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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 8a by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey 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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ROBERT C. HEWETT, M. D., son of John M. and Sarah (Carson) Hewett, was born in New York City, October 9, 1812, of English parents. Soon after his birth the family removed to Kentucky, and settled finally in Lexington. His academic education was pursued during two years at Miami University, and subsequently at Transylvania University, then in the zenith of its fame. He left Transylvania in the senior year of his college course and in the nineteenth year of his age, to join, as assistant, T. J. Matthews, engineer-in-chief on the Lexington & Frankfort railroad. Mr. Matthews, after a short service, met with an accident which disabled him, and prevented him from conducting the surveys, when Mr. Hewett was appointed to succeed him, and completed the surveys to Frankfort to the satisfaction of the railroad officials. Soon after this he joined a party of engineers in making surveys for one of the first railroads projected in Indiana, viz.: from Lawrenceburg to Indianapolis. On his return to Kentucky he was re-appointed engineer in charge of the Lexington & Frankfort railroad, and it was through the influence of his report and recommendation that existing contracts for constructing this road with continuous stone sills were abandoned, and a wooden superstructure adopted in lieu thereof. He also aided in the surveys of several macadamized roads leading into Lexington, and located the one between that city and Georgetown. He then entered the service of the State, and assisted in the surveys for slackwater improvement of the Kentucky River. Afterward he was sent to the northeastern portion of the State, where he surveyed and located the State road from Owensville to the mouth of the Big Sandy. In a similar capacity he was placed in charge of the road from Elizabethtown (through Bowling Green) to Eddyville. While thus engaged the financial crisis of 1837 occurred, causing the abandonment of all internal improvement enterprises, as well as general prostration in private business affairs, and thus the demand for civil engineers was for the time at an end. Mr. Hewett was now twenty-five years of age, and as there seemed no probability of his services being required as engineer again soon, he determined to study medicine, and in 1838 became a student in the office of his brother-in-law, Dr. Theodore S. Bell, of Louisville, one of the ablest and most distinguished members of the medical profession. After pursuing his studies for a sufficient time he entered the medical department of Transylvania University, from which he graduated in 1844. He then permanently located in Louisville, and has since practiced his profession in this city. His practice is largely of a general character, but of late years he has to some extent made a specialty of obstetrics. Since the commencement of his professional life in Louisville, he has repeatedly been offered professorships in the different medical schools, but has invariably declined them, preferring the practical duties of the profession to those of teaching. For fourteen years he served as a physician to the Kentucky Institution for the Blind, and for seven years he gave gratuitous service as physician to the Protestant Episcopal Orphan Asylum. In 1859-60 he was president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Louisville, and in 1867 was president of the Louisville Board of Health. Endowed by nature with a strong, practical, comprehensive mind, and a vigorous constitution, Dr. Hewett has, by assiduous study cultivated the one, and by most prudent and abstemious habits so protected the other, that now at a ripe old age he is robust and vigorous both mentally and physically. Honest by nature, and decidedly positive in his character, he can deal with no proposition except with the utmost frankness and sincerity. Fond of his profession, and proud of it as a high science, he is loyal to it according to its highest standard, and a strict observer of its etiquette. Recognized by the profession as one of its ablest exemplars, trusted for his calm discriminating judgment and thorough conscientiousness, his counsel if often sought outside the large circle of his immediate adherents, and his diagnoses and suggestions always command respect. During the late civil war Dr. Hewett was a consistent supporter of the Union cause. He was appointed by the government, “Acting assistant surgeon United States army for giving medical attendance to officers on duty in the city of Louisville.” In addition to these duties he took an active part in the organization of several of the government hospitals established in the city during the war, and to which he gave his professional services. He served also as a member of the United States Sanitary Commission, and in conjunction with the late Drs. Lewis Rogers and J. B. Flint, acted as a member of the board of medical examiners for examining surgeons and assistant surgeons for the volunteer army. Dr. Hewett’s duties, other than those of a professional nature, were that of a member of the board of trustees of the University of Louisville, and for nearly twenty years a director in the Louisville Gas Company. He was one of the directors of the Louisville & Lexington railroad during the construction of the Shortline branch, and has long been a director of the Louisville Insurance Company, and in the First National Bank of Louisville. He is one of the managers of Cave Hill cemetery. He is enterprising and public-spirited; an earnest, intelligent and active promoter of all schemes which look to the well-being and true progress of the community of which he is a prominent, influential and highly honored member. In 1847 Dr. Hewitt married Miss J. Sidney Anderson, daughter of James Anderson, Sr. Three children were the result of this marriage, two of whom are still living: Mrs. Mary S. Beasley, of Baltimore, and Edward A. Hewett, cashier of the Bank of Louisville.

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This family biography is one of 195 biographies included in the Jefferson County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 8a published in 1888 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 8a

View additional Jefferson County, Kentucky family biographies here: Jefferson County, Kentucky Biographies

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