Biography of P. A. Kemper, M. D.
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P. A. Kemper, M. D., physician and surgeon, Mattoon; was born in Culpeper Co., Va., Aug. 31, 1832; his early education was under the direct supervision of his mother, who was a well-qualified schoolmistress; his father was an artisan by profession, of whom he was bereft at the early age of 8 years; when about 16 years of age, he left home and came to Paris, Edgar Co., Ill.; in the fall of 1855, he began the study of his profession with Dr. D. O. McCord, remaining in his office two and a half years; during the winter of 1857 and 1858, he attended Rush Medical College, and, at a later date, received his degree; He began the practice of his profession in Pleasant Grove Tp., Coles Co., March 3, 1858; here he remained until 1876, excepting an absence of two years in the army. In 1861, he raised a company for the 5th Regiment, and was chosen Captain of the same; his position he resigned for that of Assistant Surgeon of the regiment; when the final organization occurred, however, through the treachery of professed friends, he failed in receiving the appointment; notwithstanding the unjust treatment to himself and Col. Updegraff, the commanding officer, he elected to remain with his boys, as a private in the ranks, rather than return home; in June, 1862, he was captured at Pocahontas, Ark., and remained a prisoner of war some three months; he was next sent on parole to St. Louis, and then exchanged and appointed to duty in the hospital with the rank and pay of Assistant Surgeon; in October, 1863, he was appointed and commissioned Surgeon of the 3d Regiment, which position he resigned after six months; in March, 1876, he located in Mattoon, his present residence. He was married in December, 1863, to Mary J. Glenn, a native of Illinois; has had five children – Joseph E., John M., George II., living; Benjamin G., Charles W., dead. At present holds the office of City Physician.