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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory

George H. Fuller, M. D.





       Dr. 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.      



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 434-438.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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