Dr. Joseph H. Nichols

Return to Biographies

Biography from Stark County, IL History

by M.A. Leeson |  1887

Dr. J.H. Nichols, physician and surgeon, was born in New Jersey, December 18, 1818. His parents were Zaba (sic) and Margaret (Smith) Nichols, natives of New Jersey. The doctor received the rudiments of an education at home, the practical part of which was acquired on the farm. When a lad, he entered commercial life in the village of Sparta, N.Y.* In 1839, he moved to Connersville, Ind., came to Lafayette, Ill., in 1840; subsequently studied literature at Tolsbury college, next taught school at Rising Sun, W. Tenn., and studied medicine under Dr. Lamb, until he entered the Ohio Medical College in 1843. In the winter of 1844-5 he graduated from this institution, and in the spring of 1850 located permanently at Lafayette. In those years he was called to attend the sick and wounded over a large area — duties generally attended with dangers, difficulties and privations. The horse and saddle formed the locomotive of this olden time — a monotonous, slow means of travel, but the best means which the military tract then assumed to be practicable. Notwithstanding those years of labor and hardships the doctor is still sound in mind and body, giving promise of holding his place among the pioneer physicians of Central Illinois for years to come; though now retired from active professional work. He was married at Connersville, Ind. to Miss Louisa Woodcock in 1848. Their children are Luella Butler, wife of G. H. Butler, of Iliff, Col., and Albert H. Nichols. His wife died in 1874, in communion with the Congregational church. In 1881 he was appointed an officer of inland revenue at Peoria, Ill., served four years, going out with the Republican party, of which he has been a life-long member. In 1878 he married Mrs. Emily Howell, of Lafayette. Dr. Nichols is a charter member of the Blue Lodge of Lafayette, and took a prominent part in building up the social and industrial interests of that village, credited to him in this work.

*He moved to Sparta, New Jersey, with his family, not Sparta, New York.

(Contributed by Debbie Bleger)