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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Page 1123

GEORGE W. MORGAN, M.D. - Dr. George W. Morgan, who was born in Winchester, Scott County, Illinois, on the 11th of October, 1838, and died in Springfield on the 3d of October, 1838, and died in Springfield on the 3d of October, 1892, is gratefully and lovingly remembered throughout this city not only by reason of his professional skill, which made his services of so great value in many a home, but also because of his strong personal traits of character, his helpfulness, courage and ready sympathy. He was numbered among the pioneer physicians of Springfield, having arrived here in 1862 and throughout the years of his connection with the city he maintained a high standard of professional ethics that won him the entire confidence of his professional associates as well as of the general public.

Dr. Morgan represented one of the pioneer families of Illinois. His parents were Thomas and Berlinda (Smith) Morgan. The former was a native of Kentucky and at an early day took up his abode in Winchester, Illinois, where he was engaged in the nursery business for several years. He afterward turned his attention to the loan business, loaning money on farms and other real estate, and in that line of activity he continued throughout his remaining days. He was married in Illinois to Miss Berlinda Smith, whose birth occurred in Greenville, Bond county, this state. They were for many years residents of Winchester and there both died.

Dr. Morgan acquired his early education in the common schools of Winchester and afterward took up the study of medicine. Going to Chicago he attended the Hahnemann Medical College, in which he graduated with the class of 1862, winning high honors and receiving in addition to his degree the certificate which permitted his practice. Immediately afterward he came to Springfield and entered into business relations with Dr. Cushler, an old and prominent physician of this city. They continued together for a year, at the end of which time the partnership was dissolved and Dr. Morgan opened an office of his own in the public square, occupying a suite of rooms with Dr. Burnett, a dentist. A year later he purchased the property which is now owned and occupied by his widow and thereafter he maintained his office at his home. He built up a very large practice both in Springfield and the surrounding country. One of the strong elements of his success was his progressiveness which prompted him keeping in touch with the most advanced ideas concerning the science of medicine. He carried his investigations and researches far and wide and while he never hastily discarded the old and time-tried methods he was always quick to adopt the new ideas which he believed would prove of practical value in the alleviation of human suffering. He was ever devoted to his calling, discharging his professional duties even at great sacrifice to his personal comfort and in many cases where he had no hope of pecuniary reward. During the last five years of his life, on account of impaired health, he gave up most of his outside practice, attending only to office duties and during the last nine months of his life he retired altogether from practice, save that he was forced at times to prescribe for some of his old patients who would employ no other physician and thus he continued in connection with his chosen calling until his last hours. He possessed a remarkable memory which was not only a factor in his social life, but was of great value to him in his profession.

Dr. Morgan was married in Pittsfield, Illinois, to Miss Janet M. Sweringen, a native of St. Louis and a daughter of Charles T. Sweringen, who was a large real-estate owner of that city, whence he removed to Pittsfield, Illinois. There he engaged in operating in land, buying and selling property throughout the country, his connection with the business continuing up to the time of his death. He was the owner of many tracts of land throughout the state of Illinois. Unto the Doctor and Mrs. Morgan were born six children: Charles, who married Miss Dresendorfer and resides here; Janet, the wife of Thomas K. Morton, of St. Louis; George H., who died in infancy; Maude, who is the wife of R. Francis Ruth, a prominent hardware merchant of this city; Frederick William, an electrician of Springfield, who resides with his mother; and Harry T., an editor of a newspaper in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr. Morgan was never an office seeker, but gave a stalwart support to the Republican party, save that he cast his first presidential vote for Stephen A. Douglas. He always kept well informed on the questions and issues of the day and was never remiss in citizenship but gave earnest co-operation to many movements calculated to promote the welfare and progress of Illinois' capital. He was a valued member of the Masonic fraternity, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias lodge and in the first named he attained the Knight Templar degree. Both he and his wife were members of the First Baptist church in Springfield and in his younger years he took a very active and helpful part in church work. He owned a fine residence at No. 314 South Seventh street, which is still occupied by his widow who has a very wide and favorable acquaintance in Springfield. Dr. Morgan was honored and respected by all. He was a man of firm convictions ever loyal to his honest beliefs and principles and at all times his life was actuated by the most kindly feeling toward his fellow men. His genius and helpful nature found expression in his profession and made him for many years one of the leading physicians of his adopted city.

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