BLACKBURN, WILLIAM R., M.D. - There are few places of its size that have such skilled physicians as Virginia, and among them no one stands higher than Dr. William R. Blackburn, a physician and surgeon of note. He was born in Schuyler County, Ill., in 1867, a son of Robert S. and Tameretta (Harmon) Blackburn, and fourth in the order of birth of the six children born to his parents, and the eldest of the three of the second marriage, the other three having been born of a prior marriage.
William R. Blackburn has shown himself a dependable person since early manhood, for when he had completed his public school course and had attended Knox College and the State Normal School, he took charge of his father's mercantile business at Brooklyn, and after the latter's death, carried it on until he could sell it profitably and settle the estate. Until 1895 he was upon the road as a traveling salesman, but in that year he entered the Barnes Medical College of St. Louis, Mo., and was graduated therefrom in 1898. Immediately thereafter he began practicing, first in Grundy County, Mo., but in February, 1900, went to Fulton County, Ill., and in October, 1910, came to Virginia, Ill., where he has since remained, immediately proving his worth, and subsequently gaining distinction. He has been president of the Cass County Medical Society, of which he is now treasurer, and he also belongs to the Illinois State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. Fraternally, he is a Mason, having joined the order in his native county. He belongs to the Presbyterian church. While he has never taken an active part in politics, he is now serving as president of the Virginia board of health.
While living in Fulton County, Ill., Dr. Blackburn married Emily Riley, a daughter of William and Elizabeth (Barlow) Riley. There are no children.