Biographies of Buchanan County Residents:
Joseph Barnes Riley, M.D.
Transcribed by Nancy Riggs
Portrait and Biographical Record of
Buchanan and Clinton Counties, Missouri;
Chapman Bros., 1893, pgs. 165-166
Joseph Barnes Riley, M. D., whose office is located at No. 1310 South Sixth street, St. Joseph, is considered one of the ablest men the Northwestern Medical College has produced. He has been remarkably successful in building up a large and paying practice and is a specialist in certain lines. In 1888 he was elected to the Chair of Chemistry and Toxicology in the Northwestern Medical College, in which position he remained for two years and was then elected to the Chair of Physiology and Hygiene in the same institution and is still holding that place. This requires daily lectures during the school
term, and in addition to his large general practice it keeps him very busy.
Doctor Riley is a member of the St. Joseph Medical Society, of the Northwestern Missouri Medical Society, and also of the Missouri Valley Association, taking an active part in each one of these organizations, though he has probably taken greatest interest in the Northwestern Missouri Society. The Doctor has written considerably on various medical subjects and was at one time proprietor and one of the editors of the "Western Medical
and Surgical Reporter," his writings for that magazine being largely on obstetrical subjects, as his practice tends much in that direction. Doctor Riley is one of the enterprising physicians of the day, who makes it one of his greatest objects to keep thoroughly abreast of all discoveries or treatments of disease, and to that end carefully examines the latest medical reviews and works of able physicians and surgeons, in addition to making
constant reference to and careful study of his fine and comprehensive medical library.
The gentleman whose name heads this sketch was born in Valparaiso, Ind., July 26, 1856, and resided there until ten years of age, when he removed to Kansas with his father, H. W. Riley, who located in Paola, where he became a large stock-grower and shipper. Our subject passed his youth in Kansas and received his education in the county schools and the Kansas State Normal at Leavenworth. When only seventeen years of age he commenced teaching school and taught for about five years. His tastes tending in the direction of the profession, he concluded to become a physician and to that end began reading and studying with S. L. Brooking, M. D., who is now a banker, but was then engaged in medical practice at Paola. Mr. Riley after his preparatory work entered Rush Medical College, and later attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Chicago. He did not, however, complete his course in that institution, but, coming to Missouri, entered the Northwestern Medical
College, graduating in the class of 1887. In the meantime he had engaged somewhat in
practice at Paola, and on the completion of his course in this city, engaged in practice, this making his fifth year. Politically, as his father before him, he is a Democrat. He holds membership with the following fraternities: Priscilla Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Springfield, Kans.; Juaniata Lodge, No. 171, K. of P., in this city, and St. Joseph Lodge, No. 249, Ancient Order United Workmen.
At Paola, Kans., was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Riley and Miss Charlsie W. Eaton, who was born in Indiana. The wedding ceremony was performed March 9, 1883, and there have been born two bright little ones: Patti, aged seven years, and Joseph H., aged eighteen months. The Doctor and his wife move in the best social circles in St. Joseph, and are well worthy the high esteem in which they are held by all.