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Posted By: Deb Barker (email)
Date: 11/8/2005 at 20:01:39

HOMER J GILFILLAN, M D- In 1937, the Gilfillan family of Bloomfield will celebrate one hundred years of service to the people of Iowa in the field of medicine and surgery. Since 1857, when the father of Dr Homer J Gilfillan pioneered as a medical man in Van Buren County and southeastern Iowa as a whole, three generations of the family have practiced the profession in the state, carrying on what still another generation began in Pennsylvania back in the 1820s. Dr Homer J Gilfillan, who for a time practiced with his pioneering father and then for years was in independent practice in various parts of the state, is the father of six sons, all of whom are also medical men. Four of these sons founded and operated the Gilfillan Clinic in Bloomfield, one of the nation’s most active medical centers, drawing patients from many states besides Iowa. One of Dr Gilfillan’s 3 daughters, his oldest child, is the wife of a dentist. Dr Gilfillan, who began his career as newspaperman and pharmacist and then turned to the profession of his father and grandfather, has been known to the profession and the laiety since 1896. He is active in medical, fraternal, and other organizations, and prominent in civic life. He retired in 1946.
Dr Homer J Gilfillan was born in Milton, Van Buren County, on April 28, 1868. His parents were Dr George W and Josephine (Swartz) Gilfillan. The former was born in West Alexander, Pennsylvania, on October 25, 1835, and was the son of Dr Edward Gilfillan, who practiced at West Alexander all his adult life. Dr George W Gilfillan studied medicine under his father-in-law, also a physician and surgeon. In 1855, Dr George Gilfillan moved to Iowa and for 2 years studied at the Keokuk Medical College. He then began practice at Bentonsport, in Van Buren County, one of the first doctors in the entire region. Later he established himself at Milton, in the same county, and in 1895 he moved to Mt Pleasant. For some time he and his son, Homer, practiced together in that community. Dr George Gilfillan died in August, 1908, an honored citizen of Iowa. His widow, who was a native of Virginia, died in 1918.
The son, Homer, was reared at Milton and given his early education in its public schools. In 1886 he was graduated from Milton High School. During his early life he was interested in newspaper work and followed this interest as an employee in the mechanical department of the “Milton Herald.” In 1890, he went to Des Moines and entered Highland Park College, where he studied pharmacy. The following year he returned to Milton, and with a partner, W H Boyd, established the “Tri-County Independent,” a weekly paper covering portions of Iowa and Missouri. He was publisher of this paper for one year. In 1893, having decided to follow what might be called the Gilfillan family profession, he entered Keokuk Medical College. From this institution he was graduated in June, 1896, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
Until 1900, Dr Gilfillan practiced at Trenton; then for the next 8 years, he and his father were partners in practice at Mount Pleasant. After the father’s death in 1908, Homer Gilfillan continued alone in the community until 1918. He then returned to his native town of Milton, where he practiced for 10 years. In 1928, he moved to nearby Cantril, where he practiced until his retirement in 1946. Since the latter year he has been residing at the home of his son, Dr George W Gilfillan, at 108 South Bloomfield Street, Bloomfield.
Dr Homer Gilfillan is a life member of the Davis County Medical Society and the Iowa State Medical Association. Also, he belongs to the Fifty Year Club of the Iowa organization. In addition, he is a member of the American Medical Association. Active in the Free and accepted Masons, in which he holds the Thirty-second degree, Dr Gilfillan belongs to such bodies as the Knight’s Templar, the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and the Order of the Eastern Star. His other organizations include the Knights of Pythias, which he joined in 1889, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Republican Party. In religion he is a Methodist.
Dr Homer J Gilfillan married Clara Moon, daughter of William T and Armida (Pobst) Moon, on August 24, 1893. Both of Mrs Gilfillan’s parents were natives of Clinton County, Ohio. Mrs Gilfillan was born in Westboro, Ohio, on October 21, 1873. The 9 children of Dr Gilfillan and Clara (Moon) Gilfillan are: Pauline, now the wife of Dr W L Milstead, and residing in New York City, and the mother of Homer John Milstead; Esther Florence Gilfillan, who resides in Bloomfield; Dr George William Gilfillan (q.v.), one of the four brothers operating the Gilfillan Clinic in Bloomfield; Dr Harold M Gilfillan, a surgeon in San Francisco, California; Dorothy Leona, now the wife of H A Mahannah of Cherokee: Dr Clarence D N Gilfillan (q.v.), another of the partners of the Gilfillan Clinic; Dr Earl E Gilfillan (q.v.), still another partner; Dr Erwin O Gilfillan, a specialist in internal medicine attached to the Sault Polyclinic at Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan; and Dr Homer J Gilfillan, Jr (q.v.), fourth of the brothers in the Gilfillan Clinic.


Davis Biographies maintained by Deborah Lynne Barker.
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