Biography of Thomas H. Stetler, M.D.

Dr. Thomas H. Stetler, a distinguished physician and esteemed community leader in Paw Paw, Lee County, Illinois, exemplifies the profound impact a dedicated individual can have on both the medical field and society. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Stetler embarked on his medical journey with passion, culminating in his graduation from the Chicago Medical College in 1876. Beyond his successful practice, Stetler’s involvement in social, political, and medical organizations underscores his commitment to progress and excellence. His life, enriched by his marriage to Libbie Rosenkrans and their child, Orla Nettie, mirrors the ideals of service and community engagement, making his story a beacon for aspiring professionals in any field.

Thomas H. Stetler, M.D., of Paw Paw, is not only one of the leading physicians of Lee County, whose reputation for skill and success in his profession is very high, but he is also prominent in its social and political life, and his public-spiritedness and enterprise have been potent agents in its progress since he became a citizen of this section of Illinois.

The Doctor, whose portrait is presented, is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County. His father, John Stetler, was also a native of the Keystone State, born in Columbia County. He married Julia Lazarus, a native of Pennsylvania, and they settled in Wilkes-Barre, where they spent their remaining days, he being engaged in teaming and boating.

A thorough student, our subject laid the foundation of a good education in the public schools of his native town, and at the age of eighteen, when he commenced to teach, he was well equipped for that vocation, to which he devoted himself for the ensuing five years. When twenty-three years old, he turned his attention to the study of medicine with T.D. Palmer, of Paw Paw. He made rapid progress in his studies, and afterward entered the Chicago Medical College, from which he graduated on March 21, 1876. He immediately opened an office at Paw Paw and in the course of time has built up an excellent practice in the village and surrounding country, early winning the confidence of the people. In his treatment of the various diseases with which he has had to cope, he has displayed an accurate knowledge of medicine, has always given his patients every needed attention, and has shown himself to be a sagacious and careful physician, who keeps well abreast of the times in his profession.

Dr. Stetler by no means confines his attention solely to his profession, but, as he is wide-awake and progressive, endowed with an active mind, a forceful character, and an enterprising spirit, he interests himself in what concerns his adopted county, as a true citizen should, and is a prominent member of various social organizations. He is one of the foremost leaders of the Republican party in this section, standing high in its council as Chairman of the County Central Committee. He is a valued member of the North Central Illinois Medical Society and has been appointed a delegate to the State and National Medical Society. He belongs to Corinthian Lodge, No. 205, F. & A.M.; Mendota Chapter, No. 79, R.A.M., and Bethany Commandery, K.T. The Doctor has an inherent love for a horse and is the fortunate possessor of several high-bred animals.

In 1870, Dr. Stetler was married to Miss Libbie Rosenkrans, a native of Luzerne County, Pa., and a daughter of Abram and Betsy Rosenkrans, of whom mention is made in the sketch of Andrew J. Rosenkrans on another page of this volume. The Doctor and his amiable wife have a pleasant home, whose attractiveness is enhanced by their charming hospitality, which is often enjoyed by their friends, of whom they have many. Their household is completed by their one child, Orla Nettie.


Biographical Publishing Company, Portrait and biographical record of Lee County, Illinois, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies of all the governors of the state, and of the presidents of the United States, Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1892.

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