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Illiopolis Business Association 

Local History

EARLY PHYSICIANS OF ILLIOPOLIS  

(Taken from the Centennial History of Illiopolis 1956)

No tribute would be too great to accord the horse and buggy doctor, who, regardless of road and weather conditions, ministered to the sick over a wide area.  His life was a record of hardship and service often rendered without recompense.  Epidemics were frequent, and, lacking the present day drugs to combat these diseases, the death rate, especially among infants, was high.

The earliest known physician of this community was Dr. Bernard Stuve who located here in 1860 and practiced for six years.  He then moved to Springfield and studied for the law profession. 

Dr. J. W. Mayes came from Mexico, Missouri, in 1863, formed a partnership with Dr. Stuve and remained here until 1877.

Dr. J. W. D. Mayes, better known to later residents, joined his brother in 1876 and, except for several inter­vals spent in the West for the benefit of his health, con­tinued to make his home here for the remainder of his life.  His death occurred in August 1924.  He is remember­ed by many families he attended in Christian and Macon counties as well as East Sangamon.  Much of his success was due to the psychology he combined with his medical treatment.  Being well educated in other fields besides that of his chosen profession, he was also active in matters of civic culture and welfare.  He was a leading member of the Literary Society, which presented bimonthly programs of high quality.  Dr. Mayes also served many terms as presi­dent of the school board.

Other early physicians were W. R. Van Hook, William Maxwell, J. P. Cowdin, and Joe Lawrence.

Down through the years to the present time Illiopolis has been fortunate in having the services of competent doctors and dentists devoted to their profession.

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