Biography - Hiram H. Burris

HIRAM H. BURRIS. As a physician and surgeon of considerable and even unusual ability, Dr. Hiram H. Burris has achieved prominence in the state of Illinois. His fame is not alone confined to the town of Dongola where he has made his headquarters since 1898, but he has become widely known to the medical fraternity throughout the state.

Born September 20, 1866, in Vienna, Illinois, he is the son of Dr. Thomas R. Burris and Malvina (Mulkey) Burris. The father was born and reared to manhood in Kentucky, and he was the son of Hiram Howard Burris. Dr. Thomas R. Burris practiced medicine in Vienna through the best years of his life. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served as a commissary clerk under General McPherson, and he died in 1889, after a life of service devoted to his fellowmen. His wife, Malvina Mulkey, was a daughter of Dr. Mulkey, and she passed away in 1872. Dr. Burris contracted a second marriage, his second wife being Mary Scott, of Johnson county. Five children were born of his first marriage: Franklin J., Oscar E., Cleon G., Amanda M., deceased, and Hiram H. Of his second union, seven children were born. They were Stella N., Lucinda E., Thomas S., Mabel, and three others who are deceased.

Hiram H. Burris received his early education in the common schools of Johnson county and in select schools of Vienna, under the tutelage of Professors Smith and Arnold. When he was seventeen years of age he began teaching, and he taught three terms in Illinois and Missouri. At the age of twenty he took up the study of medicine under his father, and in 1886 he attended the Chicago College of Medicine & Surgery, graduating therefrom in the spring of 1889. He was valedictorian of his class, and furthermore, received complimentary mention because of the fact that he passed his final examinations with the highest standings of any student of the college in twenty years. He immediately took up the practice of his profession in Vienna, where he conducted a successful practice for ten years. In 1899 he located in Dongola, and there he has found a wide field for his professional labors. His territory covers a radius of ten miles, and he has been called a distance of twenty-five miles. In 1909 he was appointed surgeon for the Illinois Central Railroad Company and elected to the chair of Railway and Emergency Surgery at the Chicago College of Medicine, now a part of the Federal University, Chicago, filling that position until September, 1911. During the years of his connection with the Chicago College of Medicine he delivered sixteen lectures each term, going to and from his home in Dongola to Chicago. Dr. Burris is a member of the Illinois State and American Medical Associations, and the Illinois Central Association of Railroad Surgeons. In 1889 Dr. Burris was honored by being awarded an honorary diploma from the Physio-Medical Institute held in Chicago in that year. He is a member of the Odd Fellows of Dongola and of the Knights of Pythias of Ullin. He has served Dongola as a member of the school board for a number of years, and is deeply interested in all matters of an educational nature. His support may always be depended upon in any movement tending to improve the civic welfare in any way. He is a communicant of the Baptist church.

Dr. Burris has been twice married. On December 4, 1889, he married Julia A. Bridges, daughter of John S. Bridges, a prominent citizen of Vienna and for years a justice of the peace. She died in July, 1891, leaving two children, Nellie Lee and Hiram Ward. The former is now the wife of John Goodman of Dongola, and they have two children: Julia Opal and Joseph Shelby. In 1902 Dr. Burris married Laura B. Quenneville of Dongola, a daughter of Louis Quenneville, and of French-Canadian descent. They are the parents of one child, Beatrice L.

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 692-693.

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