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J. M. GIDEON, M. D. There is generally a wide diversity of opinion among people outside of the medical profession in their estimate of the skill and ability of a particular physician. A family is likely to pin its faith on one practitioner and distrust all the rest. If there is a member of the profession in Ozark who has successfully fought down this prejudice and now stands secure in the confidence and high esteem of the general public, that man is Dr. J. M. Gideon, a man whose research in the field of science has produced such remarkable results as to leave no question of his intellectual greatness. The Doctor was born on the old home of the family near Ozark, in Christian County, December 11, 1855, and until fourteen years of age he spent his life on the farm. He then went to the Hoosier State and attended school in Howard County for a year or so, after which he returned to Christian County and again entered the schoolroom.
When eighteen years of age he began the study of medicine under Dr. Parker, of Ozark, and remained in his office for about a year. After that he began practicing at Kirbyville, Taney County, remained there one year and then went to Galena, the county seat of Stone County, where he practiced his profession for two years. Later he moved to Highlandville, Christian County, and for twelve years was in active practice there, but during that time he located in Clinton County, Indiana, where he practiced for a short time. In the year 1893 he came to Ozark and from the first had a successful practice. In his medical work the Doctor has been at all times progressive, keeping himself well up in the medical literature of the day, and as a citizen he is ever loyal to the interests of the community in which he lives, being ever ready to assist in any liberal and public-spirited movement. In all public affairs he is recognized as a man of strong character, advanced ideas and sound judgment, and is as popular socially as he is professionally, counting among his warm personal friends many of the best people of Ozark. Socially he is an Odd Fellow, a member of the lodge at Ozark, and in politics he is a Republican.
Dr. Gideon was married in Highlandville to Miss Ottie Handy, a native of Christian County, born in the year 1872, and the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Keltner) Handy, pioneers of the county. Two children are the fruits of this union: Orion and Pryor. The Doctor and Mrs. Gideon are members of the Christian Church and reside at Ozark, where they are highly esteemed. The Gideon family is one of the pioneer families of the Ozark Region and the Doctor and his brothers are men well respected by all. The Doctor gives his time principally to the practice of his profession and is one of the leading physicians in southwest Missouri. At his first marriage Dr. Gideon became the father of one child, Austin F., who is now seventeen years of age and who resides in Oregon.