Jeremiah Hall Lyford


Jeremiah Hall Lyford Port Byron,Ills.,June 19, 1868. I was born in Northfield,N,H, October 19,1808.Studied Medicine and graduated at the N.H. Medical Institution at Dartmouth College Dec.5th 1832.

After graduating I commenced the practice of Medicine in Ravenna,Portage Co.Ohio, and remained there three years.

Came to Port Byron in this Rock Island Co.Illinois,July 4th 1836 and followed the Practice of Medicine and Surgery for about thirty years.For a few years past have been engaged in the Druggist business and in farming operations. I was the first physician that settled in the Northern part of the County.In those early times,the inhabitants being few and scattering and Physicians being scarce my rides were consequently long and my practice was extensive,not only in all the Northern part of this County , but in WWhiteside Co., and Henry County and extensively in the Northern part of Scott Co.,Iowa. For some years there were but few roads and these were almost in a state of nature;we travelled through the timber and over the prairies where it was the most convenient and crossed the sloughs and streams where they could best be forded.

Though there were hardships connected with the practice of Medicine in those early times, I can say that I enjoyed it--it was often pleasant and romantic to ride over the Prairies covered with flowers like a most beautiful and extensive flower garden--and it was exciting to scare up Wolves,Deer and the wild game that was common to the country. The accommodations for the sick were very limited,for often a log cabin with only one room answered not only for the sick but for Kitchen ,Parlor,Sleeping and other necessary purposes of the family.These inconveniences were relieved in a great degree by the kindness and hospitality of the early settlers and a Doctor's services were generally appreciated.

The early settlers were generally young or middle aged and possessed [of] good constitutions,consequently there were but few Consumptive or complicated chronic cases. The prevailing diseases were fever and ague,Intermittent and billious fevers and some seasons they prevailed very extensive. The autumns of 1845 and 1846 were the two most sickly seasons that I have ever known in this country. Though different Medicines were useful and necessary in the treatment of these early diseases, Quinine in some form or combination,was regarded as a sheet anchor.

July 20,1834 I married Mary Ann W.Haines in Canterbury N. H.,She is one of the old settlers.Our oldest son, Wm.H.Lyford was one of the first children born in Port Byron.He studied Medicine and graduated at Rush Medical College. Our second son,Eugene A.Lyford volunteered in the service of his country and was killed in battle at Stone River,Tenn.Dec.31st,,1862.

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