Shelby  County,  Indiana

Lewis  Kern

          Dr. Lewis Kern, M. D., physician and surgeon, 232 East Markland avenue, Kokomo, has been a resident of Howard county ever since 1845, when this section of the state was called the Miami reserve and afterward Richardville county. It was ultimately named Howard county, in honor of Tilman A. Howard. It is indeed interesting to contemplate the diflerence between "the sentimental state of the mind of one looking at the environment with which it has been surrounded constantly for a long time and that of a person who has been absent for nearly a lifetime and returns to visit the scenes of childhood. There must be many differences, and the wonder is what they are, and whether they are at all describable. At any rate the subject of this sketch is venerated as one of the oldest and most honored residents of Howard county, whose life record has been an open one, read by all his contemporaries and seen to be as clear as midday.
          Dr. Kern was born in Botetourt county, Virginia, near Amsterdam, June 4, 1S31. His father, Jacob Kern, was a native of Virginia, born at Kernstown, four miles from Winchester, and was a blacksmith by trade. He married, first, Sarah Ryan and after her decease he was united with Delphia Ann Stanley, a native of South Carolina and the mother of the subject of this sketch. She died in Virginia in 1836, a sincere and consistent Methodist. Jacob Kern moved from Virginia to Indiana in 1838, locating in Shelby county, near Freeport, where he passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1842, at the age of about sixty-two years. Adam Kern, father of the latter, was a native of Germany who came to America, settled in Virginia and was the founder of Kernstown. He reared ten children, and died in Virginia at a very advanced age. Pleasant Stanley, the Doctor's grandfather upon his mother's side, was probably a native of South Carolina, was of Scotch descent and a Presbyterian, a farmer by occupation and died upward of eighty years of age. Of the twelve children born in the family of Jacob Kern, only three are now living, namely: Nicholas, residing near Cumberland, Marion county, Indiana; Jacob H., of Botetourt county, Virginia, residing at Hollins Springs village; and Dr. Lewis Kern, whose name heads this sketch as its subject proper.
          Dr. Kern was seven years of age when his parents settled in Indiana, and was therefore brought up in Shelby county, where he was inured to the monotonous drudgery of a pioneer farm life and blacksmithing in his father's shop until impaired health compelled him radically to change his mode of life. Improving the opportunity, as well as the necessity, he attended school, in Warren county, Ohio, at Obanon, and then taught school for two or three years. Next he began reading medicine, under the guidance of his brother. Dr. J. H. Kern, and in due time attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Cincinnati and subsequently the Indiana Medical College, graduating at the letter in February, 1870. He opened out in practice at Alto, Howard county, where he studied and practiced from 1852 to 1878, and then changed his residence to Kokomo, where he has ever since been a resident. The scope of his work is that of general practice, such as is demanded by a common-sense public without the adoption of every passing "fad" that has originated in the brain of a specialist in chemistry who had not the first idea of the true law of vital action. The Doctor's success, therefore, can be favorably measured by the best of them. His home and office adjoin, and he is therefore ready to answer calls without much delay. He is a member of the Indiana Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the Howard County Medical Society and the Kokomo Academy of Medicine, and is an honorary member of the Medical Society of Tipton, Cass and Miami counties. He took -much interest and active part in medical societies in his younger days, whereby he further educated himself in his profession.
          On the 20th day of January, 1852, he was united in matrimony with Miss Virginia Pitzer, daughter of Davidson and Mary (Snodgrass) Pitzer, and by this marriage there was one son, named Theodore, who died at the age of thirty-nine years. He was born June 20, 1S55. He received a good common-school education, and in 1873 began the study of medicine under the direction of his father. In 1876 he was graduated from the Indiana Medical College and in 1877 he received the ad-ciindcin degree. He was a member of the Indiana State Medical Association and the Howard County Medical Society and Kokomo Academy of Medicine. He practiced in partnership with his father until his death, September 21, 1894. He married Miss Vige Sharpe, and they had one daughter, by name Nellie Virginia. The Doctor and his wife are intelligent and influential members of the Markland Avenue church, Methodist Episcopal. He also is an honored member of the Masonic and Odd Fellow fraternities. In politics the Doctor is a Democrat, and in public position he has been a member of the city council for two years.
Biographical and genealogical history of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton counties, Indiana, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1898, pages 64-66.

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          Lewis Kern, M.D.,  is a native of Botetourt County, Va.; was born in 1831, and is the son of  Jacob Kern, a native of Pennsylvania, and  Delpha A. (Stanley) Kern, born in Virginia.  His father was a blacksmith, and removed in 1839 to Shelby County, Ind., with his family, and resided there until his death in 1842.  His mother died in 1836, leaving five children, our subject being the youngest.  Dr. Lewis Kern received common school advantages, working on a farm and in a saw-mill until about fourteen years of age, when he went to Warren County, Ohio, and attended school six months.  The ensuing winter, he taught school in Shelby County, Ind., and in 1845 came with his brother, Dr. J. H. Kern, to Howard County - then Richardville County - and located where Alto now is.  In 1846, he returned to Shelby County, where he taught school one term, and in 1849 again located in this county and commenced the study of medicine with his brother, Dr. J. H. Kern.  After having been under his tutorage three years, he commenced to practice with his brother at Alto.  In 1853, his brother went, to Iowa, and our subject went to New London, where he practiced one year.  He then returned to Alto, where he soon attained a large practice, and in 1879 he came to Kokomo with his son and entered the drug trade, at the same time continuing his practice.  After two years, he sold out, and with his son engaged in the practice of medicine.  In December, 1882 this partnership was dissolved, and he is now practicing alone.  Dr. Kern has a large practice, and ranks as one of the eminent physicians of the county.  Dr. Kern is a graduate of the Indians Medical College, is s member of the Howard County Medical Association, and has been President two terms of the Academy of Medicine of Kokomo.  He is a member of the State Medical Association, and is an honorary member of the Grant County and Tipton County Medical Societies.  He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and Masonic fraternity, and has served as City Councilman from the First Ward of Kokomo.  Dr. Kern was married, in 1853, to  Virginia C. Pitzer, who was born in 1833 in Fayette County, Ohio.  By this union they have one child, Theodore.  Dr. Kern is one of the oldest physicians in active practice in the county.  He is an old settler in Harrison Township, and has assisted in the development and has been identified with the progressive interests of his township, county and State.  He is one of the best-qualified physicians in the county, and has had a wide experience.  He is ever ready to assist in benevolent enterprises, and he and wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in good standing.
Counties of Howard and Tipton, Indiana, "City of Kokomo,"  F.A. Battey & Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1883
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming

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