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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Hon. Pierre McDermid, M. D.

Pierre McDermid

Hon. Pierre McDermit, M. D., of Fontanelle, is a member of the present state legislature of Iowa and has gained high standing in his profession, being recognized as one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Adair county.  His birth occurred in Fontanelle, Iowa, on the 4th of December, 1876, a son of Dr. Peter McDermid, who was born in Ontario, Canada, where he was reared and educated.  He received liberal educational opportunities, completing a classical course in the University of Toronto, following which he began the study of medicine, graduating with the class of 1866 from the medical department of that university.  Following his graduation he went to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he became a student in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he was graduated.  He then came to the United States and decided to locate at Omaha but prior to beginning his practice there he determined to revisit his old home in Canada and on his journey he got off of the train at each stop and when he did so at Casey he met old Dr. Warren, who told him that Fontanelle was an excellent location for a physician and surgeon.  Dr. McDermid was a man of quick decision and at once made up his mind to begin his practice here.  He took his baggage from the train and discontinued his journey to Canada, making his way directly to Fontanelle, where he opened an office.  He arrived in this city in 1869 and for three decades, or until his death, which occurred in 1899, he followed his profession here, gaining a wide reputation throughout the surrounding country.  An able practitioner and a skilled surgeon, he built up a large and lucrative practice.  He was a member of the twenty-third general assembly, and in community affairs took a deep and helpful interest.  He married Miss Anna Heatherington, a native of Pennsylvania, her birth having occurred in Pottsville, September 27, 1855.  She became the wife of Dr. McDermid, November 1874, and passed away July 31, 1910.  At the time of her demise it was written of her:

"In the death of Mrs. McDermid the community loses one who has been a distinguished and worthy character in every avenue of human endeavor from her childhood to maturity and her departure is mourned with sincere and universal sorrow.  In her younger years she was the animation of every social occasion, her power of initiative and enthusiasm permeating all gatherings.  Her versatile talents in music and literature were always in demand and, coupled with her talent for diplomacy, made her a valuable quantity in every phase of social life.  In the church and Sunday school entertainments, in school exhibitions, on patriotic occasions, she was always interested and active with her large talents and willingness.  In the later years she has left this to others and devoted herself to study and research of the problems which impress themselves upon mature years.  She investigated various beliefs studiously and intelligently and in them all found something good, something to broaden her views.  Her ultimate belief was in a supreme power who rules by goodness and love and she was sustained and inspired to good deeds by an abiding faith.  The greatest charm of her character was in her spirit of all comprehending sympathy and the charity that thinks no evil.  When trouble or affliction came to the homes of those about her, there she entered with a helping hand and a sorrowing heart to share, if might be, the burden.  She lightened many sorrows.  In her views of others she was generous and charitable, preferring to have faith and confidence in her neighbors and friends which only overt acts could dislodge.  The people of Fontanelle and those who have gone out and away from it, will cherish the memory of Annie Hetherington McDermid and by that memory be inspired to the deeds of broader charity, courtesy and neighborly kindness.  Her radiant smile that endured to the evening of the last day, her genial handclasp, her sympathy in sorrow, her generosity to the needy or delinquent, her versatile talents that graced so many occasions, were characteristics that made the community in which she lived better and will radiate as te sunbeams when the day is done."

Another wrote:  "She spent the better part of her life in search of the true nature of conditions surrounding life, and when she was convinced of a truth she held fast to it and discarded the dross.  She recognized that 'love' was the greatest force for good in the world and she carried it with her through life and dispensed it under all conditions where it was the most needed.  No matter where she went she carried a smile and helped to bear the burdens of those most heavily laden with cares and misfortunes.  She was a noble example of advanced womanhood and the death of such a one is a great loss, not only to the community where she lived and administered, but to the whole world."

Hon. Pierre McDermid was reared at home and received is general education in the Fontanelle public and high schools and at Simpson Academy of Indianola, Iowa.  In the fall of 1894, when about eighteen years of age, he began preparation for the study of medicine, entering the medical department of Drake University at Des Moines, where he remained for a year.  In 1895 he matriculated in Rush Medical College of Chicago, from which he was graduated with the class of 1898.  He then served a year's internship in St. Joseph's Hospital at Chicago, where he was associated witht he famous Dr. Nicholas Senn, under whom he received much valuable training.  At the end of the year he returned to Fontanelle and in the spring his father's death occurred.  In 1900 Mr. McDermid took a year's work in Edinburgh and London, thus further increasing his professional knowledge and his efficiency.  He succeeded to his father's practice and has built up an enviable reputation as a physician and surgeon.  He has a large and representative patronage and his opinion is listened to with respect by his colleagues.  He also owns three excellent farms, upon which he raises stock, feeding many head annually.

Dr. McDermid is a consistent democrat and has taken an active part in political affairs.  In the election of November, 1914, he was chosen to represent his district in the thirty-sixth general assembly, and his course as a member of that body has proven that the confidence which his fellow citizens repose in him is not misplaced.  Fraternally he belongs to Fontanelle Lodge, No. 138, A. F. & A. M.; St. John's Chapter, No. 23, R. A. M.; Bethany Commandery, No. 29, K. T., of Creston; Des Moines Consistory, No. 3, A. & A. S. R.; Za-Ga-Zig Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Des Moines; Des Moines Lodge, No. 98, B. P. O. E.; and to the Knights of Pythias at Des Moines.  Along strictly professional lines he belongs to the Adair County Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association and derives much benefit from the discussion of professional problems with other progressive physicians and surgeons.  He is a man of much mental vigor and of great energy and has accomplished a great deal not only in his profession but also in the field of public affairs.



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