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Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company

Page 757

ALBERT CAMPBELL CORR, M.D., of Carlinville, a specialist in diseases of the Eye, Ear and Throat and associated with his wife, Dr. L. H. Corr, in practice, is one of the foremost physicians in this part of the State. He is a native of this county, a descendant of one of its earliest and best-known pioneer families and was born in Honey Point Township, February 10, 1840. He is a son of Thomas Corr, who was born in King and Queen's County, Va., in 1800. His father was of English birth, and coming to America in early life with his brothers, he ever after made his home in Virginia until his life was rounded out by death.

Thomas Corr went to Kentucky when quite young and there married at the youthful age of seventeen years, Miss Preshea Wood becoming his wife. She was a native of Mississippi and a daughter of Micajah Wood. She died at Monroe, Iowa, October 9, 1888, at the age of eighty-six years and six months. After marriage Mr. Corr located in Oldham County and there engaged in farming, operating his land with slave labor. His sentiments, however, were not in sympathy with that degrading institution of the South, and in consequence he decided to emigrate to a free State. In pursuance of that resolve he visited Illinois in 1832 and bought a squatter's claim to a tract of land on section 18, of what is now Honey Point Township, and he entered that and some land adjoining, his being the first or second entry of land in that township. After he had secured the title to his land he returned to Kentucky on horseback, as he had come.

Mr. Corr settled his business in Kentucky, and in 1834 removed his family to their future home, making the journey with teams. There was a log house on the claim that he had bought, and into that humble dwelling the family moved, and he at once commenced the hard pioneer task of developing a farm from his wild land. The county was but thinly inhabited and deer, turkeys and other kinds of game abounded. There were no railways and the nearest market was at Alton, thirty-five miles distant. In 1849 Mr. Corr erected a sawmill on Honey Creek and shortly after removed his family to that neighborhood and there dwelt until his well-spent life was brought to a close in January, 1852, ere old age had come upon him.

He was a man of pure and lofty character and was greatly beloved in his community, as he was untiring in his efforts to benefit his fellow-men and to do good. His wife possessed the same kindly nature, and among their benevolent deeds was the rearing of eight orphan children. Both were active members of the Baptist Church, and he was Clerk of the Apple Creek Association. He was a well educated man, and though never ordained he occasionally preached. He served as Justice of the Peace several years, and in that office he was a peace-maker indeed, as by his wise arbitration many a neighbor's quarrel was settled without litigation. Politically, he was an anti-slavery Whig. He served his township as School Trustee and was one of the County Commissioners when the second court house was built in this county.

The parents of the subject of this sketch had eleven children of their own, namely: Robert S., James B., Columbus W., William, Frances, Thomas Jefferson, Martha Ann, John, Franklin R., Albert C. and Milton B., only three of whom are living - James, Martha and the subject of this sketch. The family was well represented in the army during the Civil War. Franklin R. was in Company B, First Missouri Cavalry, and nobly sacrificed his life for his country, being killed in a cavalry charge at Sugar Creek, Ark., February 17, 1862. James was a physician and enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, serving as Assistant Surgeon of the regiment. Lucian C., an adopted son, served in Company C, Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, three years, and in Company K, Seventh Illinois Infantry, one year and was four times wounded at the battle of Shiloh.

Dr. Corr received his early education in a pioneer school taught in a log house near the line of sections 18 and 19. The building was a primitive affair, chinked and daubed with mud to keep out the cold, and heated by a rude fireplace with an earth and stick chimney; it had a puncheon floor, seats made of slabs without backs. There were no desks in front of the seats, but a board against the wall on the west side of the house answered the purpose, and it was place there for the larger scholars to write upon. Above this board there were two crooked logs comprising a part of the side of the building and placed one above the other in such a manner as to leave a large crack to admit the light on the desk. When not in school our subject assisted in the farm work, but was desirous of completing his education, and in 1861 he prepared for three years steady attendance at school. He was, however, destined to be disappointed in that aspiration, for the war breaking out and his brother next older than himself enlisting in defense of the Union, the care of the farm devolved upon him, and he attended the school only a part of each year. In 1863 he entered Blackburn Seminary and was a student at the institution one year. During the early part of the war he did duty in a posse of the Deputy Marshal, and in May, 1864, enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, in which he served four months.

