Shelby County, Indiana
James W. Meridith
The most successful dental surgeon in Frankfort, Ind., was born near Flemingsburg, Ky., September 16, 1831. His parents were William R. and Harriet (Davis) Meridith, the former of whom was a native of Maryland and the latter of Kentucky. William R. Meridith was but a young man when he migrated from Maryland to Kentucky, engaged in farming, and in 1830 was married to Miss Davis, a native of Fleming county. In 1836 Mr. Meridith and his young wife went to Calloway County, Mo., where he superintended a farm until 1837, then came to Madison, Ind., where he lived a short time, and then moved to Morristown, Shelby County, Ind., where he died in 1839 - the father of five children; viz.: James Wayne, our subject: George D., deceased; Albert L.; Fletcher, an editor of Hutchinson, Kas. and Tabitha, deceased. Mrs. Harriet Meridith subsequently married, in Morristown, William Adair, a farmer, by whom she became the mother of one child, John T., now deceased, the mother dying in 1853.
Dr. J. W. Meridith remained on the farm until eight years of age, then worked out at chores, helping to support the family until his mother's second marriage. The family then located in Union County, Ind., for a year, then moved back to Shelby County, where he remained until sixteen, and then apprenticed himself at cabinetmaking for four years with A. C. Cooly, of Connersville, Ind. The last two years of his apprenticeship his mother passed with him. January 16, 1853, the doctor was married, near Versailles, Woodford County, Ky., to Missouri J. Boling, a native of Woodford County, who bore one child, Jane (deceased), and she herself died June 16, 1855. The second marriage of Dr. Meridith took place at Frankfort, Ind., March 30, 1858 to Miss Eliza J. Armstrong, a native of Clinton County, and a daughter of Isaac Armstrong, of whom further mention will be found elsewhere in this volume. To this union have been born nine children, named as follows: Hettie, deceased; Jennie, wife of William T. Moore, merchant of Williamsport, Ind.; Georgie, a teacher in a city school of Frankfort; Lu A., jeweler; Carroll, Katie, Watt, Gus and Fletcher, at home. Dr. Meridith acquired the science of dentistry under Dr. Martin, of Franklin, Ind., and began its practice in the city of Frankfort, May 3, 1856, and, with the exception of nine years, when engaged in the dry goods trade, has been in active practice until the present time, standing at the head of the profession. As a member of the I. 0. 0. F., he represented his lodge in the grand lodge of the state in 1861, and has been honored with many other evidences of the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow-citizens.
A Portrait And Biographical Record of Boone and Clinton Counties, Indiana, 1895. Chicago, IL: A.W. Bowen & Co. in Chicago. Page 800.
Contributed by Chris Brown
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