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Gish, Daniel J., M. D.

Posted by ceddleman 
Gish, Daniel J., M. D.
March 16, 2007 03:51PM
County of Christian, Kentucky. Historical and Biographical. Edited by
William Henry Perrin. F. A. Battey Publishing Co., 1884, pp. 372-374.

DANIEL J. GISH, M. D.. "America boasts of her self-made men." The
career of Garfield from the tow-path to the Presidency, from poverty to
honor, loses none of its interest in the fact, that it is but a
brilliant type of what is frequently accomplished in the more limited
and humble sphere of private life. The subject of this sketch belongs
emphatically to the class of self-made men, and no citizen of the
county, perhaps, deserves more creditable mention than he. Born amid
humble surroundings, and deprived by poverty of even the limited
educational advantages common in the days of his youth, but by honesty,
industry and economy, he has overcome the obstacles in his pathway, and
achieved a success in life of which he may justly be proud. Of delicate
frame, and for many years subject to ill health, yet he has had as large
a practice in his profession as any physician in the country, and it can
be said to his credit, that during his busiest years the needs of the
poor were never forgotten, and his kind ministrations at the bed side
were always freely given, regardless of the ability of his patient to
pay. Dr. Gish, as his name indicates, is descended from a German
family, inheriting therefrom the honesty and rugged independence which
is a national characteristic. His grandfather, Christopher Gish, was
one of the earliest settlers of south Kentucky, coming from Virginia in
the latter part of the seventeenth century. His son, Joseph Gish, the
father of Dr. Gish, was born while his father lived in Virginia, and
grew to manhood in Kentucky; he was married to Sarah Sandes, a Virginian
by birth, and to them were born four children, of whom Daniel J. was the
eldest. He was born in Muhlenburg [sic] County, Ky., July 16, 1816.
The early death of his father required him as soon as possible to lend
his assistance to the maintenance of the family, and his early years
were spent in the hard labor of the farm, depriving him of any
educational advantages, a loss that he made up by attending night
schools and employing every leisure hour in scholastic pursuits. When
sixteen years old he came to Hopkinsville, and for two and a half years
served as an apprentice to the tailor's trade, in which time he so
impaired his health as to necessitate his return to farm life. After
regaining his health he returned to Hopkinsville and secured a position
as bank clerk in the old Bank of Kentucky, under the presidency of R. R.
Rowland, which he filled until again compelled to try country life in
the open air. Notwithstanding these experiences, his native energy and
determination to achieve success in life induced him to accept a
situation as a student under Dr. Lindsay, to whose memory he often pays
tribute for the kindness shown him. He graduated from the Medical
College of Columbis, Ohio, in 1840, and immediately opened a practice in
Hopkinsville, meeting with merited success, although opposed by some
because of his medical, political and religious views, all of which were
unpopular in the county at that time. He was a Jacksonian Democrat at
the time the county was intensely and bitterly Whig in politics.
Adopted the Eclectic system of practice only to meet the bitter
opposition of the entire medical fraternity, and became a member of the
Christian Church, when the denomination was opposed by all existing
religious parties. In this his characteristic independence of thought
was manifested, no opposition of foes or entreaty of friends could
swerve him from a course of action when once approved by his conscience.
He followed the Union sentiment during the war, and has been identified
with the Republican party since, but always reserved the right to
"scratch" any name, or disapprove of any action of his party that did
not harmonize with his ideas of right. After a practice of fourteen
years he became satisfied of the superiority of the Homoepathic system
of medicine, and in 1852, graduated from the Cleveland homoeapathic
College of Ohio. Notwithstanding a change so radical he succeeded in
retaining his former patrons to whom he added a number of the best
families of the city. His still does an office practice, the general
practice being performed by his partner, Dr. James A. Young. In 1844 he
was married to Miss Eliza C. Garnett. She was born in Christian County,
and died in Hopkinsville, in 1850, leaving one child - Eliza C., wife of
R. R. Donaldson, of Hopkinsville. His present wife, to whom he was
married in 1851, was Mrs. Ellen D. Young, widow of Rev. James Abner
Young, and daughter of Rev. John Kerr, a noted Presbyterian minister of
Newry, Ireland. She came to the United States at the age of thirteen.
They have two children - Cora E., wife of Rev. L. H. Stine, of Illinois,
and Elizabeth C., wife of Dr. Andrew Seargent, of Hopkinsville. Dr.
Gish is also the head of the firm of Gish & Garner, the leading drug
firm in the county; he is an Elder of the Christian Church, and has been
prominently identified with educational interests in the past. No man
has the confidence of the community to a greater extent, and his career
should be an incentive to all young men. Let him imitate his example in
honesty, industry and economy, adopt his motto learned from his mother,
"Do unto others as you would be done by," and they may reasonably expect
equal honor and wealth.
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