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Biography of Walter Thompson Adair, M.D.

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Walter Thompson Adair was born in December 1834, near the old Georgia gold mines, Georgia, son of George Washington Adair and grandson of the well-known Black Watt Adair. In 1867 Walter moved with his parents on the Arkansas line, twelve miles south of Cane Hill, his father being principal chief of the treaty party at the time of their removal from the old nation. His mother was Martha, daughter of Judge Martin, first treasurer of the nation. Walter was placed in the national male seminary until seventeen years of age, and began the study of medicine in 1855, taking his first course of lectures in St. Louis, and graduating from the St. Louis Medical College in the winter of 1857-58, the celebrated Dr. Charles A. Pope being dean of the faculty at the time. Having graduated, Dr. Adair commenced practice in the neighborhood of the orphan asylum, and continued until the war broke out, when he became staff surgeon of Stand Watie’s command, being afterwards promoted to chief surgeon, first Indian division, on the staff of Gen. D. H. Cooper, in 1864. Dr. Adair served in all the engagements of the department. After the war he devoted himself to private practice, until he was appointed medical superintendent of the high school, in 1876, serving twelve years. In 1889 he became medical superintendent of the Cherokee Orphan Asylum, and served until August 1891. Dr. Adair has been married three times. His first wife was Mary Buffington Adair, by whom he has two children, Mary Ellen (Wilson) and William Penn. His second wife, whom he married in 1871, was Ruth Markham, daughter of Le Roy Markham, who also left him two children, Joseph Franklin and Lola, while his present wife is named Fannie, daughter of Val Gray, by whom he has one boy, aged six years. Dr. Adair devotes his life to the practice of his profession, and is widely popular in that capacity. His home is at Cooy-yah, near Pryor Creek, on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. Dr. Adair is well informed in the history of his people, and recalls distinctly many important events, which took place when he was quite a youth, among them the assassination of Wash and Andrew Adair, and Boudinot and the Ridges. Dr. Adair is a brother of the late William Penn Adair, one of the most illustrious of modern Cherokees.

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