George H. Fuller was one of the most universally known and loved men in
Delhi and was connected with many different phases of activity, giving
unstintingly of his best wherever he saw that his labor was needed in
the community. He was not only a physician of the old school, a man who
thought first of the good he might do, but he was a public official who
discharged with the utmost conscientiousness the duties of his position and he
was as well a devoted worker in the Methodist Episcopal church. In addition to
these services in time of peace, he gave his strength and risked his life foe
the Union at the time of the Civil war, serving his country for over three
years at the front.
The Doctor was born in Stowe, Vermont, August 13, 1841, a son of Archippus and
Esther (Sartle) Fuller. The family moved from place to place in the east,
living for a time in Massachusetts, but in 1856 they came to Iowa. At that
time the state was a pioneer region and there was no railroad west of Dubuque.
The family came by hack from that city to Coffins Grove, Delaware county,
where a sister of the Doctor was living. The mother passed away in Buchanan
county, Iowa in 1862. The father survived until 1888, when his demise occurred
in Tarkio, Missouri. Both are buried at Independence, Iowa.
Doctor Fuller was the eighth in order of birth in a family of ten children. In
the spring of 1857 he received an invitation from an uncle, Rasselas Sartle,
of Quincy, Illinois, to make his home with him, and accepting he found not
only a pleasant home but opportunities for schooling beyond anything he had
previously enjoyed and he eagerly availed himself of them. He subsequently
worked as bookkeeper and timekeeper in his uncle's foundry and was later a
clerk in the offices of the Quincy & Chicago Railroad. In 1861 he returned to
the family at Independence at the earnest request of his mother, who was then
in poor health. For five years he taught school nine miles from Independence
and some idea of the primitive conditions of the state at that time may be
gained from the fact that the school was conducted in the kitchen of the man
who was chiefly interested in having it started.
In 1862, in response to President Lincoln's call for additional troops, Dr.
Fuller enlisted at Independence in Company C, Twenty seventh Iowa Volunteer
Infantry. His first active service was in Minnesota in the operations against
the Chippewa Indians, but in November the command was ordered south to
cooperate with Grant and Sherman. In January, 1863, the Doctor was appointed
clerk at brigadier headquarters and later was made hospital steward. His
courage and ability won him still further promotion and he became second
lieutenant in the Eighty seventh Regiment of the United States Colored
Infantry. He was in command of his regiment for much of the time after his
appointment until he was mustered out of service at New Orleans in 1865,
having served for three years and five months.
From New Orleans he went by way of the ocean to New York and from there to his
old home in New England, but subsequently returned to Iowa and in the fall of
that year began the study of medicine at Epworth under Dr. Sanborn, who had
been surgeon in Dr. Fuller's regiment. He subsequently went to Ann Arbor,
Michigan, where he took the first year of his medical course, after which he
returned to Delhi and pursued his studies with Dr. Albert Boomer. Later he
completed his course at the Chicago Medical College, receiving his degree from
that institution in 1869. He returned to Delhi and he and Dr. Boomer practiced
in partnership for a number of years. He later practiced at Webster City and
afterward was government physician at the Crow Indian reservation in Montana
and at Fort Hall Indian agency in Idaho for four years or until 1877, when he
returned to Delhi, where he lived during the remained of his life. He had an
extensive practice which made heavy demands upon his time and energy but he
was one who never sought to spare himself and went as a matter of course
wherever he was needed, wherever he might be of assistance, without
considering whether or not he was tired and in need of rest. He considered a
doctor a professional man whose privilege it was to serve, and material gain
was always secondary to unselfish consideration of the needs of others. He was
a man of wide reading and kept informed as to the latest discoveries in the
field of medical science. He was himself a valued contributor to a number of
medical journals and was a member and frequently an officer of the Delaware
County Medical Association, being secretary for four years in addition to
holding other positions therein.
On the 3d of January, 1873, Dr. Fuller was married to Miss D. Adelaide Boomer
who passed away in 1897. He father was Dr. Boomer, a partner of Dr. Fuller.
The latter's second marriage was with Miss Laura B. Smith, a daughter of
Mortimer and Charlotte (Reynoldson) Smith, who came to Delaware county in
1867. They lived two miles south of Delhi and the father carried on farming.
He passed away in May, 1904. The mother survives and makes her home in Delhi.
Dr. and Mrs. Fuller had one son, Albert, who was born September 28, 1903.
The Doctor was a republican and for twenty five years served as a member of
the school board, proving an intelligent and sincere friend of the schools and
doing much to make them better. While pursuing his medical studies he
taught for some time and was from December, 1869, to June, 1871, principal of
the Delhi school. He was very successful as a teacher, finding it congenial
work, and the intimate knowledge of the problems of teaching and of
administration of schools was a great value to him later in life, when as a
member of the school board he had a voice in the control of the town
educational system. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and
served foe many years as superintendent of its Sunday school, while from 1868
until his death he was trustee and steward, with the exception of four years
which he spent in Montana and Idaho. His religion was a vital force and found
expression in his everyday life, which was unselfish to a degree that is very
unusual. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and enjoyed greatly
the association with his old army comrades. He was marked by a strong sense of
justice and of fairness and was always quick to see the other man's side of
the question as well as his own and although a man of remarkable soundness of
judgment he was always reluctant to press his views upon anyone. Those
who knew him intimately realized his genuine worth and ability and regarded
him all the more highly for his modesty and respected him for his innate
dignity and his quiet self control. He demanded from himself the best and
highest but for the failings of others he had boundless charity, and the
memory of his life is one that will not soon fade from the minds of those who
knew him and it is one that will ever lead to high ideals of manhood and a
true appreciation of the possibilities for good.