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Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of F. O'Dee Springer

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois with Illustrations," 1878


F. O’DEE SPRINGER. The leading points in whose life will be found in the following brief biographical sketch, was born in Delaware, county of Middlesex, Canada, August 13th, 1850. The Doctor's ancestors came from England at a very early date, anterior to the revolution, and settled in America.

His great-grandfather was a resident of Pennsylvania, and was killed, in 1776, at the outbreak of the revolutionary war. His grandfather, Daniel SPRINGER, who died in 1827, was the first white inhabitant of the extensive region now known as the county of Middlesex. He, with three other brothers, upon the death of their father, abandoned their home in Pennsylvania and removed to Canada. These three brothers, John, Richard and Benjamin, settled in the then village of Hamilton, but Daniel, the Doctor’s grandfather, who was a man of great vigor and enterprise, separated from his brothers and set off in search of his future home. He found it in the then little village of Delaware, upon the banks of the river Thames, a wild, romantic spot, where he found a great many dusky sons of the forest encamped and among whom he settled, as a trader. The Indians were well pleased with the new-comer, and named him Wabasash, "good man or wise counsellor." The country abounded in game and wild animals---a very hunter’s paradise.

Mr. Benjamin SPRINGER, the father of the Doctor, who departed this life on the 24th day of February, 1877, was born and reared amidst the wild scenes of frontier life and inured to its privations and hardships.

The Evening Free Press, a paper published in London, Ontario, Canada, bearing date Monday, Feb. 26th, 1877, speaking of Mr. Benjamin Springer’s death, says:---"In the long list of Western pioneers who have lately passed away none has an earlier history, or one more vividly associated with the district, than Mr. Benjamin Springer, who died on Saturday last. The family record goes back one hundred years when Western Ontario was a primeval wilderness. [No closing quotes.]

He was a man of local prominence, and held various offices of trust and profit. He was colonel of the 5th Middlesex Battalion at the time of his death.

Dr. F. O'Dee Springer received all the educational advantages afforded by the schools of his native place, and, when qualified, entered the Grammar school at London, Ont., Can. He passed through the course of study at the grammar school, and at the age of sixteen years, entered, as a student of medicine, the office of Dr. Charles D. Tufford, at B., in Western Canada, with whom he pursued his studies for three years, until the Doctor removed to London, Ont.

At the age of nineteen years he entered the Hahnemann Medical School, at Chicago, attended two courses of lectures, received a diploma for the United States, and then returned to Canada and practiced three years with Dr. C. D. Tufford, a practitioner of twenty years' experience in the profession.

In March, 1876, Dr. Springer came to Champaign county and located in this community. He belongs to the Homeopathic school of medicine.

We have devoted considerable space, in the foregoing sketch, to leading facts and incidents connected with the history of Mr. Springer's ancestors, more, indeed, than is usual. But we think the additional light that has thus been thrown upon the Doctor's history, in tracing it up through several generations to its fountain-head this side the Atlantic, fully justifies us in allotting to it the space we have.

In conclusion, we desire to call the attention of our readers and the public to some facts connected with Mr. Springer's professional life that are surely patent to all, namely, that the Doctor who has only been a resident of this community since 1876, but has already a lucrative and extensive practice, numbering among his patrons the leading citizens of both towns, and that practice has been attended with marked success.

If these facts are any criterion by which to judge of a professional man's ability, or fitness for his calling, then the Doctor is richly entitled to and deserves the high esteem in which he is held, by the community, as a physician and surgeon.

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