Biography of William Emmett Ham, M. D.

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William Emmett Ham, M. D. The thirty-five years since he received his medical degree from Rush, Medical College of Chicago Doctor Ham had spent almost entirely in practice at Beattie, Kansas. He was the pioneer physician there, though the village had been established in 1870. He had remained throughout the years the leading general practitioner. of the town and a large surrounding country community, and he is the present president of the Marshall County Medical Society.

Doctor Ham is of oldĀ AmericanĀ stock. His paternal ancestors came out of England and settled in New Hampshire in Colonial times, and some of the family fought in the Revolutionary war. His grandfather, John Ham, was born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1808. He grew up and married there, and became a broker in grain, pork and other commodities. As a result of the severe panic in 1837 he suffered financial lossee, and seeking an opportunity to begin over again he went to what was then the far West, Northern Indiana, in the vicinity of the present great industrial city of South Bend. He established a home on a farm near Mishawaka and was quietly engaged in agriculture the rest of his active career. He died at Mishawaka in 1876. John Ham married Selina Clark, also a native of New Hampshire, who died at Mishawaka. Of their children the oldest was John Ham, the father of Doctor Ham. Joseph, the second in age, went out to California in 1849, became a gold miner, afterward fought in the Civil war as a Union soldier, and is still living in California, retired. Henry, the third son, was also in the Civil war and is now a furniture merchant at Niles, Michigan. Edward, a veteran of the Union army, died at Mishawaka, Indiana. Emmett, a twin brother of Edward, served in the ranks in the Civil war and died at Mishawaka. Thomas is still living at Mishawaka, and the seventh and youngest child, a daughter, died in infancy.

John Ham, father of Doctor Ham, was born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1828, and is now living at Maryville, Missouri, almost ninety years of age. He was ten years old when he accompanied his parents west to Mishawaka, Indiana, and grew up there. At the age of twenty-one he went to Jackson County, Iowa, and engaged in the lumber business, operating a saw mill. He was married while living there. In 1856 he went to Nodaway County, Missouri, and became a farmer in that then new and comparatively unbroken district. In 1868 he took his family to Maryville and reared them in that city and county seat. For two years he served as sheriff of the county, and then entered merchandising, but now for several years had lived retired. From his age and the record of other members of the family herein given it will be seen that the Hams are people of physical vigor and great vitality. John Ham is one of the few original republicans still left on the stage. He voted for John C. Fremont in 1856, and had given his staunch loyalty to the republican organization for over sixty years. At one time he held the office of postmaster in Maryville. During the Civil war he was with the Missouri Home Guards on the Union side, and saw considerable service along the border, assisting in repelling Quantrill’s and Price’s raids through Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri. John Ham married Justine Poole. She was born at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, in 1835, and is now eighty-two years of age. Her grandfather, Simeon Pryor, was a Revolutionary soldier, and for his services received a grant of land which he placed in Northern Ohio near the City of Cleveland. The children of John Ham and wife were nine in number. Joseph is a farmer in Dunby County, Nebraska. Ellen Maria is the wife of Rufus Graves, a farmer at Kirk, Colorado. The third in age is Doctor Ham. Amelia is the wife of William H. Miller, engaged in the restaurant business in Kansas City, Missouri. Ida Catherine lives at Maryville, Missouri, is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and is the wife of John W. Toel, a traveling salesman for G. W. Chase Mercantile Company of St. Joseph, Missouri. Alice May, also a Daughter of the American Revolution, married Elmer Fraser, a farmer living at Maryville, Missouri. John Nelson became a telegrapher and died at Maryville at the age of twenty-eight. Fred Ernest is a farmer in Nodaway County, Missouri. Frank Pryor, the youngest of the family, died when twelve years old.

Dr. William Emmett Ham was born at Maryville, Missouri, June 28, 1858. He was reared in his native city, attended the public schools, graduating from high school in 1876. Soon afterward he took up the study of medicine at Maryville, under the preceptorship of Dr. M. R. Hackadorn. From his office he entered Rush Medical College at Chicago, where he received his degree Doctor of Medicine in 1882. In 1907 Doctor Ham interrupted his private practice to take post-graduate work in the Chicago Policlinic. For the first year after his graduation he practiced at Arkoe, Missouri, but in 1883 remoyed to Beattie and had continned the work of a expable general practitioner throughout an entire generation. Besides his offlcial connection with the Marshall County Medical Soclety he is a member of the State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. His offices are in his own building on Walnut and Whiting Streets, and he also owned a dwelling at the same location. He had prospered in his business affairs, is vice president of the Marshall Power, Light & Heat Company, and is owner of considerable property, including a garage and store building in Beattie and an eighty acre farm in Waterville Township of Marshall County. Doctor Ham had never married. He is a past master of Beattie Lodge No. 259, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. and a member of Marysville Chapter No. 29, Royal Arch Masons, Marysville Commandery No. 40, Knights Templar, is past master workman of Beattie Lodge No. 168, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and in politics is a republican.



MLA Source Citation:

Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 30 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/kansas/biography-of-william-emmett-ham-m-d.htm - Last updated on May 26th, 2012

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