Biography of William H. Zorger, M. D.

William H. Zorger, M. D. For thirty-one years Doctor Zorger has practiced his profession in DeWitt and Champaign counties. He is a talented physician, has the advantage of long and thorough experience, and has been trained in the best schools of this country and by extensive observation and study here and abroad. His able assistant and partner not only in life but in his profession is his wife, who is one of the pioneer women of the state to take up medicine as a profession and is one of the best equipped specialists in Champaign County.

Doctor Zorger was born in DeWitt County, Illinois, September 5, 1860, a son of Jacob S. and Margaret (Miller) Zorger. His father was born in York County, Pennsylvania, and in 1833 removed to Monticello, Illinois. He established a mill, which for a number of years was the only mill to supply flour and meal to a large section of country. The mill was sold to Mr. Collins in 1858, and he in turn sold it to Mr. McIntosh, and for many years it was known as the McIntosh Mill. Jacob S. Zorger died at Weldon, Illinois, in 1902, and his widow is still living there. Of their ten children five are living, and Doctor Zorger was the fifth in order of birth.

Doctor Zorger spent his early life in his father’s home, had ample comforts and. had the advantages of the common schools, but his preparation for his profession he had to acquire largely through his own efforts and earnings. Three years he taught in the district schools of DeWitt County. He then spent a year in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Chicago, and in 1886 graduated from the medical department of Drake University at Des Moines, Iowa. Doctor Zorger received his diploma on the 20th of March and almost immediately began practice in his native county. In 1888 he removed to Champaign County and after five years at Sadorus he moved to the city of Champaign.

On July 3, 1887, Dr. Zorger married Miss Annie L. Swan. She is a daughter of Alexander and Rebecca (Marvel) Swan. Her father was born in Scotland and her mother was a native of DeWitt County, Illinois. Her father came to America in 1857, locating on a farm near Waynesville, DeWitt County, Illinois. He was one of ten children and eight brothers came to America, he being now the only survivor of the family. Mr. and Mrs. Swan had four children, three of whom are still living, and Mrs. Zorger is the oldest.

Mrs. Zorger was educated in the common schools of Elm Grove, Illinois, afterwards attended the Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, and taught school four years before her marriage. Their marriage was not only a mating of personalities but of professional inclinations. Mrs. Zorger went into a drug store and learned pharmacy. This experience was followed by her attending the Woman’s Medical College at St. Louis, now known as the University Medical College of Missouri. She was graduated M. D. in 1894 and then joined her husband in practice at Champaign. In 1901 Dr. Zorger and wife went abroad and spent a year in Europe, where they attended clinics and courses in many of the most celebrated medical centers. She took up the special study of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat, while he emphasized post-graduate courses in surgery.

Dr. Zorger is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, while Mrs. Zorger is active in the Pythian Sisters, the Court of Honor, the Tribe of Ben Hur, the Royal Neighbors, the Maccabees and by virtue of her ancestry is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has also made herself an effective and influential member of the Woman’s Club of Champaign and Urbana. They attend the Unitarian church, and Dr. Zorger in politics is a Democrat.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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