Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Dr. William Iseminger

The demands made upon the medical profession are many. It has been said that if the lawyer is cross and crabbed it is considered a mark of genius; if the minister is cold and reserved it is because he is occupied in the contemplation of things beyond our ken. The physician, however, must possess unfailing courtesy and cheeriness bordering on to optimism, in addition to a comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles which underlie the practice of medicine and surgery. In all of these acquirements Dr. William Iseminger is well equipped and in his practice has made steady progress since first taking up the active work of the physician and surgeon.

He was born near Westville, in Laporte county, Indiana, July 10, 1836. a son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Graybeal) Iseminger, natives of Ohio and Virginia, respectively. The paternal grandfather, George Iseminger, was born in Pennsylvania and was of German parentage. He was a wheelwright by trade and a natural mechanic and it was said could make anything in wood. Unto him and his wife were born several children, including Daniel, George, Jacob, Christina and Julia Ann.

The maternal grandfather of Dr. Iseminger was John Graybeal, a native of Virginia, who lived to old age. He was twice married and had a good sized family, including Holbert, Jacob, Peter and Elizabeth.

Jacob Iseminger, father of Dr. Iseminger, was a farmer by occupation through the greater part of his life, although in early manhood he and his brother operated a mill in Monroe county, Indiana. He lived a busy and useful life and died on the old home farm in 1879, lacking but three months of being eighty years of age. He was twice married, his first union being with a Miss Rogers, by whom he had three children, Martha, Elizabeth and George Washington.

After the death of his first wife, Jacob Iseminger wedded Elizabeth Graybeal, who passed away in 1874, when more than seventy years of age. Both were earnest and consistent members of the Christian church. Their family numbered seven children, as follows: John, deceased; William, of this review; Hiram, who lost his life while serving in the Civil war; Holbert G.,.now living in Tappen, North Dakota; Peter R., who lives on the old home farm in Laporte county, Indiana; Margaret Jane, the wife of John Bone, of Marysville, Kansas; and Rachel, deceased.

Dr. Iseminger spent his youthful days upon his father's farm near Westville, Indiana, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He also attended the district schools and later entered De Pauw University, from which he was graduated with the class of 1862. He won the Bachelor of Arts degree there and after completing his course engaged in teaching school for a time but regarded this merely as an initial step to other professional labor and took up the study of medicine as a student in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, completing a course in the medical department with the graduating class of 1865. Thus well equipped for the onerous and responsible duties of the profession he began practicing in Denison in 1868 and has remained here continuously since. Forty-three years have since come and gone, during which period Dr. Iseminger has ever maintained a prominent position as an able and successful practitioner, conscientiously discharging his duties, his labors being attended with excellent results.

On the 10th of September, 1868, Dr. Iseminger wedded Miss Nancy J. Cavett, a native of Pennsylvania and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cavett, who were likewise born in the Keystone state but became early settlers of Jasper county, Iowa. For several years they lived in Denison and then returned to Vandalia, Jasper county. The father died when well advanced in age and the mother passed away at the home of Dr. Iseminger in Denison, at the age of seventy-one. Their children were as follows: Robert J., Orlando, John, Norville, Mark, J. Sylvester and Nancy J.

Unto Dr. and Mrs. Iseminger were born two daughters: Flora E., a stenographer, who for twenty years has been employed in the bank at Denison; and Mertie, who is the wife of Frank Evans, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and has two children, Donald and Franklin.

In 1893, Dr. Iseminger was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 30th of May of that year, in the faith of the Methodist church, of which she was a consistent member. Dr. Iseminger belongs to the Christian church and his life is in harmony with his professions. Politically he is a republican and has been called to serve in several offices. He was county coroner for several terms, was a member of the city council and has also been a member of the school board. He was likewise a member of the board of pension examiners for a number of years. He belongs to the County and State Medical Societies and is the oldest physician in the county in years of residence and length of practice here. He has ever kept abreast with the progress of the times, study and research constantly adding to his knowledge and promoting his efficiency. He has never hesitated to adopt new ideas or methods which his judgment sanctions as of value in practice but has never hastily discarded the old and time-tried methods, the worth of which have been proven. His record is indeed creditable and commendable and although he is now living retired, save when old friends and patrons demand his professional service, he has for many years stood in advance of the medical profession and as a man and citizen has also commanded and enjoyed the high regard and confidence of his fellow townsmen.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.