Biography of Frenn L. Preston, M. D.

Frenn L. Preston, M. D. Distinguished alike as a physician and surgeon, Dr. Frenn L. Preston, of El Dorado, occupies a pre-eminent place among the professional men of Southeastern Kansas, where for six years he had devoted his high attainments toward accomplishing what had brought him wide reputation, universal recognition and honors of an enviable nature. Doctor Preston’s professional achievements are based upon an intimate knowledge of the intricate subjects of human anatomy and scientific therapeutics. Like many other capable, successful and prominent men, he did not start out in life with the ambition to accomplish something phenomenal, but at the outset of his career he placed a just valuation upon honor, integrity and perseverance, and with those qualities as a foundation had won for himself a notable place in the Southeastern Kansas field of medicine and surgery.

Frenn L. Preston was born at Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 10, 1881, and is a son of Rev. Charles L. and Della May (Reynolds) Preston. He belongs to a family which originated in England and settled in Colonial Virginia at an early day, and among his ancestors are found two governors of Virginia. The family was prominent in the Old Dominion in Colonial times, several members in direct line of descent were ministers, and others were identified with the professions of law and medicine. Doctor Preston’s mother is of Scotch descent, and is a daughter of Volney and Christina Reynolds, of Waldron, Michigan.

Rev. Charles L. Preston was born at Waldron, Michigan, in 1856, early became a minister of the Congregational faith, preached at Grand Rapids for many years, and died at Waldron in 1899. He was a republican in politics. Mrs. Preston, who survives her husband and resided at Waldron, was born in 1860, at Findlay, Ohio. There were five children in the family: Glenn, who died as a child; Frenn L.; Clyde C., who is a carpenter and contractor of Portland, Oregon; Edna Pearl is the wife of H. F. Tuttle, who is engaged in laboratory and research work in the department of agronomy in the University of Illinois at Urbana, Illinois; and Erma Freda, who is a junior at the State College at Lansing, Michigan.

Frenn L. Preston was educated in the public schools of Grand Rapids, Michigan, took his preparatory course at Alma Academy, graduated from Alma College in 1906, having taken a scientific course, and then attended the Northwestern University, from which he was graduated in 1910, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He had since taken postgraduate work with the Mayo Brothers at Rochester, Minnesota, at the Chicago Post-Graduate School, and at Northwestern University on several occasions. During his course at Alma College, Alma, Michigan, Doctor Preston served as student interne in the hospital of that city for a period of three years, and then did surgical work at Columbia Hospital, Chicago, for the same length of time. After his graduation he took a post-graduate course and work in the surgical department of Passavant Hospital of Chicago for one year, and in the fall of 1911 came to El Dorado, where he had since had a large and constantly growing practice, specializing mainly in surgery. In this field he had already won a well-merited reputation as one of the successful practitioners not only of Butler County, but of the State of Kansas. He had been called upon to perform a number of delicate and difficult operations in the course of his practice since coming to El Dorado, and had met with success to a marked degree.

In 1914 Doctor Preston established the El Dorado Hospital, which in itself represents one of the most advanced steps in behalf of medicine and surgery in the history of Butler County. The need for such an institution had been shown more especially since the beginning of the great industrial development in the county in the past several years, and there is scarcely a day that passes that this hospital is not called upon to handle several emergency cases, aside from the demands made upon the institution in caring for the ordinary cases. The hospital now had a capacity of twenty-five patients, but this is being constantly taxed to the limit, and plans are under way for the erection in 1917 of a more extensive building. Few physicians of this section have done equal work in hospital practice and Doctor Preston’s broad experience and comprehensive study have enabled him to speak with authority upon many subjects of great interest to the profession. He belongs to the Butler County Medical Society, the Kansas State Medical Society and the American Medical Association and keeps thoroughly informed concerning all that modern research, experiment and investigation are bringing to light bearing upon the practice of medicine and surgery. A well-trained and discerning mind enables him to readily grasp the vital and salient points presented, not only in medical literature, but in the discussion of the broad questions which involve the welfare and progress of the individual and the country at large. In political matters he is a republican, and his religious connection is with the Presbyterian Church, in which he is an elder. His fraternal affiliations include membership in Patmos Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; El Dorado Chapter No. 35, Royal Arch Masons; El Dorado Commandery No. 19, Knights Templar; Midian Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Wichita; Wichita Council No. 2; and Imo Lodge No. 48, Knights of Pythias, of El Dorado. He is the owner of the El Dorado Hospital and is interested in a drug store at 224 West Central Avenue. He owned land in Kansas and Colorado totaling 600 acres, and his modern home at No. 219 Farmer Street. Wisely and conscientiously using the talents with which nature had endowed him, and improving every opportunity, he had come to stand among the eminent physicians and surgeons of his state.

Doctor Preston was married in 1906, at Grand Blanc, Michigan, to Miss Gertrude Slaght, a daughter of Fred and Emma (Turner) Slaght. Mr. Slaght, who was engaged in art work and conducted a studio at Alpena is now deceased, but Mrs. Slaght still survives and makes her home in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Doctor and Mrs. Preston have no children.



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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