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Duffield, Henry T.
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Duffield, Henry T.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 376-379


Dr. Henry T. Duffield, who for twenty-two years has engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in Pittsfield and is a representative of a pioneer family of this part of the state, was born in Martinsburg township, Pike county, February 21, 1853, his parents being James M. and Lucinda (Petty) Duffield. The mother was also a native of Pike county and a daughter of Fisher Petty, who was among the early pioneers of Pike county and engaged in the operation of a tannery four miles south of the present site of Pittsfield. He was present when the city of Pittsfield was being laid out and witnessed through many years the progress and development of this part of the state. He made his home upon the farm until his death, which occurred many years ago.

James D. Duffield, father of Dr. Duffield, arrived in Pike county in 1845, coming to Illinois from Indiana. Settling in Martinsburg township, he turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which claimed his time and energies until his death, which occurred in 1896, when he was seventy-three years of age. He had for about eight years survived his wife, who died in 1888. In their family were three sons, who are yet living, J. J. and W. F. Duffield being residents of Martinsburg township. The only daughter is deceased.

Dr. Duffield, spending his youth in his parents' home, began his education in the schools of Pike county and mastered a high-school course, subsequent to which time he entered the old Chicago University and was graduated from the literary department in the class of 1878. This proved an excellent foundation upon which to build his professional knowledge, and having determined upon the medical profession as a life work he entered the St. Louis Medical College, where he spent three years as a student, graduating with the class of 1882. He had also spent the year of 1879 as a student in the office and under the direction of Dr. J. H. Ledlie, of Pittsfield. Following his graduation he returned to this city and for several years, or until 1892; was the business associate of Dr. J. H. Ledlie, who for many years had been a capable and leading physician of Pike county. He was born, reared and educated in Dublin, Ireland, having been graduated from the University of Dublin. Coming to America, he located first in Chicago in 1854 and removed to Pittsfield in 1857, where he resided up to the time of his death. During the period of the Civil war he joined the Union army as surgeon of the Ninety-ninth Illinois Infantry and remained at the front until 1865, when hostilities having ceased, he returned and resumed practice in Pittsfield. During the latter part of his service he had charge of a military hospital at Jefferson City, Missouri, and was medical director of the Thirteenth Army Corps.

From the time of his graduation to the present Dr. Duffield has engaged in general practice in Pittsfield, meeting with gratifying success. He has not specialized along certain lines, but has given his attention to the general practice of medicine and surgery and has demonstrated his broad knowledge and skill in the excellent results which have attended his labors when viewed from a professional standpoint. He has made it his aim to keep in touch with the progress of the medical fraternity as investigation, research and experiment have broadened the knowledge of the practitioners.

Dr. Duffield was married, in 1890, to Miss Elizabeth Ledlie, a daughter of his preceptor and partner. The Doctor and his wife have a wide acquaintance in Pike county, while their social qualities have gained them favor with a large circle of friends. Politically an earnest republican, Dr. Duffield has served as mayor of Pittsfield for one term and has been alderman three times. He prefers to concentrate his energies upon his professional duties and is a member of the County and State Medical Societies and the American Medical Association.

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Submitted: 05/09/09 (Edited 09/09/09)

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