Schooley, Mahlon H. L. MAGA © 2000-2007
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HISTORICAL SKETCHES

Virginia, Ill.

By: J. N. Gridley

Printed by the Enquirer
1907

DR. M. H. L. SCHOOLEY.

_____

Every intelligent man raising a family of children should leave for them at his death - or before - an account of his ancestral history, or genealogy, so far as he can ascertain it, and a sketch of his own biography. Not that American genealogies are of any material or financial value; but because it is to all persons of education and culture very satisfactory to know from what stock they descended, what sort of people their forefathers were, and what their parents did in their day and generation. Dr. Schooley neglected that duty - as indeed a large majority of our people do and consequently very little is now known of his lineage, and of his early life.

He was born of Quaker parents at, or near, Leesburg, in Loudoun county, Virginia, on the 12th of December, 1812. Of his father's vocation, or his station in society, nothing is now known. Some, if not all, of the family migrated from Virginia to southern Ohio, as the records show that young Mahlon M. L. Schooley taught a country school in 1835-36 at, or near, Lexington, in Highland county in that state, and, while teaching there he boarded, and made his home with his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson, who, no doubt preceded him there. And, from the fact that he taught school, it must be inferred that he had either in Virginia or Ohio, acquired a fair common school education. Another plausible inference is, that not being backed by much ready capital, or broad manorial estates, and sensible of the fact that he must depend upon his own efforts and resources to make his way through the world, and perhaps not greatly fancying school teaching, for a life avocation, he concluded to strike out for a newer country where he might have better chances to "catch dame Fortune's golden smile." At any rate, he came to Illinois to look it over, and, if it fulfilled his expectations, to stay and become a part of it.

In the spring of 1837 it was, he one day walked the gang plank from a little steamboat at Beardstown, and landed in that town in good health, strong and hopeful, but dead broke, and a total stranger in a strange land. He found the citizens there in great glee and rejoicing over the passing of an Act, a month before, by the state legislature creating the county of Cass, in which Beardstown was designated as its county seat. But he was then in no mood to feel much interest in the organization of a new county, as he regarded the bread and meat question a much more important matter. On the way up the Illinois river he had frankly told the captain of the boat that paying for his passage to beardstown entirely exhausted his funds, and the he would have to look for immediate employment to tide him over until he found an opening for permanent occupation.

That steamboat captain happened to be a kind, sympathetic man, and knowing Doctor Chandler, who had landed from that same boat at Beardstown five years before, and knowing how he was flourishing at the Panther Creek settlement - as it was then called - up the Sangamon Bottom, advised young Schooley to go up there and seek the Doctor's advice. When told what manner of man Dr. Chandler was, and the magnificence of the Sangamon Bottom where he was located, the young man concluded to act upon the captain's suggestion at once; and set out, afoot, upon the journey that same afternoon, carrying all his earthly possessions in an old-fashioned carpet bag. He finished his eighteen mile walk by sunset, and, happening to find Dr. Chandler at home, was entertained by him with his cordial hospitality - that he accorded all wayfarers who came that way. Then, after hearing the account the young carpet bagger gave of himself, and seeing in him outcroppings of certain manly traits, he insisted upon retaining him in his cabin as a member of his household.

Schooley was a close observer, and quick to observe opportunities. He soon discovered that Illinois was a malarious sickly region demanding a large ratio of physicians in proportion to its rapidly increasing population, and saw that the rates charged by the few doctor's in practice there for their services were considerably in excess of the earnings of other vocations. He also saw that the physician's station in society - he being presumed to be an educated gentleman - was one of honor and respectability. With probably some prior inclination to preparing himself for the medical profession, the great success of Dr. Chandler decided him to adopting that course; for, he thought, it would beyond doubt suit him as well as any other calling - certainly better than that of school teaching or manual labor. He was deterred, however, in this aspiration by the great obstacles of time and poverty in the way of obtaining the end. While pondering this matter in silence, and scheming to devise ways and means, he was one day much surprised and gratified by Dr. Chandler suggesting to him the proposition to study medicine with him, with the assurance that in two or three years he could become well qualified to engage in the practical work of the profession without the beneficent aid of college lectures or any Board of Health. Without hesitation he accepted the Doctor's proposal, and lost no time in commencing the rudimentary studies of the, so called, science.

