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George C. Pritchard. Farmers and stockmen throughout Shawnee County and over the state at large recognize in the name of George C. Pritchard a man whose services as a doctor of veterinary surgery were extensively employed in the interests of individuals and the entire state for a great many years. Doctor Pritchard is one of the oldest veterinarians of Kansas, has stood at the top of his profession, but is now retired and is devoting himself to the care and management of a fine stock farm near Topeka.
Born in Lorain County, Ohio, January 12, 1852, he is a son of Eli B. and Julia Ann (Edwards) Pritchard. When he was thirteen years of age, in 1865, his parents removed to Gratiot County, Michigan. That was then a practically untouched forest of pine timber. It was in the lumber woods of Michigan therefore that Doctor Pritchard grew to manhood. As a boy he had attended the graded schools in Huntington, Ohio, and afterwards the district schools of Michigan. His father was a physician, and the plan most cherished by the parents was that the son should follow the same profession.
However, the son had special tastes and inclinations of his own. For eight years he acted as manager of the John Jeffrey Estate, consisting of extensive land and stock interests, and for another two years he was in the livery business at Sheridan, Michigan. From early boyhood he had been interested in stock, and his early experiences fortified him in the resolution to become a veterinarian. He did his preliminary reading and study with Dr. A. J. Chandler of Detroit. He then entered the Ontario Veterinary College at Toronto, Canada, where he was graduated veterinary surgeon in the spring of 1886.
For the following year he practiced in association with his former preceptor at Detroit. Then in May, 1887, nearly thirty years ago, Doctor Pritchard located in Topeka and his ability and skill gradually became recognized throughout the country districts surrounding that city. For twenty-seven years he actively practiced his profession, and besides his large private clientage he was appointed to many of the delicate and important responsibilities of larger service to the state.
Governor Llewellyn in 1893 appointed him state veterinarian. He filled that position two years until the office was abolished by legislative enactment. Then in 1895 the State Livestock Commission appointed him inspector at Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the purpose of guarding Kansas against the importation of infectious livestock diseases. In these positions and elsewhere Doctor Pritchard had to exercise a great deal of tact, moral courage and firmness and during nearly all the years of his practice he had almost constantly to combat prejudices and open hostility from those whose interests were contrary to the general welfare. His work as veterinarian covered a wide area, and his service involved work of the hardest kind. For a number of terms he was elected and served as president of the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association.
In 1914 Doctor Pritchard bought a tract of 200 acres six miles south of the city on Topeka Avenue. There he owns one of the finest country residences in the entire state. It is equipped with every modern convenience and the surroundings are such as to constitute a model country estate. Having retired from the active practice of his profession he is now free to devote his attention to farming and stock, and is especially interested in the breeding and raising of thoroughbred Holstein cattle. He also has other livestock and has a well developed and thoroughly proportioned farm.
In 1889 Doctor Pritchard married Miss Mary Charles of Hutchinson, Kansas. She died in 1912. In 1913 he married for his present wife Mrs. Lavina (Zimmerman) Sampson. Doctor Pritchard is a republican in politics.