ALCINOUS SMYTH, M. D. There is scarcely any other profession that calls for the same amount of intelligence, general information and good judgment that is requisite for the successful practice of the Esculapian art. What nobility of life, what gentleness of manner, and above all what strictness of integrity is demanded of those into whose charge we entrust our beloved ones when Death seems just on the other side of the door. Among the physicians who appreciating the great confidence placed in them have mastered their profession thoroughly and accomplished wonderful cures, ranks Dr. A. Smyth, of Belleview Precinct, Calhoun County. He is also a skilled surgeon and a man of whom the community is proud, ennobling as he does the profession that he has chosen for his life work. His birth occurred in Keokuk, Iowa, May 5, 1855, he being the son of John G. and Mary A. Smyth, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. His paternal ancestors were Germans, and his father is dead.
Dr. Smyth was next to the eldest child in his father's family and removed with his parents to Anderson County, Kan., in 1859. In that place he passed his youth, receiving all the educational advantages offered in that section of the State of Illinois at that day and at the age of eighteen commenced a business career for himself, being employed on railroads through Indian Territory and Texas. He returned to Illinois in 1873, locating in Pike County and attending the High School at El Dara and Barry for a time. He afterward attended Chaddock College at Quincy for two years and after completing the course there taught school for five or six years in Pike and Calhoun Counties, but chiefly in the latter. About the year 1878 he commenced the study of medicine and in 1880-81 took a course of lectures at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa. He first practiced his profession at Newport, Ark., for a few months and then taught school through the winter months in Belleview, Ill.
Our subject was united in matrimonial bonds with Miss Clara J. Peck in 1882 and their marriage has been blessed with two children — Gertrude and Amy (deceased). He sustained the sad loss of his wife April 29, 1889, and greatly mourned the loss of the beloved companion of his fireside who has always been so faithful and kind in her family. Dr. Smyth took a course of lectures in 1883-84 at the Quincy College of Medicine, being graduated from the same in March, 1884. In 1878-79 in partnership with Jennings, Long & Co. he engaged in mercantile pursuits at Belleview. In May, 1884, he settled at his present home and has since been constantly engaged in the practice of his profession, winning more and more esteem every day and accorded a high place in the friendship of those about him. He owns two hundred acres of fine land, and though strictly a self-made man has succeeded in reaching the top in his profession and in acquiring a comfortable fortune by means of his ability and perseverance. He is a member of the Republican party but in local matters votes for the man rather than from party prejudice. Thus as day follows day to be lost in the fathomless depths of time, as the wilderness of trees and brush gives place to highly cultivated estates, we see on every side unmistakable evidences that everything is possible to him who labors faithfully and well, and that success invariably crowns active service in behalf of the good of mankind.
Extracted 23 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 682-685
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