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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 773~


Israel Pattison, M.D.



Human life is like the waves of the sea; they flash a few brief moments in the sunlight, marvels of power and beauty, and then are dashed upon the remorseless shores and disappear forever. As the mighty deep has rolled for ages past and will continue until time shall be no more, so will the waves of human life follow each other until they mingle at last with eternity’s boundless sea. The passing of any life, however humble and unknown, is sure to give rise to a pang of anguish to some heart, but when the “fell destroyer” knocks at the door of the useful and great and removes from earthly scenes the man of honor and influence and the benefactor of his kind, it not only means bereavement to kindred and friends, but a public calamity as well. In the largest and best sense of the term, the late Dr. Israel Pattison, of Oelwein, was distinctively one of the notable men of his day and generation, and as such is entitled to a conspicuous place in the annals of Fayette county.


Israel Pattison was born in Welland county, province of Ontario, Canada, October 18, 1842, and he was the son of S. N. and Mary A. (Strohm) Pattison. His father was born near York, in 1821, and died April 15, 1874. According to the family genealogy, five brothers of the name of Pattison emigrated from Ireland to America long before the American Revolution and settled in Albany, New York, from which stock Doctor Pattison descended. S. N. Pattison moved to Canada early in life and was married while living in that country. His wife, born in the Mohawk valley, Pennsylvania, was descended from one of the original Holland families who settled in that region. An ancient Episcopal prayer book printed in the Mohawk Indian tongue and containing prayers for His Majesty and the royal family, is an interesting relic that has been handed down to Doctor Pattison’s family from his maternal ancestors and is highly prized by the present generation because of its history. The parents continued to reside in Canada, enjoying the love, respect and esteem of all until their deaths.


After a preparatory course at a model school, Israel Pattison became a student in the University of Buffalo, having early in life decided to enter the medical profession. He was a patriotic man and at the beginning of the Civil war he began doing what he could for the Union cause, and finally enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Fiftieth New York Volunteer Infantry, and was in the first battle of Bull Run. He was also in the battles of Port Royal, Fort Republic, Cumberland Gap, Culpeper Court House, receiving a wound during the last named battle in his hand and arm that necessitated his discharge from the army. But in October, 1863, he again entered the service, enlisting in the One Hundred and Eighty-Seventh New York Infantry and was at once detailed as brigade hospital steward in charge of what was known as the “Flying Hospital.” In the discharge of his duty he was in the first and second battles of Hatchie’s Run, also Stony Point and Five Forks, and was with Sheridan in front of Lee at Appomattox when the Confederate army surrendered. He was mustered out July 3, 1865, and at once returned home, having made an excellent and commendable record as a soldier.


Re-entering the University of Buffalo, Israel Pattison made a splendid record and was graduated from that institution, medical department, in February, 1867. He then returned to his native county and on June 1, 1870, married Alice Coleman, daughter of Dilly and Sarah (Sproll) Coleman. She was born in Fort Robinson, Canada, December 25, 1848. They immediately started west, intending to locate in Lincoln, Nebraska, but while stopping overnight at Otsego, Fayette county, Iowa, the Doctor was induced to locate there, and he remained and built up an extensive and successful practice. During the following autumn he was appointed postmaster at Otsego and when the Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern railroad was extended to Oelwein he moved the postoffice there in advance of the order authorizing the change. This was when this vicinity was a wild expanse of prairie and gave no indication of its future growth and development. He was a life-long Republican, his first vote having been cast for Lincoln. He took an abiding interest in local political affairs and, in fact, everything that has to do with the betterment of the county. He was a leader in various walks of life and was recognized as such. He was the first mayor of Oelwein and held that position to the entire satisfaction of all concerned for two successive terms. He was coroner of Fayette county during 1889 and 1890. He was prominently identified with state militia for many years, being commissioned second and first lieutenants and captain of Company F, Fourth Iowa National Guard, and he was also assistant surgeon of the Fourth Regiment. He was a prominent and influential member of the Iowa state Legislature in the twenty-fifth General Assembly, 1894, looking carefully to the interests of his constituents. In 1896 he was appointed a delegate to the Farmers Congress held at Indianapolis, Indiana, and in the same year was a delegate to the Medical Congress held at the city of Mexico. He was an earnest and influential worker in each of these notable gatherings.


Doctor Pattison was surgeon of the Rock Island railroad from the time it came to Oelwein until about 1900, and of the Chicago Great Western from the date of its entry to this city until the time of his death. He was prominent in fraternal matters, having attained the thirty-second degree of Masonry, and he belonged to the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen. He also belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic. His wife and two daughters belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star and the entire family to the Episcopal church.


To Dr. Israel Pattison and wife five children were born, two sons and three daughters, namely: John F., a physician of Oelwein, whose sketch appears herein; Dilly Nelson, also a practicing physician at Oelwein, whose sketch appears on another page of this work; Mary, who married Fred Quirmbach and lives at Needles, California, where he is a dispatcher for the Santa Fe railroad; of their four children, three are living, Charles, Arthur and Robert; Alice Pattison married William Mathie and lives at Needles, California; he is train-master on the Santa Fe railroad, and was formerly general superintendent of the Oelwein terminals of the Chicago Great Western road; they have two sons, Bruce and Glyde. Sarah Pattison married Arthur Phillips and lives in Seattle, Washington, where Mr. Phillips is extensively engaged in business, having a number of interior decorators in his employ. Another member of the late Doctor Pattison’s family is Matilda Pattison, who has been as a member of the family circle since her childhood.


The death of Dr. Israel Pattison occurred on April 26, 1903. As a citizen he was public-spirited and enterprising, as a friend and neighbor he combined the qualities of head and heart that won confidence and commanded respect and as a practitioner of medicine he had a comprehensive grasp upon the science of materia medica and brought honor and dignity to the position he occupied among his fellow practitioners. With such distinguished success he was easily the peer of his professional brethren in northeastern Iowa—in short he was one of the state’s prominent citizens, honored and esteemed by all classes."




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