At that early day in the west collegiate medical education was not considered so indispensably necessary to fit a physician for the active duties of his profession as it now is. Sound judgment, quick perception and strong common sense, with some learning, were regarded, very justly, as more essential to a success than Latin printed parchments or Board of Health certificates. Students who could not afford the expense of medical college instruction, studied with established physicians and "rode with them," as it was styled, accompanying them on their rounds of professional visits, thereby acquiring clinical knowledge and practical training of value. Schooley "rode" with Dr. Chandler when convenient; and when not riding applied himself to his text books, took care of the Doctor's horses and made himself generally useful about the premises.

Three years of that practical pupilage turned Schooley out a full-fledged Doctor - a graduate, so to speak, of "Brush College," - as competent to administer calomel and Dovers powder, and to bleed, blister and purge, as he could have been with half a dozen diplomas and board of health certificates. With perfect confidence in his ability to take care of himself, and of all patients who might entrust their bodily ailments to his treatment, by advice of Dr. Chandler, he left the Sangamon Bottom in the Spring of 1840 and located in the town of Virginia. Already well known in that community by his association with Dr. Chandler, and highly recommended by him, his success was at once assured, and for years he ranked as one of the best physicians, and most influential citizens of Cass county. Without the illusory prestige of a diploma he successfully stood the test of an extensive circuit of practice upon his merits as a practitioner alone; but in later years obtained a Doctor's degree in due form from one of the medical institutions of Chicago.

In February, 1841, Dr. Schooley was united in marriage to Miss Catherine J. Gatton, daughter of Mr. Thomas Gatton, one of the pioneer settlers of Morgan county, a farmer and merchant, who resided near the present station of Little Indian. In those days young folks didn't fool away much time or money on honeymoon excursions; but regarding marriage as the initial step in the only real mission of life, they settled down and began in earnest the never-ending task of earning bread by the sweat of their brows. Following that precedent Dr. Schooley brought his wife to Virginia, and they commenced housekeeping in a small frame house on lots 87 and 88 in Hall's first addition, now known as the Sam Petefish residence, which, with his characteristic prudence, the Doctor had bought of Dr. Hall in 1840. For the next several years Dr. Schooley applied himself very closely to his business, gradually extending the are of his medical practice beyond the limits of the county in all directions, and finally establishing himself in the front ranks of public spirited citizens.

Cass county in those days was dominated by the whig party, of which Schooley was an active member. He really had no taste, or aptitude, for politics or public life; but, impulsive and resentful, he became an ultra whig, not so much from the strength and candor of his convictions, as from prejudices engendered by his associations. Those who early befriended and sustained him - Dr. Chandler, R. S. Thomas, the Gattons, Naylors, Beesleys, and others - were all whigs; while those who ignored him and contemptuously called him "Dr. Chandler's stable boy" - the Dunaways, Rabourns, N. B. Thompson, Petefishes, and retainers, whom he thoroughly detested - were all strong democratics. For several years the entire community in and around Virginia was divided - with bitter hostility - not only upon strictly party lines, but also upon the respective professional merits of Doctors Schooley and Tate, the democrats, with few exceptions, sustaining Tate, and the whigs adhering to Schooley, yet neither of the Doctors was a representative leader of the political party backing him.

The convention system for nominating party candidates for county officers had not then been adopted in Illinois, and was not adopted for several years later; nor had King Caucus yet asserted his power. Elections, without registrations, petitions of primaries, were free for all who chose to enter the lists, and, literally, "the longest pole knocked the persimmons," as ballot box stuffing, and other election frauds had not yet been invented. In 1843, by tacit agreement of leading democrats of Cass county, C. H. C. Havekluft, a young lawyer and poet of Beardstown, was announced as their candidate for county recorder. The jealous rivalry of Beardstown and Virginia, originating before the county was organized, was intensified that year by the declared intention of Beardstown's citizens to apply to the county commissioners for an order for an election to remove the county seat from Virginia to their town. The whigs desired very much to defeat Havekluft. Correctly calculating upon the county seat fight aiding them by making the recorder's election as much a sectional as political contest, they brought out Dr. Schooley as their candidate. The election was held on the 7th of August, resulting in Schooley's election, as he received 451 votes to 437 for Haveluft, and 32 for Dr. George Van Ness, also a whig, who was the father-in-law of Hon. Henry E. Dummer and a pitiable wreck of a once brilliant man.

On the 4th day of the next month, September, the county seat removal election was held, when Virginia lost it, having but 288 votes against removal and Beardstown 453 for removal. The recorder's office proved more of a detriment to Dr. Schooley than a profit as it interfered considerably with his professional business and returned but small emoluments. He retired from it when the transfer of the county seat from Virginia to Beardstown was made, in February, 1845, and was succeeded by Sylvester Emmons, a whig, of Beardstown, who, by re-elections, held it until the constitution of 1848 legislated him out of office by abolishing it. The only other public position to which Dr. Schooley was elected by popular vote was that of school director, the duties of which he well and faithfully discharged.

