Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
NORMAN FULLINWIDER TERRY, M. D. Ceaselessly to and fro flies the deft, shuttle which weaves the web of human destiny, and into the vast mosaic fabric enter the individuality, the effort, the accomplishment of each man, be his station that most lowly or one of majesty, pomp and power. Within the textile folds may be traced the line of each individuality, be it the one that lends the beautiful sheen of honest worth and useful endeavor, or one that, dark and zigzag, finds its way through warp and woof, marring the composite beauty by its blackened threads, ever in evidence of the shadowed and unprolific life. Into the great aggregate each individuality is merged, and yet the essence of each is never lost, be the angle of its influence wide-spreading and grateful, or narrow and baneful. That properly applied industry, faithfulness to duty, a wise economy and sound judgment, are the surest contributing elements to success, was exemplified in the life of the late Dr. Norman Fullinwider Terry, who for a number of years was one of the foremost physicians and surgeons of Springfield and southwestern Missouri. The cause of humanity never had a truer friend than this valued gentleman who has passed to the higher life. The stereotyped words customary on such occasions seem but mockery in writing of such a man when we remember all the grand traits that went to make the character of this noble man. In all the relations of life--family, church, civic, professional and society he displayed that consistent gentlemanly spirit, that innate refinement and unswerving integrity that endeared him alike to man, woman and child.
Doctor Terry was born October 3, 1853 in Kossuth, Iowa. He was a son of Sherman and Leah Jane (Bruce) Terry. The father was a native of the state of New York, from which he removed in pioneer times to Iowa and established the future home of the family. After living a number of years in Des Moines county he removed to Mt. Pleasant, that state. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and his eldest son Stewart Bruce Terry, served four years in the Civil war, in fact throughout the struggle, in an Iowa regiment, and, being captured, he served ten months in Andersonville prison.
When Norman F. Terry was a small child he removed with his parents to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and there grew to manhood and received his early education in the public schools, later becoming a student in the Iowa Wesleyan University. Ambitious to become a physician and especially a great surgeon, he taught school two years in order to get money to defray his expenses in medical college, meanwhile laying a foundation by home study during his spare time. In due course he entered Miami Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he made a brilliant record, and from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1876. And in 1893 he took a post graduate course at the Chicago Polyclinic Medical School. He first began practicing his profession in northern Iowa, but owing to the severity of the climate and the condition of his father's health he removed with his parents to Lyons, Kansas, where he built up a large practice, and while there was local surgeon for the Santa Fe and Frisco systems. He was especially successful in surgery and spared no pains and efforts to become a great surgeon, and he lived to see his laudable ambition gratified. He came to Springfield, Missouri, in 1894, where he remained in active practice until his death, or for a period of twenty years, during which he ranked in the fore-front of the medical men of Greene county and the Ozark region and was widely recognized as one of the greatest surgeons of the Southwest. Scores of calls from all over this locality made him see the great need of a modernly appointed hospital in Springfield, and he founded one here, Springfield Hospital, of which he became president. Although it was a commodious one to begin with, it had to be enlarged from time to time to adequately meet the great demand. Under his able management it became very successful and still stands as a monument to his devotion to the public welfare, city pride and profession.
Doctor Terry was married on February 3, 1881, to Leora Hibler, a lady of many commendable attributes of head and heart, who has always been a favorite with a wide circle of friends. She is a daughter of Alton H. and Mary A. (Baxter) Hibler, of St. Louis, Missouri. She had the advantages of an excellent education. The union of Doctor and Mrs. Terry was without issue.
Politically, Doctor Terry was a Republican, and religiously he belongs to the Methodist church. He belonged to the Society of Sons of the American Revolution, and was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity when in the university. He was a member of the Association of Railway Surgeons, the Missouri State Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the Greene County Medical Society, and at one time was president of the last named. He was a charter member of the Springfield Club. He was for several years a lecturer to advanced students in Drury College on physiology. He was a fluent, learned and entertaining writer and contributed numerous papers to various medical journals and for a number of org animations to which he belonged, and he left in manuscript a work of fiction which was intended to portray his ideal of a true man in medical practice. Personally, he was modest, unassuming, but progressive in his ideas and helpful to all those with whom he came in contact.
Springfield-Greene County Library