Holding an admitted precedence in the dental profession and having a highly creditable record as a public official, and one who has wielded wide influence as a man of affairs, the service of Dr. W. Pitner, of Fairfield, has been of much more than ordinary character to Wayne county, extending as it has over more than a quarter of a century. He was born November 22, 1860, at Clay City, Illinois, and is a son of Dr. F. R. and Sarah (Ridgeway) Pitner.

Michael Pitner, the grandfather of Dr. Homer W. Pitner, was born in Tennessee, from whence he enlisted as a soldier under General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 and partieipated in the battle of New Orleans. He came to Southern Illinois in 1822, and was here engaged in farming during the rest of his life, his death occurring at Jacksonville. Michael Pitner married Catherine Rube, also a native of Tennessee, and among their children was F. R. Pitner. The latter was born October 12, 1812, in Tennessee, and was ten years of age when he accompanied his parents to Southern Illinois. As a youth he secured employment as a clerk in a store at Salem, and after attending Lebanon College he took up the study of medicine at Salem with Dr. Hull. He was graduated from the medical department of Transylvania University,


Kentucky, in 1833, and subsequently practiced medicine at Maysville, Jerseyville, Jacksonville and Clay City. Dr. Pitner, who is a veteran of the ''Days of '49 and the oldest physician in Illinois, is now in his 100th year, but since his ninetieth year has given up his practice to become proprietor of a drug business. A faithful member of the Methodist church, he is deeply religious, and attributes his great age to a life of strict temperance. He was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, was for many years an active and influential Republican, and prior to and during the Civil war represented his district in the state legislature. Dr. Pitner was married to Miss Sarah Ridgeway, of Philadelphia, who died in 1888, and they had a family of six children, as follows: Rev. J. L., a Methodist Episcopal minister of Fresno, California; Charles, a well-known merchant of Clay City, Illinois; Rev. W. F., pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church of Trinidad, Colorado; Mrs. Lenora Huntley, whose husband is in the wholesale hardware business in Waterloo, Iowa; Dr. Homer W.; and James, who is deceased.

After completing the prescribed course in the public schools of his native place Homer W. Pitner entered Cincinnati University, and was graduated from the literary department in 1882. He then took up the study of dentistry in the dental department of Ohio University, graduating in 1884, and subsequently spent a short time in practice in Clay City. On March 9, 1884, he came to Fairfield, believing that this community offered superior advantages to a progressive young professional man, and he has had no reason to regret his choice, for he has established a most satisfactory professional business, his careful and skillful work having given him a high reputation. From 1897 to 1902 he served as a member of the Illinois State Board of Dental Examiners, and during this time served as president of the body, being fearless and honest in the discharge of his duties. He is a member of the Southern Illinois State and Tn-State Dental Associations, and takes a decided interest in fraternal work as a member of the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Red Men, the Elks, the Modern Woodmen and the Tribe of Ben Hun. The doctor enjoys marked popularity and esteem in professional, fraternal and social circles and is recognized as an able and progressive business man, energetic and public spirited. In political matters he is a Republican, and after serving as alderman was elected mayor of Fairfield in 1909 by the largest majority ever given a candidate for that office. He served until April, 1911, giving the city an efficient and business-like administration, during which many needed reforms were brought about. It is recognized by his confreres in the profession that he possesses the essential attributes of thorough mastery of the principles of the dental science and a delicacy and accuracy of mechanical skill, and also that he has a high regard for the ethics of the profession.

In 1887 Dr. Pitner was married to Miss Ida E. Davis, daughter of William Davis, of Clay City, and they have three children: Mrs. Willena Swan, who has one son, Maxwell; Harry L., a graduate of Fairfield high school; and Helen who is a student in that institution. The family is identified with the Methodist Episcopal church.

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