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                                    DR. JOSEPH F. HENROTIN
                                         Biography
                                    Cook County, Illinois

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Information contributed for use in Cook County ILGenWeb by
        Sherri Hessick, added May 2001.



DR. JOSEPH F. HENROTIN

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County,
Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended
(Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 581-582

DR. JOSEPH FORTUNAT HENROTIN was among the early physicians
of Chicago, and endeared himself to a large number of
citizens, especially on the North Side, by his brave and
unselfish labors during the cholera epidemic of 1849 to
1855.  At that time there was a large German settlement
between State Street and the lake shore, north of Chicago
Avenue, known as New Buffalo, the gratitude of whose
denizens toward the “good French Doctor,” as they called
him, was unbounded.  Without stopping to inquire about the
certainty of his fees, when many others had left the city in
alarm, Dr. Henrotin went among the poor and rich alike,
carrying good cheer and healing balm to the stricken ones.
His success in exterminating the scourge gave him at once a
very large practice, and he acquired what is a large fortune
to be gained in medical practice in a few years.  It was
only his lack of a thorough knowledge of our language that
prevented his taking the prominence in the professional and
literary world that he deserved.  He was a ripe scholar, and
his diction in French was considered an ornament to the
language.  His reports to his native Government while
serving as Consul are still preserved as models of elegance,
clearness and practical value.

Joseph Fortunat Henrotin was born in Tellin, Belgium, March
17, 1811.  His grandfather was a farmer at that place.  His
father, Dr. Clement Henrotin, was a graduate of the Medical
University of Paris, France, to which place he walked in
youth, because of the limited means of transportation in
that day and region, to gain an education in medicine.

While there he befriended and encouraged young Dubois (who
afterward became the French Court Physician) to take up the
study of the healing art. Dr. Clement Henrotin practiced
medicine sixty-five years at Tellin, where he died, full of
honors, at the age of ninety-six years. His wife was Miss
Rossion.

Joseph F. Henrotin pursued his elementary studies in his
native town, and entered the University of Liege, Belgium,
from which he graduated at the age of twenty-two.  He then
spent three years in further study in the Belgian hospitals,
being a pupil and friend of Dr. Seutin, the inventor of the
starch bandage, who secured his appointment, at the age of
twenty-five, as surgeon in the national army, with the
privilege of further pursuing his investigations and studies
in the hospitals.  He continued to hold this position for
nearly twelve years, at the end of which time he resolved to
come to America.

He arrived in Chicago in the autumn of 1848, and, as above
related, soon acquired a large and remunerative practice.
This was general throughout the city, but most of his work
was done on the North and Northwest Sides.  Having placed
himself in independent circumstances by eight years of
arduous and incessant labor, he returned to his native land,
in 1856.  A year later he was appointed by the Belgian
Government to be Consul to the Northwestern States of this
country, and returned to Chicago, leaving several of his
children abroad to be educated.  In 1858 he was commissioned
by Belgium to make a special inspection of the states of
Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota and report on their
adaptability as homes for Belgian emigrants.  In the
fulfillment of this charge he traveled throughout the states
named, rendering a prompt and exhaustive report to his
Government.  For this service he received the thanks of the
Belgian Parliament, on account of its practical value and
literary merit, and copies of the report were widely
distributed over Germany and other neighboring countries, as
well as throughout Belgium.  He continued to serve as Consul
until his death, which occurred March 17, 1876, on the
sixty-fifth anniversary of his birth.  He was succeeded in
office by his eldest living son, a sketch of whom will be
found elsewhere in this work.  Dr. Henrotin was a heavy
sufferer by the great fire of 1871, but partially recovered
from his loss before his death.

In the fall of 1840, Dr. Henrotin married Adele Kinsoen, a
native of Tournai, Flanders, born in 1821, and daughter of
Henri Kinsoen, who had a contract to furnish the Dutch army
with supplies.  A brother of Henri Kinsoen was a noted
portrait painter, who numbered the members of the French
Court among his patrons.  Both were natives of Bruges,
Belgium, as was Mrs. Henrotin’s mother, Josephine Brice.
Besides his widow, Dr. Henrotin left eight children.  The
eldest son, Henry, was killed at the siege of Vicksburg,
Mississippi, during the Civil War, while serving in Taylor’s
Battery.  All the living, save the sixth, who is engaged in
business in Havre, France, are residents of Chicago.
Following are their names: Charles; Margaret, Mrs. James H.
B. Daly; Dr. Fernand; Adolph; Mary; Victor; Fortuni, wife of
George Le Jeune; and Louise, now Mrs. Maurice Pincoffs.
Mrs. Henrotin survived her husband many years, dying, widely
mourned, November 29, 1893.  She was an able helpmate to her
husband, whom she nobly aided in his labors among the
cholera sufferers, and was held in high regard by all who
enjoyed her acquaintance.
		




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