DR. E. K. CROTHERS, physician and surgeon, optician and oculist, of Bloomington, Ill., occupies a high position in the profession in this locality as a gentleman well versed in its intricacies and faithful in the discharge of his professional duties. Dr. Crothers is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson Co., Ohio, and was born Oct. 29, 1826. He is the son of Noble and Rachel (Brown) Crothers, natives of Pennsylvania, and his father followed the occupation of a farmer. They left Ohio in the spring of 1835, and coming to the Prairie State purchased a large tract of land in Putnam County, which they occupied for two years. Noble Crothers then sold out and returned to Ohio. After two years he came back to Illinois, and locating in Fulton County, purchased another tract of land, which he devoted to stock-raising, and also engaged in buying and selling, becoming the leading stockman of that county. He continued in this business until he retired from active labor, and departed this life on the 1st of March, 1880, having survived his wife over forty years, the death of the mother occurring in 1837, in Fulton County, Ill. The parental family included five children, who grew to mature years: Casaline M., Mrs. Parker, after having been a resident of Fulton County for forty-nine years, removed to Chicago, and is now the inmate of the home of her son, Dr. Edwin S. Parker; she became
the mother of four children: Dr. Jordan Parker, of Fulton, Ill.; Louisa, Mrs. Jenkins, living near Vermont, Ill.; William, of Bloomington, and Dr. Edwin S., of Chicago. Rev. Warren B., who for thirty years was a Methodist preacher for the counties of Knox, Fulton and McDonough, and is now in Washington Territory; Dr. William R., of Delavan, is the leading physician and surgeon of Tazewell County; Vincent, now deceased, was a prominent stock-dealer of Fulton County, and after having been in a snow blockade near Chicago, and having exhausted himself in an effort to open the blockade, he died from exposure that night at Chicago.
Dr. Crothers of our sketch spent his youth partly upon his father's farm and in attendance at school until the summer of 1845, when he occupied himself as a teacher for five months in the district school. In the fall of that year he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. William H. Nance, of Vermont, Ill., and during the winter of 1847-48 attended medical lectures at St. Louis. The winter following he went East, and took a course of study in the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1850. He then came directly to Bloomington and commenced the practice of his profession, in which he has been continuously engaged since that time, and is the oldest physician now living here and engaged in practice. He commenced with a capital of $10 in cash and his medicine box, and was a stranger to the people. The first month his expenses were $100 over his income, but the tables were soon turned and his patrons increased as time went by, so that he now has a practice extending over a radius of twenty miles in each direction. Since 1865 he has given especial attention to the treatment of the eye and ear, in which he has become very proficient. In the meantime he attended another course at Philadelphia, devoted to the study of the eye and ear at Wills Hospital, and probably has had more experience in this direction than any of his colleagues in this locality.
Dr. Crothers was married on the 1st of May, 1851, to Miss Maria L. DePew. Mrs. C. is a native of Indianapolis, Ind., and the daughter of Elijah DePew, a prominent merchant and stockdealer of Bloomington. The Doctor and Mrs. C. have become the parents of four children: Noble E., a jeweler of Paxton, Ill.; Lulu, at home; E. K., Jr., also engaged in the jewelry business, and Rachel. In 1874 Mrs. Crothers commenced the study of medicine under the instruction of her husband, and three years later attended the Woman's College of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and afterward the Woman's Medical College of Chicago. In the winter of 1882-83 she returned to Philadelphia, and graduated in the class of 1883, and is now the acknowledged leading lady physician of Central Illinois. They occupy a handsome and attractive home in the city of Bloomington, and are valued and useful members of society. The Doctor is Republican in politics, and belongs to the McLean County Medical Society.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 137-8. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards