Biography of Robert Jackson Cabeen, M. D.

Robert Jackson Cabeen, M. D.,is the only physician and surgeon practicing at Leon, Kansas, and that community takes just pride in having available the services of one of the very skillful and capable members of the profession in Kansas. Besides the work he had done as a physician he had taken a very active part in local affairs, and had been one of the leaders in the civic and progressive life of the town.

Doctor Cabeen’s early home was in Illinois. He was born at the Town of Seaton in Mercer County of that state May 26, 1876. His grandfather, Samuel. Cabeen, was a native of Ireland, came to America and first lived in Ohio, and from there moved across the country with wagon and team to Mercer County, Illinois. He was a farmer, and died on the old homestead in Ohio Grove Township of Mercer County, Illinois. He married Sarah Wright.

Doctor Cabeen had the same name as his father, who was also Robert Jackson Cabeen. The latter was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, in 1819, and while a boy he accompanied his parents on the overland journey from Central Ohio to Central Illinois. He had the pioneer instinct in him, and when the news of the discovery of gold on the Pacific Coast penetrated the Middle West he responded to the call of adventure and in 1849 he and his brother Richard went out to California and spent about two years in the exciting and strenuous life of the Pacific Coast. He then returned to Mercer County, Illinois, and settled down to a career which in time made him one of the most prosperous farmers and citizens of that section. He acquired a farm of 800 acres, and during his later years he lived in the Town of Seaton, where he was a business partner of George Seaton in the banking, grain and lumber business. George Seaton, for whom the Town of Seaton was named, is still living there and enjoying a good old age. Robert J. Cabeen, Sr., died at Seaton, Illinois, in February, 1894. The years of his active life were not altogether spent in business. He served as a member of the State Board of Equalization two terms, for several terms was county supervisor, and held other town and county offices. He began voting as a democrat, but in his later years discharged his fran; chise according to the dictates of his independent judgment.

He married Mary E. Pinkerton. She was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, in 1837, and died at Seaton, Illinois. in 1905. The Pinkertons came from Scotland. Her father was born either in Ohio or Pennsylvania in 1800, was an early settler in Mercer County, Illinois, had a farm in Green Township of that county, and died there in 1883. His wife, Viola Pinkerton, lived to the remarkable age of ninety-nine years.

Doctor Cabeen was the seventh in a family of eight children. Samuel, the oldest, died when young. Joseph, the second in age, lives at Seaton, Illinois, and owned the local telephone system there. McClellan is also a resident of Seaton, but had a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, and spends much of his time there. Violet, who died at Kansas City, Missouri, in the spring of 1901, soon after the birth of her only child, Robert, was the wife of Fred Crosby, who now lives at Mountain Grove, Missouri, being manager of the state poultry experiment station. Harriet married A. C. Sells, a physician and surgeon at Aledo, Illinois. The sixth child died at birth. Edith, the youngest, is the wife of T. A. Griffin, a successful dentist at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and they have two children, Robert, born in 1912, and Mary Harriet, born in 1915.

Dr. R. J. Cabeen spent his early life on a farm in Mercer County, Illinois. He attended the rural schools and in 1892 was graduated from the high school at Seaton. Following that came five years in Knox College at Galesburg, where he was in the preparatory course and in the regular college work through the junior year. In 1898 he took a course in Brown’s Business College, and then returned to the farm in Mercer County. About that time he formulated definite plans as to his future vocation, and in 1899 entered the University Medical College at Kansas City, Missouri. He remained a student there until graduating M. D. March 26, 1903. He remained in Kansas City for four months after graduation, and then went south to the State of Nuevo Leon in old Mexico and was employed in professional work there until March, 1904. At that date he came to Kansas, and after a visit to the old home in Mercer County located permanently at Leon. Since then he had built up his reputation as a successful physician and surgeon and had made himself a factor in the community. He had his offices in the State Bank Building and is also owner of his residence on West Street. Doctor Cabeen is a member of the Butler County Medical Society, the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, is examiner for a number of life insurance companies, is on the United States Pension Board for Butler County, and every year is adding to his capabilities for thorough service in his chosen profession.

In politics he is a democrat. For two terms he had been a member of the Leon City Council, is now president of the board of education, and is township committeeman of the Democratic Central Committee. In 1914 he was a candidate for the Legislature.

Among other interests Doctor Cabeen is president of the Greenwood County Oil & Gas Company. He is a past master of Joppa Lodge No. 223. Ancient Free and Accented Masons, is a member of El Dorado Chapter No. 35, Royal Arch Masons. El Dorado Commandery No. 19. Knights Templar, Wichita Consistory No. 2, and Midian Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Wichita. He also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias.

In the maternal line Doctor Cabeen’s ancestry goes back to the Macbeths of Scotland. He married at Kansas City, Missouri, in September, 1904, Miss Mayme Crosby. Her parents, E. T. and Lou (Harriott) Crosby, now reside at Leon. Her father is a retired merchant. Doctor and Mrs. Cabeen have two children: Edwin Crosby, born April 10, 1906, and Betty Louise, born February 2, 1915.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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