WILLIAM C. DAY, M.D., a prominent physician and surgeon, of Scott County, was born at Hopefield, Ark., Jan. 24, 1837. His parents, Preston J. and Agnes (Boatman) Day, were natives respectively of the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, while both were descendants from Irish parentage. The family name of the former was originally O'Day, the prefix having been dropped since coming to America. Born to the senior and Mrs. Day were two sons, the subject of this sketch, and Dr. James L. Day, a prominent and successful physician of St. Louis, Mo.
Dr. William C. Day, was thoroughly educated in a full literary course at Lebanon (Mo.) Academy, the senior Day having removed to Missouri in 1840, and began the study of medicine at Hartville, Wright County, that State, when about nineteen years of age. In 1861 he was graduated from Missouri Medical College, as a doctor of Medicine; and in 1871 received the ad-e-undem degree from St. Louis Medical College, and in 1880 attended the Chicago Medical College, having previously listened to several extra lecture courses in St. Louis. Thus it will be discovered that as a student of medicine and surgery, Dr. Day improved his opportunities, and that he has profited thereby, is fully confirmed and attested by his high rank and standing in the noble profession which he has chosen. He began practice in Texas County, Mo., and in June, 1862, notwithstanding the fact that the region in which he was located was in sympathy with secession, he entered the army fully determined to do all in his power to suppress the Rebellion. His first rank was that of Assistant Surgeon of the Missouri S.M. Cavalry. With this command he remained until March 23, 1863, at which time he was mustered into the Fourth Mo. S.M.Cavalry, and with that organization held the rank of Assistant Surgeon until mustered out at Warrensburg, Mo., April 18, 1865. During the summer and fall of 1862, he was Post Surgeon at Springfield, Mo., and on Jan. 8, 1863, participated in the battle fought at that place. During the year 1863 he was five months on detached duty as Examining Surgeon and personally passed upon over 8,000 negro volunteers that were accepted into the army. While in the service the command with which he was identified fought many stubbornly contested and decisive engagements with Shelby, Price, and Quantrell, in Missouri and Arkansas, and the conclusion may be easily reached that those enterprising leaders furnished the active young surgeon an abundance of work to do in the line of his profession. Dr. Day's record as a medical officer in the army is one to which his friends can proudly point. His humanity and skill will long be remembered by the poor fellows who were unfortunate enough to require his services, during that long and bloody period. Old soldiers as a rule were prejudiced against all surgeons as being heartless, bluff and inconsiderate, but none of these faults can be truthfully ascribed to Dr. Day. He simply rests upon his record.
In May, 1865, Dr. Day located at Palmyra, Ill., in partnership with Dr. R.J. Allmond of that place, whose daughter he married on the 20th of February, 1866. He remained at Palmyra nine years, removing to Greenfield, this State, in May, 1874. In the spring of 1880 he removed to Peoria, and a year later came to Winchester. Here he at once took high rank in his profession, and that he has successfully maintained that position, is easily proven by his popularity and success. Dr. Day is by great odds the leading physician and surgeon of Winchester at this time, and there is but little fear that he will in the near future see a successful rival. His conscientious devotion to duty, coupled with monumental industry, make it impossible for him to have much apprehension of competitors. He devotes his time to his practice, which is general and extends for miles around.
Dr. Day is identified with various medical societies, is a Royal Arch Mason; Surgeon of the G.A.R. Post of this place; a prominent member of the Winchester Literary Union, and the author of several able scientific papers read before medical societies and published in leading medical journals. By his wife, who died in 1879, Dr. Day has four children, to-wit: Lewis R., a student of medicine; James A., also a student of medicine; Anna A., and Gertrude L. The present Mrs. Day, to whom the doctor was married at Greenfield, July 2, 1880, was Miss Bessie E. Harris, a lady of superior educational attainments, and a native of Pennsylvania.