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David Noble DeTar


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/11/2009 at 16:59:44

David Noble DeTar, Among the recent deaths in the city of Boone was that of David Noble DeTar, M D, who is the prime of his life and usefulness was called away. His accomplishments and services to humanity justly merit record in such a work as this one. His father, Theodore DeTar, was also a physician, a native of Indiana, and of French extraction, but we have no available record of his ancestry. He married Margaret E Noble, a native of the same state, and there were born to them twelve children, five of whom are to maturity: David N, of this review, Allie, the wife of M A Hicks, of Colorado Springs ,Colorado, W T a practicing physician of Victoria, Texas, Bertha, wife of W R Fuller, of Tamp Florida, and Mellie, wife of C P Fuller of Ellenton, Florida. He practiced his profession in Boone county for many years, entered the Civil war as captain of Company D, Iowa Thirty-second Volunteer Infantry, served until the loss of a leg in the battle of Nashville, was honorabley discharged, returned to the practice of his profession here, removed in March 1889, to Bradentown, Florida, and died there. November 27, 1893. His widow is still a resident of Florida.
David N DeTar was born October 6, 1852, near Lynnville, Indiana, and at the age of three years came to Boonesboro with his parents in the year 1855. He attended the common schools and afterwards supplemented the same by a year in the college at Indianola, Iowa, thence tot eh State University at Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1871, graduating in the literary department in 1878, and two years later taking his degree in the medical department. He returned home for a short rest, and then accepted the position of ornithologist in the state museum, at Albany, New York, a position which he filled acceptably for two years but was obliged to resign because of impaired health returning home to Boone. In 1883 he began the practice of medicine in the city of Boone, and rapidly acquired a large and lucrative constituency, which he held and extended for the subsequent twenty years of his life. But the cares of a large practice could not wholly wean him from his attention to some of the sciences which had delighted him while in college. As has been intimated before, he was an accomplished ornithologist, and an entomological collection, made by him while at Ann Arbor, is now in one of the scientific institutions of Cincinnati. He as skilled in conchology, a fine collection in this branch of science, the work of his leisure hours, is now in the Ericson Library at Boone. In pomology, as being developed and applied locally, he was an acknowledged authority, and his love of flowering plants was proven in the cheerful surroundings of his home. In both fine arts and the useful ones he took much delight, and in some directions was almost profound. He had that rare combination of intellectual gifts, ready apprehension, intense concentration, tenacity of urpose, to which were added a sound and strong physical person, endowments which are capable of accomplishing wonders. His walls were tapestried with books, and whatever he had read came obedient to his call of memory. In his latter years he had harbored the intent of abandoning his medical practice having secured an ample competency, and of devoting his time to the pursuits which claimed first place in his affections, and had he done so, it may have been tat his life would have been spared and science been greatly the gainer thereby.
He was married in September 1878, to Miss Ella M Hicks, daughter of Jacob H and Mary E (Booth) Hicks, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who were native of New York. The mother died in September 1883, the father in December 1886. Mrs DeTar was one of seven children: C V a druggist of Alpena, Michigan, William who passed away, Ella M the wife of our subject. James T who is living a retired life at Bennignton, Michigan, Rhoda M, wife of B Taylorn, Bennignton, Michigan, Lillie wife of William Perkins, Bennington, Michigan, and Carrie wife of William Cline of the same place. Mrs DeTar received her education in the State University of Michigan, entering the university the same year the Doctor matriculated, she also took a partial lecture course in the medical section, a preparation which afterwards rendered her an invaluable assistant in the performance of his professional duties. With fine artistic tastes, and common objects in life with those of her husband, their home life was an ideal one whose rupture by death left the sincerest sorrow.
The doctor was one of the most companionable of men. He was brusque in manner, but combined therewith great tenderness of heart and association of extremes not so very infrequent in men endowed with both strength and kindness. His range of social contact was most democratic, for he could gather as well as give and all conditions of life have lessons for those who can read them He was a member of the Central District Medical association of Iowa, which has the largest membership in the state aside form that of the State Association and was honored with it presidency. He was also identified with the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen of the World, and with the Benevolent Protective Order f Elks. The latter held memorial exercises subsequent to his death, on December 1, 1901, and from his eulogy pronounced on that occasion by Hon S R Dyer, an old friend and intimate, we select the passage which appropriately defines the religious views of he doctor. The speaker had adverted to the fact that he was widely read in the literature of eth great religions of the world, and then continued: “Yet with all this knowledge he turned, as with the simplicity of a child, to that great system, which came of God and was taught by the lowly Nazarine: the religion of hope and love, of charity and sacrifice, of justice and work for the up building of humanity. He did not affiliate with any church, he acknowledged no creed, his was of the spirit, no the letter. He knew that all the other systems of religion were intensely selfish and debased, but that the system which commanded his homage was based on infinite love, infinite charity, and infinite sacrifice.”
A few years before his death, while returning from a professional call, his team ran away throwing him out, his head striking a roadside tree, and causing a serious illness. It is possible that this concussion had a harmful effect, but no complaint was heard from him and he continued his business. After a short illness, he died January 31, 1901, being but forty-seven years of age. It was the occasion of widespread and profound sorrow, in town, county and other portions of the state. No citizen of this community has been more sincerely mourned by so wide a list of friends as this genial, brilliant and accomplished family physician to the multitude--- David N DeTAr.

1902 Boone County History Book


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