WILLIAM BLUEFORD DALTON, M.D.
The oldest physician of Macoupin county is Dr. William Blueford Dalton, who is now living practically retired but first engaged in the practice of his profession in Scottsville forty years ago, and who has ever since continued to reside there. He was born on a farm five miles southwest of Franklin, Morgan county, Illinois, on the 26th of December, 1839.
His parents were Clayborn and Permelia (Haynes) Dalton, natives of Kentucky, the father having been born in Glasgow, Barren county, that state, about 1808. Their marriage occurred in 1829 and very soon thereafter they came to Illinois, settling on the farm where ten years later our subject began his life record. There ten children were born and reared, and the father passed away in April, 1868. Of the ten children born to Mr. and Mrs. Dalton two died in infancy but the others all lived to attain maturity. The paternal grandfather, Jesse Dalton, was a distiller of North Carolina, who removed to Kentucky about 1780 or 1785. He had quite an extensive plant for that time and kept forty negroes to operate it.
Owing to the failing heal of his father and the fact that there was a large family to be provided for, it became necessary for William Blueford Dalton to leave home at the age of fifteen years and become self-supporting. Prior to that he had attended the district school in the vicinity of his home, acquiring a very good common education. He took a position on a farm, continuing to follow this work for several years, thereafter, receiving for his services from eight to thirteen dollars per month in the summer and less in the winter. In 1863 he found an opportunity to go to California, being given his board for driving a four-mule team from Carlinville to Sacramento. He reached his destination on the 18th of August, 1863, being four months and five days en route. He spent the winter in the capital city and in the spring took a position as teamster on a freight wagon between Sacramento and the silver mines in Nevada. Subsequently he filed on government land in Nevada, in the vicinity of Austin, Lander county, upon which he resided until 1870. In that year he returned to Illinois and began the study of medicine under Dr. A. G. Kinkead of Scottsville, subsequently matriculating in the medical department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he attended the lectures for two years. At the expiration of that time he formed a partnership with his former preceptor, Dr. Kinkead, engaging in the practice of his profession in this county. In 1878 he went to Long Island College, Brooklyn, New York, from which institution he was awarded the degree of doctor of medicine with the class of 1878, being graduated in June. Resuming his practice in Scottsville very soon thereafter he has ever since been identified with the medical fraternity of Macoupin county. He was well adapted to the work being a man of strong sympathies and conscientious in his administration to the suffering, and most naturally built up a very large practice not only in the village where he lives but in the surrounding county. He is now living practically retired, the arduous duties of a country practice being too severe for one of his years.
Jacksonville, Illinois, was the scene of the marriage on the 19th of March, 1873, of Dr. Dalton and Miss Malinda J. Haynes, a daughter of Louis and Kate (Norton) Haynes, who were farming people. To Dr. and Mrs. Dalton three daughters were born: Maude, Bona and Dora. The two younger died in infancy, but the eldest married Dr. H. W. Gobble, of Greenfield, Illinois, and has three children: Harry C., Eloise and William E. Mrs. Dalton died on the 19th of August, 1890, and on the 3rd of April, 1891, Dr. Dalton married Miss Emma Johnson, a daughter of John R. and Matilda (Brown) Johnson. The father is living and engages in the cultivation of his farm south of Scottsville, but the mother is deceased.
Both Dr. and Mrs. Dalton affiliate with the Christian church, and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a member of Scottsville Lodge, No. 426, A.F. & A.M., and Scottsville Camp, No. 506, of the Modern Woodmen of America, while both, he and his wife, hold membership in the Order of the Eastern Star. Dr. Dalton is an ex-president of the Macoupin County Medical Society, and he is a member of the Illinois State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. During the long period of his connection with the profession Dr. Dalton has witnessed great progress in the medical science, particularly in surgery, which branch was practically in its infancy when he began his practice. He is one of the highly esteemed citizens of the county and holds the regard of many of the best people.