ADALBERT R. FELLOWS, M. D., of Vinton, is a native of McHenry County, Ill., born April 10, 1849. He is a son of Jesse and Orilla L. (Henry) Fellows, the former born Sept. 14, 1811, in Stillwater, N. Y., and the latter in Geneseo, N. Y., July 28, 1814. Jesse Fellows was reared in his native State and was there married, soon removing to Canada, where he remained a short time, and then returned to the States, locating at Rochester, N. Y. About 1842 he came West and located at Rockton, Ill., where he remained a short time, and then moved to Belvidere, where he worked at his trade as cabinet-maker. In 1845 he made a claim in Riley Township, McHenry Co., Ill., on which he erected a log cabin. His nearest neighbor at this time was some three or four miles away. The winter of 1845-46 he spent in Belvidere, the cabin he had erected not being warm enough to keep his family comfortable. In the spring of 1846 he returned to his land, on which he resided for many years. At that time the wolves were so numerous that it was almost impossible to keep poultry. One night after retiring he was awakened by the barking of his dog. Jumping out of bed, without stopping to dress, he ran out to find his dog after a wolf. He also joined in the chase, and succeeded after a time in killing the animal. The prairie and shrubs had been just burned off. In his excitement he did not think of his condition, but on attempting to return to the house it was with considerable difficulty he reached it, his feet having been cut by the sprouts appearing above ground. Chicago was his best market, and there he hauled his grain and pork, bringing back lumber and groceries, frequently miring in the sloughs he had to cross.
In early life Mr. Fellows was an old-line Whig, an ardent supporter of Henry Clay. Among the local offices he filled was that of Justice of the Peace, a position he filled for twenty years. His counsel was sought by neighbors, and by his advice expensive litigation was often avoided. Few men were better known in the country than 'Squire Fellows.' He helped erect the first log schoolhouse in his township, and the first frame schoolhouse was built upon his land and is known even to this day as 'Squire Fellows' schoolhouse. Mr. Fellows was a strict temperance man and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he was a Class-Leader for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Fellows were the parents of seven children — five sons and two daughters, of whom four are yet living — Harriet M., wife of J. C. Thompson, of Vinton; James H., residing in Chicago; Jesse L., of Vinton, and Dr. A. R. Mrs. Fellows died in Aurora, in May, 1868. She was a devoted, earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Fellows died in Vinton, Feb. 14, 1881, and was buried in Spring Lake Cemetery, Aurora, Ill. He was twice married, his second wife being Elizabeth Pinkind. There were no children by the second marriage.
Adalbert R. Fellows was reared upon a farm, his primary education being received in the common schools of the township in which his father resided. In 1867 he accompanied his parents to Aurora, Kane Co., Ill., where he entered Jennings Seminary, taking a classical course and paying his way by the sweat of his brow. In harvesting seasons he was employed in the field. He attended the seminary over four years, and in the fall of 1872 entered the Northwestern College, at Naperville. In the winter he taught a term of school and in the spring returned to the college. Soon after returning to college he was offered the school at Braidwood, which he accepted, remaining three years. While there he commenced reading medicine. In the fall of 1876 he attended lectures at the Chicago Medical College, graduating in the Class of 1879. On graduating, the doctor came to Vinton, where he had two brothers and a sister residing. One of the former was lying dangerously ill, and the doctor came as soon as he graduated to attend to his brother, who died two weeks after his arrival. His brother and sister then prevailed on him to locate here. His father came in June after his arrival, and he took care of him until his death, which was caused by paralysis. He has no cause to regret his action, having built up a good practice, while securing the good-will of the people. He is a member of the Iowa Union Medical Society, which meets at Cedar Rapids twice a year.
Dr. Fellows was united in marriage with Miss Mary O. Potter, who was born in De Kalb County, Ill., Aug. 26, 1853. Two children have been born to them — Ralph W., Aug. 13, 1882, and George Warren, April 29, 1886.The Doctor and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Vinton, in which he has held an official position ever since coming to the place. He is also a member of Vinton Lodge, No. 83, I. O. O. F., of which he has been N. G. two terms, besides minor preceding offices, and of Cedar Lodge, A. O. U. W., in which he has held the position of M. W., and is now Financier for the lodge.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 214-215.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.