Biography of Samuel W. Dunlavy, M. D.

Samuel W. Dunlavy, M. D. Of the sons of the Hawkeye State who have gained professional eminence and success in Kansas, Dr. Samuel W. Dunlavy, of Cherryvale, is a representative of the medical fraternity. Coming to this city in 1908, he had built up an important and extensive practice, and through the display of a constantly-increasing ability had won the confidence of the public and the esteem of his fellow practitioners.

Doctor Dunlavy is a worthy son of a distinguished father and was born at Stiles, Iowa, August 31, 1873, his parents being Dr. James and Letitia (Von Natison) Dunlavy. The family of which he is a member came from Ireland and settled during colonial days in one of the New England States, removing thence to Indiana and finally to Iowa. Dr. James Dunlavy was born in 1843, at Bloomfield, Iowa, and was there reared and educated, his medical studies being pursued in the Keokuk College of Physicians and Surgeons. When the Civil war came on he enlisted in Company B, Third Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, with which he participated in many hotly-contested battles. Mr. Dunlavy, it is said, was the only private during the war to have the honor of capturing an officer wearing stripes. In open battle, at Mine Creek, Kansas, he captured the Confederate General Marmaduke, who afterwards became governor of Missouri. For this feat he was voted by Congress a gold medal. Subsequently, in the same battle, Mr. Dunlavy was wounded, and while in the hospital, at Fort Scott, the revolvers which he had taken from General Marmaduke were stolen from him, but the citizens of Fort Scott presented him with two handsomely mounted and elaborately carved revolvers to replace them. When his military services were over and he had received his honorable discharge, Doctor Dunlavy returned to Bloomfield, Iowa, where he continued to be engaged in practice for a period of thirty-two years. In 1903 he located at Merrimac, Oklahoma, and because of failing health was compelled to retire from active participation in his profession. He still resided there and is one of his community’s most honored citizens. Mr. Dunlavy is a democrat, but not an office seeker. He is a member of the United Brethren Church and belongs to the Masons, the Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic. While a resident of Bloomfield, Iowa, Mr. Dunlavy was married to Miss Letitia Von Natison, who was born at that place in 1847. They became the parents of four children, as follows: Arthur, a resident of New York City, where he is general manager for the firm of Broderick & Bascom Company, manufacturers of hoisting machinery, cable ropes, block and tackles, tramways, etc.; Dr. Samuel W., of this review; Dennis, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits in the vicinity of the old home place at Bloomfield, Iowa; and Edith, who is the wife of Louis Hedges, of Washunga, Oklahoma, a general merchant who also conducts an Indian agency.

Samuel W. Dunlavy received his education in the public schools of Bloomfield, Iowa, and was graduated from the high school in 1894. When he was twelve years of age he began working during his spare time in a drug store, and while thus employed decided upon entering the medical profession. Between his duties and his studies at school his time was very well occupied, but he managed to find some leisure in which to apply himself to medical study, and when only nineteen years of age began practice at Bloomfield. This he subsequently followed at Stiles until 1900, when he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Keokuk, Iowa, and was duly graduated in 1902 and received his degree of Doctor of Medicine. Doctor Dunlavy then became second assistant to Dr. T. J. Maxwell, of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Keokuk, and during the time he was connected with this institution gained some excellent experience through being associated with Doctor Maxwell, who, by a curious coincidence, had been a field surgeon at the battle of Mine Creek and had been the surgeon to dress the wounds of Doctor Dunlavy’s father.

On June 17, 1904, Doctor Dunlavy began practice at Elk Falls, Kansas, where he remained for three years. Following this, he gained further experience of a valuable character when he became camp surgeon with the Santa Fe Railroad Company in its work of construction in Oklahoma. In 1908 he took up his permanent residence at Cherryvale, and here he had since continued in the enjoyment of a large and lucrative practice. While his practice is general in its character and includes both medicines and surgery, Doctor Dunlavy specialized in chronic and genito-urinary diseases, a field in which he is acknowledged to be an authority. His standing in professional cricles had not come as a result of chance or of any combination of happy circumstances, but through hard work, constant study and an inherent ability, with which is combined a sincere sympathy. Doctor Dunlavy had offices in the Globe Building, where he had the latest improved inventions of his calling and every possible convenience for his patients, as well as a large medical library covering a comprehensive range of subjects. He keeps abreast of the various advances being made in the medical profession and regularly attends the meetings of the Labette County Medical Society, the Kansas State Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the Southeastern Kansas Medical Society. While a stanch republican, he had found no time to engage actively in politics, and confines his activities in this line to casting his vote for the candidates of his party. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Camp No. 142, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Cherryvale, and Cherryvale Lodge, No. 989, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He belongs also to the Commercial Club, as a member of which he works with other good and public-spirited citizens in forwarding movements for the general civic welfare and betterment.

Doctor Dunlavy was married in 1912, at Joplin, Missouri, to Miss Flossie Busby, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doug. Busby, the latter of whom is deceased. Mr. Busby, who had been a lifelong farmer, now resided on his well-cultivated property located six miles north of Cherryvale. Doctor and Mrs. Dunlavy are the parents of one child: James, born in February, 1913.



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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