JOSEPH SAGER, M. D., of Celina, whose portrait accompanies this sketch is one of the State's eminent physicians
and surgeons, a valued contributor to medical literature and a careful, thoughtful, skilled man of science. Dr.
Sager was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 19, 1839, and is a son of Shem and Mary (Nonumaker) Sager and
grandson of Gabriel Sager.
Gabriel Sager was born in Baden, Germany. After emigrating to America, he settled first in Pennsylvania, and then
removed to Virginia, where he held slaves until he united with the Mennonite Church, when he freed them. During
the War of the Revolution he served under General Washington as a private in a Virginia company. He married a sister
of Captain Young, who was a staff officer under General Washington.
Shem Sager, the father of our subject, was born in 1782 in Shenandoah County, Virginia, and moved to Fairfield
County, Ohio, in 1810. During the War of 1812, he served first as a private and later as an orderly to Gen. Andrew
Jackson, being present at the battle of New Orleans. For his second wife he married Mary Nonnmaker, who was born
at Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1806. She died in 1854, followed by her husband in 1857. They had eight children. All
of the seven sons served with distinction in the Civil War.
The boyhood of Joseph Sager was passed in Fairfield County. During 1857 and 1858 he was given educational opportunities
at Findlay, Ohio, after which he taught school. In 1859 he entered upon the study of medicine with Dr. J. J. Updegraff,
a noted physician and surgeon at St. Louis, Missouri, and later he attended two courses of lectures at what was
then known as the McDowell Medical College of that city. In 1861 he entered the Union Army as a hospital steward
and was taken prisoner at the battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, in January, 1862, being held a prisoner of war
for four months at Island No. 10. In April, 1862, after effecting his escape, with a comrade, he made his way,
with great difficulty, to New Orleans, where he reported to Gen. Benjamin F. Butler who was in command of that
city. The latter assigned him to duty at St. James Hospital, where he remained until the spring of 1863, when he
was transferred to the United States steamer "Tennessee," in the capacity of surgeon's steward. By the
close of the war the young student had acquired practice and experience, which years of collegiate training could
scarcely have afforded him.
After his return from the army, Dr. Sager attended a course of medical lectures at Starling Medical College, Columbus,
and received his diploma from this institution. Since then he has taken several post graduate courses in 1871 at
Starling and in 1880 and 1881 at the Medical University of Baltimore. Dr. Sager engaged in practice at North Washington,
Ohio, until 1884, when he came to Celina. Here he engaged in a general practice, but made a specialty of diseases
of the eye and ear. He still continues an active practitioner and few in this section enjoy more fully the confidence
and esteem of the public.
Dr. Sager was married (first) to Miss Shumaker, who died in 1886. His second marriage, in 1888, was to Jennie Krisher,
who on the maternal side was related to Bishop Harris, formerly a noted divine of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mrs. Sager died April 16, 1905. On May 5, 1906, Dr. Sager was again married, to Mrs. Gabie Williams, of Celina,
but at the.time a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio ; she is a daughter of David Lininger, of Celina. Dr. Sager and
wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Dr. Sager is Surgeon for the Cincinnati Northern Railroad and belongs to the Northwestern Ohio Medical Association,
which he has served as president; to the Mercer County Medical Society, of which he is president; to the Ohio State
Medical Society, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Railway Surgeons and the American
Dr. Sager holds many advanced views, which a long course of practice and scientific study have developed. In a
number of valuable contributions to various medical journals and others embodied in lectures before medical bodies,
he has made clear to the less observant student the scientific value of his researches and the soundness of his
opinion. He has a large and representative following.
History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Mercer County, Ohio Biographies
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