William J. Fern, M.D.
William J. FERN,
M.D., claims Johnson County as his birthplace, and has since made it
his home. He was born in November, 1846, to Lawrence W. Fern,
biographical sketch appears elsewhere in this volume, and
who is a native of Derby, England, but was reared and educated in New
York State. The father of our subject was born
1814, and was an attorney-at-law for many years; he also taught school
when a young man. His father, James Fern, was a farmer, and came
to the United States in
1820, settling in Oswego County, N.Y., where
he died a very old man. He reared a family of six children, of
whom Lawrence W. was the youngest.
Lawrence Fern came to
Illinois in 1843 from Texas, where he followed civil engineering and
surveying three years, and after coming to Illinois he served as County
some years, but has been retired from this profession
as well as from the law some fifteen years. He now lives on his
farm in Simpson Township. He has living three sons and four
of whom Dr. William J. Fern is the eldest. Dr. Fern was reared on
the farm up to his sixteenth year, and received a good education in the
district schools. He afterward
attended the College Hill
Seminary, and Rush Medical College, graduating there at twenty-one
years of age. He began the practice of medicine at Grantsburg,
Johnson County, in
1868, and on October 14, 1869, was married to
Miss Sarah J. Poor, daugher of S. D. and Sarah J. (Mount) Poor, who
were from the South, coming to Illinois about 1825. Mrs.
was born in Johnson County, and is one of four daughters now living.
She lost one brother, J. N. Poor, who died in February, 1889, at
the age of thirty-five years, leaving a
wife and two children.
and Mrs. Fern lived in Grantsburg five years; in Vienna two years, and
removed to Tunnel Hill about 1876, buying their pleasant home, and here
the Doctor has an extensive
practice and a good drug store, the only
one in the town, which was established in 1886. They have buried
one infant son, Charles, and one infant daughter, Cora, and they have
three sons and one daughter living. Nora, the daughter, and
Lawrence D., a young man of seventeen years, are attending the Haywood
College at Fairfield, Wayne County,
this State. They are both
doing well in their studies, the daughter making a specialty of music,
which she is teaching. William J. is fifteen years old, and Roy
is eight; both are at
home and in school. The Doctor is a
Royal Arch Mason, and has represented the order in the Grand Lodge.
He is also an Odd Fellow, and is free and untrammeled both in
politics and in religion.
transcribed by Nan Starjak
The Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin
Biographical Publishing Co., 1893
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