1881 HISTORY OF SANGAMON COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Inter-State Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois, 1881



Page 638

HORATIO BARDWELL, BUCK, M.D., is the youngest of a family of four sons and five daughters of Dr. Reuben and Alice (Jaynith) Buck, and was born in York county, Maine, on January 27, 1832. Dr. Reuben Buck sprang from Scotch ancestry, and was born near Boston, Massachusetts, in which city he was educated, and after graduation, married Miss Jaynith and settled in Acton, York county, Maine, where he passed a long and successful professional life, dying in his eighty-eighth year, having lost his wife ten years previously, at the age of seventy-six. Dr. H. B. Buck was educated in his native town, completing an acedemical course; and early evincing a strong desire to enter his father's profession, was encouraged to bend every circumstance and effort to prepare himself for the calling he has and is filling with such distinguished ability. In 1851, he began studying medicine with his father and elder brother, then partners. During nearly four years of his reading he taught several winter terms of school, from choice rather than necessity. Having passed through the full curriculum of the medical department at Bowdoin College, Maine, and desiring a diploma from the best college in the country, the Doctor entered Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in the autumn of 1855, from which he received the degree of M.D., in 1856, together with a private letter of recommendation from Dr. Joseph Pancoast, then a very eminent surgeon. Doctor Buck at once commenced practice in Philadelphia, and continued successfully until the fall of 1862, when, responding to our country's call, he entered upon surgical duty under government contract at Columbia College Hospital. At the close of six months, the Doctor wishing to enter the army as a commissioned officer, passed a rigid examination before the Board at Washington, and with a Surgeon's commission signed by President Lincoln, took charge of the regular artillery attached to the Second Army Corps, in March, 1863. He was with the Army of the Potomac in all the battles of that year's campaigns, and while in winter quarters, late in the winter of 1863-4, the Doctor made application for a position which would afford him more extensive hospital experience. The request resulted in his being assigned Surgeon-in-Chief of the camp at Springfield, Illinois, the rendezvous of the troops of the State, where he arrived in February, 1864, and found the disabled soldiers in thed care of eleven contract surgeons, and with no hospital buildings but ordinary barracks. Doctor Buck at once set about providing better accommodations for the sick and wounded; drew plans and specifications for eight new hospital buildings, each one hundred and twenty-four by twenty-four feet in dimensions, which were approvecd by the government and speedily erected. the buildings were modern in construction, with every provision for cleanliness and ventilation, the grounds and surroundings were decorated and beautified. The wisdom of the measure was demonstrated in the reduction of mortality more than fifty per cent, from its completion. Doctor Buck also had control of the Soldiers' Home of the city, and of the sick at the officers' headquarters. In June, 1865, the necessity for medical service at the front being diminished, Doctor Buck was transferred, by order, to Madison, Wiscon, and associated with Doctor culbertson, of Ohio, spent six months in winding up a large general hospital. This ended his official labors; and late in the autumn of 1865, he settled permanently in Springfield, and immediately engaged in a lucrative and annually increasing private medical practice, by which he has atained an enviable degree of eminence, with promise of an extended career of still greater achievements in the future. In 1867, Doctor Buck joined the Illinois State Medical Society, and has since successively filled several of its important official chairs; was its delegate to the American Medical Association, at Philadelphia, in 1876. He is also a member of the Tri-State Medical Society, composed of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, and the cities of Cincinnati and St. Louis; was chosen its President for 1880. Through his zeal and labors, one of the largest and most interesting sessions of the society ever witnessed was held in Louisville, Kentucky, before which the Doctor read an elaborate and carefully prepared paper on "The Science of Medicine," which evinced such erudition and literary merit that it elicited the highest onconiums of the profession and the press, and earned for its author a proud reputation as a writer of clearness, force and elegance. The Doctor servedx for years as Secretary of the Sanvgamon Medical Society, and is now its President. In March, 1863, he married Miss Lizzie, daughter of George K. Heller, a much respected and influential citizen of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Her mother was Sarah Nice, before marriage. Mrs. Buck is the third of their family of two sons and two daughters. The Doctor and wife are the parents of three daughters and a son alive, and one daughter, deceased.


1881 INDEX

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