Biography - T. J. WHITTEN, M. D.

Dr. T. J. Whitten, who is engaged in the practice of medicine in Nokomis, is one of the older representatives of the fraternity in the county, and has long ranked with the more skillful and capable physicians. He was born in East Fork township, southeast of Hillsboro, in 1844, and is a son of Austin and Sophia Whitten. The father was a native of Kentucky and came to Illinois at an early day. He secured a tract of land in East Fork township, for many years carrying on farming there and eventually departed this life on the old family homestead. His wife was also a native of Kentucky, and by their marriage they became the parents of twelve children, of whom five are living.

Dr. Whitten was reared in the county of his nativity under the parental roof and his early education, which was acquired in the district schools, was supplemented by study in the Hillsboro Academy. He afterward engaged in teaching school in East Fork township, but it was his desire to become a member of the medical fraternity, and to this end he began reading medicine in 1860 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. During the period of the Civil war, however, he returned home and here enlisted in defense of the Union, becoming a member of Company B, One Hundred and Seventeenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was placed in the hospital corps at Memphis, Tennessee, as steward of the Third Heavy Artillery, and while acting in that capacity he received splendid schooling for his profession in the practical experience which came to him in the hospital wards. He rendered efficient aid to his country by the faithful performance of his duty and he was mustered out at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1865. When the war was over Dr. Whitten returned to his home and soon afterward entered upon a course of lectures in the Long Island College Hospital. He was graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia with the class of 1867, and has since practiced in Montgomery county, so that he is therefore one of the oldest physicians in continuous practice within its borders. He first opened his office in Hillsboro, where he remained for a year and then removed to Fillmore, where he spent two years. He resided in Irving from that time until 1880, when he removed to Nokomis, where he remained for ten years as a member of the medical fraternity of that town. In 1890 he went to Jacksonville to accept the superintendency of the David Prince Sanitarium, of which he had charge for eighteen months, and on the expiration of that period he returned to Nokomis, where he has since made his home. He has been very successful, especially in the line of surgical work, and he is called upon to perform the most important surgical operations throughout the entire county. He has very intimate and accurate knowledge of anatomy and the component parts of the human body, and in the performance of an operation displays the utmost precision and skill. He belongs to the Montgomery County Medical Society, to the Central Illinois Medical Society, the Southern District Medical Society, the State Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and the International Railway Surgeons, and he is local surgeon for the Big Four Railroad Company.

Dr. Whitten was married in 1868, the lady of his choice being Miss Sophia Harkey, a daughter of George Harkey of Hillsboro. They have four children: Harry Hood, who is a practicing physician in Peoria, Illinois; George C., who is engaged in the real estate business at Granite, Colorado; Lelia G., at home; and Lester .C, who is employed in the International Harvester Works at Springfield, Ohio.

Dr. Whitten is a valued member of the Lutheran church, and he also belongs to the Masonic lodge and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Nokomis. In his political views he has long been a stalwart Republican, supporting the party since attaining his majority. He has never sought or desired office, however, preferring to devote his undivided attention to his professional duties. He has a splendidly equipped office in Nokomis and does more consultation work than any other physician in the county. In a calling where advancement depends upon individual merit he has steadily worked his way upward, and his reputation is not limited by the borders of his home town nor even by the county. He is known throughout central Illinois as a man of superior skill in the practice of surgery, and the profession as well as the public accords him high rank.

Extracted 11 Apr 2020 by Norma Hass from 1904 Past and Present of Montgomery County, Illinois, by Jacob L. Traylor, pages 16-19.

Templates in Time