|GEORGE P. JOHNSTON, M. D.|
Dr. George P. Johnston, a surgeon of eminent ability,
whose long years of practice have won for him a statewide reputation
makes his home in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the capital city is
fortunate in that he has cast in his lot with hers. A native of
Osborn, Ohio, he was born in 1864, a son of Thomas P. and Elizabeth
(Shellabarger) Johnston, both of whom were representatives of old
pioneer families of southern Ohio. The grandfather in the
paternal line was James Johnston, who took up government land in
Greene county, Ohio, about 1812, being one of the first to settle in
that section of the state. He had come from the north of Ireland and
was of Scotch-Irish lineage. He devoted his attention to contracting
and erected many of the pioneer homes in southern Ohio. He also gave
some time to farming and he continued his residence in the
Buckeye state until called to his final rest. His son, Thomas P.
Johnston, was born and reared in southern Ohio and he, too, took up
the occupation of farming and became one of the extensive landowners
and prominent citizens of his section of the state. He was born in.
1817 and after arriving at years of maturity was married in Ohio to
Miss Elizabeth Shellabarger and to them were born ten children, nine
sons and a daughter. The brothers of Dr. Johnston became pioneer
settlers of the west. The eldest, J. A. Johnston, is now living
retired in Denver. He was one of the first residents of that city,
having arrived there in 1867. Another brother, E. S. Johnston, came
to this state in 1870 and is now living in Cheyenne. A third brother,
M. R. Johnston, is a resident of Wheatland, Wyoming.
Dr. George P. Johnston whose name introduces this review spent his boyhood days in southern Ohio and acquired his early education in the common schools, after which he entered Antioch College, from which he was graduated in 1888 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. In 1896 his alma mater conferred upon him the Master of Arts degree. He took up the study of medicine in the Medical College of Ohio at Cincinnati and completed his course there in 1891, winning the valedictorian honors of his class. He served in his professional capacity at the National Soldiers' Home in Dayton, Ohio, in 1891, filling the position of assistant surgeon there until the summer of 1892. On the 15th of May of the same year he came to Cheyenne, where he opened an office and has since remained. Within that time he has given considerable attention to post graduate work in this country and abroad, having spent a portion of the years 1912 and 1913 in the University of Vienna in the study of surgery and allied subjects. He is one of the pioneer surgeons of Wyoming, having performed the first successful laparotomy in the state. He has continued in general practice but has continuously specialized in surgery and is one of the most eminent representatives of that branch of the profession in the west. Possessing steady nerves, cool and collected in the face of a great emergency and possessing broad scientific knowledge, he has been enabled to perform some most difficult operations. Dr. Johnston belongs to the Wyoming State Medical Association and his contemporaries in the profession speak of him in terms of the highest regard.
Dr. Johnston was married to Miss Fannie Phelps, of Grinnell, Iowa, her ancestors having been among the founders of that town. She is a daughter of Matthew Phelps, who became one of the pioneer settlers of the Hawkeye state. To Dr. and Mrs. Johnston has been born a son, George Phelps. Dr. Johnston is now consulting surgeon with the Union Pacific Railroad Company, also local surgeon for the Burlington & Missouri and for the Colorado & Southern Railroad Companies. He is likewise medical director of the Western National Life Insurance Company of Cheyenne. In 1907 he founded a private hospital in Cheyenne and he is also serving on the staff of St. John's Hospital of Laramie county. He was active in drafting and introducing into the legislature the present medical law of the state. He has also done important service for the community in which he lives. He served as chairman on the water committee during the construction of the present water system of the city and fought for sanitation and permanence in its establishment, so that today Cheyenne has one of the best water systems in the world.. For two terms he served as a member of the city council. He has been active in all pioneer movements for the improvement and upbuilding of the city and his activities have been of great worth in this connection. He is a man who looks beyond the exigencies of the moment to the opportunities, the needs and the possibilities of the future and works for later as well as present benefit. In a word, he is a man of broad vision in connection with public life as well as professional interests and his developing powers have brought him prominently to the front as a citizen and as a surgeon.