JAMES DEWITT HEATH, M.D.
(deceased), was born in Elyria, Ohio, May 7, 1855. His father, Amasa
Heath, was born in Adams, Jefferson Co, N.Y., March 13, 1820, and was a
Baptist minister, having been ordained in 1851. He was twice married,
and by the first union had a daughter, Alice. For his second wife
he chose Emily C. Campbell, a native of the Empire State, and they became
the parents of the following children: James DeWitt, Eva, Gertrude, Letta
Nellie and Leila. The father was a highly educated man, and an eloquent
and gifted minister. He died June 20, 1884, in Ohio.
The Doctor probably inherited his fatherís keen mind, for in
school he was an exceedingly apt scholar. At the early age of thirteen
he began to earn his own living, and secured the capital which enabled
him to obtain a college education. In addition he also assisted his
father in the support of the family. When the Rev. Mr. Heath's health failed,
the Doctor who was then but a mere boy learned the mason's trade and followed
that so assiduously that he was at length enabled to pursue a course of
study in Oberlin College, and subsequently entered Hahnemann Medical College
of Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1879 at the age of twenty-three
years. He had left his native State when a young man of nineteen,
removing to Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he worked at his trade through the day
and studied medicine at night in order to prepare for his contemplated
course. He first opened an office in Shawano, Wis., and continued
practice until May, 1883, when on his removal to Merrill he abandoned his
Here the Doctor engaged in the lumber business, aiding in the
organization of the Wolf River Lumber Company, of which he became business
manager. He was a most indefatigable worker, and the hours not given to
his business were mostly devoted to study. This course, however, broke
down his health, and in 1890 he was forced to practically lay aside business
cares. He believed in all men owning their own houses, and assisted many
a laboring man to secure a home by supplying him the material with which
to build and giving him his own time in which to pay for it.
Dr. Heath was married in Amherst, Ohio, October 18, 1879, to
Alice Armetta Jackson, who was born in that city, a daughter of Michael
and Annetta (Gleason) Jackson. They became the parents of four children:
Carrol D., Clifford J. and Robert W., who are living, and Mark, the third
son, who died at the age of a year and ten months.
The Doctor was a member of Shawano Lodge, No. 7, F. & A.
M., and in politics was a stalwart supporter of the Republican party, yet
never sought or desired office. His honesty of purpose and his sterling
worth were widely recognized, commanding the respect and confidence of
all. He was deeply interested in everything calculated to promote the general
welfare, and was a most highly respected man, leaving behind a host of
friends. His death occurred April 13, 1984.