Transcribed by Teresa Kesterke from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


Dr. John C. Fleming, a general medical practitioner of Burlington and local surgeon for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, Nov. 24, 1848, and represents one of the old families of that locality. The founder of the family in America was the great-grandfather of Dr. Fleming, who died at sea, while on his way from the north of Ireland; but his family continued on their way to the New World, and established their home in Huntingdon county, where his descendants have since been found. James Fleming, father of Dr. Fleming, was a silk-knitter, employed in the mills of Huntingdon county, where he spent his entire life.

Dr. Fleming, having acquired his preliminary education in the public schools, continued his studies at Tuscarora Academy, in Juniata county, Pennsylvania, and later he entered Kishacoquilis Seminary, in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania. He attended those institutions of learning through the summer months, and in the winter seasons engaged in teaching school, that he might secure the funds to meet the expenses of his own education. He was thus engaged until twenty-one years of age, when, having determined to make the practice of medicine his life work, he became a student in the office and under the direction of Dr. John McCullough, who planned his course of reading until he entered upon a course of lectures in Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia. On the completion of a three-years course, he was graduated in 1871, with a class numbering one hundred and twenty-seven members. He then entered upon the active practice of medicine in the office with his former preceptor, remaining in the East until 1877, when he settled at Burlington, and has since followed his profession here with constantly growing success.

From 1880 until 1886 he served as county physician for Des Moines county, and for two years of that time was also city physician and health officer. About 1888 he was appointed local surgeon for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, and has since acted in that capacity. He is also examiner for the New York Life Insurance Company, and for a similar period, fifteen or twenty years, he has been thus connected with the Equitable Life Assurance Society, of New York, and the Mutual Benefit Insurance Company, of New Jersey. He performs all this professional service in addition to the duties of a large general practice. He has never had a partner, and his success has come in direct recognition of his professional skill and ability, won through careful preliminary preparation and thorough investigation and broad study since leaving college. He keeps in touch with the advanced thought and improved methods of the profession, and has practiced along scientific lines, with the result that his labors have been most effective in checking the ravages of disease and alleviating human suffering. He has, too, the strictest regard for a high standard of professional ethics, and therefore commands the respect and confidence of his professional brethren. He belongs to the Des Moines Medical Society and the American Medical Association. In his political views and affiliations he is an independent Democrat.

In March, 1894, Dr. Fleming was married to Miss Ida Weber, a native of Burlington, and they have one son, John C., Jr., readily received into cultured society circles, their own home is also noted for its generous and gracious hospitality.

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