Marion County

Biography - JOHN J. FYKE, M. D.

One of the representative members of the medical fraternity in Marion county is the subject of this sketch, who is engaged in practice in Odin, and who holds high rank in his profession, while his ability and courtesy have won him the confidence and esteem of all who know him.

Dr. Fyke is a successful, self made man. Peculiar honor attaches to that individual, who, beginning the great struggle of life alone and unaided, gradually overcomes unfavorable environment, gaining at last the goal of success by the force of his own individuality. Such is the record, briefly stated, of this popular citizen of Odin, Illinois, to a synopsis of whose life and character the following paragraphs are devoted.

Dr. John J. Fyke was born in Marion county in 1842, the son of Joshua A. and Margaret (Wilson) Fyke, the latter being the first female white child barn in the county, a distinction of which anyone might be justly proud. The date of her birth was in 1822, and in 1908 she is still living, being in possession of her full faculties. It is interesting to hear her tell of the great development she has seen here since the early pioneer days - wonderful, indeed, the most wonderful progress in the history of the world, having been made during the lapse of her long life. Her people came to Illinois from North Carolina, in 1818, and settled among the earliest pioneers in this locality. They took up government land, and developed excellent farms. Her parents reared their children here and died here at advanced ages. There were three boys and three girls in this family. Grandfather Fyke was reared in North Carolina and moved to Tennessee where he spent the balance of his days.

The father of the subject was born in 1812, an historic year in our national history. His father was a farmer and lived to an advanced age, having reared a large family. His wife also lived to be very old. The father of our subject came to this county in 1839. His early educational advantages were limited, but he was a great reader and finally became well informed. He was a Methodist and an exhorter. He made political speeches, and was a loyal Democrat. He was Justice of the Peace for thirty years. His family consisted of twelve children, five boys and one girl having lived to maturity. Two brothers of the subject living in Kansas City, Missouri, are practicing attorneys.

The early education of the subject of this sketch was obtained in the common schools of this county and one year in McKendree College, Lebanon, Illinois. He then commenced reading medicine under the direction of Doctor Davenport, of Salem, where he continued for three years, making a splendid record for scholarship. During this time he attended medical college, part of the time at Chicago and the balance at St. Louis, making splendid records at both places. He commenced practice in 1866, having located in Odin, where he has continued practice ever since. He was successful from the start and his patients are now so numerous that he can hardly find time to do anything outside of his regular work.

Doctor Fyke was united in marriage in 1867 to Minerva Phillipps, a native of Tennessee, the daughter of Thomas and Eliza (Chadwell) Phillipps. They were natives of Tennessee, having moved to Marion county, Illinois, in 1855. They settled on a farm here where they spent the remainder of their lives and where they died, both having lived to an old age, having reared a family of eight children.

Three children, all boys, have been born to our subject and wife, namely: Edgar E., who was born in 1868, who is now a practicing physician, and the father of three children, all girls. The second and third children of Dr. Fyke and wife were twins, Thomas Emmett and Josiah Harley, who were born in 1872. They are both living on a farm near Odin.

Our subject in his fraternal relations is a Mason, having passed all the chairs in the local lodge. He is a trustee of the Methodist church, of which both he and his wife are faithful members and liberal supporters. The doctor is a loyal Democrat. He is a member and president of the pension board. Dr. Fyke is one of the well known men in Marion county, where his long and successful career has been spent, and has a pleasant and well furnished home in Odin.

Extracted 07 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 255-256.


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