Frank Winfred Shelton, M. D. One of the institutions which serve to give metropolitan character to the City of Independence is the Independence Hospital, the founder and builder of which was Dr. Frank Winfred Shelton, one of the most prominent surgeons of Southern Kansas.
Doctor Shelton built this institution in 1906. It is situated on a commanding site at 706 South Fifth Street and in equipment and service, considering its accommodations, it is one of the best hospitals in the state. Besides the hospital building proper, Doctor Shelton erected a special building to serve as nurses’ dormitory, storerooms, laundry and other purposes. The Independence Hospital is an incorporated institution, with Doctor Shelton as president, while the late R. S. Litchfield was vice president, George Gibnore is secretary and treasurer, Mrs. Doctor Shelton is a director, and another director was E. P. Allen, who recently died. The hospital has accommudstions for twenty patients and there is a staff of eight regular nurses and a training school for nurses is maintained. To this hospital come patients from a radius of 100 miles about Independence and many of them come from points in Oklahoma, particularly Tulsa and Muskogee.
Several generations of the Shelton family have been identified with Kansas. Doctor Shelton’s family originated in England, located in Virginia in Colonial times, and many of the family are still found in the State of Missouri. His grandfather, Elias Shelton, was born in Virginia in 1796 and died in Wilson County, Kansas, in 1888. He made his home in Missouri until the death of his wife, and then lived retired at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lydia Williams, in Wilson County, Kansas. He was successful as a farmer and stock raiser. Although an old man at the time, he possessed such a rugged constitution that he was accepted for service in the Civil war, going out with a Missouri regiment, and in one battle he received a gunshot wound in the leg. After the war he returned to Cass County, Missouri, and lived near Lone Jack. The youngest of his children and the only son still living is Stephen Shelton, father of Doctor Shelton. Stephen Shelton’s sister, Lydia Williams, the only other member of the family still living, is the wife of John Williams, and they were substantial farming people of Wilson County, Kansas, just west of Chanute, but now live retired in Chanute.
Dector Shelton was born in Miami County, Kansas, May 7, 1876, on his father’s farm. Stephen Shelton, his father, was born in Cass County, Missouri, in 1846, grew up there, and in 1862 enlisted in a Missouri regiment on the Union side, serving until the close of the war. He was once taken prisoner, but was soon released or escaped, and rejoined his command. Soon after the war he pioneered to Kansas, becoming a farmer and stock raiser in Miami County. In 1882 he removed to Wilson County, but in 1896 returned to Miami County and since 1906 has been retired from active business cares and lives in Paola. He has been quite influential in local affairs, has filled several township offices as a republican, and is an active member and deacon of the Baptist Church. The maiden name of his wife was Marilda Hinds, who was born in Illinois in 1856. Their children are: Archie, who is now register of deeds of Miami County, living at Paola; Dr. Frank W.; Ollie, who died in 1903 in Miami County, was the wife of William Goebel, manager of the plant of the Uncle Sam Oil Company at Kansas City, Kansas, and a son of P. W. Goebel of Kansas City; Ora is the wife of Eugene Hunt, a clerk in a real estate office at Kansas City, Missouri; Nell, who died June, 1913, as the wife of Don Brown, a furniture dealer at Paola, Kansas; Luetta, deputy register of deeds at Paola; and Palmer, a member of the senior class of the Paola High School.
Frank Winfred Shelton gained a liberal education, partly through the advantages furnished him by his father and also by such means as he earned through his work as a teacher. He attended the public schools in Wilson and Miami counties, graduating from the high school at Louisburg in Miami County in 1895, and for two years was a student in the Kansas State Normal at Emporia. While attending the Normal and afterwards he spent four years as a teacher in Miami County. In 1899 Doctor Shelton entered the Kansas City Medical College, now the medical department of Kansas University, and graduated M. D. with the class of 1904. During that year he went East and took special work in bacteriology in Cornell University, and in 1915 he did post-graduate work in the New York Post-Graduate School. While at Kansas City Medical College he was in St. Joseph’s Hospital three years, and during two of those years was house surgeon, an experience which gave him special opportunities at that stage in his career for the practice of general surgery, and did much to develop a skill which has subsequently characterized his active practice. Doctor Shelton has been in practice at Independence since 1905, and in the following year he established the Independence Hospital. He is a member of the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association.
Politically Doctor Shelton is a republican, is a member of the Presbyterian Church, belongs to the Independence Country Club, and is affiliated with Fortitude Lodge No. 107, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, No. 780, Lodge No. 69, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the local camp of the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Fraternal Aid.
At Independence, Missouri, in 1904, he married Miss Violetta Gilman, daughter of John and Sallie Gilman. Her father is now deceased and her mother resides in Independence, Kansas. There are two children: Frank W., Jr., born February 3, 1906, attending public schools; and Gilman, born September 14, 1910.