The school of osteopathy has a worthy representative in Adrian D. Nichols, who is a successful practitioner of St. Louis, and since his graduation from the Kirksville School of Osteopathy has practiced in this city. He was born on a farm near Nashville, Illinois, April 17, 1870, and is a son of David William and Tabitha (Ballard) Nichols. The father, a native of the state of New York, was born in what was then known as Bath Village but is now the city of Syracuse. He was a son of William Nichols who came to America from Scotland in early life. David W. Nichols was born in 1832 and pursued his education in the schools of Michigan, to which state his parents removed when he was quite young. Later the family home was established at Quincy, Illinois, where he was residing at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war.
Upon President Lincoln’s call to arms he was one of the first to enlist, joining Major Wood’s One Hundred Day Men. The commander later turned his troops over to the Mulligan Brigade at Lexington. They were exchanged as prisoners of war at Jefferson Barracks, after being kept there for a time. They were paroled and discharged at Hannibal, Missouri. Later Mr. Nichols joined the forces of General Curtis at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and at Corinth joined the troops under General Dodge as a scout, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. He was then invalided and sent to Cairo, Illinois, for he was a member of the Fiftieth Illinois Regiment and claimed Cairo as his home. While at Corinth he was under the direct command of Captain Von Sellers. When he had regained his health, following the close of the war, he settled near Cairo, and there turned his attention to farming. He was ever a stanch republican, standing loyally by the party which was the defense of the Union during the dark days of the Civil war and has ever been the party of reform and progress. Fraternally he was connected with the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He passed away in March, 1910, at the advanced age of seventy-eight years, and thus closed a life of activity and usefulness in which his patriotic duty was ever an outstanding feature in his career.
When Abraham Lincoln became the candidate for presidency in 1860 David W. Nichols cast the only vote for him in his precinct, which was situated just across from West Quincy. When it became known who was the “offender” in this matter things were made very unpleasant for him in the neighborhood and he was obliged to keep strict watch that no harm would befall him. He never hesitated to support his honest convictions, however, and when the trouble between the north and the south culminated in the outbreak of the Civil war he at once responded and valiantly fought for the defense of the Union, while in the later years of his life, through all the period of peace that followed, he was consistently loyal to the stars and stripes just as he had been when he followed the nation’s starry banner on the battle fields of the south.
His wife was a native of Moscow, Mississippi, and a representative of an old southern family. She became the mother of six children, four sons and two daughters.
Dr. Nichols of this review, the fourth in order of birth in the family, was educated in the public schools of Quincy, Illinois, and of De Soto, Missouri. His first line of work was railroading and his first employment was in connection with the construction of ten miles of road for the Frisco system between Red Fork and Sapulpa, Oklahoma. While thus engaged he made the first discoveries of oil in that locality. This he called to the attention of others, speaking to men whom he thought might make use of his discovery but they treated the subject with indifference, remarking that outside of Pennsylvania no such thing as oil was to be found. From his first railroad position Dr. Nichols worked his way upward until he became assistant general baggage agent at Springfield, Missouri, where he resided in the employ of the Frisco system from 1887 until 1901. In the latter year he removed to St. Louis, taking up his abode here in the month of October. He accepted a position with the Terminal railroad and afterward entered the transportation department of the Wabash Railroad at St. Louis, continuing with that corporation until March 31, 1905, when, having determined to enter upon a professional career, he matriculated in the College of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri, entering the last two years class to be graduated from that college. He completed his course in June, 1907, and returning to St. Louis, opened an office in the Frisco building, in which he has since continuously and successfully followed his profession, building up a large and growing practice as the years have gone by. He is a member of the National Association of Osteopaths, also the State and St. Louis Associations and of the last named served as president for four years from 1908 until 1912.
On the 2d of November, 1897, Dr. Nichols was married in St. Louis to Miss Ethel Gray, a native of Springfield, Missouri, a daughter of Dr. William G. and Caroline (McCluer) Gray, the former a prominent physician of Springfield. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols have become the parents of four children: Florence, born in Springfield, April 7, 1900; Caroline, who was born in Springfield, July 16, 1901, and died in St. Louis May 20, 1912; Adrian D., born in St. Louis November 24, 1903; and Wilma Gray, born in Kirksville, Missouri, October 9, 1905. Mrs. Nichols is a direct descendant in the maternal line of General Greene of Revolutionary war fame.
Dr. Nichols and his wife are members of Cabanne Methodist church, South, and in his political belief he is a republican, stanchly supporting the party. He is today one of the oldest osteopathic practitioners of St. Louis, having for thirteen years followed the profession in this city and throughout the intervening period his ability has been attested in the large practice which has been accorded him.