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History of Belle Rive and Dahlgren, Illinois And Surrounding Territory
Prepared by Continental Historical Bureau of Mt. Vernon,
David Frank Whited, M. D.
Of all occupations, businesses, professions and walks of life, one of the greatest vocations of human endeavor is that of the medical profession. The work of the physician and surgeon is to render assistance in the recovering from the numerous ills and injuries with which the human race is constantly confronted. The need of the service of the doctor is continuous and often urgent. The inhabitants of the Dahlgren area have had for approximately three score year, an individual who has been a proven asset to the community. He has in thousands of cases rendered medical service, often under the greatest of handicaps.
The person to whom we refer is, of course, Dahlgren's beloved Dr. Whited.
The Whited family were natives of the state of Pennsylvania and settled on a farm a short distance north of the village of Dahlgren when David Frank Whited was quite young.
As farming was not the calling for Frank Whited, but the medical profession, he began to think early in life of making preparation for the study of medicine. After reaching early manhood, he taught one full school term in the vicinity where he resided, then enrolled in the Medical Department of the University of Nashville, Tennessee.
After two years of medical practice at the Tennessee town, he decided to return to the vicinity where his family had moved when coming from the eastern state. In the year of 1901 he returned to Dahlgren and began the practice of his chosen profession in the community that he considered his home.
Dr. Whited has catered to the general practice of medicine and was rated as one of the most capable diagnosticians in this part of the country. His chief concern has always been the welfare of the patient, regardless of the weather or other conditions that might prevail, including his own comfort.
Dr. White's patients have reached from Wayne City to Ewing, Illinois. During his career as a practicing physician he has been called to the bedside of countless numbers of patients who were the victims of almost all kinds of ailments. There were many instances when he hardly knew what it was to get the amount of sleep that one needs to carry on his daily activities. It has often been reported that he was more concerned about the welfare of his patients than he was about the compensation that was due him for his services.
Dr. Whited has continued his practice in Dahlgren and was not lured away to larger cities. The people of his community learned in the early years of his career that their community doctor could be relied upon. His work has been wide and varied. He has treated cases that were suffering with contagious diseases, those who were victims of infections, those who had received both major and minor injuries, as well as almost all the ailments to which mankind is subject.
In 1918, Dr. Whited had an accident while driving a Model T Ford when he was called to the home of a patient. The car went out of control as a result of radius rods coming loose causing the car to run off a culvert about a mile and a quarter south of Dahlgren. He was hospitalized at Mt. Vernon for about a month as a result of this accident.
One of his most difficult cases was that of a patient who was a victim of a critical case of tetanus. The severity of the patient reached the stage where it was necessary for Dr. Whited to examine and treat him twice a day for quite a length of time, but through skill and perseverance, he was brought back to health.
Dr. Whited and Dr. Andy Hall, Mt. Vernon's beloved senior physician, have on many occasions practiced together, and they are the best of friends.
Dr. Whited recalls many a call in winter months when both the weather and the roads were extremely bad. In some instances he even had to walk to get to his patients, as the horses could not travel. On numerous occasions he answered calls to Delafield during the night. He rode a train to Delafield and walked back to Dahlgren, a distance of five miles.
Dr. Whited for about twenty years was the only physician located in the Dahlgren area. The responsibility on him was heavy. A surgeon in another town paid him a supreme compliment when the surgeon remarked that if Dr. Whited sent a patient for surgery, he needed make no further examination.
During his medical career, Dr. Whited has attended in excess of three thousand births. He officiated at the birth of two of his own great grandchildren, as well as many another who lived to honor this great doctor.
Proof of the appreciation of the long service that Dr. Whited has rendered his community was shown by the people of Dahlgren a few years ago. His friends and neighbors decided to give their beloved doctor a surprise. Generous contributions were made to a fund to purchase a number of fine gifts that the people felt that Dr. Whited deserved. Among the gifts were a new car and a beautiful gold watch.
Many people have contributed generously over the years to make the Dahlgren community a better place to live, but it is doubtful if any one has made a greater contribution to the cause of humanity in the area than David Frank Whited, M. D.
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