Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


WILLIAM P. PATTERSON, M. D. One of the well known physicians and surgeons of Greene county is Dr. William P. Patterson of Springfield who has been engaged in the practice of his profession in this county for a period of twenty-eight years. During his earlier years his employments were such as are common to farmers' boys. He attended the rural schools in winter, made progress in study and books, and laid a few foundation stones upon which some parts of his life's structure yet rest. To these early years, under the tutelage of father and mother, whose chief ambitions were to impress upon the minds of their children such principles as would make possible lives of usefulness and honor, Dr. Patterson, like myriads of others, is deeply indebted for that probity of character, and those justifiable aspirations that prominently characterize him as a citizen in the passages of life. In these immature years, when the mind is taking its bent, when youthful ambitions are shaping themselves for manhood achievements, no influences have ever been found more prolific or potential for good, than those which the farm with such accompaniments has afforded. The farmer's home—the chaste purity of its teachings, the broad fields, the forest, the orchard, meadow, hill and dale, the song birds, and the hum of bees, the babbling brook, the silent river—all the opulence of beauty that Nature spreads out with lavish hand, are teachers of youth whose lessons are never forgotten. It was amid such scenes and influences that the earlier years of our subject were spent. And he is still a lover of Nature and a student of her secrets.

Doctor Patterson was born at Sale Creek, Hamilton county, Tennessee, October 19, 1861. He is a son of J. A. N. and Elizabeth S. (Coulter) Patterson, an excellent old southern couple of the rural type, well educated, hard working, honest and hospitable. The father, who fought gallantly in the Confederate army during the war between the states, is still engaged in farming in Hamilton county, and is now advanced in years.

Doctor Patterson grew to manhood in his native community and there attended the public schools and the Sale Creek Academy , then entered the State University, at Knoxville, then entered Vanderbilt University at Nashville, and was graduated from the medical department of that great southern institution. He made an excellent record in both the universities, but to further equip himself for his chosen life work he took a post graduate course in the New York Polyclinic. He came to Greene county, Missouri in 1886 and began the practice of medicine at the town of Brookline, where he soon built up an excellent practice and there he remained until in January, 1897, when, seeking a wider field for the exercise of his talents he removed to Springfield where he has remained to the present time, enjoying a lucrative and ever-growing general practice as a physician and surgeon ranking among the best of his professional brethren in southwest Missouri. He maintains an up-to-date suite of offices at 505-506 Holland building. He has ever remained a close student of all that pertains to his vocation and has therefore kept well abreast of the times. He is a member of the Greene County Medical Society, the Southwest Missouri District Medical Society, the Missouri State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. He has served as secretary and president of the county and district societies. During 1897-8 he served very acceptably as coroner of Greene county. Politically, he has always been a Democrat. He has been a director in the Young Men's Christian Association here for the past fifteen years, and has long been an active worker in the church and in all movements looking toward the moral improvement of the city. He is a member of the South Street Christian church. He is also prominent in fraternal circles, and belongs to the Masonic order, including the Chapter and Council, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Royal Arcanum. He is medical examiner for the Modern Woodmen of America, and several old line insurance companies, including the Illinois life, the State Mutual of Massachusetts, the National Life, International Life of St. Louis, the Northwestern Mutual and others. He is now a member of the board of education, having served for the past five years.

Doctor Patterson was married in 1891 to May Blackman, a daughter of Wallace W. Blackman, a prominent citizen of Greene county in the early days. Here Mrs. Patterson grew to womanhood and was educated. Mrs. Patterson completed her education at Christian College, Columbia, Missouri. To the Doctor and wife three daughters have been born, namely: Aldine, May and Elizabeth. Mrs. Patterson was born in Greene county and has spent her life here and has always been popular with a wide circle of friends. She is a member of the South Street Christian church and is active in the work of the same.

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