Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri • ca. 1914

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

WILLIAM ROBY HARMAN, M. D. Success in any enterprise demands that some person shall learn to do some one thing better than it has been done before. It is especially true of the medical profession. As a successful, physician Dr. William Roby Harman, of Springfield, has done much for the cause of suffering humanity, and has won honor and the evidences of deserved success for himself. While engaged in the cafes and exactions of his profession he has not forgotten to fulfill the demands of good citizenship and no enterprise of a worthy public nature has appealed in vain to him for support.

Doctor Harman was born in Watuaga county, North Carolina, January 25, 1867. He is a son of Alfred and Lucinda (Trivett) Harman. The father was born in North Carolina on January 3, 1845, and the mother was also born in that state, and there these parents grew to maturity, received meager educations in the old-time schools, and were married and there they established their home. The father devoted his active life to general farming. During the Civil war he fought gallantly on the side of the Confederacy, a member of a North Carolina cavalry regiment, in Stonewall Jackson's army. He saw much hard service and suffered many diseases as a result of exposure. He was never wounded, but was taken prisoner and held by the enemy until the close of the war. His death occurred on May 17, 1884. His widow, a daughter of Wilbur Trivett, is still living, making her home in Jacksonville, Florida, at this writing. Her father was killed by bushwhackers during the war between the states.

Dr. William R. Harman grew to manhood on the home farm in North Carolina and there worked hard when a boy, and in the winter months he attended the district schools. When twenty years of age he left his native state and came to Springfield, Missouri, where he secured employment in the shops of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company, learning the machinist's trade at which he continued to work for a period of thirteen years, becoming an expert. During his spare moments he studied medicine, believing that his mission in life was along that line rather than as a trades man, and thus he is very largely a self-educated man, and has always supported himself. He saved his earnings as a machinist and entered the American Medical College, at St. Louis, where he made a good record and from which institution he was graduated with the class of 1903. He first began the practice of his profession at Marshfield, Webster county, where he remained until 1905, getting a fairly good start. Seeking a wider field for the practice of his profession he came to Springfield in November, 1905, and opened an office and practiced here for five years, then sought a different location, but in 1914 returned to Springfield intending to make this his permanent home and he is now enjoying a good practice as a general physician. He is a member of the Missouri State Eclectic Medical Society and the National Eclectic Medical Society.

Politically, the Doctor is a Democrat, however, is inclined to be an independent voter, casting his ballot for the best men seeking the various offices, rather than for the party. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masonic order, Knights of Pythias, the Mystic Workers of the World, the Royal Neighbors, the Modern Woodmen, the Court of Honor, the Fraternal Union, the Rebekahs and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being prominent in the work of the last named lodge. He is a member of the Baptist church.

Doctor Harman was married first to Ella B. Robberson, a daughter of William Sherad Robberson, a near relative of Doctor Robberson, the prominent physician and early settler of Springfield. The death of Mrs. Harman occurred on May 9, 1897. Doctor Harman subsequently married Corine B. Burgin, a daughter of William Burgin, a contractor of Springfield.

Doctor-Harman is the father of four children, all by his first wife; they were named as follows: Ira L., born in Springfield, April 16, 1889, was educated in the schools of Marshfield, With two years in high school; he has remained single. Earl H., the second son, was born in Springfield, January 30, 1891, was educated in the schools of this city and Marshfield, spending two years in high school; he married Ina Smith, a daughter of Buck Smith, on November 18, 1914; he is now reading medicine, and is first assistant to the surgeon at the Frisco hospital. Troy P., the third son, was born in Springfield, April 23, 1893, was educated in the schools of this city and Marshfield, with two years in high school, and after spending two years in a shoe factory, he joined the United States army in February, 1914, and at this writing is stationed at Ft. Myers, Virginia. Ella Ruth, our subject's only daughter, and the youngest child, was born March 25, 1895, received a good education in the public schools, graduating from the high school at Bellflower, Montgomery county, this state, and she is now the wife of Earl E. Ottinger, agent for the Burlington railroad at Troy, Missouri; to this couple one child has been born, Mary Margaret, whose birth occurred on July 15, 1914.

Personally, Doctor Harman is well liked by all who know him, his record having always been that of a good citizen in every respect.


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