted a drug store for some years. Dr. Dance was a member of the Masons, in which he had reached the Knight Templar degree, of Lincoln Lodge No. 50, of the Odd Fellows, and of the Knights of Pythias, and S. E. H. Dance Lodge of the Pythian body was named in his honor. He was a Democrat in his earlier years, but later gave his support to the Prohibition party. He died in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, March 20, 1900, widely mourned. In 1856 Dr. Dance was married to Miss Miami Berry, who was born near Lynchburg, Lincoln county, in 1840, and she passed away March 26, 1890, having survived her husband only six days. They were the parents of nine sons and one daughter, of whom six children still survive: Dr. E. M.; William, a pharmacist of Decherd; Charles, who is engaged in farming in Ramsey, New Jersey; Fannie, who is the wife of Albert Freeman, of New York; Harry, proprietor of a pharmacy at Lynchburg; and Clyde, engaged in the piano business in Denver, Colorado.

E. M. Dance acquired his preliminary education in the common schools of Moore county, and after studying for some time under the preceptorship of his father entered Vanderbilt University, from the medical department of which institution he was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in 1880. Returning to Lynchburg, he was engaged in practice here for two years, and from 1882 to 1884 carried on his practice at "Wartrace, Bedford county. From 1884 to 1890 he was the proprietor of a pharmacy in Nashville, Tennessee, and he then again settled in Wartrace, where he continued until 1900. Since that year he has been practicing in Lynchburg. Dr. Dance is a close student of his profession and keeps fully abreast with the advancement that is continually being made therein. His knowledge is comprehensive and accurate and his skill is demonstrated in the excellent success which has followed his efforts in the sick-room. He possesses marked judgment and discernment in the diagnosing of disease and is peculiarly successful in anticipating the issue of complications. He observes most closely the ethics of the unwritten professional code and shows most careful courtesy to his professional brethren.

In 1880 Dr. Dance was married to Miss Laura Hurd, of Lynchburg, daughter of Samuel Hurd, of Wartrace, and four children have been born to this union: Maude, who is deceased; Guy E., a professional stenographer and justice of the peace at Fort Worth, Texas; Bessie, the wife of Roy H. Parks; and Roie, a student at Martin College, Pulaski. Mr. and Mrs. Dance are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, of which he is a member of the board of stewards and superintendent of the Sunday school. He is an independent Democrat in politics, and his fraternal connection is with Lincoln Lodge No. 50, 1. 0. O. F.

A history of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and representative men in commerce, industry and modern activities. By Will T. Hale Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1913

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