Biography of Gideon Penrod Marner, M. D.

Gideon Penrod Marner, M. D. This is a name known throughout the length and breadth of Marion County because of Doctor Marner’s long and active career as a physician and surgeon. Doctor. Marner had practiced at Marion for a quarter of a century and most of his experience and work in the profession had been in Kansas.

He was born January 4, 1856, at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a locality famous as the scene of one of the greatest calamities in history, the Johnstown flood of 1889. However, the Marner family had moved from Western Pennsylvania many years before. His parents, Jonathan and Elizabeth (Penrod) Marner, were both born in the same locality. His father was born October 21, 1825, and his mother on September 24, 1835. They were married in 1852. Jonathan Marner was a farmer and carpenter and in 1865 moved with his family to Iowa, where he spent most of his years as a farmer. He died at Iowa City August 14, 1909; and his wife passed away there on June 30, 1905. They were the parents of eleven children, five sons and six daughters. Magdalens, born January 21, 1854, died April 8, 1855; Gideon P.; William, who was born February 7, 1858, and is now practicing medicine at Miles, Iowa; Nancy, born October 3, 1860, died November 11, 1871; Sarah, born April 16, 1863; Isaac, born January 6, 1866, a farmer at Iowa City; Elizabeth, born November 20, 1867, wife of Hiram Goodman, a farmer at Cheney, Kansas; Jonathan, born March 22, 1870, a practicing lawyer at Denver, Colorado; Jacob, born August 29, 1872, died June 20, 1874; Malinda, born March 22, 1875; and Susanna, born April 2, 1878.

Doctor Marner was nine years of age when his parents removed from Pennsylvania to Johnson County, Iowa. He grew up there on a farm and obtained an education as supplied by the district schools of that neighborhood. At the age of twenty-one he walked through four inches of snow into Iowa City and entered the Iowa City Academy, a preparatory school of the State University. He spent two terms there and paid his tuition by working as a carpenter’s helper during the summer. In the fall of the next year he entered the Grandview Normal and put in two terms there. This gave him sufficient preparation for teaching school and he followed that profession two years and in vacations continued work as a carpenter.

Having laid the groundwork of his education, Doctor Marner was now ready to prepare for his real vocation. In 1880 he entered the medical department of the Iowa State University at Iowa City and kept up the work of his classes until graduating in 1883. After two years of practice at Frank Pierce, Iowa, Doctor Marner removed to Morganville, Kansas, and practiced in that community until 1892. During that time he served as coroner of Clay County four years.

Since 1892 Doctor Marner’s home had been at Marion and this quarter of a century had brought him countless opportunities for professional service and he had enjoyed all the emoluments and honore of a successful position. He served four years as coroner of Marion County, eight years as county health officer- and eight years as a member of the board of education. Doctor Marner was a pioneer leader in making athletics a distinctive part of the work of the public schools in Marion County. In 1906 he formed a partnership with Dr. J. F. Coffman, under the name Marner & Coffman, and this firm was continued with mutual profit and esteem until July 15, 1917, when it was dissolved on account of Doctor Coffman entering the United States Army.

In 1917 Doctor Marner completed a post-graduate course in the University of California. He had been local surgeon for the Santa Fe Railway Company at Marion for twenty years. Doctor Marner is an ardent sportsman, and had shot big game all over the West and North. His office contains many trophies of the chase and some of these represent the big game of western mountains and of Canada. He had membership in a number of gun clubs and fraternally is affiliated with the Masons and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

On June 7, 1883, at Iowa City, in the same year that he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine, he married Miss Louise Errtestine Merling. Mrs. Marner was born at Iowa City, February 22, 1862; They have three children, one son and two daughters, Omer, Zoe and Eulah.



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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