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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


J. J. Lindsay, M. D.






       J. J. LINDSAY, M.D. A community should be prouder of its native than its adopted citizens, and, as a rule, it is. There is a reason for this. The adopted citizen stands in the same relation to his community that an adopted child does to a foster parent, while the native born is like the parent’s own. And large minded and generous hearted as one may be, he always finds that there is for him an interest, an amount of sympathy and a certain tender solicitude clustering about the child of his own flesh and blood that he finds nowhere else. The relations are reciprocal and the feelings of the respect and tenderness mutual. Hence, the countless bursts of patriotic eloquence which fills all speech and literature, and is perpetuated in endless song.


     The subject of this sketch, a practicing physician of Manchester, Delaware county, resides within a short distance of where his eyes first saw the light of this world. He was born in Elk township, this county. He is “to the manner born,” if that phrase has any significance severed from its feudal origin: He came into this world July 24, 1858. He is a son of one of the comparatively early settlers of the county. His father, John Lindsay, moved into this locality in 1849 and settled in Elk township. He came from New York City to this county, but was a native of Ireland. He was in early years a carder and spinner, and found employment first in England, having gone there when a boy, and afterwards in this country, working in woolen mills. He was an industrious, capable workman, and pursued his calling with a diligence and faithfulness that marked him as an honest man. His health giving way under the incessant toil and amidst the insalubrious and un­scientific conditions of the factories where he was a wage worker fifty years ago, brought him West in search of other employment, and he, in consequence, became a citizen of Delaware county. He spent his declining years on a farm and gave to his family, and through them to his adopted county, the results of his best efforts with his remaining energies in the shape of a comfortable but unpretentious farm home. He died in this county April, 1872, at the age of fifty-two.


      Dr. Lindsay’s mother, Mary Bailey Lindsay, who is still living in this county, is a native also of Ireland, having been born, as was the father, in the County of Kings. They were married in Delaware county, Iowa. She shared his fortunes to the date of his death, bearing him a faithful and affectionate companionship. These, John and Mary Bailey Lindsay, were the parents of ten children: Benjamin, Thomas, Jane, John, Henry, Mary, Lizzie, Samuel, George and Maggie.


      The fourth of these and the subject of this notice was reared on the farm, being trained to the habits of industry and usefulness common to farm life. He received an ordinary common school training, and finished with a literary and scientific course at Lenox Collegiate Institute, at Hopkinton, this county. He subsequently attended Bailie’s Commercial College, at Dubuque, from which he graduated in August, 1879. In the spring of 1880 he began reading medicine under Drs. Bradley & Sherman, of Manchester, and when prepared for lectures took a first course in the medical department of the state university at Iowa City and finished at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, of New York City, graduating in March, 1883. His course of reading was exhaustive, his preparation thorough. It covered the general ground gone over by all students, and, in addition thereto, private courses in chemistry, toxicology and physical diagnosis. He located at once to the practice, beginning at Greeley, in this county. Barring the difficulties and embarrassments which almost of necessity attend the first steps of the young physician, he made an auspicious beginning, and his affairs steadily prospered. He was successfully engaged in the practice at Greeley till June, 1888, when, with a desire of extending his sphere of usefulness and widening his field of observation and experience, he moved to Manchester, opening an office and entering upon the practice there. He has resided in Manchester since. He has given his time wholly to his profession since beginning it and has met with good success. His change of location involved some falling off in his business, as a change always does; but this was only temporary, and has been more than compensated for by the increased opportunities which the change otherwise has brought about.


     Every member of a free commonwealth is expected to bear arms in defense of public safety when occasion demands, and every citizen must consent to fill public office when called thereto by his fellow citizens. Dr. Lindsay is as devoid of ambition for popular applause as any living man, yet when called on he discharges his duties to the community in which he lives with a zeal no less earnest and an exactitude no less faithful than he brings to bear in his attentions to his own personal affairs. He has served Delaware county as coroner three years, being appointed to fill an unexpired term of another and twice elected, fairing, however, to qualify on his last election.


      In October, 1887, Dr. Lindsay married, the lady whom he took to wife being Miss Ella L. Cole, of Colesburg, this county, a native of the county and a daughter of one of the oldest settlers of the county, Thomas Cole. Dr. and Mrs. Lindsay have a pleasant home in Manchester and a large circle of friends in whose society they find not the least of the enjoyments of this life. They are both members of the Methodist church and zealous in all church work. The doctor belongs also to the Masonic fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he takes much interest in these societies, giving them not only in their secret workings his earnest support, but yielding to their broader plans and more philanthropic purposes the loyalty of a sincere and humane nature.


~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 351-353; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson