DR. THOMAS J. PITNER, of the firm of Drs. Pitner & Malone, Jacksonville, occupies one of the best-appointed offices in the city, and has a beautiful home on West College avenue, No. 215. A man understanding thoroughly the multitudinous details of his profession, he has achieved success and has acquired a competence. He is the owner of valuable property in the city and vicinity, and is numbered among its prominent and influential men.
The 17th of November, 1842, is notable as being the birthday of our subject, which took place in Cass County, Ill, at the modest home of his parents, William and Catherine (Price) Pitner, who were natives respectively of Tennessee and Ohio. They were married and came to Illinois in 1831, locating in that portion of Morgan which is now Cass County, where they lived until the death of the father, which took place in 1875. The mother is also deceased, dying when our subject was quite young.
The paternal grandparents of our subject were Michael and Catherine (Rubel) Pitner, natives of Rockingham, Va., and of Maryland. Grandmother Pitner lived to be ninety-five years old. The great-grandfather was John Pitner, also a native of the Old Dominion, and a soldier of the Revolutionary War. His father was Adam Pitner, who was born in Germany, near the city of Coblentz. He emigrated to America prior to the Revolutionary War, and two of his sons did valiant service in that memorable conflict. The fate of one was never known. Michael was in the battle of New Orleans, under the command of Gen. Jackson.
William Pitner, the father of our subject, was the eldest of a family of twelve children, all of whom grew to mature years. His brother, Levi C., became a clergyman of the Methodist Church, together with a brother, Wilson. Franklin R. developed into a physician and surgeon. Montgomery was one of the earliest pioneers of this county, coming here when there were only three houses upon the present site of Jacksonville. He purchased several hundred acres of Government land lying two miles east of the present city, where he resided until his death. Rev. Levi C. Pitner was pastor of the Centenary Church, Jacksonville, from 1863 to 1865. He is now a resident of Chicago. Wilson finally moved to California, where he continued his labors in the Master's vineyard until his death, in 1882. Dr. Franklin R. Pitner at an early day located in Clay City, this State, where he is still engaged in the duties of his profession. One sister, Lydia, is the wife of Rev. H. Dickens, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church; he continued his pious labors until his death, which occurred in September, 1882. Alexander during the active years of his business life, was engaged in farming, but is now living in retirement in the city of Jacksonville. The family is notable for its standing, and has been prominent in the county and State for a long period.
The maternal grandparents of our subject were Henry and Polly (Marlow) Price, the former a native of Rockingham, Va., and of Welsh descent. He farmed extensively in the Old Dominion until his removal to Ohio. Later he removed further Westward, settling first in Cass County this State. Subsequently he took up his residence in Macon County, where his death took place at the age of eighty years. Grandmother Price is deceased. Their family included seven children. William, the father of our subject, was born in 1800, received a fine education, and also became familiar with farm pursuits. He taught school near the city of Nashville, Tenn., a number of years. He married Miss Catherine Price after the removal of the family to Illinois, and they became the parents of two sons, of whom our subject is the only one living. William Pitner was Justice of the Peace, a member of the Board of Education, and Sheriff of Cass County a number of years. He was prominent in local affairs, and as a man of ability and integrity commanded the respect of his community. His death took place in Decatur, March 25,, 1875. The mother had preceded her husband to the silent land twenty-two years, her death taking place in February, 1853.
The subject of this biography pursued his first lessons in the district school, and at the age of fifteen years entered one of the city schools at Beardstown, where he remained two years. Then he became a student at the Wesleyan University in Bloomington and from there entered McKendree college at Lebanon, where he staid one year, then entering Illinois College, at Jacksonville, he was graduated from that institution in 1862, after taking a post-graduate course of two years. He began his business career as a dry-goods salesman in Jacksonville, but a year later, the war being in progress, enlisted in the 100 days service, remaining five months, and doing garrison duty mostly in Missouri.
After the close of the war Dr. Pitner commenced the study of medicine in 1865 under the instruction of Dr. H. K. Jones, of Jacksonville. After thorough preparation he repaired to New York City, and entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons, from which he was graduated in 1869. In the fall of that year he commenced the practice of his profession at Jacksonville, and was thus steadily occupied until 1875. Then having a great desire to perfect himself still further in the knowledge of his profession, he crossed the Atlantic to Germany, and entering the University of Vienna, applied himself closely, and remained abroad one and one-half years. Since returning to Jacksonville he has closely confined himself to the duties of his profession. He associated himself with Dr. Malone in 1885, and they make a very strong firm, having command of a fine practice throughout the county.
Dr. Pitner stands high in the profession in this part of Illinois, being a member of the Medical Society of Morgan County, the Medical Club of Jacksonville, the American Medical Association, and a life-member of the Illinois State Medical Society. He is a Trustee in the Jacksonville College and of the Y.M.C.A., being also one of the Directors of the latter. Politically, he is a stanch Republican, and in religious matters, a member of the Methodist episcopal Church. Dr. Pitner was united in marriage with Miss Eloise Griffith, daughter of Dr. Griffith, of Springfield. The wedding took place at Springfield, May 28th, 1889. She is a cultured young lady, and highly esteemed in the social circle of her home.