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VERBEKE, JAMES C., M.D., was born in Holland, in the year 1785. His father was a native of that country, and his mother was born in Yorkshire, England. The son was educated for the ministry, but afterwards studied medicine at the university of Leyden, where the two degrees of doctor of medicine and of pharmacy were conferred upon him. After finishing his course he entered the French army as physican, and through the efforts of his father was assigned to the regiment commanded by Colonel Lehmanowsky, a friend and acquaintance, with the request that he should have a watchful care over him. The doctor remained with with the regiment in all its memorable campaigns, being always employed in the provisional military hospitals, performing the duties of the two branches of the profession only, as persons were not allowed to practice more than such as were inseparable from the other, so that each might thoroughly understand his calling, and be enabled to gain a livelihood. In consequence of this condition of things he never was on the field of battle, but was always engaged in administering to the sick. Even at the battle of Waterloo, when the hospital was taken and retaken six times in one day by the English and French, he saw nothing of the fight. After that sanguinary and decisive conflict, when the star of Napoleon had set, he entered the Dutch navy as a physician, on board a man-of-war, where he remained two years and then resigned. Afterwards, being detected in a plot, in which Colonel Lehmanowsky was also engaged, to carry off Napoleon to St. Helena, they had to flee the country, when he was helped by friends to reach England, and was engaged by the celebrated Scotch navigator, John Arrowsmith, as physician on board of his vessel, then about making a trip to America, which landed at Philadelphia in 1817. The port physician, Dr. Perkins, after examining his letters of reference and his diploma, immediately gave him a situation as clerk in his drugstore. Miss Gertrude Kemmelar, having come to America to visit a brother, and landing at Philadelphia, chanced to call at the drugstore on Second street, near Callowhill, with a prescription, when both coming from the same country, and the doctor being addressed in his own language,an acquaintance was formed, and in 1818 they were married at the house of John Dillinger, a friend, with whose family Miss Kemmelar stopped. In the year 1819 they removed to Harrisburg, where the doctor opened a drugstore on Market square in the house of John Norton, and practiced medicine in the country and all the surrounding towns, traveling as far as Halifax, Middletown, and other places on horseback, through which he became universally known, some of the oldest inhabitants still remembering him. After a few years of practice he relinquished it, to enter into other business, and was successful in gaining a considerable estate. Mrs. Verbeke died in 1855, and Dr. Verbeke in 1856, leaving two children, William K.and Margaretta Dillinger, who married Theophilus Fenn.


Dorothy Bumbaugh

Sidney, Indiana page 354