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James S. Akins, M. D.

     JAMES S. AKINS, M. D., is one of the prominent citizens of Loraine. In connection with the practice of medicine, he carries on a drug store and is the efficient Postmaster of the village. He was born in Franklin, Venango County, Pa., July 11, 1838, and is the fourth in order of birth in a family of nine children, five of whom are yet living. The parents were Robert and Lucy (Sage) Akins, the former born in Montreal, Canada, February 14, 1799, and the latter in Vermont in 1808. The paternal grandfather was of English birth and emigrated to Canada, whence he came to the United States. Robert Akins was a carpenter and followed that trade during the greater part of his life. He and four brothers served in the War of 1812. His death occurred in Shawneetown, Ill., in December, 1856, and his wife died in Plymouth, Hancock County, Ill., in 1858. He was a member of the Baptist Church and she was a Methodist in religious belief.
     The Doctor received very meagre (sic) educational privileges. When a lad of twelve, his father wanted him to go with an uncle who was a sailor on Lake Erie, but on account of the stories of shipwrecks and dangers which the uncle had related, his proposal was not received with favor by young Akins. His father insisted, however, and rather than go he left home, making his way to Jamestown, N. Y. He journeyed mostly on foot, and sometimes slept in the woods at night. He was variously employed for two years, but earned his own board and clothes and acquired a little money besides. At length, he determined to try his fortune in the West, and worked his way down the rivers by boat to Shawneetown, Ill., where he had relatives living. There he hired out to a farmer, and one of the provisions of the contract was that he should receive instructions in reading, writing and arithmetic. He remained with his employer two years, and during that time studied hard, making rapid progress in the elementary branches of learning, especially in mathematics. In 1856, he came to Adams County and for three years worked as a carpenter. In 1858, he started for Pike's Peak, being one of the first to cross the plains. After a few months, he returned, but the following year again went, and altogether made the trip across the plains six times, becoming quite familiar with the wild and mountainous regions of Colorado and Montana. He was in Denver when a few shanties constituted that city. He spent some time working at his trade in Montana, and erected several buildings in Virginia City, including the Recorder's Office. He probably made the first shingle manufactured in that territory. He saw herds of one thousand buffaloes, and killed hundreds of those animals. He had some narrow escapes from the Indians and experienced some severe privations. For a time he successfully engaged in mining in California Gulch, Colo., and in 1867 returned home.
     On again reaching Adams County, Dr. Akins built a sawmill in Keene Township, which he operated for two years, when his health failed him and he sold out. He had previously read medicine for some time, and in 1869 he took a course of lectures in the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1871. At that time Loraine had just been platted and the Doctor, erecting one of the first buildings in the new town, at once began practice, which he has followed continuously since, with the exception of about a year. He has met with good success and in assition to this has conducted a drug store for twenty years.
     In the year 1859, Dr. Akins was married to Josephine, daughter of John McFarland, one of the pioneers of Adams County. Six children have been born unto them: Alice, wife of S. P. Lemon, of Quincy; Harry D., who is married and resides in Quincy; William, a prosperous farmer, who is married and resides in Keene Township; Lillie, Arvilla, and Bessie, at home. The Doctor is a friend of education, and has provided his children with good advantages, thus fitting them for the practical duties of life. He is a stalwart Republican and during Grant's administration was appointed Postmaster. He again received the appointment under President Harrison, and has served in all for about twelve years. Socially, he is a member of the Masonic, Odd Fellows' and United Workmen fraternities. He now enjoys a good practice, which he has established among neighbors and friends who knew him before he began the study of medicine. He still has their confidence and respect in an unlimited degree.

[Source:Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Chicago: Chapman Bros. 1892, transcribed by Debbie Gibson]

Marriages of Adams County, Illinois 1825-1860 Vol I
Akins, James S. married McFarling (McFarland), Mary J. 25 Dec. 1859 (Code 563) Walters, Ezekial (Ezekiel, E.) JP

Marriages of Adams County, Illinois 1876-1890 Vol III
Cert#5982 Akins, Harry D. marries Rogers, Miss Lizzie L. 13 Mar 1889 (Code 407)McKown, Chas F. (JP)
Akins, Wm. B. married Crank, Miss Bertha E. 3 Oct 1886 (code 297) Johnson, I. M. (T. M. or J. M.) MG
Cert#5120 Lemon, Sterling P. married Akins, Miss Alice M. 11 Sep 1887 (code 23) Aumuis, Thos. B. MG

Marriages of Adams County, Illinois 1891-1899 Vol IV Cert# 8809 Brown, Frank married Akins, Lillian 24 Dec. 1893
Cert# 8535 McColm, Charles A. married Akins, Arvilla E. 21 Jun 1893

[Source: Marriages of Adams County, Illinois Vol I, III, IV, transcribed by Debbie Gibson]


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