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Biographical Sketch
Abraham Leigh, M.D.
Brown County, Kansas


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The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

Gold Bar

Abraham Leigh, M. D.

Professional advancement is proverbially slow; it results from the acquirement of knowledge and the application of scientific principles to the affairs of life.  Great thoroughness and accuracy are elements in the acquisition of professional wisdom, and these cannot be gained in a moment, but must be diligently sought after.

Earnest study and close application, combined with strong mentality, have secured Dr. Leigh a prominent place among the representatives of the medical fraternity in northeastern Kansas.  He is now located in Hiawatha, where he is making a specialty of the treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, throat and nose, and in this branch he has gained marked prestige.

The Doctor is a native of the west, and the western spirit of enterprise and progress has found exemplification in his business life.  He was born in Holt county, Missouri, January 12, 1849, and is the eldest son of Dr. Jonathan Leigh, a prominent retired physician of this state, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on the 24th of September, 1817, and was a son of George W. Leigh, who married a Miss Wilmouth.

They removed with their family to Illinois in 1825, and in the prairie state Dr. Jonathan Leigh was reared to manhood and acquired a good English education in the public schools.  Subsequently he became a student in the literary department of St. Joseph University and later took up the study of medicine, and was graduated in the medical department of the same institution with the class of 1845.

He began practice in Oregon, Missouri, and in 1856 came to Kansas, locating in Highland, Doniphan county, where he conducted a successful practice for nineteen years.  In the spring of 1873 he removed with his family to Hiawatha, and was an active member of the medical profession of that place until 1890, when he retired to private life, turning over his business to his two sons.

In 1845 Dr. Jonathan Leigh was united in marriage to Miss Salina E. Brown, of Missouri, and to them were born four children, namely: Lucinda, widow of D. D. L. Gebhart; Abraham; E. J., who is engaged in the practice of medicine; Ollie, wife of C. W. Conner, of Metropolis, Illinois; and Adelia, wife of J. J. Baird.

The mother of this family was called to the home beyond, and in 1866 the Doctor was again married, his second union being with Mary R. (Baird) Irvin, of Highland, Kansas, widow of Samuel Irvin.

Dr. Leigh was for many years a prominent representative of the medical profession in this state, and for a long period occupied the position of physician to the old Indian mission in Doniphan county, near Highland.  He was also a physician to the Kickapoo mission in Brown county.

He has a very wide acquaintance in this section of the state and is esteemed by all who know him, for his life has been very honorable and upright, commanding the confidence and good will of those with whom he has been brought in contact.

His son, E. J. Leigh, is a graduate of Rush Medical College, of Chicago, of the class of 1883, and is now engaged in active practice in Hiawatha. 

Abraham Leigh, whose name introduces this review, accompanied his parents on their removal to Kansas and was educated in Highland University, in Doniphan county, where he pursued his studies for six years and won the degree of master of arts.  On leaving school he engaged in clerking in his father's store, a general mercantile establishment, and there remained for seven years.

Subsequently he accepted a position as foreman in a jobbing house in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he continued for two and a half years with the firm of Penneck & Loving, wholesale druggists.

On the expiration of that period he returned to Highland and began reading medicine under the direction of his father.  He attended his first course of lectures in the Physicians & Surgeons' College, of Keokuk, Iowa, and later took a course of lectures in Rush Medical College, of Chicago, in which institution he was graduated with the class of 1874.

He opened an office in Highland, where he practiced for eight years, after which he removed to Chicago, continuing in that city for three years.  In December, 1885, however, he returned to Kansas and has since conducted a successful practice in Hiawatha, making a specialty of the treatment of diseases of the eye and ear and surgical diseases.

He is particularly well informed in this department of the medical sciences and keeps abreast of the times along the lines of progress in surgical and medical practice.  His thorough understanding of pathological anatomy, combined with his accurate knowledge of the use of medical properties and his skill in handling the delicate instruments used in operative surgery of this class, have won him a high reputation and gained for him a very liberal patronage.

In 1876 was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Leigh and Miss Nancy G. Bailey, of Highland, a daughter of Philip and Nancy (Gardner) Bailey.  They now have two children, a daughter and a son: Bessie is professor of elocution and modern history in Troy, Missouri and Warren is a student in the Hiawatha Academy.

Theirs is one of the most pleasant and attractive homes in Hiawatha and its hospitality is extended to many friends. The Doctor is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the lodge, chapter and commandery, and has been a delegate to the grand lodge.

He also belongs to the State Medical Society and the Doniphan and Brown Counties Medical Societies, and is a member of the Royal Microscopical Society, of London, England.  He has inscribed his name high on the roll of medical specialists in Kansas and his career has been at once brilliant and honorable.

  Gold Bar

Last update: Friday, July 18, 2003 20:22:08

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