To many of the most intelligent and competent country practitioners of medicine the everlasting drudgery of their calling becomes sooner or later, very irksome - sometimes intolerable. Thus it is that many of them, seeking rest and respite in change of some sort, embark in other pursuits or enterprises of which they know practically little or nothing. Such was the case with Dr. Schooley. Office holding proving not altogether satisfactory, his next venture was in the milling business. The first steam mill established in Virginia was built on the branch in the eastern edge of the village by N. B. Beers, a New Yorker and brother-in-law of Wm. Holmes. Into that enterprise Dr. Schooley invested some of his surplus earnings, as partner and junior member of the firm of Beers & Schooley. The partnership continued about two years when it was dissolved by mutual consent, Dr. Schooley retiring with some acquired experience, but no material addition to his wealth. As may be inferred, his experience was gained, not in the work of the mill, to which he paid little or no personal attention, but in its financial outcome.

The war with Mexico, in 1846-48, had no perturbing influence on the medical practitioners of Cass county, and not one of them offered his services in aid of his country. They no doubt had sufficient exercise of their patriotism in the caseless war they waged at home upon the chills and fever, and other local endemics. Medical practice in the Virginia district was nearly equally divided between Doctors Schooley and Tate, who still hotly contested for supremacy. Dr. Hall, an invalid for several months, died in July 1847, and Dr. Pothicary had moved to Beardstown Three other doctors - Conn, Stockton and Clark - had located in Virginia but not being able to wait until Tate or Schooley died, they left in disgust. A short time before Dr. Hall's death, in 1847, Dr. Rufus S. Lord, with a newly married wife, came to Virginia and quietly settled down for business. His thorough education, affable disposition and cultured manners favorably impressed the people; and Dr. Schooley, taking quite a fancy to him, entered into partnership with him in the general practice of medicine, moved no doubt by the selfish desire to get rid of some of his slavish toil and thereby have more time for deer and turkey hunting. Just what attraction the little squalid village of Virginia had for the medical profession at that time is now difficult to comprehend. though the field was fully and ably supplied, Dr. Charles Aust Hathwell moved in and "permanently" established himself in a dwelling he had built in the northwest corner of the town.

The discovery of gold in California, in 1848, was hailed by Dr. Schooley with pleasant and intense interest; as it seemed to present a loophole through which he might escape for all time his dreary and monotonous avocation. He quickly concluded to go there and gather up all the gold he wanted to enable him to retire from all active business, and, with his guns and dogs, pass the remainder of his days in the blissful slaughter of wild game. After all needful preparations, leaving his patients in care of Dr. Lord, and his family at home, he left in the spring fo 1849, with Dr. Pothicary and other Cass county friends, for the new found Ophir, by way of New Orleans and the Isthmus of Panama. their voyage was pleasant and uneventful, and they arrived in the promised land in safety and good health. From San Francisco they proceeded up the Sacramento river to the mountains, and there separated, each taking the route to the gold diggings he thought the most advantageous.

Dr. Schooley was in California just a year, and was always very reticent about what he did while there. He did not find gold laying around loose requiring only to be shoveled up in sacks; but disappointed in all his expectations, homesick and disgusted, he returned to Cass county in 1850 by the same route he went; having with prudent forethought taken with him ample means to defray expenses both ways. Again taking up his old pill bags and lancet, he began anew to trudge along the familiar well-worn ruts, and without effort resumed his former prominence in his profession and in social and public affairs, although Dr. Parmenio Lyman Phillips had located in Virginia early in 1849 to supply his vacancy in the medical staff there. His partnership with Dr. Lord continued until the spring of 1851, when that gentleman seeing that Virginia, a village with less than 400 population, was overstocked with Doctors - having five: Schooley, Tate, Hathwell, Lord and Phillips - concluded to pull out and look out a more promising location. He went to Chester, in Randolph county, taking young Henry H. Hall with him to assist in running a drug store there in connection with his practice of medicine.

