Biography - Henry Smith

One of the successful and progressive physicians of Roodhouse is Dr. Henry Woodul Smith. In the little town of Scottville, in northern Macoupin County, Illinois, Dr. Smith was born February 23, 1867, being the son of Mr. And Mrs. L. B. Smith, the former now deceased. His father was a black smith and wagon maker, and although a good workman, never succeeded in accumulating much property. This compelled the subject of our sketch to depend upon his own resources for an education. In his youth he attended school in Scottville during the winter and worked on the neighboring farms during the summer. At the age of 18 years he commenced teaching school and taught four terms. He boarded at home and during the evening read medicine under the direction of Dr. W. B. Dalton, the family physician. The vacations he spent at Bushnell, Illinois, taking the preparatory medical course.
In the spring of 1889 he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Chicago, which institution is now a part of the Illinois State University. He attended the spring term of school and during the vacation secured a position as attendant in the Home for Incurables. The succeeding term he waited on table and acted as private nurse nights to secure enough money to pay board and tuition. During the next vacation he secured a position as night attendant at the Home for Incurables and when college opened again in the fall he was given the position of Assistant House Surgeon at the College Hospital. This position he held for six months, when he was promoted to House Surgeon and given two assistants, a position he held until he graduated in the spring of 1894. In this way Dr. Smith worked his way through college. He wanted a medical education and he got it. He encountered obstacles that few ambitious, though sensitive young men such as he, would have braved. To the Doctor there is no such word as fail. This spirit of ambition has won for him the admiration and respect of all his acquaintances. Since coming to Roodhouse he has been eminently successful, both socially and in his profession.
Dr. Smith came to Roodhouse in the spring of 1894, right after graduation, April 25, of that year; he formed a partnership with Dr. E. H. Higbee. This partnership was dissolved by mutual consent November 17, 1894, since time he has practiced alone. November 27, 1894, he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Welch, a talented and accomplished young lady of Palmyra, Illinois, who like her husband had hewn he own way in the word alone and unaided except by her own efforts. Mrs. Smith was several years a popular teacher in and around Palmyra, and is a graduate of the scientific course of the college at Bushnell, Illinois.
In politics, Dr. Smith is a Republican, but never lets politics interfere with business. He is a member of Worcester Lodge No. 113, Knights of Pythias. He is kind, sociable and generous to a fault – ever ready to lend a helping hand to any worthy friend. His unequaled success since locating here and the large practice he enjoys are better attests of his worth as a man and as a skilled physician than any words of ours. Few young physicians have been so fortunate.

Transcribed 25 Oct 2006 by Linda Jones Craig from Souvenir of Roodhouse, 1897.

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