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Biographical Sketch
F. H. Erwin, 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

F. H. Erwin, a successful practitioner and surgeon of Hamlin, was born in York county, South Carolina, May 12, 1860.  The Erwin family is of Scotch descent and the grandfather of our subject was F. A. Erwin, of South Carolina, an extensive, prominent and enterprising planter and slave owner.  He was, however, opposed to selling his slaves and was a leading and influential citizen.  Both he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church and died in South Carolina.  Their children were Captain F. A., who was killed in the battle of Gettysburg, and James A., the father of our subject.  The latter was born and reared in South Carolina, where he conducted a large plantation by the aid of negro slaves.

During the civil war he joined the Confederate army as a private and after three years returned home to find that his slaves had all been freed, but none of them had left the old plantation.  This is a fact which speaks well in praise of his treatment of them.  He never sold his slaves, was always kind and just to them and received in return their devoted service.  At one time the Erwin family were very prominent and wealthy in South Carolina, but they lost the greater part of their money through the purchase of Confederate bonds.

The father died July 26, 1891.  He was an elder of the Presbyterian church, a Mason and a member of the Knights of Honor.  His wife yet survives him and is now living at Rock Hill, South Carolina, at the age of sixty years.  Her parents were Samuel G. and Margaret (Love) Hemphill, natives of South Carolina.  Her father, a planter of prominence, served as commissioner of York county and was a leading member of the Presbyterian Church.

In his family were four children: Margaret Agness, wife of R. Lindsey; Emma J.; Martha, who died at about the age of twenty-four years; and Robert, who was killed in Petersburg during the civil war.  Unto James A. and Emma (Hemphill) Erwin were born seven children: Margaret L., wife of R. V. Blake; F. H., of this review; Carrie; Robert A., of Rock Hill, South Carolina; Samuel H., who died at the age of three years; Mattie, who died in infancy; and Agnes, wife of W. Margshall, of Greenville, South Carolina.

Dr. Erwin, the well known practitioner of Hamlin, was born in York county, South Carolina, May 12, 1860, and spent his boyhood days on his father's farm there.  In the common schools he acquired his preliminary education, which was supplemented by study in King's Mountain Military College in North Carolina, where he was graduated.  He began the study of medicine under T. C. Crawford as preceptor in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and in 1879 he became a student in the Hospital College of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky.  In February, 1882, he was graduated, after which he returned to South Carolina, where he practiced medicine for six months.

On the expiration of that period he again went to Louisville, where he practiced his profession until March, 1883, when he came to Hamlin.  A few years later he returned to his native state, where he engaged in the prosecution of his profession for a year, but on the expiration of that time he again arrived in Brown County, Kansas, where he has since made his home.  While in Louisville he took a special course in the hospital on physical diagnosis and his knowledge of the science of medicine is now accurate and profound.  He keeps fully abreast of the progress of the times through his perusal of the best medical literature of the day and in his practice his success has demonstrated his skill and ability.  He has performed some very delicate and intricate operations, which have awakened favorable comment of the profession as well as by the public.  He is now assistant surgeon of the Grand Island Railroad.

On November 15, 1881, Dr. Erwin was married, in Louisville, Kentucky, the lady of his choice being Miss Betty Oglesby, who was born in that state in 1864 and is a lady of culture and intelligence.  Her family were Captain B. A. and Mary E. Oglesby.  Her mother was a niece of Zachariah Taylor and was a widow at the time of her marriage to Captain Oglesby.  He was a steamboat captain for many years, running from Cincinnati to New Orleans, and was a prominent and well known citizen.  He was also recognized as a valuable and leading worker of the Masonic fraternity.  His death occurred in Kentucky about 1870 and many friends mourned his loss, for he was respected and honored by all who knew him.  His widow still survives him and is living in Louisville at a ripe old age.

Their children were Hattie; Joe, a practicing physician; Richard T., a bookkeeper; Betty, wife of Dr. Erwin; and Dr. B. O., who is practicing in Louisville, Kentucky.  Unto Dr. and Mrs. Erwin have been born four children: Mattie Hemphill, born January 2, 1883, died August 21, 1883; Gena, who was born March 20, 1885; Bessie, born November 28, 1886; and James, born March 4, 1890.

The Doctor is a prominent Mason, having taken the lodge and chapter degrees.  He is also past grand of the I. O. O. F and is president of the lodge of the Knights and Ladies of Security.  His wife holds membership in the Christian church and they enjoy the high regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.  Dr. Erwin also belongs to the Alumni Association of the University of Kentucky, to the Brown and Doniphan county Medical Associations and to the Northwestern Kansas Medical Association.

Professional advancement is proverbially slow and comes as the direct result of continued effort.  Dr. Erwin occupies a leading position in the medical fraternity and as the result of his close application, his earnest study and his devotion to duty enjoys a reputation which many an older practitioner might well envy.

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Last update: Friday, July 18, 2003 20:22:11

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