Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of Barbara Ingolia   Sylvia Land

WILLIAM A. BRITTIN, M. D. - Although Dr. Brittin has been engaged in the practice of medicine in Auburn for only about five years, he has been accorded a place in the ranks of the leading physicians of this part of Sangamon county. In a calling where advancement must depend upon individual merit he has steadily progressed until he has long since left the ranks of the many to stand among the successful few. He represents one of the oldest families of Sangamon county, for the name of Brittin appears upon the annals of this portion of the state from 1818 down to the present time.

The Doctor was born in this county, six miles north of Springfield, on the 19th of January, 1866, and is a son of Henry and Nancy D. (Mallory) Brittin, the former a native of Sangamon county and the latter a native of Riverton, this county. The paternal grandfather of the Doctor was Evans Brittin, who came from Pennsylvania to central Illinois in 1818 and entered land from the government, thus becoming the owner of a tract six miles north of Springfield. With characteristic energy he began the development of a farm there and soon transformed the wild prairie into rich and productive fields. To the further development of this property he devoted his energies until his life's labors were ended in death. The Doctor's father also resided upon the old Brittin homestead and was there engaged in farming, and stock-raising, with good success throughout his entire life. He was one of the respected agriculturists of his community, a man whose life record was worthy of emulation because of his honorable conduct and his fair treatment of his fellow men. He passed away in 1900 and his wife survived him only until April, 1901. Of their children seven are yet living, namely: John E., who resides upon the old family homestead north of Springfield; Henry E., who resides in Springfield and is a traveling salesman for the Wilson Grocery Company; Dr. A. L., a practicing physician of Athens, Illinois; Roger E., who follows farming near Buffalo Hart, this state; Ernest H., a practicing physician near Pawnee, Sangamon county; William A., of this review; and Emma, who is the widow of William Waldron and resides in Athens, Illinois.

Dr. Brittin obtained his early education in the common schools of his native township and then entered the Brook Institute of Springfield, where he pursued his studies for a time. His choice of an occupation as a life work fell upon the practice of medicine and, wishing to prepare for the active duties of the profession, he went to Chicago and took up the study of medicine in the Chicago Medical College, where he remained for two years. On the expiration of that period he went to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended the Marion Sims Medical College, in which he was graduated with the class of 1895 and received his certificate to practice.

Dr. Brittin entered upon his professional duties in Morrisonville, Illinois, where he opened an office and remained for two years. In 1898 he came to Auburn and was not long in establishing himself in a good patronage, which is accorded him in recognition of his skill and ability. His office is located at the northeast corner of the public square and he has many patrons in the town and throughout the surrounding country. He has been very successful in ministering to those in need of medical skill and he certainly has a broad and thorough understanding of the uses of remedial agencies and of the component parts of the human body.

In November, 1889, in Buffalo, Illinois, Dr. Brittin was united in marriage to Miss Emma M. Constant, who was born in Sangamon county, a daughter of the late John T. Constant of Buffalo Hart. She died in 1899, leaving two children Hallie E. and William A. In 1901 the Doctor was again married, his second union being with Miss Anna H. Painter of Streator, Illinois, a daughter of U. S. Painter, who now resides with his wife in Auburn. Mrs. Brittin is a lady of superior culture and intelligence and was a teacher in a high school of Streator for a number of years. She was then made principal of the Logan high school of that place, acting in that capacity for some time. She is a graduate of the Chicago University and her broad learning makes her a leader in the intellectual circles of the city.

The Doctor votes with the Republican party and is now serving as a member. of the school board of Auburn. He belongs to the Masonic Lodge and to the Odd Fellows Society of Auburn and is also connected with the Knights of Pythias of Springfield, while his wife is a member of the Unitarian church of Streator. Both the Doctor and his wife have gained many friends during their residence in Auburn and the hospitality of their pleasant home is greatly enjoyed by all who know them. Dr. Brittin is an earnest and discriminating student of his profession and as he possesses a nature that could never content itself with mediocrity he has through earnest study, careful preparation and close application worked his way upward to a prominent place in professional circles.

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