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Dr. Louis J. Oatman, physician and surgeon of St. Louis, was born December 13, 1874, in O’Fallon, Illinois, a son of Dr. Charles R. Oatman, whose birth occurred in Belleville, Illinois, and who was of French descent. The grandfather was Dr. Christopher Lorenzo Oatman, a native of Alsace, France, when he came to America in 1832, settling in Belleville, St. Clair county, Illinois, where he resided till the time of his death in 1846. He was a graduate of the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and practiced his profession as a well known and capable physician and surgeon of Illinois for many years. The mother of Dr. Louis J. Oatman was Josephine (Lemen) Oatman, a native of Illinois, and of Scotch-Irish descent, the family being founded in America by James Lemen, who came to the new world prior to the Revolutionary war, he and six brothers participating in the struggle for independence. All were clergymen of the Baptist church and to the present time each generation of the family has been represented in the clergy. The Rev. James Lemen, one of the maternal ancestors, was the founder of Bethel church, the first Baptist church established west of the Mississippi river. Mrs. Oatman passed away in 1909, at Collinsville, Illinois, when sixty years of age. She had become the mother of three sons and a daughter, but the latter is now deceased.
Dr. Oatman was the second child and eldest son and after acquiring a high school education at Collinsville, which he completed by graduation with the class of 1890, he entered the St. Louis University as a medical student and won his diploma there in 1893. He afterward acted as an interne in the St. Louis City Hospital, remaining in the institution for six years and during the last three years of that period was assistant superintendent of the St. Louis Female Hospital. He also served for two years during the six-year period as assistant superintendent of the City Insane Asylum. He then entered upon the private practice of medicine, in which he has been continuouly engaged to the present time. He is now chief medical examiner for the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company of Newark, New Jersey, chief medical examiner for the New England Mutual Insurance Company and alternate examiner of the Massachusetts Mutual, the National of Vermont, the Pennsylvania Mutual, the John Hancock, the Bankers Life of Des Moines and several other well known insurance companies. His practice of this character is extensive and he also enjoys a large private practice, his ability winning him recognition in many households. He belongs to the St. Louis, Missouri State and American Medical Associations and to the City Hospital Association, of which he has been the president and has also held all the other executive offices, including that of secretary, treasurer and vice president. During the World war he was the medical member of the local draft board of the twenty-third ward.
It was at Jacksonville, Illinois, June 5, 1900, that Dr. Oatman was married to Miss Anna Martin, a native of St. Louis, and a daughter of James and Sarah J. (Gray) Martin. They have become parents of one child, Olive Isabell, born in St. Louis, July 15, 1903.
Dr. Oatman is a republican in his political views and his religious faith is that of the First Presbyterian church. He finds his chief recreation and diversion in travel and when opportunity permits he visits various regions, gaining thereby the liberal education and culture which only travel brings.