MCELFRESH, CHARLES HENRY, M.D. - the medical fraternity is represented in Sangamon County by physicians of experience, whose records are second to none in the country. They have been carefully trained and show in their practice the effects of modern progress. Many of them secured their medical education through their own efforts, laboring hard to earn money for their courses, and their after lives show that they appreciate the responsibilities their profession lays upon their shoulders. One of the most efficient of these practitioners in Springfield is Dr. Charles Henry McElfresh. He was born in Clear Lake Township, Sangamon County, July 28, 1864, being a son of John Thomas and Angie (McDaniel) McElfresh, the former born near Baltimore, Md., July 20, 1818, and the latter in Clear Lake Township, July 9, 1841. The father was a carpenter and contractor, who came with his parents to Illinois about 1833, settling at Ebenezer, three miles southwest of Jacksonville, in Morgan County. Later he moved to Springfield, where he worked at his trade nearly sixty years. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A Seventy-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but after a year of service was discharged on account of disability.
Dr. McElfresh was educated in the rural schools, and later taught in them for nine years. When he completed his medical course, at the age of thirty-three years, he had spent twenty-seven years of his life in the schoolroom, as pupil and teacher. During the time he was growing up he had a fondness for all outdoor growing up he had a fondness for all outdoor sports, including hunting, fishing and baseball. For the first two years of his life the family lived on a farm two and one-half miles southwest of Dawson, the next four years they were at Illiopolis, then three years were spent at Decatur and eighteen at Farmingdale, when removal was made to Springfield, where Dr. McElfresh has since resided. He practiced one year in St. Louis, three years at Dawson, and after that located in Springfield, where for seven years he has been in a general practice.
On July 11, 1901, Dr. McElfresh married Dora Bennett, who was born at Winchester, Ill. She is the only daughter of Rev. Perry and Amanda Bennett, who had been for a number of years as a teacher in the Springfield schools, and is a most cultivated, charming lady. There is no issue of this marriage. Dr. McElfresh has been a member of the Odd Fellow since 1899, and of the B.P.O.E. since 1907. He has been examining physician of many of the fraternal organizations here. In early life Dr. McElfresh united with the Presbyterian Church, but when he moved to Springfield he transferred his membership to the First Methodist church of the city. Like his father before him, Dr. McElfresh is a stanch Republican. He is a close student and careful practitioner, whose skill has gained him a wide-spread reputation. Earnest, steadfast, conscientious, he has been more than usually successful in his practice, and has gained the friendship and gratitude of his patients.