Clarence W. Winbigler, M. D. It was nearly thirty-five years ago that Doctor Winbigler began practice at Harper, Kansas. That county was then well out toward the frontier, and with one other physician of Harper he shared the honors of pioneer practice. In early years Doctor Winbigler practiced when there were no telephones, when there were few good roads, and his work necessitated riding night and day through the bare prairies in all kinds of weather. As a physician and surgeon he ranks among the leaders of his profession in this section of the state.
Doctor Winbigler was born at Middletown, Indiana, September 13, 1853. His paternal ancestors came out of Holland and settled in Maryland in colonial times. His father, Elias Winbigler, was born at Frederick, Maryland, in 1816. In young manhood he left that state, moving to Middletown, Indiana, where he married and took up farming. In the spring of 1859 he went to Spring Grove, Illinois, where he continued farming until his death July 6, 1864. He was a leader among the abolitionists of Indiana and Illinois, and a stanch republican. At the time of his death he held the office of postmaster of Spring Grove. Religiously he was a member of the Lutheran Church. The maiden name of his wife was Amanda R. Gordon, who was born in Warren County, Ohio, in 1819, and died at Monmouth, Illinois, in October, 1874. Her children were: John S., who was a farmer and died at Spring Grove, Illinois, December 30, 1897; Chalmers B., a farmer living at Spring Grove; Gordon O., who when a mere youth entered the Union army, served through the Civil war and met his death at the hands of Indians at White Rock on the Republican River in Kansas August 13, 1868; Julia, unmarried and a retired school teacher living at Monmouth, Illinois; Doctor Clarence W.; Annie, who died in October, 1865, wife of Albert J. Spriggs, now a retired druggist living at Monmouth, Illinois; and Alice, who had had a brilliant career as a scholar and teacher, was graduated Bachelor of Science from Monmouth College, Illinois, in 1877, received her Master of Arts degree in 1894, studied advanced astronomy in the University of Chicago from 1894 to 1899, and for a number of years had held the chair of mathematics and astronomy in Monmouth College.
Dr. Clarence W. Winbigler was eleven years of age when his father died, and after that event his widowed mother removed to Monmouth, Illinois. As a boy he attended rural schools in Warren County, Illinois, and finished his education at Monmouth, attending the public schools and from high school entered Monmouth College, from which he received the degree A. B. in 1874. He began the study of medicine at Monmouth under Dr. John R. Webster, and completed his course in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College of New York City, where he was graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1877. In 1911 Doctor Winbigler took post-graduate work in the Chicago Polyclinic, and had always kept abreast of the times in his profession.
He had practiced in Kansas for forty years, having begun his work at Greenleaf in this state in 1877. Six years later, in 1884, he removed to Harper and had given his professional services to this community ever since. He is a member in high standing of the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association. His offices are in his own building on Main Street and among other properties are his home in the west part of town, a modern residence which he remodeled in 1900, and he also had a farm of 160 acres near Freeport, Kansas.
Doctor Winbigler might be classified as a dyed in the wool republican. While never an office seeker, he had been prompt and energetic in forwarding the welfare of his party and as a worker for good government everywhere. He served twelve years as United States pension examiner, having been first appointed during McKinley’s administration. He is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and Attica Lodge of Knights of Pythias.
In May, 1902, in Harper County, Doctor Winbigler married Miss Carrie Person, daughter of Per and Chasta Person. Her father, now deceased, was a farmer, and her mother lives with Doctor and Mrs. Winbigler.