Fayette County History & Genealogy

History of Fayette County

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County



Dr. Thomas McGara was a native of Pennsylvania, where his boyhood days were spent. In the fall of 1812 he left the land of his fathers', came to this connty and settled in Washington, engaging in the practice of medicine, being the first practicing physician in the county. His family consisted of a wife and two children, Joseph and Jane—the latter never married. Joseph married a lady named Smith, and engaged in the medical profession in Greenfield and Ross County. The elder McGara was a great favorite of the people; was elected to the state legislature, serving his constituents faithfully for a period of six years. He died at the age of eighty-eight, retaining his faculties to the last, having continued in his medical pursuits until one year prior to his death. He was an uncle of Judge Daniel McLean—his mother's brother. He was a very popular man, of a slow, deliberate disposition and somewhat singular in his habits.


The second physician (according to some the first) was Dr. Baldridge, who came here in about the year 1811. With his medical duties he combined those of a minister of the gospel. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church; had a wife and one child.


The next physician of more than ordinary ability was Benjamin Hinton, who came from Highland County in 1818. A few years after his settlement in this county he was united in marriage with Rachel Stimpson. He was an energetic and upright citizen and noted for his great kindness to patients. Mr. Hinton was a member of the legislature, and county treasurer (collector) for many years. In 1838 he removed, to Peru, Indiana, where he died some years ago.


James Hinton, a brother of Benjamin, was a member of the pioneer medical fraternity of this county. Unlike his brother, who died in comparative poverty, he rapidly accumulated a fortune. He finally left for the west, settling in McLean County, Illinois, where he purchased a tract of land containing fourteen hundred acres. He is now seventy-seven years of age, but still continues in the practice of his chosen profession.

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