George W. Petty, M.D., Vernon Co, MO USGenWeb Project



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(Photograph courtesy of Bushwhacker Museum, Nevada, Missouri)



George W. Petty, M.D., a Kentuckian by birth, was born in Lancaster, Garrard county, October 14, 1850, and is a son of Garrod Scott and Elizabeth (Huffman) Petty, the former of Scotch-Irish descent, and the latter of German lineage, and both natives of Kentucky.  The father was born in 1805 and died in 1865, and the mother born in 1815, passed away in 1866.  Our subject's paternal grandparents, John and Patsy (Petty) Petty removed from Virginia to Kentucky and both died there in 1807.  They had a family of four sons and one daughter, of whom the three eldest sons left Kentucky, with the purpose of settling in Texas, and were never afterward heard from, and it is supposed they were massacred.  Our subject's maternal grandparents, William and Elizabeth (Jackman) Huffman, reared a family of five children, among whom were lawyers and physicians, and all of whom left descendants in the home state.  Dr. Albert G. Huffman, who settled at Peabody, Kansas, and died there in the nineties.

     George W. was educated in private schools in his native place and at Franklin Institute, where he was graduated with the class of 1864.  Later he pursued a medical course at Kansas City Medical College, where he was graduated with the class of 1890, and still later, in 1904, received a post-graduate degree from the Chicago Polyclinic Institute.  Dr. Petty began his professional career at Metz, in Vernon county, Missouri, in 1886, and removed thence to Nevada, his present home, in 1905.  Prior to entering the medical profession, Dr. Petty had been engaged in the drug business at Metz some twelve years, and continued it in connection with his practice till 1903.  He came to Metz in 1874, and for some years was the only merchant there, and lived there when the location of the village was changed to its present site on the Missouri and Pacific railroad, where he erected the first building.  Dr. Petty was a charter member of the Metz Lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is a member of Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church (South) of Nevada.  Dr. Petty has been twice married.  His first wife, whom he married at Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1874, was Mary Alice, daughter of Mr. E. C. Lynch, of Kentucky.  She died in 1883, leaving one child, now Mrs. Lutie, widow of the late William McKee.  She resides in Nevada and is an instructor in Cottey College.  On August 12, 1885, Dr. Petty married Miss Mary A. Swearingen, a daughter of Newton and Ann Swearingen, of Metz.

Information from the 1911 History of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 953-954.




died at home in Nevada at 1 o'clock Sunday morning.

     Dr. George W. Petty passed away at his home in Nevada at 1 o'clock Sunday morning, after an illness of four days with pneumonia and influenza.

     Influenza was contracted while in the discharge of his duties as city health officer, and it may be truly said that he gave his life for others.

     Returning home from seeing a patient Tuesday afternoon he became ill of the dreadful malady.  Saturday evening pneumonia developed and he passed away at the hour above stated.

     Funeral services were held Monday afternoon, conducted by Rev. L. F. Clark, pastor of Centenary church, and burial was in Balltown cemetery.  The I.O.O.F. lodge of Nevada conducted services at the grave.

     Dr. Petty was born in Lancaster, Girard county, Kentucky, October 14, 1850.  He was educated in private schools and later at Franklin Institute where he graduated in 1864.  He took a medical course at the Kansas City Medical College and graduated in 1890.

     Dr. Petty had been twice married.  His first wife, whom he married in Fort Scott [Kansas] in 1874, was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Lynch of Kentucky.  She died in 1883 leaving one child, Mrs. Lutie Key, widow of the late Wm. Key.  On August 12, 1885, he was married to Miss Mary A. Swearingen of Metz, who survives him.

     Dr. Petty was the pioneer resident, merchant and physician of Metz.  He came to Old Metz in December, 1874.  When the railroad was built through in 1890 and missed Old Metz he removed his building and business to Metz.  This was the first business house erected in Metz and is now occupied by the postoffice and L. A. Robinson's drug store.  He occupied as a residence the old A. J. Meek farm house until 1891 when he built the house now owned by Hugh Knight.

     Dr. Petty remained in continuous business in Metz until July, 1903, a period of nearly twenty nine years.  In 1905 he moved to Nevada to avoid the exposure of a country practice.

     Dr. Petty was a man of positive convictions.  One always knew where to find him on all local or public questions.  He did his own thinking, and was always ready to give a reason for his faith.

     He was one of the leading members of Centenary M. E. church, a strong advocate of temperance and a prominent member of the Odd Fellows.  For a number of years he was city physician of Nevada and registrar of vital statistics for Vernon county.

Obituary from The Metz Times, Metz, Missouri.  Friday, December 27, 1918, page 1.



