Biography of Emmett R. North, M. D.

Dr. Emmett R. North, a St. Louis oculist of highly developed skill and proficiency along professional lines, was born in Labaddie, Missouri, October 13, 1877, his parents being Eugene Benton and Mary Sale (Pipkin) North, both representatives of old Missouri families. The father is now deceased. The North family was founded in America prior to the Revolutionary war by one of the name who settled in Virginia. The grandfather of Dr. North was Flavius Josephus North, who came to Missouri in the early part of the nineteenth century and served as a member of the first Missouri state legislature. The Pipkins were also an old Virginia family of French origin and became connected with St. Louis county in the days of early Missouri settlement. Eugene Benton North was a physician and surgeon and at the time of his death was filling the position of chief surgeon of the Wabash Railroad. He passed away in 1887, at the comparatively early age of thirty-four years. His widow is still living and makes her home in St. Louis. They had but one child.

Dr. North was a pupil in the public schools of Labaddie in early boyhood and afterward attended Central College at Fayette, Missouri, from 1893 until 1897. Determining upon the practice of medicine as a life work he pursued studies in the Beaumont Hospital Medical College, now known as the St. Louis University and was graduated there from in 1900. At later periods he has studied, attending the University of Vienna, Austria, in 1911-12, and at all times has kept thoroughly informed through the leading medical journals and medical works concerning the advanced thought, purposes and methods of the profession. He began practice as an interne in the St. Louis City Hospital in 1900 and in 1901 became house surgeon of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Hospital, there remaining for a year. He was in charge of the south side dispensary of St. Louis in 1903-4 and in the latter year became division surgeon of the United Railways, a position which he filled until 1907 and was then advanced to chief surgeon, so continuing until 1911. In 1913 he began specializing in ophthalmology after spending two years in study abroad. Since that time he has devoted his attention to this branch of the profession and not only has had an extensive practice, but has also been instructor in ophthalmology in the St. Louis University. He is a member of the staff of the St. John’s, the Missouri Pacific and the Masonic Hospitals of St. Louis and other professional activity has included membership on the state board of health from 1918 until 1920, while in 1921 he is the honored and efficient president of the state board.

On the 3d of December, 1903, Dr. North was married in Washington, Franklin county, Missouri, to Miss Maude Isbell, a native of that county, and a daughter of John and Belle (McDonald) Isbell. She is descended from an old southern family represented in Virginia and Kentucky and at an early day in Missouri. To Dr. and Mrs. North have been born two children: Mildred Isbell, born in St. Louis, November 7, 1904; and John Eugene, born September 30, 1906.

Dr. North is a member of Anchor Lodge, No. 443, A. F. & A. M., has become a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, to the University Club, to the Sunset Hill Country Club and to the Central Presbyterian church-associations which indicate much of the nature of his interests and the principles which guide him in all the relations of life.

Dr. North was among the physicians who made ready response to the country’s need during the World war. He became a lieutenant of the Medical Corps and was stationed at the United States Naval Base Hospital in New Orleans until honorably discharged on the 1st of June, 1919. He has prominent professional relations, belonging to the St. Louis Medical, Missouri State and American Medical Associations, to the St. Louis Medical Society, of which he was vice president in 1905, member of its council from 1915 to 1920 and its president in 1921. He was likewise president of the American Medical Association of Vienna, Austria, in 1912, and belongs to the ophthalmological section of the American Medical Association. He is likewise a member of the board of directors of the Lindenwood College at St. Charles, Missouri, and is interested in all that makes for public progress and general improvement as well as for professional advancement. His political endorsement is given to the democratic party and he always keeps well informed on the vital questions and issues of the day, but has never sought nor desired political preferment. He finds recreation in huntIng and fishing, in golf and outdoor life, but allows nothing to interfere with the faithful performance of his professional duties.


Stevens, Walter B. Centennial History of Missouri (The Center State) One Hundred Years In The Union 1820-1921 Vol 6. St. Louis-Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1921.

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