V. C. Birney, M.D.

Dr. V. C. Birney, the oldest medical practitioner in Butler county, dates his residence in Greene from 1872 and since that
time has become established as one of the leading and prominent physicians and surgeons in this section of the state. He was born in Ontario, Canada, November 1, 1849, a son of Dr. Lewis and Mary (Ferris) Birney, the former a native of New York state and the latter of Canada. The father grew to manhood in his native community and later moved to Toronto, Ontario, where he studied medicine. After receiving his degree he moved to the States, locating in Floyd county, this state, in 1856. He engaged in general practice there for many 3 years, afterward moving to Nora Springs, where he spent his declining years, his death occurring about 1908. His wife survives him and is still hale and hearty at the age of eighty-eight.

Dr. V. C. Birney came to Iowa with his parents when he was but a child and he grew to manhood in Floyd county, acquiring his primary education in the public schools. He supplemented this by two years at Osage Academy. From his boyhood he had studied medicine under his father and before he was twenty-one he became thoroughly familiar with the basic principles of the science. He took his first course of lectures at Rush Medical College in Chicago but he completed his studies at Keokuk, receiving his degree of M. D. in 1878. Prior to receiving his degree he practiced with his father for a short time and then in March, 1872, located in Greene, where he has since remained in practice. He is without doubt the oldest physician in Butler and adjacent counties and his broad and varied experience is one of his
greatest assets. He has, however, kept in touch with the most advanced thought of his profession, supplementing his early training by special courses in medicine and surgery and by constant reading, research and investigation. He is a prominent surgeon, having performed many difficult operations most successfully, and his practice is large and important — the result of forty-one years of earnest, conscientious and disinterested work. Dr. Birney is a member of the Butler County, the Austin Flint and the Cedar Valley Medical Societies and in this way keeps in touch with the most advanced medical thought. He has remained always a close and earnest student of his profession and has a fine medical library of which he makes constant use. He has prepared and presented articles before the medical societies to which he belongs and is a recognized authority upon many branches of his profession. In the course of time he has secured a comfortable fortune and he today controls valuable property interests in Greene, owning an attractive residence on the west side of the river and a large business house, in which he has his office, where he carries a large stock of drugs and medicines for use in his own practice.

Dr. Birney has been twice married and has two children by his first wife : Nellie, who married Frank Ellis, of Los Angeles, California, and Dr. V. C, Jr., who is practicing medicine in Portland, Oregon. In Mason City, in 1897, Dr. Birney married Miss Ida H. Hartz, who was born in Wisconsin but reared in Iowa. Dr. and Mrs. Birney have become the parents of a daughter, Varillas Helen.

Dr. Birney gives his political allegiance to the republican party and served for six years as county coroner and for a number of years as pension examiner and member of the board of health. He is active in Masonic circles, holding membership in the blue lodge at Greene, the chapter at Clarksville, the commandery at Charles City and the shrine at Cedar Rapids. He has served through all of the chairs and is past grand of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he represented in the Grand Lodge of Iowa. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias. A residence of forty-one years in Greene has gained for him the respect and confidence of all who have had professional, social or business relations with him.