Biography of Elmer E. Liggett, M. D.

Elmer E. Liggett, M. D. Doctor Liggett’s place in the medical profession of Labette County is not due only to his more than thirty years of active practice there, but also to many enviable qualities of heart and mind and the possession of splendid skill and a wide range of experience both as a physician and surgeon. As a surgeon he is regarded as one of the most competent in Southeastern Kansas.

Most of his life has been spent in Kansas, though he was born near Marysville, Ohio, March 22, 1861. The Liggett family came from Scotland and settled in Virginia in colonial days. The father William Liggett was born in Virginia in 1808. He married his first wife there, and then moved to Pennsylvania, where he married his second wife, the mother of Doctor Liggett. William Liggett was a cooper by trade. He finally settled near Marysville, Ohio, in 1863 moved to Monmouth, Illinois, where he was engaged in farming, and the winter of 1865-66 he spent at Olathe, Kansas, and from there moved to Paola, where he continued farming. On January 4, 1870, he moved to Chetopa and in 1872 to a farm near that town. He finally retired to a town residence at Chetopa in 1882, and died there the following year in 1883. He was one of the very early settlers in Southeastern Kansas and altogether was quite successful as a farmer and reared and provided for a large family of children. He was a republican and an elder in the United Presbyterian Church. His first wife whom he married in Virginia had three children; John, Alfred and Sarah, all of whom are now deceased. In September, 1843, William Liggett married at Marysville, Ohio, Jane M. Henderson. Doctor Liggett may well take pride in the many sterling qualities of his mother. She was born at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, May 13, 1816, and died at Denver, Colorado, February 18, 1916, aged ninety-nine years nine months five days. Her intellect and qualities of heart and mind were equal to her physical vigor. For seventy-five years she was a member of the United Presbyterian Church. She was well educated and even to the last years continued to read a varied literature and kept in close touch with current affairs. She had a remarkable memory, and in the closing years of her life could recount in detail many things that happened ninety years ago. She was nearly ten years of age when the first railroad was constructed in the United States and when the Erie Canal opened the first important highway to the west from the eastern colonies. She was a mature woman when the telegraph was invented, had completed the half century mark about the close of the Civil war, and lived on to witness the remarkable achievements of the last half century in the field of electricity and many other marvels. A few days before her death she told about the phenomenal fall of stars which occurred in 1833, and which she and her sister had witnessed at their home in Pennsylvania. She was descended from a fine old Scotch family, including the first Earls of Caithness and Fife. Some of her forefathers had participated as soldiers in the war for American independence, one of her brothers was a major in the Mexican war, and her son Robert Seldon was a soldier in the Civil war and her stepson Alfred also participated in that struggle. She was the mother of the following children: Anna A., who died in 1872 at the age of twenty-eight, the wife of George Elliott, who is also deceased and who was a farmer; Robert S. who is a market gardener living at Joplin, Missouri; Virginia V., of Denver, Colorado, the widow of J. P. DeJarnette, a harness dealer by trade; Nina, who died in the Park Avenue hotel fire in that city in 1908, unmarried; Wilbur T., who is a physician and surgeon, a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, with the class of 1887, and now engaged in practice at Goldfield, Nevada; Vashti E., who is unmarried and lives in Denver, Colorado; Georgia M., wife of Edwin C. Allen, a traveling salesman with home at Denver; and Dr. Elmer E., who is the eighth and youngest of his mother’s children.

Doctor Liggett’s earliest memories and associations are identified with the State of Kansas. He began attending public school at Paola, then a district school near Chetopa, and for two years was in the high school at Chetopa. The first eighteen years of his life he spent on his father’s farm. For two years he operated a well drill. With his ambition set upon medicine he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, where he graduated M. D. in 1884. Doctor Liggett has never allowed himself to grow stale in a professional routine. He has been a constant reader of the best standard literature and has accepted all the opportunities to benefit by broader associations with his fellow practitioners. In 1893 he received a second diploma after a course of work in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College of New York City. He spent parts of the years 1904 and 1905 specializing in surgery in the New York Post-Graduate School.

He began practice at Oswego in 1884, and since then for a period of thirty-two consecutive years has carried on his duties as a professional man and citizen in that locality. His offices are in the Condon State Bank Building. He is an active member of the Labette County and State Medical societies, the Southeast District Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the Medical Association of the Southwest.

Besides his home on Michigan Street and Second Avenue Doctor Liggett owns a fine farm of 200 acres in Cherokee County, Kansas. He is a member of the Good Fellowship Club and the Cooperative Club of Oswego, belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is affiliated with Camp No. 23, Modern Woodmen of America, and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Oswego.

In 1887 at Oswego he married Mrs. Mary (Parsons) Maynard, widow of Cyrus Maynard, who was a merchant in Oswego. Mrs. Liggett was born in Indiana, and by her first marriage has a daughter Margaret, now the wife of W. P. Farley, a stockman living at Oswego. Doctor and Mrs. Liggett have one child, Ruth Ellsworth, who is a graduate of the Oswego College for Young Women and lives at home.



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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