DEWITT, William
Back Up Next

DEWITT, DR. WILLIAM RADCLIFFE, son of the Rev. William R. DeWitt, D.D., and his wife Mary Elizabeth Wallace, was born December 5, 1827, at Harrisburg, Pa., and died May 31, 1891, at St. Augustine, Fla. He was educated at the Harrisburg Academy, and graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating he was immediately appointed assistant physician of the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Asylum, which position he held for about seven years. He then traveled in Europe studying his profession. He returned to Harrisburg with the intention of practicing medicine, when he was appointed by President Buchanan to the charge of the marine hospital in the Sandwich Islands at Honolulu, the capital, and here he remained a number of years, when, upon the the breaking out of the Civil war, he tendered his sevices. He held the rank of major, and was surgeon-in-chief of the First division, Fifth army corps, of the Army of the Potomac. Here he became the intimate friend of many of the most noted officers in the Northern army. General Warren was one of his best and most intimate friends. He was breveted lieutenant colonel for meritorious services and bravery on the field of battle. After the war he was chief medical officer of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, stationed at Charleston. He afterwards held a similar position at Louisville, Ky. In 1869 he resigned his commission and took up his residence in Harrisburg, and was engaged in the successful practice of medicine, when in 1874 he was compelled to abandon his profession and go to Florida on account of his ill health, caused by exposure in the army. That year he traveled through the State and returned in 1875, taking up his residence at San Mateo. In his new home he became quite prominent, was at one time chairman of the board of public instruction for Putnam county, and a Florida newspaper stated at the time of his death that it was largely due to his exertions that the school system was what it then was. Dr. DeWitt was in politics a Democrat and always a strong supporter of his party. In religious faith he was an Episcopalian, and in later years was a hard student of theology, in which he took great pleasure. In 1889 he was a delegate to the General Episcopal Convention. An active member of his church, his views and opinions in religious matters were always held in great esteem and of weight by all. He was a man of high intellectuality, of strong but just opinions, a strong and faithful friend, a pure and devoted Christian, and having all those attributes to make him honored, loved and respected. Dr. DeWitt married in 1865, Susan E. Spangler of York, who with one son survived him.


Dorothy Bumbaugh

Sidney, Indiana page 358