Biography of Alonzo O. Blair, M. D.
Alonzo O. Blair, M. D. By nearly forty years of practice in Southeastern Kansas Doctor Blair has become widely known as a successful physician and surgeon, and for more than a quarter of a century has been identified professionally and also in a business way with the City of Pittsburg.
By ancestry he is of Scotch-Irish stock. His great-great-grandfather came in colonial times from England and settled in South Carolina. Doctor Blair’s grandfather was a native of South Carolina, but was opposed to the institution of slavery and moved from that state to Tennessee and thence to Illinois. He was one of the conductors on the famous underground railroad in the years before the war, a route by which many fugitive slaves escaped to freedom in Canada. He was an early farmer at Sparta, Illinois, where he died.
Illinois is the native state of Doctor Blair. He was born in Perry County September 19, 1852. His father William R. Blair was born in Tennessee in 1824, grew up in that state, and at the age of thirty-four removed to Perry County, Illinois. He followed farming all his life, and died at Perry in March, 1916. He was a man of considerable influence in his home locality, was an active republican, filled the office of justice of the peace, and was a member and elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. He married Martha McQuiston, who was born in North Carolina in 1842 and died at Perry, Illinois, in 1856. William R. Blair was a very successful farmer in Illinois and left a large estate, part of which is still owned by his children. These children were: Dr. A. O. Blair, the oldest; Lyman, who occupies part of the old homestead in Perry County, Illinois; James Edwin, who lives on a farm near the old homestead; William Lincoln, farming on a part of the old homestead; Lillian, who is married and lives on a farm south of Wichita, Kansas; and Mabel, unmarried, living in New York City.
The early youth of Doctor Blair was spent on an Illinois farm. He attended public school at Perryville, and in 1873 was graduated from the Colterville Academy. He then entered the St. Louis Medical School, now the medical department of the University of Missouri. He completed a thorough course in that institution and was granted his degree M. D. in 1877. In 1890 Doctor Blair interrupted his private practice and took post-graduate work in the New York Polyclinic. That was shortly before he located in Pittsburg. For the first year of his practice he was located at Colterville, Illinois, but in 1878 came to Kansas, and this state has been the stage of his professional activities and his business success. He practiced at Bavaria from 1878 to 1882 and at Beulah until 1890. In the latter year he removed to Pittsburg, which was then just coming into prominence as an industrial city, and for years he has enjoyed a large share of the general medical and surgical practice in this locality. His offices are at 412½ North Broadway and he owns an interest in the building.
Doctor Blair has used his means to invest largely in local real estate. He owns his home at 513 West Second Street, also a business building on South Broadway, a large brick structure near the Frisco depot, and he and Tom Caffey own the two-story brick building on Locust and Fourth streets adjoining the Santa Fe Railway. He owns other real estate in Pittsburg and has some investments in Port Arthur, Texas.
Doctor Blair is a member of the Crawford County and Kansas State Medical societies, the Southeastern Medical Society and the Medical Society of the Southwest and the American Medical Association. He is a republican and has served as a member of the city council of Pittsburg. He is now a trustee in the United Presbyterian Church. Fraternally his relations are with Pittsburg Lodge No. 187, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Pittsburg Chapter No. 58, Royal Arch Masons, Pittsburg Commandery No. 29, Knights Templar, and Mirzah Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Pittsburg. He also belongs to Pittsburg Lodge No. 56, Ancient Order United Workmen, and to Pittsburg Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America.
In Colterville, Illinois, in 1877, the year he was graduated in medicine, Doctor Blair married Miss Elizabeth Hughes, a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Miller) Hughes, both of whom are now deceased. Her father was a further. Doctor and Mrs. Blair have two daughters. Florence is the wife of Robert Nesh, who is assistant manager in a brick company at Pittsburg. The daughter Olive is a graduate of the College of Music at Cincinnati, Ohio, is a music teacher and makes her home with her parents.