Welcome To Reno County, Kansas

Dr. Samuel H. Sidlinger Obituary

Obituary- (Hutchinson (KS) Herald, Dec. 29, 1935)- Dr. S. H. Sidlinger, pioneer Hutchinson physician Civil War veteran, community builder, and one of this city's most colorful characters, died at 6:45 o'clock last night at the family home, 203 East First st.  He was 90 years old.  The venerable white-bearded doctor and old soldier had been an invalid almost a year, ever since he suffered a hip injury in a fall early in 1935.  "Doc" Sidlinger was a sort of landmark in Hutchinson ever since he came here on a visit during the historic grasshopper invasion of 1874.  The whole nation was aiding "stricken Kansas."  Young Sidlinger came here on a visit, liked the region, and stayed.  A few months later he brought his wife.  Sixty years ago, in 1875, they built the house at the southeast corner of First and Poplar sts.  At the time of its construction the house stood on a spot where there was nothing but rolling prairie to the south, east and north.  The grand old man who was a prominent resident of Hutchinson for 61 years had a hand in developing the city from a village of less than 500 persons.  He retained a lively interest in public affairs and was active in Joe Hooker post of G.A.R. until less than two years ago.

Dr. Sidlinger was born on June 23, 1845 "at 6 o'clock in the morning, an 8-pound boy and everybody happy" to use a favorite description of that occasion as he himself phrased it.  Dr. Sidlinger was a great narrator and was always good for an historical story.  He talked entertainingly of incidents in his own life, especially his experiences in the Civil war.  After several vain attempts young Samuel Sidlinger enlisted in the band corps of the Fourteenth Ohio Infantry.  When he was mustered out and was about to follow his father back home, the family physician, who was surgeon of One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, made it possible for young Samuel to enlist in the hospital corps.  He and his stretcher boys followed the army into every important battle in the Civil War.  They were at Missionary Ridge, Shiloh, Atlanta, Appamatox, Lookout Mountain, all the major engagements of the Civil war.

When still a soldier, around eighteen years old, Dr. Sidlinger cast his first vote.  It was for Abraham Lincoln as president.  The general of his corps told the youngsters that they were men fighting for their country and as such, were entitled to vote.  For the seventy years Dr. Sidlinger was a dyed in the wool Republican, proud of his party.  After more than four years of service the Civil war came to a close and young Samuel was mustered out of the army before his 21st birthday.  Then came a job working in a drug store, and later Dr. Sidlinger attended the medical college at the University of Michigan and in 1874 was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine.

In the early 80's Dr. Sidlinger founded the Sidlinger Drug Store which has been a landmark in Hutchinson for half a century.  "Doc" Sidlinger was one of the first physicians in Hutchinson and had the distinction of practicing here longer than any other.  He practically retired from active practice about 10 years ago.  Beginning in 1914 "Doc" Sidlinger was an enthusiastic motorist.  He was fond of driving and as capable a driver as most men twenty years his junior.  Probably he was the oldest automobile driver in this section.  Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Lila Innes of the home address; one grand daughter, Miss Katherine Innes; also at home; a sister, Mrs. A.S. Hess, 228 East Sherman st.; one brother, W.N. Sidlinger, Napoleon, O.; three nephews, Will and Sam Sidlinger and Arthur Hess of Hutchinson; and two nieces, Mary and Katherine Hess of Hutchinson.

Obituary (Hutchinson (KS) News, Dec. 30, 1935)- Dr. S. H. Sidlinger, 90, pioneer physician and surgeon and one of the early day mayors of Hutchinson died Saturday night at his home, 101 East First st., after an illness of more than a year.  The funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Johnson and Sons Funeral Parlors with the Rev. Harry T. Scherar in charge.  Interment will be in Eastside cemetery.  He is survived by his daughter, Mrs. Lila Innes, a granddaughter, Miss Katherine Innes, a brother, W. N. Sidlinger of Napoleon, O., a sister, Mrs. Amos Hess, Hutchinson and the following nieces and nephews living in Hutchinson:  Misses Kathleen Hess and Mary Hess, W. N. Sidlinger, Samuel Sidlinger and Arthur Hess.

Dr. Sidlinger was born in Stark county, Ohio on June 23, 1845 and moved with his parents in 1855 to Napoleon, O.  When the Civil war broke out he was 16 years of age and was turned down as a volunteer soldier so enlisted as a member of the regimental band of the 14th Ohio Volunteers.  When the order came in 1861 abolishing the regimental bands he re-enlisted as principal musician of the 125th Ohio Vols. and was assigned to assist in the hospital corps.  He served until he was mustered out in June 20, 1865.  On his return he became a clerk in a drug store, using his spare time to read medical literature, having acquired a desire while in the army to become a doctor.  He later attended the medical school at Ann Arbor, Mich.

In 1874 while assisting in getting relief for the grasshopper sufferers in Kansas he became interested in Hutchinson and came here a year later.  He was joined two years later by his brother, Edward Sidlinger in 1877 who came to take charge of the E. L. Meyer drug store.  Soon after his arrival he was appoinged Santa Fe physician and surgeon, a position he held until 1900.  He also served the Missouri Pacific railroad as company doctor for many years.  Those were the days when doctors were few and surgeons even more scarce.  Dr. Sidlinger was often called in cases as far west as Larned and into the Panhandle country of Texas.  He served as county physician several years and acted as pension examiner for the government here for years.  He was mayor of Hutchinson for two years and during his administration the streets of Hutchinson wre graded and brought to the level of the sidewalks.

While he retired from practice nearly 20 years ago he kept his interest in local politics and civic affairs.  Always an intensely partisan member of the Republican party he saw the party in his adopted state win more often than lose.  He was married in 1868 to Miss Lucinda Welty and to this union one child was born, Lila.  He was a member of all the different branches of the Masonic orders, having served in most all of the chairs of all the orders.  He was also a charter member of the A. O. U. W. lodge.

Submitted by Denny Stephens on November 16, 2002.

Back to Main Page