William Middleton Givens, son of John S. and Margaret S. Givens, was born near Booneville, Cooper county, Missouri, December 23, 1827. He was reared upon a farm amid the wholesome influences of country life and industry, and educated in the early private schools of his native county, supplemented by an attendance at F. T. Kemper’s High School, of Booneville. At the the age of seventeen he began teaching school, and continued to follow this profession at intervals until he graduated as a physician.
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In January, 1854, he entered upon the study of medicine under Dr. H. C. Gibson, of Booneville, remaining under his preceptorship three years, and attending two full courses of lectures at the St. Louis Medical College, passing the regular examination before the faculty, and graduating a Doctor of Medicine, in March, 1857. Immediately thereafter he removed to Daviess county and on the 14th of the following July, was united in marriage to Miss Ada B. Canthorn. They settled in Gallatin, and Dr. Givens entered upon the practice of medicine, which he has continued almost uninterruptedly ever since. He remained in Gallatin all during the War of the Rebellion, experiencing all the vicissitudes of those troublous times, and although his sympathies were with the South -being by birth and education a Southerner-he remained to a great extent neutral, not wishing to see the Government disrupted, and so tendered his services freely, ministering to the sick and wounded of both Federal and Confederate armies, as they came within hi$ reach. He was not arrested or disturbed, but continued his practice all during the war, and now has not only one of the largest and most lucrative practices in Daviess county, but is also highly esteemed as a citizen, possessing the respect and confidence of the best people in Gallatin and Daviess county.
Dr. Givens is an ardent admirer of the tenets and practices of Freemasonry, having become initiated in 1858, in Daviess Lodge No. 116, of Gallatin; of which he was past master. When that Lodge surrendered its char-ter, he became a member of Gallatin Lodge No. 106, soon after its organization; was exalted to the most sublime degree of Royal Arch Mason in Gallatin Chapter No. 11; has held the offices of treasurer, king, ex officio high priest (the high priest having died during his term of office), and is now master of the first veil.
Dr. and Mrs. Givens have four children: named, respectively, Annie W., wife of W. A. Wynn; John Parasade Ogle, Carrie Lambeth, and Nathaniel Shores.