Back of G. W. Petty Advertising Card



Front of Advertising Card





(Copy of card provided by Georgia Charles)



Enlargement of name on back of advertising card.



State of Missouri))

County of Vernon))  s.s.

          The State of Missouri to the keeper of the Jail of said County greeting.

          These are to command and charge you that you receive in to your said Jail the Body of George Withers late of this County charged before me J G Hudson, a Justice of the Peace, within and for said county.  Upon the Oath of G W Petty, of Metz, that is to say that, George Withers, did burgalerise the said G W Petty store, in Metz, on the morning of November 2d 1887, of Merchandise and cash to the amount of $8.00 Dollars and that you safley keep the said George Weathers, in your said Jail until He shall be discharged there from by due course of law through the Circuit Court of this County.

          Given under my Hand this 2d day of November 1887.

                                             J G Hudson

                                                   Justice of the Peace


S J Baze

Constable, Metz Township.




The Thief Meets His Fate in the Osage

Pursued by a Searching Party He Takes to the Water.

     The store of Dr. G. W. Petty was burglarized, Wednesday night, being the fourth time during its 18 years existence at Metz.

     One George LaShul, a young man who had been about Metz for a month was the suspected party.  He effected entrance through a back window and carried off goods fully to the amount of $60 or more.  He had placed several pounds of candy, tobacco and some knives in a stump in the Osage bottom, near the bridge for a son of a Mr. Kirkman, where he had been stopping.  This led to a clue and Dr. Petty and two others, while examining the surroundings of the stump, concluded to make a hunt in the river bend, containing about 25 acres, which is heavily timbered.

     While passing up the river Mr. Hudson noticed something floating down the stream.  Mr. Kirkman swam in and brought it to shore.  It proved to contain shoes, underwear, pants, cutlery, etc.  Its condition assured the party that it had been in the water but a short time.

     Believing that they had pressed the thief so hard that he had crossed the river and lost the package while swimming they detailed a party to take the opposite side of the stream and made haste to press on.  In a short time a new hat--one taken from the store--was found lodged on a drift.  About 200 yards further on they discovered two pairs of pants, which had been laid aside for better ones, and the hat and shirt which LaShul had been wearing since he came there.  Several stolen articles lay around in such a manner as to show that he had made a hasty flight.  Less than 100 feet further up he leaped over a 10 foot bank, and his tracks led directly into the river where the water was fully 10 feet deep.  Much time was spent in searching carefully the banks both up and down stream, to find some signs where he had made his exit, but none could be found.  The condition of the banks was such that he could not have come from the river without leaving very plain tracks.  The pursuing party, which had increased in numbers, was forced to believe that he had drowned in trying to cross.  They did some dragging for the body Thursday afternoon which was continued today.

The Nevada Daily Mail, Nevada, Missouri.  Friday, May 12, 1893






His Father Writes from Lenora and Describes the Son.



    The persistent efforts of the citizens of Metz have at last unraveled the mystery surrounding the antecedents of LaShell, the burglar, who was drowned while attempting to evade pursuit.

    When the Osage river had given up its dead, an accurate description of the young robber was kept for identification.

    It now appears that the home of LaShell was at Lenora, Kas.  The description given by the following letter answers that preserved at Metz with the exception of the age which was thought a little older than that given by the Kansas correspondent.

To Dr. Petty at Metz:

    Lenora, Kas., May 21 -- Dear Sir:  In a copy of the Kansas City Star I saw an account of the drowning of a man who had broken into your store, and from a card I received from the county clerk of your county of the drowning of my son George in the Osage River, I believe they are the same.  Will you kindly inform me if such is the case, and how long had the man who was drowned been in your section.  My son was 17 years old past, about 5 feet 8 inches high, smooth face, dark hair usually cut short; moderately heavy build, weight about 145 or 150; scar on top of head, and large scar and lump on top of one foot necessitating the wearing of lace shoes.  He left home about one year ago and we have heard from him only twice since.  If it was our son will you kindly send us the letters and papers found on him--of no consequence to anyone else I suppose, but his mother wants them.  And state what were the expenses of burying him.  Hope to hear from you soon.


                                   G. P. LaShell.

    In a letter written to County Clerk Gordon Mr. LaShall expresses an intention of coming after the body of his son.  He thinks it will not be possible to move it during the warm weather and consequently will not come until winter.  He asks to know the name of the secretary of the local A. O. U. W. lodge.

    The father was very much exercised because no one telegraphed him of the death of his son.  He very thoughtlessly ignores the fact that no one in this section of the state knew anything about the locality from which the drowned man came.

The Nevada Daily Mail, Nevada, Missouri.  May 25, 1893.



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