JACOB S. GILTNER, M. D.
That the world is better because Dr. Jacob S. Giltner lived is a, het recognized by all who knew him. His entire
life was fraught with high and noble purposes and characterized by kindly deeds that have caused his memory to
be enshrined in the hearts of all who came into contact with him. It was in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania,
on the 22nd of October, 1824, that Dr. Giltner first opened his eyes to the light of day, his parents being Conrad
and Rebecca (Snyder) Giltner, who were f3rming people of the Keystone state, enjoying in large measure the confidence,
respect and goodwill of the people throughout the community and a large circle of friends. The ancestry of the
family can be traced back in direct line to the Prince of Orange. The father, Conrad Giltner, was a soldier of
the Revolutionary war, rendering valuable aid to the cause of freedom. Inheriting a large tract of land in Pennsylvania,
he devoted his life to its cultivation and improvement.
It was on the home farm that Dr. Giltner was reared, and though his educational advantages were extremely limited,
he became a most widely read man. He often had a book with him while plowing in the fields and he devoted his evening
hours to study. He had made such progress that when sixteen years of age he became a teacher in the public schools.
As he taught he became more and more eager to secure better educational advantages himself and his mother, sympathizing
with him in this ambition, sent him to college when she inherited a little money. He was graduated from the medical
department of the University of Pennsylvania when about twenty one years of age, after which he returned home and
at that time, or in 1846, was married to Miss Martha M. Hause of Germantown, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Giltner's parents
were Abraham and Mary Hause of Philadelphia, and their daughter, Mrs. Giltner, was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania,
near Philadelphia, December 25, 1826.
For a brief period after his marriage Dr. Giltner resided near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but then returned to his
home county and entered upon the practice of medicine, in which he continued until after the outbreak of the Civil
war. Offering his services to the government, he passed a competitive examination that won him the appointment
of commander and medical director of the hospital of the Army of the Cumberland at Nashville, Tennessee, with the
rank of major. He enlisted at Milton, Pennsylvania, was mustered in at Washington, D. C., and did splendid service
for the Union cause through his skill and ability displayed in both field and hospital service. While at the front
he gained valuable experience as a surgeon that made him afterward specialize in that branch of the profession.
When the war was ended Dr. Giltner removed to Pithole, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in medical practice until
June, 1866, when he started for Oregon. He became one of the pioneer physicians of Portland and continued actively
in practice until seventy eight years of age. In 1875 he pursued postgraduate work in the University of Pennsylvania
and was constantly promoting his skill and efficiency by wide reading and study. He long maintained a place in
the foremost rank of the medical profession in Portland and the state and for several years served as county physician
and was also city physician and visiting physician to the insane asylum before his removal to Salem.
Dr. and Mrs. Giltner largely reared their family in the northwest. They became parents of ten children, four of
whom died in infancy, while of those who reached adult age Dr. William Paris Guiltier passed away at the age of
forty nine. He was born in 1849, was graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and devoted his life to the
practice of medicine. He married Minnie Going and they became parents of four children: James, Paris E., Edward
B. and John It; Emma Giltner, the second of Dr. Giltner's family, is one of the graduates of the old Portland Academy
and of the high school of Portland and she also completed a course in the Woman's College of Baltimore, Maryland,
(now Goucher College), where the Bachelor of Arts degree was conferred upon her and subsequently that of Master
of Arts. She became the wife of Eugene D. White and bad one son, Eugene G.; Roscoe R. Giltner of Portland was graduated
from the high school of this city and later continued his studies under a private tutor, while subsequently he
attended Yale University. He has been quite active in politics and served as city attorney. He married Fronia Wallace;
Frank F. Giltner of Portland, also attended Yale and married Louise Scheuer; Martha G., after graduating from high
school, became a pupil in a private school and later entered Wellesley College, near Boston, Massachusetts, where
she received a scholarship and Greek honors from Athens. She is now the wife of Vincent Cook of Portland; Horace,
the youngest of the family, born in 1861, died in 1896.
Dr. Giltner always gave his political allegiance to the republican party and, while never an office seeker, did
important public work in behalf of the schools. By appointment he became a member of the school board about 1872
and filled that position for several years. He was largely instrumental in establishing the Portland high school
and in securing the passage of a bill permitting colored children to attend the public schools. In fact he labored
untiringly to advance the schools and make their opportunities attainable by all. Dr. Guiltier was likewise prominently
known as a loyal follower of the Masonic fraternity. He belonged to a lodge in Philadelphia and to Columbia Chapter,
No. 91, R. A. M. He was reared in the faith of the Society of Friends but after his removal to the west joined
the Lutheran church and contributed liberally to its support. Death called him May 18, 1910, when he was almost
eighty six years of age. For five years he had survived his wife, who passed away March 2, 1905. A contemporary
biographer has written of Dr. Giltner: "His home relations were largely ideal. His interests centered in his
family and his own happiness seemed complete if he was contributing to the welfare and happiness of his wife and
children. He gave to his sons and daughters the best educational advantages, knowing that therein he was bestowing
on them a priceless gift. He rejoiced in his success because of the opportunity it gave him to surround the members
of his household with the comforts and the luxuries of life. The poor and needy found in him a generous friend,
but his charity was always most unostentatious. He followed the Bible injunction not to let the left hand know
what the right hand doeth, and from no words of his own did anyone learn of the charity and helpful spirit of Dr.
Giltner. There were times when even the recipients of his bounty did not know who was their benefactor. He frequently
commissioned someone, ofttimes the members of his own household, to make purchase of flour and other necessities
of life, and send such to the poor. His pastor is responsible for the statement that he gave a tenth of his income
to the support of the gospel and for the benefit of local hospitals and the poorer classes. His great heart reached
out in sympathy to all mankind and his helping hand lifted many a one out of the slough of despondency into an
atmosphere of courage and good cheer.
"Dr. Guiltier was a man of scholarly attainment, who throughout his life, took great interest in the study
of history, sociology and literature. He possessed a remarkably retentive memory, so that his opinions and his
knowledge were frequently sought to settle some disputed question. He seemed almost never to forget a point which
he had read or a character with whom he had become acquainted in literature. During the last four years of his
life he suffered from ill health but retained the same keen perception and memory that had characterized him in
his youth. The snows of many winters whitened his hair, for he reached the age of eighty six years, but his heart
ever remained young, and in spirit and in interest he seemed always in his prime. For forty four years he was a
resident of Portland, and in the city it would be impossible to find one who had aught to say against him. Thoughts
of reverence and words of praise rise to the lips of many whenever his name is mentioned. Especially was he held
in grateful remembrance by the poor whom he assisted, by the friends whose intelligence was stimulated by his own
broad knowledge, but most of all in that household where he occupied the position of almost ideal husband and father.
What a fitting crown of life is a memory that is as revered and sacred as is that of Dr. Jacob S. Giltner."
History of Oregon Illistrated
BY: Charles H. Carney
The Pioneer Historical Publishing Company
Chicago - Portland 1922
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium