David F. Sullivan, M. D. Biography


This biography appears on pages 787-788 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. IV (1915) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger, mkrueger@iw.net.


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Seventeen years have come and gone since Dr. David F. Sullivan began the practice of medicine and surgery in Frankfort. His residence in the state covers a third of a century, for be arrived in South Dakota in 1882, removing from Fort Ellis, Montana, to Fort Sisseton, South Dakota.


He was born at Sinsinawa Mound, Wisconsin, on the 10th of May, 1843, and is a son of Dennis and Catherine Sullivan, natives of Ireland, who crossed the Atlantic from the Emerald isle to the new world and took up their abode in Wisconsin, where Mr. Sullivan engaged in operating in the lead mines. Both he and his wife had passed away when David F. Sullivan was but nine years of age. Dr. Sullivan acquired his education in St. Joseph College at Sinsinawa Mound, from which he was graduated in 1867. He then taught school and afterward attended the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, then the first and only homeopathic medical college in the world. It later affiliated with the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia, by which name it is now known. He was graduated in 1869, winning his professional degree. He went abroad for further study, entering the Royal Medical College of Dublin, Ireland, from which he was graduated in 1876, again receiving the M. D. degree. Subsequently he completed a course in the law department of the University of Illinois, with the class of 1897, and the degree of LL.B. was conferred upon him. Dr. Sullivan began the practice of medicine in Philadelphia and thence removed to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where he followed his profession for some time.


He next removed to Union Center, Wisconsin, where in partnership with Dr. Gilluly he purchased a drug store and office. There he continued in practice until he went to Chicago, where he suffered losses through the great fire of October 1871. He next went to Fort Ellis, Montana, as medical director for the Thirteenth United States Infantry, which position he filled until 1881, when he was transferred to Fort Sisseton, South Dakota. In 1882 he resigned and settled at Andover, Day county. He took up three-quarter sections by homestead, preemption and soldier's declaratory. He continued to practice medicine and in 1897 he removed to Frankfort to take up actively his profession, which he followed until 1915, when he retired to private life. In the intervening years he made substantial progress in this field, his ability gaining him wide recognition as an able and learned physician. He has also dealt quite largely in real estate and is the owner of considerable farm land and city properties. He has improved both town and country property and has thus added much to the material development of the community in which he lives.


In 1879, at Union Center, Wisconsin, Dr. Sullivan was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Shannon, a daughter of William and Minnie (Boom) Shannon. She passed away in 1897, leaving a son and daughter. Dennis William, a graduate of the University of South Dakota at Vermillion and the Ensworth Medical College of St. Joseph, Missouri, is now manager of the Fort William baseball tram in the Northern League. He is well known as a professional ball player, having been in the American League for eleven years before retiring to the management of teams in the minor leagues. His winter seasons have been devoted to the acquirement of his education and to practice. In 1914 he was head physician at Ensworth Deaconess Hospital at St. Joseph, Missouri. He married Nellie M. Hanson, of Chokio, Minnesota, and they have become the parents of one daughter, Catherine Beatty. Nellie, a graduate of the State Normal School at Madison, South Dakota, is the wife of George Newsome, of Wardner, Idaho. They have two daughters, Georgina and Nuna. On the 8th of February, 1899, Dr. Sullivan was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Melvina Lemeaux, a native of Paris, France, who came to the United States with her parents. She was educated at the Kankakee (Ill.) convent and after marrying Peter Lemeaux settled in Day county in 1885. Her husband died in Frankfort in 1898. Dr. Sullivan exercises his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the republican party and for four years filled the office of county coroner while in Day county, while for two years he has occupied the same position in Spink County. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, while along strictly professional lines he has membership in the State Homeopathic Medical Association, of which he is vice president, and the State Eclectic: Medical Association. He did not regard his education as finished when he completed his university course but has since remained a close student of the leading textbooks and medical journals and has thus kept abreast of what is being done by the medical fraternity. His practice has embodied the latest scientific principles and his labors have on the whole been attended by success.