The Virginians had lost the county seat, but had by no means lost the hope of some day regaining it; and were united in endeavoring to secure every advantage for their town that would promote that object. the citizens of Beardstown projected a plank road over the sand from the river east to the bluffs that promised to be a great advantage to their commercial interests. Not to be left in the lurch by their successful rival, the Virginians, organized a joint stock company to build a similar plank road over the sticky clay hills and mud flats from their town to Bluff Springs. Of that company Dr. Schooley was elected secretary and treasurer, as appears from the following notice in the Beardstown Gazette of that date:

"PLANK ROAD NOTICE"

"Notice is hereby given that Books for the subscription for Stock in the Plank Road leading from the Bluffs to Virginia will be opened at the office of Dr. M. H. L. Schooley in the town of Virginia, on Saturday the 14th day of June, 1851, and continue open from day to day until a sufficient amount of Stock shall have been subscribed.

Virginia, May 21st, 1851."

How long the books for subscriptions remained open at Secretary Schooley's office, and how much of the capital stock was subscribed, is now impossible to ascertain; but the "wind work" of the enterprise was all of it ever accomplished.

Among the many results produced in the business world by the amazing quantities of gold yielded by the California mines was the stimulus given to railroad building in all parts of our country east of the great western plains. And in no state of the Union was that class of enterprises prosecuted with greater vigor than in Illinois. In 1853, Major J. M. Ruggles, representing the counties of Mason, Menard and Sangamon in the state senate, secured the enactment of a charter for construction of a railroad from Pekin, in Tazewell county, down the eastern side of the Illinois river to some indefinite point, to be known as the "Illinois River Railroad." The right of way was secured to Bath, in Mason county, and over $100,000 subscribed for its stock, when the influence of Dr. Chandler, R. S. Thomas and Dr. Schooley of Cass county, and certain influential citizens of Jacksonville, succeeded in effecting a divergence of the route of the road from the Illinois river, at Bath, directly south through Chandlerville and Virginia to Jacksonville. In September, 1857, the company for building the road was formally organized, at Chandlerville, by selecting Judge Wm. Thomas, of Morgan, Hon. R. S. Thomas, of Cass, J. M. Ruggles and Francis Low, of Mason, and Joshua Wagonseller, of Tazewell, as a board of directors. The directors then perfected the organization by the election Hon. R. S. Thomas, as president, Dr. Schooley, secretary, and Thomas Plasters, treasurer.

The grand opportunity Dr. Schooley had long looked for, to emancipate him from professional servitude, was at last presented to him, and he seized it with avidity. Casting aside the old shackles of medical practice, he entered upon the duties of his new position with devoted enthusiasm. Mason, Cass and Morgan counties were industriously canvassed by President Thomas and other officials of the company and their citizens urged to subscribe for stock in the railroad, which they did with open-handed liberality. Work on the road was prosecuted with energy and Beardstown saw, with envy, the daily onward march of iron rails and locomotive in the direction of Virginia.

As a railroad magnate Dr. Schooley's social status was suddenly much exalted. Considering that his new dignity should be sustained with more refined surroundings, he caused the old house serving for some years as his home, to be moved on the corner lot across the street, and upon the lots where it formerly stood erected a fine mansion (still in good condition there,) at that time the most stylish and costly residence in the town, and excelled by few, if any, in the county. In corresponding style he refitted his domestic establishment, converted his pill shop into a railroad office, and for a time occupied a sphere in life he had long desired and was eminently well qualified to fill.

About that time - 1857 - the Jacksonville and Tonica railroad company was pushing its road north across the southeastern corner of Cass county, resulting, in its anticipation, the founding of the town of Ashland (in that year) and quite an influx of immigration to the east end of the county. The certainty that Virginia would in short time be in railroad communication with the large centers of trade gave the village a big "boom" that - together with the increasing vote of the east end of the county, inflated its leading citizens with their importance and strength. they thought the time had arrived for wresting the county seat from Beardstown, that was yet without any immediate prospect of a railroad, and applied to the county commissioners to order a special election for that purpose. In compliance therewith an election was ordered to be held on the 3rd day of November, 1857, upon three propositions, namely: for and against subscription by the county of Cass of $50,000 in aid of the Keokuk and Warsaw railroad (to pass through Beardstown); for and against adoption of township organization, and for and against removal of the county seat from Beardstown to Virginia. The election was held accordingly, resulting in defeat of the railroad tax by the vote of 636 for and 792 against; defeat of township organization by 385 votes in its favor and 1921 opposed to it; and defeat of county seat removal by 986 for and 1606 against it.

At that election unblushing frauds were perpetrated by the partisans of both Virginia and Beardstown, the latter casting against removal almost as many votes as the whole number of legal voters in the county. At the hotly contested presidential election a year before - Nov. 4th, 1856 - the total number of votes cast in Cass were: 303 for Fremont, 438 for Filmore and 914 for Buchanan, aggregating 1655.

