Life Sketches of Comanche-co. Pioneers * Some of Their Struggles and Early-day Experiences.
At left: Dr. John S. Halliday
Among the stalwart, ambitious young men from the more eastern states who back in the early 80s, turned their steps toward Kansas as a permanent location, was Dr. J. S. Halliday, now of Muskogee, Okla., whom every old-timer in Comanche-co. knows as one of the real pioneers and as one of the builders of Coldwater and Comanche-co. He was a native of Meigs-co., Ohio, having been born in that county on July 6, 1843. A little calculation will reveal the fact that when the Civil War broke out in 1861, young Halliday was not quite 18 years of age, and, like thousands of other young men from Ohio and other northern states he volunteered his services in defense of the Union, and in many a battle he proved himself to be of that invincible, courageous type of men for which Ohio was noted. As a member of the 36th Ohio Infantry, he won distinction on numerous occasions for bravery and good judgment in time of battle. He spent seven months in southern prisons.
During the years following the war young Halliday turned his attention to the study of medicine. He was graduated from the Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis, Mo., in 1884, and later took a post graduate course in Pulte Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio. Thus he dedicated his life to helping to alleviate pain and physical suffering. For over half a century he devoted his time and his talents to that work.
During the five years following the close of the Civil War, or from 1865 to 1870, young Halliday began to look about for a place to locate, and at the same time to see the country. He made a trip to the great Southwest, going as far as Arizona. It was probably on that trip that the intrepid Halliday got some of the love of the West in his system.
On August 7, 1870, he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Margaret Lisle, at Downington, Ohio. Mrs. Halliday died in this city on May 18, 1901; and about seven years later Dr. Halliday was united in marriage with Mrs. Cora Overstreet.
After his first marriage he settled in Middleport, Ohio, and there practiced his profession, gaining considerable prominence as a physician and surgeon. He was also located for a while in Pomeroy, Ohio, and in the year 1882 settled in Gallapolis, that state for the practice of his profession. But in the early fall of 1881 he yielded to the lure of the Kansas plains and decided to come to Coldwater,, which was then a town of a few hundred people, and only a little over three months old. He was thus one of the first physicians to settle in this county, and for nearly a quarter of a century he continued to be one of our best known and most prominent citizens. His practice took him not only to all parts of this county, but to adjoining counties as well. Dr. Halliday was identified with practically all of the early day movements and enterprises which had for their purpose the improvements and up building of the town and county. His influence was felt in the county seat contest, in the building of a courthouse, in securing a railroad through the county and in a dozen other ways, and at all times he showed that spirit of progressive and stick-to-it-ivness which characterized the early settlers in this county.
At various times Dr. Halliday served in some public office - member of the school board, member of the city council, as mayor, or as a member of the Pension Board. At the general election in November, 1894, he was elected to the office of representative in the state legislature from the Comanche-co. district, defeating W. M. Cash by a vote of 158 to 157. He served for one term in the legislature, and while there made a good record. He was elected as a republican, and throughout all his life he has never swerved from or faltered in his devotion to that party.
Since moving to Muskogee in 1908 Dr. Halliday had gradually given up the practice of medicine, and is now devoting his time to his home life. Although now past 80 years of age, he is still in good health and taken an active interest in present day affairs. Among Comanche-co.'s "Roll of Honor," which includes the men and women who were our real pioneers, Dr. John Stanley Halliday will always have a prominent place.
For over 50 years Dr. Halliday has been a prominent and active member of the Grand Army of the Republic. For many years he has also taken an active interest in Masonry, having helped to organize the Coldwater Masonic lodge, also the local chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Mrs. Frank A. Kimple of this county is a daughter of Dr. Halliday. Another daughter, Mrs. Ira B. Kirkland, lives in Muskogee, Okla. His son, Dr. Edward Meigs Halliday, now makes his home in St. Joseph, Mo.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing, scanning and contributing the above news article and image to this web site!
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