The physician is a man who inspires confidence because he is worthy of it. His humanity is expressed and his interest in his patients is intensified by reason of the concern he has for them, as well as for the experience he may gain that may be for the benefit of future sufferers. A student who loves knowledge and a physician devoted to his profession, he is a careful investigator, and gives all the time he can find in his busy life to books and periodicals devoted to medicine and surgery. Such a man cannot fail to grow steadily in experience, usefulness and in public confidence.
Among the eminent physicians of Marion County Arkansas, Dr. George F. Elam is well worthy of mention, for he is such a man as has been described. He was born in Cleveland County, N. C., April 15, 1847, a son of William T. and Cornelia (Royster) Elam, of North Carolina, and grandson of Dr. Anderson Elam, of Virginia. The latter rose to eminence in his profession, became a soldier of the Mexican War, and died in the Old North State at the extreme old age of ninety years. He was of Irish extraction and became the father of a large family. William T. Elam was reared in the State of his birth, was married there, and in 1851 emigrated to Arkansas, settling on a good farm in the vicinity of Yellville, where he successfully tilled the soil and raised stock. He came thither by wagon, became extremely well known, and was elected to the office of justice of the peace ten years and county assessor four years. He was a Democrat in politics, was a soldier in the Confederate Army, and died in 1884, much regretted by all who knew him. He was married twice and by his first wife, who was a native of Virginia, and was left an orphan at an early age, he became the father of three children: Mary J., wife of M. Pile, of Texas; Dr. George F., and Margaret, wife of C. C. Lowry, of this county. The mother’s death occurred in 1853, after which Sarah Pruett became Mr. Elam’s wife, and the mother of his five children: David L., of Boone County; William D., of this county; Dulcina, wife of O. Massie, of this county; Philip of this county, and John F., who resides in Polk County. The Doctor’s father and mother were members of the Baptist Church.
Dr. Elam has resided in this county since his fourth year, and in the common schools of this county he was educated. He began the study of medicine in 1867, but prior to this was a soldier in the Civil War, enlisting at Fayetteville, in the First Arkansas Cavalry, United States Army, under Col. Harrison, serving from January, 1863, until the middle of 1864, taking part in the engagement at Fayetteville, and followed Price through Missouri, participating in a number of important engagements. After the war he located three miles from Springfield, Missouri, and after living there one year came back to Marion County, Arkansas, and as above stated began the study of medicine in 1867 with Dr. G. W. Jobe, and began practicing two years later. After practicing his profession for some time he entered the Medical Department of the Arkansas Industrial Academy of Little Rock, where he earnestly pursued his studies for some time. In 1887 he graduated from the Little Rock Medical College, and during the twenty-five years that he has practiced the healing art, he has gained a widespread reputation and a liberal patronage among the best people of the county. He is recognized by his professional brethren as an exceptionally well-read physician and a surgeon of the best judgment, as a safe practitioner and an able counselor, and a citizen whose reputation is above reproach. He is president of the Marion County Medical Association, and is a member of the State Association. Politically he has ever been a Republican, and was appointed under Judge Owen as medical examiner of Marion County, and president of the board.
He is the owner of a good farm of 207 acres near Bruno, which is farmed by his son, and in a business as well as professional way he has been successful. In 1866 he was married to Miss Rachel D. McEntire, daughter of Champion and Sarah (Waters) McEntire (see sketch of William C. McEntire). Mrs. Elam was born June 5, 1840, and she and the Doctor have nine children: Mahuldah S., wife of Prof. R. B. Garrett; Mary N., wife of William E. Angle, of Bruno; William O., Bishop L., George L., Alice M., John F., Robert W., and Cornelia A. Dr. Elam and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he has always taken an active part in church and school work, and is a public-spirited and useful citizen.