Biography of Dr. John W. Wailes
Decatur County, IA Biographies





Dr. John W. Wailes has built up a large and representative practice as a physician and surgeon and is also identified with a number of local business enterprises. He was born in Appanoosc county, Iowa, on the 12th of December, 1865, a son of James W. and Zerelda (Needham) Wailes, natives of Indiana. The paternal grandparents settled with their family in Davis county, Iowa, in 1849 but removed to Appanoose county in 1851. There James W. Wailes grew to manhood and as soon as he reached maturity he purchased land which he cultivated and improved. He added to his holdings from time to time and acquired title to about six hundred acres, which he operated for many years, deriving therefrom a handsome income. At length he retired and removed to Centerville, where he was living at the time of his death. He was very successful as a farmer and engaged extensively in stock raising, contributing much to the advancement of stock raising interests in his county. On the 22d of August, 1863, he enlisted as a private in the Union army, on the 24th of February, 1864, he was promoted eighth corporal and on the 1st of May of that year seventh corporal. On the 30th of July following he was taken prisoner at Newman, Georgia, and incarcerated in the notorious prison at Andersonville, Georgia, for two months. On the 1st of July, 1865, he was made fourth corporal and on the 27th of that month was promoted sergeant. His record as a soldier was distinctly creditable and throughout his entire life he performed his duty unflinchingly His demise, which occurred on the 2d of March, 1908, when he was seventy four years of age, was deeply regretted by his many friends His widow is still living in Centerville at the age of seventy one years.

Dr. John W. Wailes was reared in Appanoose county, Iowa, and there acquired a good general education. For two years he was principal of the Iconium schools and during that time devoted his leisure hours to the study of medicine. After teaching for two years he entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, completing his course there by graduation on the 10th of March, 1891. On the 8th of May of that year he located in Davis City and opened an office for the practice of medicine and surgery. During the twenty four years that he has been located here he has gained the confidence of the general public and of his brethren of the medical fraternity and his practice is large and profitable. He believes thoroughly in the future prosperity and development of Decatur county and has invested in a number of local business enterprises. He owns stock in the Farmers Bank of Davis City and in 1901 aided in organizing the Exchange National Bank of Leon, of which he is a director. He also owns stock and is a director of the Katy Mercantile Company of Katy, Texas.

On the 13th of December, 1892, Dr. Wailes married Miss Jeannette Cartwright, a daughter of Frank P. and Harriet (Leechman) Cartwright, natives of Ohio and pioneers of Decatur county, Iowa. The father, who was a farmer, cultivated land here during the greater part of his active life and still resides upon a farm a mile south of Davis City although he is retired. The mother died in March, 1914. Dr. and. Mrs. Wailes have become the parents of six children: Helen Lucille, twenty years of age, who is attending Simpson College at Indianola; James W., a lad of eleven years, who is attending the Davis City schools; one who died in infancy; Maude, who died when three years old; Francis Drake, who died when an infant of three weeks; and John W., Jr., who died in 1901, when two years of age.

Dr. Wailes is a republican and for twenty two years has served as chairman of his precinct, doing much in that time to promote the interests of his party. He belongs to the Masonic blue lodge of Davis City, to the chapter and commandery at Leon and to the Mystic Shrine at Davenport. He also holds membership in the local subordinate lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has held all of the chairs, and is identified with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Yeomen and the Sons of Veterans. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. Along professional lines he holds membership in the Decatur County and Iowa State Medical societies and the American Medical Association. He was for eight years a member of the Board of United States Surgeons and is now medical examiner for twenty two old line life insurance companies. He is a representative member of the medical profession in Decatur county and has not only gained success as a physician but has also been a factor in the community life of Davis City along many lines. He clearly recognizes the great importance of the public schools and during the three years that he was a member of the board of education did all in his power to secure the advancement of the local schools. He can be counted upon to cooperate with all movements that seek the material, moral and civic progress of his community and his fellow citizens hold him in high esteem.

From:
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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