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Below is a family biography included in The History of McDonald County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Julius C. PeTit, M.D., physician and surgeon, and proprietor and editor of Indian Springs Chief, also proprietor of the Sagoyewatha Hotel and drug store, was born in New Hope, Lincoln Co., Mo., on July 2, 1841. His father was a native of Paris, who came to the United States when he was eight years of age, and was reared and educated as a physician in New York City. After he reached his majority he immigrated to Carrollton, Ill., where he married Julia Reynolds. After a few years he removed still farther west, settling in Lincoln County, Mo., but when the subject of this sketch, who was their second child, reached the age of two years they returned to Carrollton, Ill. Here Julius C. received his early education in the pioneer schools of the county, and when fourteen years of age was apprenticed to the trade of ornamental painting, and served a full apprenticeship but never worked at his trade after his time was out. During his apprenticeship, he was studying medicine, although all of his friends, save his mother, opposed such a course. At the outbreak of the Civil War he went to Fort Scott, Kas., and enlisted in Company G, Sixth Kansas Cavalry, as a private. At the time of his enlistment the stewardship of the regimental field hospital was unoccupied, and he was detailed for the place. He held the position for one year, during which time the regiment was engaged in thirteen hard-fought battles. At the end of the year he was sent before the Army Medical Examining Board at Fort Scott, and after having passed the examination he was commissioned compounding and dispensing druggist in the army laboratory at that place, which position he retained until the close of the war. On the 25th of October, 1863, while stationed at Fort Scott, he was united in marriage with Annie Frederick, of that city. This lady bore him three children, only one of whom is now living. Mrs. PeTit died at Denver, Colo., in 1870. After the war Dr. PeTit went to Linn County, Kas., and began practicing his profession, but after a year and one-half he was commissioned by Gov. Crawford as special county clerk, to organize the county government of Cherokee County, Kas., and to locate and lay off a county seat. He spent the next winter with his mother in Illinois, and in the spring located in Morgan County, Mo., and remained two years, engaged in practicing medicine, after which he went to Fort Smith, Ark., and engaged in the cotton trade, at which he amassed a fortune of $40,000 in two years. In the spring of 1872, by the sinking of the steamer “Consternation” and a disastrous fire near Fort Smith, he lost his entire fortune. After settling all claims against him he went to Crawford County, Kas., and laid out the town of Walnut Station. The following fall he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, and, after graduating from that institution, returned to his home in Crawford County, Kas. On the 20th of April, 1875, he was married to Esther A. Archer, his present wife. By her he became the father of four children, two of whom died in infancy. In the spring of 1878 he went to Osage Mission, and in September of the following year to Joplin, Missouri. There he opened up an office and attempted to build up a practice according to the old routine, but the town was full of doctors, who received him coldly. Dr. PeTit established an infirmary for the treatment of chronic diseases, which he advertised extensively. This soon brought him business and the means to pay his debts, he having been in debt to the amount of $3,000 when he went to Joplin. The following summer he purchased and remodeled the building then known as the Grand View Hotel, in which he established a medical college, which he managed very successfully for a time, but his success in this enterprise only added to the hatred of the physicians who were opposing him. He suffered many indignities at the instigation of those men. His college building, on which he had spent so much labor and money, was also burned. It was thoroughly equipped, and under the management of the most able professors in the profession, and had graduated many of the brightest physicians and surgeons in the West. Not receiving sufficient encouragement from the citizens of Joplin to rebuild, and seeing that the institution was outgrowing its surroundings, Dr. PeTit determined to seek another and more hospitable location. Having heard of the remarkable curative properties of the Indian Medical Springs, of McDonald County, Mo., he visited them. A fine hotel, containing about forty rooms, was generously donated to him by the business men of the village, as an inducement for him to locate there. He accepted the offer, and at once set to work remodeling and refitting the building for a sanitarium, which is now filled with all modern improvements for relieving the sufferings of invalids at a limited expense. The sanitarium has a medical staff of physicians and surgeons of large and varied experience, men who are thoroughly trained in their profession. Another feature of the sanitarum is the use of the waters of the Indian Medical Springs for drinking and bathing purposes. He also has gained an enviable reputation in politics by establishing and successfully conducting the first Republican paper ever printed in McDonald County; also in forming the first permanent organization of the Republican party in the county. He is also taking a very active part in successfully pushing his party to the front.

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This family biography is one of 82 biographies included in The History of McDonald County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: McDonald County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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