PITNER, THOMAS J., M.D. , one of the most prominent and successful physicians of Jacksonville, Morgan County, Ill., was born in what is now Cass County, Ill., November 17, 1842, the son of William and Catherine (Price) Pitner, the former a native of Eastern Tennessee, and a neighbor of General Jackson. The grandfather, Michael Pitner, was born in Rockingham County, Va., whence he removed to Tennessee. Michael's father, John, served with the Virginia troops in the Revolutionary War, as did also his brother, Adam. They came from Coblenz-on-the-Rhine, Germany, before the Revolution. Michael fought under General Jackson's command at New Orleans. He located in Cass County, Ill., in 1834, his brother, Montgomery, who had come to Illinois in 1820, having settled on Government land two miles east of Jacksonville. Michael Pitner, who was a farmer by occupation brought his family. William, his son, had been engaged in teaching in Tennessee, but in Illinois applied himself to farming. He also served as Sheriff of Cass County, subsequently held the office of Justice of the Peace, and died in 1875. His wife was Catherine Price, daughter of Henry Price, of Cass County and afterward of Macon County, Ill. Mr. Price, who was a farmer, was born in Rockingham County, Va., whence he moved to Ohio, and thence, about the year 1830, to Cass County, Ill. Mrs. Catherine Pitner died in 1853, the mother of two children - one died in infancy, and Thomas J.
The subject of this sketch received his early mental training in the country schools of Cass County and the city of Beardstown, in 1862, graduating from Illinois College, Jacksonville, with the degree of B. S. His post-graduate studies covered one year in Illinois College, after which he was employed one year as a clerk in Jacksonville. In April, 1864, he enlisted in a company composed of students, for 100 days' service, was mustered into Company C, One Hundred and Forty-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and assigned to guard duty for five months, principally in Southwestern Missouri. IN 1865 Dr. Pitner commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Hiram K. Jones, of Jacksonville, now deceased. He afterward pursued a one year's medical course in the University of Michigan, and continued his professional course in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, graduating from that college in 1869, with the degree of M. D. With the exception of a year and a half of study and travel in Europe, Dr. Pitner has continuously occupied the same office since his graduation, having been always engaged in general practice. In 1875 he spent a year in the hospitals in Vienna, Austria, taking private courses. In length of practice, he is the oldest physician in Jacksonville. He is a member of the American Medical Association, and served one term (1899-1900) as President of the Illinois State Medical Society. He is also a member of the Morgan County Medical Society, and several district medical societies, being also a Trustee of the Illinois Woman's College and of Illinois College.
On May 28, 1889, Dr. Pitner was united in marriage with Eloise Griffith, a native of Louisiana, MO., and a daughter of the late Dr. B. M. Griffith, of Springfield, Ill., who, at the time of his death, was President of the State Board of Health. Before her marriage, Mrs. Pitner Spent most of her life in Springfield.
In politics, Dr. Pitner is a supporter of the Republican party, and an earnest advocate of all beneficial public measures. Religiously, he is a member of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church of Jacksonville, of which he is a Trustee. He has been an officer of the local Y.M.C.A., for thirty years, and was President of the Association when its present building was erected, in 1880. Dr. Pitner has an extensive and lucrative patronage, and his reputation as a physician of learning and exceptional skill extends far beyond the limits of his practice.