Biography of Samuel Van Meter, M. D.

Samuel Van Meter, M. D., physician and surgeon, Charleston; was born in Grayson Co., Ky., Nov. 8, 1824; he is a son of John and Catharine (Keller) Van Meter, the former of whom died in 1827; his mother then removed with her family to Illinois, settling in Coles Co.; he received such education as the common schools in those pioneer days afforded; at the age of 15 years, he was apprenticed to the tanner’s trade, but before completing his apprenticeship he purchased his time of his employer, and was in turn bound to Dr. T. B. Trower, and entered upon the more congenial employment of studying medicine; he remained under Dr. Trower’s instruction five years; in 1849, he made the overland trip to California, the journey occupying five months, during which time he had an extensive practice as a physician among the emigrants crossing the plains; he remained eighteen months in California and then returned to Charleston and practiced medicine three years with Dr. Trower, after which he began practice by himself; in 1857, he founded the Illinois Infirmary in Charleston, the fame of which extended to all parts of the country, patients coming from the Pacific Coast, and from England and other countries beyond the sea; his partner in this institution for a number of years was Dr. H. R. Allen, now one of the proprietors of the National Surgical Institute at Indianapolis; as an illustration of the success of the Infirmary, we may mention that the gross receipts during the year 1868 were $186,000, and the expenditure for the one item of postage stamps alone averaged $1,400 per month; it continued to enjoy a high reputation and uninterrupted success until 1877, when the doctor, worn out with his constant and arduous labors, closed the institution and retired from the active practice of his profession. He was married Oct. 8, 1845, to Fannie E. Hutchison, of Greensburg, Ky.; of three children of this marriage, two are now living in Charleston-Katie (wife of C. C. Rogers) and John (one of the proprietors of the City Mills); their oldest daughter, Fannie R, wife of J. W. Ogden, of Chicago, died in 1870.

Van Meter,


Chapman Brothers Portrait and biographical album of Coles County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887.

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