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Edgar Bolles, M. D.

Edgar Bolles, M.D., who was for a score of years a successful physician, of high repute, in Macomb, McDonough County, Ill., was born in Sandusky, Ohio January 12, 1837. He was a son of William K. and Sarah (West) Bolles, of whom the former was born in New London, Conn., in 1807 and the latter in Hillsdale, N. Y., in the same year. Being desirous of bettering their fortunes they journeyed to LaGrange County, Ind., making the trip in an old-fashioned lumber wagon with an ox-team. They discovered, however, that the new region was much infested with malaria and chills and fever, and therefore returned to Hillsdale, N. Y. Remaining there about one year, they came to Blandinsville, Ill., in 1853, and moved to Emmet Township, Mcdonough County, in 1866. The subject of this sketch remained on the farm with his father until he was twenty-one years old, assisting in the farm work during the summer and attending district school during the winter. On attaining his majority he entered the seminary at Blandinsville, where he studied two years. He then taught school and worked in various ways in order to secure the means to pursue a medical course. In 1863 he came to Macomb and read medicine with Huston & Hammond. In 1868 he attended lectures at the Long Island College Hospital, Brooklyn, N. Y., for one term. Next he took a course in the Detroit Medical College, from which he received his degree in medicine and surgery in 1869. After graduating he returned home and taught school for one term. In 1870 he went again to Detroit, where he served as assistant to Professors Weber and Jenks, in the departments of anatomy and diseases of women and children. Subsequently he was occupied for a time as assistant in the office of Dr. Jenks, after which he located at Pennington Point, McDonough County, Ill., where he remained until 1881. In that year he moved to Macomb, where he spent the remainder of his life, dying May 14, 1900. He was very highly regarded as a physician and as a man and citizen, building up an extensive practice and enjoying the confidence of his patients and the general public. On various occasions, Dr. Bolles traveled widely throughout the United States, and when seized with his final sickness had completed preparations and secured tickets for an ocean voyage, in order to make an extended tour abroad. He had accumulated considerable means, and held stock in both the sewer-pipe companies in Macomb. On May 15, 1872, the subject of this sketch was united in marriage with Fannie Penrose, at Macomb, where her family was among the pioneer residents. This union resulted in two children, one of whom died in childhood, and the other, Howard W. Bolles, is now serving as Deputy Sheriff of McDonough County. On political questions, Dr. Bolles was in accord with the policies of the Republican party. Religiously, although not connected with any denomination, he leaned toward the Methodist Episcopal Church. In fraternal circles, he was identified with the A. F. & A. M., being a Mason of high standing, a Knight Templar and a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He was also affiliated with the dramatic order, Knights of Khorassan and the Knights of Pythias.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907. Submitted by Joanne Scobee Morgan <>

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