Shelby County, Indiana
William Gaston McFadden
In writing the biographies of professional men, we often come in contact with some individual member who couples with his ability that urbane disposition and warm friendliness that at once charm and captivate. In Dr. McFadden we find a true representative of that class of medical men whose warm hearts and genial manners will always win hosts of friends, and will pave the road leading to professional success.
He was born in Centre Co., Penn., April 22, 1834, and is the son of Hugh and Isabella McFadden, natives of that State and of Scotch-Irish descent; when William was four years of age, his parents moved to Shelby Co., Ind., and here he has since made his home. After receiving such instruction as the common-schools of the county afforded, he spent three years in Franklin College, afterward attending Hanover college, which completed his literary education; he then entered the Medical Department of the University of Michigan, where he remained two years, completing his medical studies at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, form which he graduated. He began practice in Shelby Co., in 1856, and, soon after the war broke out, he was commissioned by Gov. Oliver P. Morton as Surgeon of the 79th I.V.I., and entered the field in that common; during a part of the time, he was one of the surgeons in charge of the field hospital for the Fourth Army Corps; at the battle of Chickamauga he was Acting Brigade Surgeon in charge of the field hospital for the 1st Brigade, 3d Division, of the 21st Army Corps, Gen. Crittenden, commanding; and, on Sunday afternoon, the second day of the battle, while engaged in caring for his wounded, he, together with his nurses, was captured; after being paroled, he was kept for ten days on the battle-field, attending to his wounded, when they were exchanged and sent to Chattanooga, and he was taken to Libby Prison, where he was kept in close confinement for three months, then released, and he immediately joined his regiment. During the Atlanta campaign, he was in charge of the ambulance brigade of the 3d Division, 4th Army Corps, which position he filed until the surrender at Appomattox. With the dawn of peace, he returned to his old office, in the northwestern part of the county, where he continued in practice until October, 1875, when he moved to Shelbyville. Soon after locating in this city, he was married to Miss Martha Sullivan, a native of Miami Co., Ohio, to whom have been born two children; she is the daughter of the Hon. Samuel and Maria (Crooks) Sullivan, her father being the present Representative from that county, which position he has filled several years; her mother is the sister of Maj. Gen. George Crooks, of the regular army, and the family occupy a leading position in Miami Co. Since coming to Shelbyville he has erected one of the finest houses in the city; has a neat office adjoining, containing a library which is, perhaps, not excelled in Shelby Co. The Doctor is now the United States Examining Surgeon for this district, and is rapidly building up a large and lucrative practice. As a physician, he stands in the front rank of his profession in the county; and his extensive and varied medical experience has fitted him to successfully combat disease in all its forms; he is polite and courteous at all times, and is respected and honored by every good citizen.
Atlas of Shelby Co., Indiana, Chicago: J.H. Beers & Co., 1880, p 27
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
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