Dr. John F. Gallagher, physician and surgeon of St. Louis, is a native of the neighboring state of Nebraska, his birth having occurred at O’Neill, December 26, 1883. His father, the late Michael Gallagher, was a native of Ireland but came to America when fourteen years of age, arriving in 1858. He cast in his lot with the pioneer settlers of Nebraska and there for many years successfully followed farming and stock raising, death terminating his labors on the 24th of December, 1916, when he had reached the age of seventy-two years. His wife, Mrs. Bridget (Erwin) Gallagher, is a native of Pennsylvania and a representative of one of the old families of that state of Irish lineage. She still makes her home at O’Neill, Nebraska. Nine children were born of her marriage, six of whom are living, two daughters and four sons, and three of the sons are physicians.
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Dr. John F. Gallagher was educated in the public schools of his native city and in Washington University of St. Louis, in which he pursued his preparation for a professional career, being graduated with the M. D. degree in 1906. His early life had been spent on the home farm with the usual experiences of the lad who divides his time between the duties of the schoolroom, the pleasures of the playground and the work of the fields. After leaving home he was employed for six years in connection with mercantile pursuits in O’Neill and it was at the end of that time that he began preparing for the practice of medicine. Following his graduation he served for one year as interne in the St. Louis City Hospital and then became associated with Dr. A. V. L. Brokaw, continuing in general practice in that connection until the death of Dr. Brokaw, since which time he has practiced alone. He has specialized in surgery and has developed high skill in that branch of the profession. For three years he has served as chief police surgeon of St. Louis. For four years prior to that date he was assistant surgeon under Drs. E. L. Dorsett and H. M. Moore. He belongs to the St. Louis Medical Society and also to the Missouri State Medical Association.
On the 1st of June, 1910, in St. Louis, Dr. Gallagher was married to Miss May Shay, a native of this city and a daughter of Patrick and Mary (Nolan) Shay, both of whom were representatives of old St. Louis families. Her father was for years district chief of the fire department of St. Louis. To Dr. and Mrs. Gallagher have been born six children: John, William, Robert, Thomas, Patrice and Eleanor, all born in St. Louis.
During the World war Dr. Gallagher was a member of the Volunteer Medical Corps but was not called upon for active duty. He belongs to St. Mark’s Roman Catholic church and is connected with the Knights of Columbus. Politically he is a stalwart democrat, taking an active interest in the party and its success, but his activity centers upon his professional duties, which are most zealously and conscientiously discharged, his practice being now extensive and of a most important character.