William R. Fletcher, M. D., has been closely identified with the history of the city of Joliet for upwards of
a quarter of a century, during which time he has won success and prominence both in the profession of medicine
and business circles, and is today serving the city of Joliet as its postmaster. He was born at Ridgefarm, Ill.,
July 20, 1876, and is a son of Henry and Mahala (Haworth) Fletcher, both of whom were born at Ridgefarrn.
Henry Fletcher, deceased, followed agriculture all his life, moving into Ridgefarm about twenty years before his
death, which occurred in 1909. He was well known in the community in which he lived and for eight years was supervisor
of Elwood Township, and took a very active interest in civic and political affairs. His wife died in 1927, and
they are both buried in Pilot Grove Cemetery near Ridgefarm. To Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher eight children were born:
Oliver, died in infancy; John, a farmer, Ridgefarm; Albert I., was postmaster at the time of his death in 1908;
Dr. Marcus S., Lives at Georgetown, Ill.; William, died in infancy; William R., the subject of this sketch; Lydia
R. Fletcher Wasson, lives at Chrisman, Ill.; and Ola Fletcher Pierce, Ridgefarm, Ill.
William R. Fletcher attended the public schools and assisted on his father's farm. After his graduation from Ridgefarm
High School he spent two years at Eariham College, Richmond, Ind.; two years at the College of Physicians and Surgeons,
Chicago; two years at the Kentucky School of Medicine, Louisville, graduating as valedictorian of his class. His
first practice was as assistant physician of the Illinois State Penitentiary in July, 1901. He was physician in
charge at that institution in 1902. In 1913 he entered private practice in Joliet where he was an acknowledged
leader in his profession. At the outbreak of the World War, Dr. Fletcher enlisted for service, on May 20, 1918,
and on July 24th of that year entered Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, as a first lieutenant, with 309th Sanitary
Train, 84th Division, which sailed for France from Hoboken, Sept. 9, 1918. Arriving in Liverpool, Sept. 21st, was
immediately sent to South Hampton, then across the channel to La Havre, France, then to St. Leon, France, only
to be transferred to Camp Hospital 54 near Periguiex, Oct. 10th, remaining until Dec. 30th, then sent to Camp Hospital
102 Virilade, 20 miles south of Bordeaux, an embarkation hospital, remaining until May 21st, sent to Bassens near
Bordeaux, and sailed for the United States May 30th, receiving his honorable discharge July 3, 1919, at Camp Grant,
Ill., as a first lieutenant. Doctor Fletcher resumed his practice of medicine on Aug. 1, 1919. He joined the American
Legion in August, 1919, and was elected commander of Harwood Post, No. 5, in December, 1919, serving one year.
In 1924 was elected district commander of the 11th District comprising the counties of Will, Dunnage, Kane, and
McHenry at the state convention at Champaign in 1924 and served two years. Doctor Fletcher also served as physician
at the penitentiary from September, 1919, until April, 1927, when he became postmaster at Joliet. He has also served
several terms as county physician.
Dr. Fletcher is a member of the Will County Medical Society and served as chairman of the Medical Legal Committee
for several years and is a member of the Illinois State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association.
He belongs to Matteson Lodge, No. 175, Joliet A. F. & A. M.; Joliet Chapter, R. A. M. No. 27; Joliet Commandery
No. 4, K. T.; Medinah Temple, Chicago Shrine; the Moose; the Modern Woodmen; the Elks, past exalted ruler, and
was district deputy 1914 to 1924, and was president of the Illinois Elks State Association in 1923.
History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Will County, Il
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium