Biography of Dr. Simon Peter Breed of Wyanet, Illinois

Dr. Simon Peter Breed, Wyanet. In the possession of William J. Breed, of Raynham, Mass., are records stating that A. D. 1100 a colony of Breeds emigrated from Germany to Sussex County, England, and there founded a town called Breed, which bears that name to the present day. From this colony of Breeds sprang Allyn Breed, of 1601, who came to America and settled in Lynn, Mass., in 1630, and became the sole progenitor of the Breed family in America. One of his great-grandsons, Ebenezer Breed, is noted for being the owner of Breed’s Hill, where was fought the battle of Bunker Hill.

Dr. S. P. Breed, the subject of this sketch, was born in Manlius, Onondaga Co., N. Y., February 1, 1819, and is the son of the late James Breed. In his possession are records by which he can trace his lineage back through his grandfather, Gershom Breed, of 1755; Allen Beard, of 1714, who settled in Stonington, Conn., and therefore called the Stonington branch of the family; thence through, John Breed, of 1663, Allen Breed, of 1626, and Allyn Breed, of 1601, who settled in Lynn in 1630.

Simon Peter Breed was taken by his parents to Cicero, Onondaga County, in 1820, and there on the farm he was reared till he was seventeen years of age, except one year when the family had returned to Manlius. When seventeen he removed with his parents to Hannibal, Oswego County, and there four years more of his life were spent upon the farm, in a sawmill, at the carpenter’s bench and in the school room. When nineteen years of age he began life’s work for himself, having made an arrangement with his father for his time. In 1839 he went to Manlius, where he attended the old Manlius Academy for some time, and also taught three terms of school.

May 11, 1843, he started from Oswego, N. Y. for the West, and landed June 11, at his uncle’s house near Vermont, Fulton Co., Ill., where his first business was teaching at $13 per month. He continued teaching for three terms, and in 1844 began the study of medicine in Vermont. In the winter of 1846-47 he attended his first course of lectures at St. Louis, Mo., in the Medical Department of the Missouri State University. In the spring of 1847 he began the practice of medicine in Schuyler County, Ill., and there continued for eighteen years. However, in the winter of 1856-57 he went to Philadelphia, and attended the Medical Department and graduated from the Pennsylvania University. He then continued in his practice in Schuyler County, where he was widely known and eminently successful.

In 1865 Dr. Breed removed to Princeton, and in the fall of the same year took part in organizing a district medical society, and was its first delegate to the State Medical Society, and through a report read there was first introduced to the literary medical world, and since that time has contributed many articles to medical journals, full of interest and

value to the profession, but of which our limited space will allow no further mention, only to say that they were characterized by many of the leading physicians in this and other States as able and exhaustive. In a centennial address before the International medical Congress at Philadelphia, in 1876, H. I. Bowditch, M. D., President, of the Massachusetts State Board of Health, speaks of Dr. Breed as one of his valuable correspondents. In the publish transactions of the nineteenth annual meeting of the Illinois State Medical Society are given a number of pages taken from his report on Practical Medicine.

Not only had Dr. Breed been an able contributor upon medicine, but his ready pen has not been slow to record his thoughts upon other topics, including those on temperance, a tour through Kansas in 1869, woman’s crusade, etc., the mere mention of which will call them to the minds of many of the leading citizens of the county. In early life the Doctor was an abolitionist, and cast one of the two first votes in Vermont, Fulton County, for James G. Birney, the candidate of the Liberty party in 1844. He is now a stanch Republican, and in 1870 he wrote articles against many of the Republicans, who bolted the regular nominee for Congress, after submitting their claims at the primary election.

December 25, 1848, Dr. Breed was united in marriage to Miss Alzina S. Powers, of McDonough County, Ill. She was born in Essex, Vt., in 1827, but came to McDonough County in 1833. Her father, Isaac Powers, was a farmer; she was educated in the district schools and at the female seminary of Jacksonville, Ill. She is the mother of seven children, three of whom died before they were seven years of age. The living are: Lena May, a school teacher; Lizzie Rachel, wife of Charles E. Sisler, who resides near Lincoln, Neb.; Luella and Ralph at home. They were educated in the Princeton High School.

In later years Dr. Breed has lived in quiet retirement on Center Grove farm. This farm of 200 acres lies in Wyanet Township, and was settled in 1836 and when Dr. Breed purchased it in 1870 was very much run down, but he has added many valuable improvements to it, and has made it a model farm.

Although not a member of any church, order or fraternity, he is opposed to none provided they bear the test of being a benefit to mankind. He has always been a friend to the poor and especially during the war, he not only assisted the families of the soldiers by his services as a physician, but his purse was ever open to them, and many kindly words of sympathy did he write to those in the field.

Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885

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