Biography of William Proctor, M. D.

WILLIAM PROCTOR, M. D. (deceased), was a physician who always loved knowledge and as a physician was devoted to his profession, careful in his investigations and gave all the time he could find in his busy life to books and periodicals devoted to medicine and surgery. His range of information was broad, and during the many years he pursued the calling of AEsculapius he won a wide reputation and a large practice. He was born in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1826, and died January 10, 1890, when sixty-four years of age. He was a graduate of William and Mary College, of Virginia, and studied law under his father, Thomas Proctor, who subsequently moved to Tennessee, where the Doctor was his stenographer. During the Mexican war the Doctor joined a Tennessee regiment and fought through the war. He was in the battle of Buena Vista and the City of Mexico, and had command of the flags on the rampart. For bravery he was promoted to the rank of captain on the battlefield at Chepultepec, when seventeen years of age. After the war he went to Warren County, Kentucky; where he studied medicine. Later he went to the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and subsequently began practicing in Warren County. When the Civil War broke out he was Government contractor for the Federal Government and furnished a post at Bowling Green with horses and feed for them. He was there all through the war and after-ward engaged in farming and stockraising, and also dealt in tobacco. In the year 1874 he moved to Ripley County, Missouri, located at Doniphan, and at once had a large practice which increased as the years passed by. This he continued until his death. He was president of the County Court in 1886 and held that position the remainder of his life. In politics he was a stanch Democrat, but had previously been a Whig. In a financial way he was successful, although while a resident of Kentucky he was obliged to pay heavy security debts. Dr. Proctor was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. In 1861 he married Miss Mary J. Smith, of Warren County, Kentucky, and she died in 1864. Five years later he married Miss Helen Bagby, who died in 1887.

In 1888 the Doctor married Mrs. Mary Brooks, of this place. Following the foot-steps of his illustrious father, Samuel A. Proctor, after having received a thorough education in the common schools and under a private tutor, entered the Louisville Medical College, from which he graduated in 1884, when twenty years of age, carrying off one of the honors of the class, and then commenced practicing medicine with his father. For some time he was in the drug business. He now has an extensive practice. He is a member of the National Association of Railroad Surgeons of Missouri and Arkansas, and the Texas Association of Railroad Surgeons. He was surgeon on the Doniphan branch of the Iron Mountain Railroad, and since his father’s death has taken his father’s practice with that of his own. Dr. Proctor married Miss Nellie Carter, of this county. He is a member of the K. of P. and A. O. U. W., is past master workman in the latter, and has represented both lodges in the Grand Lodge. He is a member of the Methodist Church and a Democrat in politics.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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