Biography of Cassius C. Surber, M. D.

Cassius C. Surber, M. D. An exceptionally long and valuable service in the field of medicine has been rendered by the Surber family in Kansas. The late Dr. David Surber was a distinguished physician in Kansas during the territorial period and afterward. The son, Dr. Cassius C. Surber, has been in practice more than thirty years, the greater part of that time at Independence, and is undoubtedly one of the ablest surgeons in the state.

Originally in Germany, the Surbers were colonial settlers in America, and the family subsequently became pioneers in the Territory of Indiana. Dr. C. C. Surber’s grandfather Henry Surber was born in Indiana in 1808. He became a minister of the Campbellite or Christian Church, and carried the gospel into the new State of Iowa and afterwards continued his pioneer labors as a missionary and minister in Kansas. He died in Leavenworth County, Kansas, in 1876.

The late Dr. David Surber was born in Indiana in 1828. He was reared in his native state, but went in young manhood to Iowa, and in 1856 graduated from the Scudder Medical School of Cincinnati. He lived a time in Iowa, where he married, and in 1858 came to the Territory of Kansas and was one of the first to practice medicine in Clinton, Douglas County. From there he removed to Lawrence in 1867, later to Perry in 1868, and after more than half a century of devotion to his profession he retired and passed away at Bonner Springs in 1912. His prominence in the profession over the state is indicated by the fact that in 1888 he served as president of the Kansas State Board of Health. He also had a record as a soldier, having served in the Kansas Cavalry, and was with his command in pursuing the guerilla chieftain Quantrell and was also called into service when General Price made his spectacular raid through Missouri and Eastern Kansas. He was a member of the Douglas County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association, was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and politically was a republican. Dr. David Surber was married in Iowa to Elizabeth Jane Stewart, who was born in Ohio in 1842 and is now living at Bonner Springs, Kansas. To their marriage were born six children: Flora, who died at the age of twelve years; Cassius C.; Eddie, who died in infancy; Myrtle, a son, who died at the age of two years; Gertrude, wife of Robert Dakin, a traveling salesman with home at Bonner Springs; and a son that died in infancy.

Having laid a substantial foundation for his professional career, as a young man Dr. Cassins C. Surber has never relaxed his efforts toward the best possible attainments and is a student today as he was thirty years ago. A public school education was given him at Perry, and he was a student of the Kansas State University from 1878 to 1881. His first year’s course in medicine was pursued there, and his certificate is No. 1, from the medical department. He next entered the Kansas City Medical College where he was graduated M. D. with the class of 1884. In 1901 he took an extensive post-graduate course in the New York Post-Graduate School, and every year he visits, in order to keep in touch with the latest advances made in the profession, either the Mayos Hospital at Rochester, Minnesota, or the Policlinic or Post-Graduate schools in Chicago. After gaining his M. D. degree Doctor Surber practiced ten years at Delphos, Kansas, and since 1894 has been located at Independence. His skill in operative surgery has brought his services into such demand that in recent years he has confined his attention to surgery and consultation work, and he is frequently called to distant parts of the state. He is a member of the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association. His offices are at 217½ North Penn Avenue, his residence at 316 South Sixth Street, and among other interests he owns a farm of 106 acres near Coffeyville.

Doctor Surber is a republican, a member of the Commercial Club, the Country Club and the Rotary Club of Independence, and is prominent in Masonry, having affiliations with Fortitude Lodge No. 107, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Independence Chapter No. 22, Royal Arch Masons, St. Bernard Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar, Abdallah Temple of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine at Leavenworth, and Wichita Consistory No. 1, of the thirty-second degree Scottish Rite. He also belongs to Independence Lodge No. 780, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and Lodge No. 69, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In Severy, Kansas, in 1886, Doctor Surber married Miss Mary M. Dunham, a daughter of A. M. and Mary Dunham. Doctor Surber’s only son, Paul D., born August 10, 1890, is a graduate from the law school of the University of Kansas, with the degree LL. B., and is now taking post-graduate work in the Columbia University of New York City.



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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