The old adage, "Misfortunes never come alone," often proves well founded. The failure to regain the county seat was almost a "solar plexus knockout blow" to Virginia. It survived the shock, however, but another came in less than three years, when, by foreclosure of mortgages, the ownership and management of the P.P. and J. railroad was transferred to another company, whereby President Thomas and Secretary Schooley were relieved of all connection with it. To make matters worse, by that transfer of the road, the many citizens who had bought the bonds of the road lost every dollar they invested in them. And worse yet for Dr. Schooley, about that time his health began to fail with serious symptoms of pulmonary disease. Once more he took up the discarded pill bags and lancet and began again his old treadmill rounds of professional toil. Dr. Hathwell was gone - went in 1856, with his family, to California by way fo New York and Panama. Dr. Parmenio Phillips had engaged in the steam-milling business with old Bill Armstrong, and practically retired from the medical arena; but Dr. Tate was still doing business at the same stand, and had a new competitor in Dr. George Washington Goodspeed who moved into Virginia from old Princeton in 1859.

Dr. Schooley's host of friends were steadfast in their devotion to him; but, disappointed and dispirited, the charm of his old associations was gone, and he saw little hope for regaining his former prestige in the community. Impelled, in a measure, by financial reverses, and by the desire to change his mode of life, in order to improve his failing health, he sold his mansion, closed up his business, and in the spring of 1863, when the nation was reeling from the school of civil war, he left Virginia and moved over to Mason county. There he quietly settled down on a little sandy farm he had previously purchased, and which constituted about all of his available assets, he continued his professional work.

In his palmy days Dr. Schooley was a man of attractive appearance - six feet in height, straight as an Indian, with well developed and finely proportioned figure, regular, well-formed face, high cheek bones, and black hair and eyes. His features, strong and impressive, but habitually immobile, neither reflected his feelings, or revealed his thoughts. With usually grave expression of countenance he laughed but little, and seldom indulged in jests or ribaldry.

These personal and mental traits, coupled with his immoderate love of hunting - the lowest and most brutal of all human instincts - gave color to the frequent intimation of his adversaries that he was of Indian descent. He dressed neatly, and was invariably dignified, courteous, and gentlemanly. Though not wanting in energy his movements were deliberate, and marked with a degree of reserve indicating adequate self-respect. Polite in his intercourse with the people, he was not very talkative, and generally mild in speech and manner, but when irritated displayed a fiery temper and pugnacious disposition backed by reckless courage. At his hospitable home, or in society, his affability could not be exceeded, and when with genial friends he was a pleasant and jovial companion and entertaining talker. Music and oratory were not among his natural gifts; nor did he make any claim to sanctity or piety, but he was kind, benevolent and charitable; and, without blemish in character of personal habits, was guided in all affairs of daily life by a high sense of honor and morality.

As a financier Dr. Schooley was not a conspicuous success. his income was ample, but was readily absorbed in expensive tastes, stylish mode of living and requirements of a growing family of sons and daughter. In all his dealings he was exact, prompt and scrupulously honest. Not having been one of the canvassers for subscriptions to railroad stocks he escaped the bitter censure heaped by many of the victims of misplaced confidence upon R. S. Thomas; and at no time was any charge of corruption ever insinuated against him.

Knowing and caring nothing about politics, or questions of public policy, when he came into Illinois he followed Dr. Chandler into the whig ranks; and when that party in the state was merged into the new born republican organization, at the Bloomington convention in May, 1856, by logical transition, he became a republican. He was at times quite an aggressive politician, not, however, of the office seeking variety, but from fixed prejudices and to be of service to his party friends.

