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William E. Schowengerdt, M. D. As even the layman finds wonder and interest in scanning the progress made by medical science from time to time, it is not remarkable that trained medical men should continue enthusiastic students and thereby still further deserve the faith and confidence of those who seek their healing ministrations. No men of any profession are so continuously students as are physicians, and the more competent and skillful they are the more closely do they devote attention to investigating the cause, prevention and cure of disease. They usually are real founts of wisdom; in fact, they must be. The city of Champaign has a very representative body of physicians and surgeons, and in the foremost rank stands Dr. William E. Schowengerdt, who has been identified with the professional, civil and social life of this city for two decades.
William E. Schowengerdt was born in Warren County, Missouri, September’ 16, 1872. His grandparents were both natives of Germany and were early settlers in Warren County, Missouri, where Doctor Schowengerdt’s parents, Henry and Louise (Schoppenhorst) Schowengerdt, were born, the former in 1842 and the latter in 1846. The father during life was a farmer. His death occurred in Lafayette County, Missouri, January 2, 1909. The mother survives and resides at Higginsville, Missouri. They reared a family of seven children: Louis, who is engaged in farming at Higginsville, Missouri; William E.; Albert, a farmer at Higginsville; Ernest, a farmer at Mayview, Missouri; Lizzie, who is the wife of Henry Held, also of Higginsville; and Robert and Emma, both of whom live at Higginsville.
Sometimes an ambitious and talented youth has difficulty in impressing upon his family the strength of his inclination in the direction of choice of career, but Doctor Schowengerdt was more fortunate. From the age of twelve years and all through his school days he cherished a desire to study medicine, a course in college being a necessary preliminary. In his father, in his nineteenth year, he found a benefactor who enabled him to pursue the collegiate course by lending him enough money for the expenses of one year away from home, but with the understanding that this sum should be finally repaid, in justice to his other heirs.
Under these circumstances William E. Schowengerdt enjoyed a year of study in the Central Wesleyan College, located at Warrenton, Missouri. After returning home he entered upon the study of medicine under Dr. A. Braecklein of Higginsville, Missouri, with whom he remained a year and then entered the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, from which well known institution he was most creditably graduated March 23, 1897. It was on the first day of the following June that Doctor Schowengerdt entered into medical practice at Champaign, Illinois, where he has continued active and successful ever since. In addition to attending to a large practice, for the past twelve years he has served as city health officer.
Doctor Schowengerdt was married April 28, 1897, to Miss Sophie Rabsahl, who was born in Missouri, and they have one son, William Henry, who was born in July, 1904. Doctor and Mrs. Schowengerdt are members of St. Peter’s Evangelical Church. Although not unduly active in politics, Doctor Schowengerdt conscientiously supports principles he believes to be right, being affiliated with the Republican party, and at times has accepted official position in a professional capacity or as a member of the board of education. He is identified with a number of representative fraternal organizations, including the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen and the Order of Ben Hur.