John William Wilhoit, M. D. For a period of more than thirty years Doctor Wilhoit had quietly and efficiently preformed his services as a doctor at St. George and is the oldest resident physician of that town of Pottawatomie County, one of the oldest established in this part of the state. Doctor Wilhoit is a man of high standing in his profession, with attainments that rank him among the leaders of the profession in the state. Perhaps there are none who will say he had not chosen wisely in spending his career in a country community where the opportunities for service are just as great as in a city and where he had enjoyed the rewards of community esteem in a richer degree than are ever paid to the city practitiomer.
Doctor Wilhoit is a Kentuckian, born in Carter County August 12, 1853. His grandfather, John William Wilhoit, was a native of Germany, and came to this country with four brothers, who settled respectively in Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri and Indiana, while he located in Bath County, Kentucky, as a pioneer farmer. he was unable to speak a word of English when he arrived in America. He spent his life as a farmer in Bath County and died there before Doctor Wilhoit was born.
James A. Wilhoit, father of Doctor Wilhoit, was born in Bath County in 1815, and his life was spent in his native state, chiefly in Carter County. He was an industrious and capable farmer. His sympathies were with the North when the war broke out and he offered his services to the Union army but was rejected on account of advanced years. Politically he voted as a republican and for twenty years was justice of the peace and also held other minor offices. Religiously he was a member of the Baptist Church. His death occurred in Carter County in 1873. He married Matilda Boggs, who was born in Virginia in 1819, of old American stock. She lived to the extreme age of ninety-five, having been born when all the Middle West was practically a frontier, her death occurring in 1914, the year the great European war broke out. This worthy couple brought up a family of respousible and capable children, nine in number. Among them Doctor Wilhoit was seventh. The others taken in order of birth were: E. B., an attorney practicing at Grayson, county seat of Carter County; Fannie, who married George Griswold, a farmer, both dying in Carter County; Jennie Powers, who died in Carter County, where her husband, a farmer, still lives at Olive Hill; Ellen, who lives in Carter County, widow of Elijah Cox, a farmer; Mary, who died unmarried at the age of twenty-five; Myrtilla, who married Richard Armstrong, a druggist, and died at Olive Hill, Kentucky; J. B. Wilhoit, a prominent lawyer of Ashland, Kentucky, and present judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District; and George W., book-keeper for a mining company at Olive Hill, Kentucky.
Dr. John William Wilhoit was reared on his father’s farm in Carter County. He attended the common schools, spent two terms in the State Normal School at Carlyle, Kentucky, and in 1881 graduated Bachelor of Seience from the Central Normal College at Danville, Indiana. He soon afterward directed his efforts to prepare for the medical profession and attended a course of lectures in the Louisville Medical College in 1882. A second course was at the Ensworth Medical College at St. Joseph, Missouri, where he graduated M. D. in 1885. In 1893 Doctor Wilhoit took post-graduate studies in the Chieago Policlinic.
His first practice was done at Westmoreland, Kansas, where he remained 2 1/2 years and then located at St. George and is practically the pioneer physician in that community. For years he had looked after a large medical and surgical practice both in the town and country and had enjoyed many of the distinctions paid to the able and successful physician.
Doctor Wilhoit is serving as president of the Pottawatomie County Medical Society. He is a member of the State Medical Society, the American Medical Association and the Medical Association of the Southwest. Before the latter organization in October, 1916, he read a paper entitled “When is Curettage of the Uterus Justifiable in Obstetric Practice and How to Do It,” an address characterized by a clarity that proceeded from long and successful experience and was widely commented upon and praised by members of the association. Doctor Wilhoit was coroner of Pottawatomie County two terms, or four years. He had been pension examiner twenty-two years and is still filling the office.
He had also prospered in a business way and had been a factor in public affairs for many years. He had his medical offices on Main Street in St. George and owned the office building, and also his home and several dwellings and the Hotal of St. George. He is also owner of the Central Telephone Office and the Postoffice Building, and had a large dwelling house in Manhattan, Kansas. His possessions also include a farm of ten acres just south of the depot in St. George and fifty-five acres in Carter County, his native county. For twenty years he served as a director of the school board at St. George. Doctor Wilhoit is a republican and one of the trustees of the Christian Church. Fraternally he is affiliated with Manhattan Lodge No. 16, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Wamego Chapter No. 53, Boyal Arch Masons, Manhattan Commandery of the Knights Templar, Salina Consistory of the Scottish Rite, and Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salins. He also belongs to Manhattan Lodge No. 17, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, St. George Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Fraternal Aid Union. For a number of years he was vice president of the St. George State Bank.
Doctor Wilhoit married at Rossville, Kansas, September 21, 1882, Miss Jennie Armstrong, also of a Carter County, Kentucky, family. Her parents, J. H. and Melinda (Watson) Armstrong, both died in Carter County, Kentucky, where her father was a farmer and a man of varied interests and active associations in the public life of that county. He had the distinction of serving as the first county superintendent of public schools in Carter County, was also sheriff, and was clerk of the District Court and held other county positions.
Doctor and Mrs. Wilhoit have four children. James Claude graduated M. D. from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, and is now practicing medicine at Manhattan. Della married John Marshall, living thres miles south of St. George. Ida married Jesse J. Marshall, brother of John; Jesse Marshall is manager of the Marshall Theater at Manhattan, owned by his father, H. C. Marshall. John William, the youngest child, is a graduate of the Manhattan High School and is now employed in the oil fields of Southern Kansas near Wichita.