Dr. Schooley's education, literary and medical, was fair, but not of the highest class. He was probably never a deep student, and as a man of learning passed for much more than his real value. He was, by the standards of that era, a good physician; but his success and reputation as such were due not so much to his book learning as to his intuitive perception, sound judgment and self-reliance - in a word to his clear, strong, practical, common sense. In the sick room he was formal, positive and silent, seldom indulging in idle conversation, or expressions of opinions simply for effect. There was no hesitancy in his conclusions or prescriptions, and he gave his directions to the nurses or other attendants like a general issuing his orders to subordinates, with no explanations of the nature of medicines prescribed or their expected effect. that course passed for - and really was - profound wisdom, as it impressed the patients with faith in the doctor and confidence in his treatment. For, as a rule, the more a physician palavers in presence of the sick, and assumes to explain the properties of his remedies and their modus operandi - of which he is himself often totally ignorant - the less well they believe in him, and the less will be his success. In diagnosis Dr. Schooley as not very often at fault; but, as is the case with all other practitioners of medicine, his deductions from correct premises were not always infallible. Some of his notions would at this day be condemned as singularly absurd; as for an instance, he adhered to the antiquated idea that two diseases cannot possibly exist in the human system at the same time, and upon that theory he conquered fevers by establishing an artificial disease, that of mercurial ptyalism (salllivation) - a remedy worse than the original disorder. Strange as it may now seem to us, he was considered peculiarly successful in the treatment of typhoid fever by that barbarous method. It is but just to add that the same plan of treatment was then practiced by physicians of the highest reputation everywhere.

It is a fact, with a few exceptions, that the man specially fond of his gun and dog is a worthless member of society. Dr. Schooley was one of the few exceptions to that rule, although his fondness for hunting amounted almost to a mania. Often in his busiest seasons, when demands for his professional services were crowding upon him from all directions he would drop everything and strike out for the Sangamon Bottom or Mason county, to kill deer and turkeys; and be gone for days and sometimes weeks. It mattered not what important cases, or pressing business, he had on hands if a brother Nimrod came along and proposed going on a hunt, he as ready to start off at once and made no promise when he would return.

In regard to religion Dr. Schooley was always inclined to be a Christian and certainly was a moral and conscientious man. He attended church with his wife when convenient, contributed liberally for support of the creed and preacher and entertained a wholesome respect for the sanctuary, but was by no means a puritan. In a general way he accepted the blessed truths of the bible, without making any fuss or display about it, and never seemed to be distressed with doubts as to his final destiny. In middle life he joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church - more to gratify his wife than to quiet any qualms of conscience - and then quit swearing, excepting when angry or much provoked.

His prospects in Mason county, where he was located on poor soil in a poor community, with health declining and earning capacity reduced, could not have been otherwise than gloomy and discouraging, but he bravely faced the situation and did the best he could to be reconciled to it. His new residence, however, had the advantage of being near his favorite hunting ground where game was abundant, and removed from the dead beats and loafers that infest the villages and mark the doctors as their especial prey. He remained there two years, with no improvement of his health o finances, when his friends persuaded him to get out of the Illinois river valley and try the effects of a more elevated and open region. Acting upon that suggestion he sold his farm in 1865 and left the state of Illinois, establishing himself at Harrisonville, the county seat of Cass county, Missouri. He there commenced anew the practice of his profession, to which he gave his whole time and attention and was quite successful. His ability as a practitioner and worth as a citizen soon gained recognition throughout the county and he was given all the patronage he could attend to.

The higher altitude and purer air of western Missouri arrested - or retarded - the ravages of the scourge that held him in its grasp, and gave him an extension of his lease on life. But it was only a prolongation of the struggle against the inevitable. The spirit and force that inspired him in his younger days was gone, and only his strong determination and high sense of duty - together with constant use of cod-liver oil and whiskey - sustained him in his daily routine work. For twelve years after his arrival in Harrisonville, he sustained the high professional and personal reputation he had established in Illinois. Despite ill health and advancing age he manfully remained at his post, administering to the sick and relieving human suffering until exhausted vitality compelled him to surrender to "the grim reaper called Death," and breathed his last on the 14th day of December, 1877, at the age of 65 years and 2 days. He was buried with the ritual ceremonies of the Odd Fellows, of which order he had been a member for many years.

Dr. Schooley was survived by his wife, three sons and one daughter. Two of three of his children had passed away in their early infancy. Edward Chapman Schooley, his eldest son, died of consumption in Harrisonville, in August, 1884. Mrs. Catherine G. Schooley died in April, 1897, and was followed to the grave by Dr. Wm. T. Schooley, the second son, who died of consumption, in October of the same year. The only survivors of the family at present are James Henry Schooley, of Washington City, and the only daughter, Mary E., wife of Shad Owens, of Harrisonville, Mo.

Two young men residing in Virginia, named Whitmeyer and O'Neil, studied medicine in Dr. Schooley's office and "rode" with him for some time. After their horseback curriculum and brush college graduation they wandered beyond the confines of Cass county to find locations for practicing the art they had learned. O'Neil settled in Mason county and in time became there quite a popular and reputable physician and substantial citizen. Whitmeyer migrated west, with his parents and their other children, and was totally lost to even the oldest inhabitants of Virginia.


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