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BILLMYER, Edgar Theodore

1st Biography of Edgar T. BILLMEYER
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, p 902

Dr. Edgar T. BILLMYER, physician and surgeon, of Cherry Valley, Winnebago County [IL], was born in Carroll County, MD, in 1832, and is a son of John and Harriet (McFARLAND) BILLMYER, both of whom were natives of MD.  His father was a boot and shoe manufacturer, and followed that business throughout his entire life.  His first wife died in 1842, at he age of 32 years, leaving three sons and a daughter, and he afterward wedded Margaret BLACKSTEN, by whom he had a number of children, but only two sons and two daughters are living.  The Doctor is the only survivor of the first family, Eleanor, William, and Joseph C. having all passed away.

The Doctor's father tried to make our subject learn the shoemakers trade, but gave it up after attempting it for three autumns.  He would find Euclid, trigonometry and similar books on his bench, and, seeing that the son had an ambition to become a civil engineer, the father gave him a good common school education and abandoned the attempt to teach him shoemaking.  At the age of 18 the Doctor began teaching school, and after three years went to Cincinnati, OH, where he attended the celebrated Physio-Medical College under Alva CURTIS, graduating on 16 Feb 1855.  With his diploma in his possession, he came to Cherry Valley and has since engaged in practice. 

In 1858 he bought 100 acres of land in Cherry Valley township, and lived as a farmer and physician until 1864, when he sold his land at a good advance.  Since that time he has engaged in the practice of medicine and in the raising of blooded horses.  He has bred and owned some of the best horses in this part of the country, including Dr. Shepard, Delight and Glidess.  [Text containing pacing records omitted.]  He sold the first named for $1,500, the second for $1,450, and the last for $1,000, when 24 years old.   He now has in his possession some five blooded horses of his own, and has in his care some belonging to other parties, being kept for breeding to his fine stallions.

On 02 Jun 1858, the Doctor was married to Mrs. Mary A. MITTLER, whose death occurred 07 Feb 1884.  He was born and reared as a Democrat, but cast his first Presidential vote for John C. Fremont, and has since been an ardent Republican.  Throughout his community he is widely and favorably known, and has the high regard of a large circle of friends and acquaintances.  [1st Source, p 902] 

2nd Biography of Edgar Theodore BILLMYER
Past and Present of the City of Rockford & Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago: Clarke, 1905, p 428

Dr. Edgar Theodore BILLMYER, engaged in the practice of medicine in Cherry Valley, where he has been located since 1864, was born in Uniontown, Carroll County, MD, 08 Jul 1832.   His father was a manufacturer of fine boots.  The son, spending his boyhood days in the county of his nativity, acquired his literary education there, attending the University Academy.  He afterwards engaged in teaching in Carroll County for three years, and in the meantime devoted his leisure hours to the study of medicine, his reading being directed by a physician of Westminster, Carroll County.  Later he entered a medical college, being graduated in Feb 1833 from Physio-Medical College at Cincinnati, Ohio, in which city he studied under Professor CURTIS.  He then crossed the river and studied for three months under Professor William Bird POWELL, the subject of his investigation being cerebro-physiology and its relations to the body.  He afterward traveled through OH and in the same year came on a visit to an aunt who resided between Cherry Valley and New Milford, in Winnebago County [IL].  Her son, Lemuel COLWELL, still resides in Rockford, and she has a daughter who is also living in the city.

It was this that led Dr. BILLMYER to locate in Winnebago County.  He began practice in the locality where his aunt lived in June 1855, purchasing a farm between the two villages, which he continued to make his home until 1864, when he took up his abode in Cherry Valley.  He retained the ownership of his farm for some time thereafter, but sold it several years ago.  Here he has practiced continuously since his connection with the medical fraternity in this county, covering over 50 years.  He is a subscriber to many medical journals and thus keeps in touch with the advanced thought of the profession.  He has instituted a treatment of his own for pneumonia, using medicated sheets, which he wraps around the patient and in this special line of practice he has been exceptionally successful.  Out of 130 cases of diphtheria which he has treated in Cherry Valley and vicinity, he has lost only one patient, a remarkable record.   He also has a powder which he used to clear the throats of diphtheria patients.   In his general practice he has also been successful and a liberal patronage has been accorded him through many years.

Dr. BILLMYER was maried in Winnebago County, IL, to Miss Mary METLER, who died about 22 years ago.  She belonged to one of the pioneer families of this part of the state, her people having located in the county about 1839.  Politically Dr. BILLMYER is a stalwart republican, having cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont and supporting each candidate at the head of the ticket since that time, although he was reared in the democratic faith.  He has frequently been solicited to accept offices, but has always refused, serving only as school trustee in Cherry Valley for several terms and also while living on a farm.  At one time he joined the Sons of Temperance in MD and he has always been true to his vows taken in early life, never purchasing any stimulant for use as a beverage during the 73 years in which he has lived.  He favors the Disciple church, but is liberal in his religious views.  He is a remarkably active and well preserved man and his life has been of great usefulness and benefit to his fellowmen during the 50 years of his connection with the medical fraternity in Winnebago County.  He is the loved family physician in many a household and a cheery presence has been a valuable supplement to the remedial agencies which he has employed.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.