After this Dr. Corr resumed his duties on the farm with his widowed mother and soon began the study of medicine, which he read diligently at such times as was possible amid the farm work. In such times as was possible amid the farm work. In October, 1865, he entered for a three years' course the Chicago Medical College, now the medical department of the Northwestern University, and continued as a faculty student for two years. During the vacation of his last year he studied in the office of Drs. J. P. Mathews and L. Mathews, of Carlinville. He was graduated March 4, 1868 and was the first physician in the county who took so extended a course as three years in a medical college. He was also the first to graduate from a school of graded instruction as his Alma Mater was the first to establish such a course of instruction in this country.

Dr. Corr commenced the practice of his profession in Chesterfield and remained there seven years before he established himself in Carlinville, where he has ever since lived. He has always taken an active interest in the development of the efficiency of the practice of medicine in his native county and State. He was one of the instigators and charter members of the Society of Macoupin County for Medical Improvement, which was organized September 16, 1873. For a number of years this society held its meetings quarterly and during the first ten years of its existence the Doctor was most of the time acting Secretary. In April, 1880, he was chosen its President, and in 1883 he wrote and contributed to the society its decennial history, from which it appears that during those years he had not missed a meeting, and had contributed more papers and topics for discussion and deliberation than any other members.

The population of Macoupin county having increased to over forty thousand in 1886, Dr. Corr relinquished by public announcement the general practice of medicine to which he had so largely contributed, in order to devote himself exclusively to the development of a more efficient practice in the special department of disease of the eye, ear and throat, a branch of the practice hereto much neglected in whole or in part by all the physicians of the county. To prepare himself for this work the Doctor pursued special studies; first by private course while in college, and more recently before assuming the responsible work, by a course in Manhattan Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, and the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago, besides special instruction under Dr. A. E. Prince, of Jacksonville, and special dissections in the dissecting rooms of his Alma Mater.

In his chosen line Dr. Corr has already won a reputation for skill and success. He was the first resident physician of Macoupin County to perform the operation for cataract, June 10, 1887 - and determine errors of refraction, and has performed many other minor operations on the eye requiring delicacy of touch, steady nerve, clear brain and ability on the part of the physician. In this way he has helped to bring the practice of medicine to as high a standard in this county as it is in any other part of the State.

The Doctor was married April 20, 1865, to Miss Lucinda Hall, of whom see sketch on another page of this volume. They have a pleasant, well-appointed home, and their many friends are ever sure of an hospitable welcome whenever they cross its threshold. The Doctor is a prominent and valued member of various medical societies. He belongs to the Society of Macoupin County for Medical Improvement, is a member of the Illinois State Medical Association, to which he has contributed several papers, and of the National Medical Association. He was the first delegate from the County Medical Society to the State Medical Society, and the third physician from this county admitted to membership in that organization, Dr. John A. Halderman, one of its charter members, being the first, and Dr. J. P. Matthews the second.

The Doctor is of a scientific and mechanical type of mind, rather than literary, and is a member of the Blackburn University Science Club. He is a charter member and Surgeon of Dan Messick Post No. 339, G.A.R., and has prepared a roster of all the enlisted men from Macoupin County. he is also Secretary of the Board of Pension Examiners of Montgomery County. A radical Republican, he believes in national and State prohibition and practices total abstinence; and also exerts his influence in behalf of universal suffrage. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. he is indeed an influence for good in his community and none know him but to honor him. He and his wife have acted the part of foster parents to several orphan children.

A lithographic portrait of the Doctor appears on the preceding page of this volume.

1891 Index

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