Biography of Dr. Kelita D. Shugart
Riverside County, CA Biographies





DR. KELITA DAVIS SHUGART
Among those men to whom Riverside owes a debt of gratitude, and one who was considerecI one of her most public spirited citizens was Dr. Shugart, who was a California enthusiast in every sense of the word. He was true to his friends and of these he had many and they were numbered among all classes. Hem was born in Randolph county, Ind., April 13, 1829, and died in Riverside, Cal., May 10, 1897. Between these dates was spent a life that was devoted to the uplifting and healing of his fellow men.

As a boy he was reared in Randolph county and attended the public schools of his locality until he was twelve years of age. Accompanying his parents to Cass county, Mich., he continued his schooling in the select schools of that place. It was his desire to become a physician and he became a student with Dr. Bonine of Niles, Mich., who afterwards became a noted army surgeon. Ile finished his medical studies in the Keokuk (Iowa) Medical College in 1858, continuing practice in Iowa, in Tama county, in the vicinity of Belle Plaine, from 1853 until 1860. He then moved to that city and opened a drug store, which he conducted until he came to California in 1870. In the meantime he made two trips to the mines at Gold Hill, Colo., on account of his wife's health, who was greatly benefited thereby. While in the mining region he carried on his practice with the success that his wide experience justified. On account of Mrs. Shugart's delicate health he decided to seek a milder climate and accordingly joined the North party, who were looking for a site to found a colony in Southern California, arriving in August and immediately took stock in the original association. Having accomplished the desired end he returned to Iowa and disposed of his interests and started with his family for their new home, arriving at San Bernardino on December 7, 1870. He was the first treasurer of the Southern California Colony Association and later was vice president. He was a man of considerable means for that day and his financial support to all measures for the upbuilding of the new country was considered a bulwark to the company. He entered into the spirit of the times and the life of the community and it was but a short time ere he had built up a large practice in this locality. Although he had made up his mind he would give up his calling upon settling in a new location, never the less persistent calls upon him again drew him into service and he met with financial success. He bought the second lot sold in the colony and his was the fifth family to locate here. His original place was bounded by Ninth and Tenth and Mulberry and Lime streets and here it was that the first orange trees of this section were planted March 1, 1871. In 1875 he traded this place to H. M. Beers for the forty acres where the Sherman Institute now stands and $4,000 cash and the water right. He partially improved this place, but finally sold it and purchased ten acres from L. C. Waite at the head of Mulberry street and here he erected a comfortable home, which remained his residence until his death. He was always interested in educational matters and was a member of the second board of school trustees in the colony. In politics he never was an aspirant for official honors, but he served as a delegate to many Republican conventions and was chairman of the county convention of 1876. He was the first to urge the organization of the Universalist society here, that being his religious belief.

Dr. Shugart was united in marriage in Michigan on July 25, 1852, to Miss Martha T. Reams, who was a native of that state and was the youngest of a family of fourteen children born to her parents. Her father was of French, and her mother of English extraction. She took an active interest in her new found home and was greatly benefited by the change from her former place of residence in Iowa. She survived her husband until November, 1903, when she passed away, mourned by her large circle of friends and relatives. To this worthy couple two daughters were born, Lillian, Mrs. L. C. Waite and Leilia R., who died in 1872.

Dr. Shugart was a prominent Mason, holding membership in Evergreen Lodge, No. 259, F. & A. M.; Riverside Chapter, No. 67, R. A. M., and Riverside Commandery, No. 28, K. T. He was a member of the American Medical Association, the California State Medical and the Southern California Medical societies and of the San Bernardino Medical Society, of which hem was one of the principal organizers. The doctor was a conspicuous figure in Riverside, was always well groomed, wore a silk hat, and was always the genteel and refined gentleman wherever he was seen. His death was a severe loss to the city he had seen grow from barren wastes to a world renowned city. He could truly say "All of which I saw and part of which I was."

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION

Riverside County, CA
Biographies

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012