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Reunions School

Transcribed by Chris Brown
from pages 217-221 of "A Portrait & Biographical Record of Boone and Clinton Counties, Ind.,"
published in 1895 by A. W. Bowen & CO. Chicago.

DR. MATTHEW H. BOUNELL, the oldest medical practitioner of Boone county, is descended paternally from French ancestry, and on the mother's side is of English lineage. His grandfather Bounell came to the United States at a period antedating the war of Independence, in which struggle he took part, and settled at Elizabeth, N. J., where he married a Miss Hughes, and afterward moved to Kentucky. After a residence of one year in that state he emigrated to Ohio, thence returned to New Jersey for the purpose of procuring money, and while on his way back to his new home in Ohio was murdered by either white men or Indians. Matthew Bounell, father of the doctor, was born in New Jersey, but went to Ohio with his father when a small boy. After the latter's death he learned the blacksmith's trade, which, however, he did not follow, but chose instead the life of a farmer. He married in Butler county, Ohio, Ruth Flover, and to them were born nine children-John, Abigail, Daniel, Amy, Mary, Sarah, Matthew H., Jesse and Aaron. in October, 1828, Matthew Bounell moved to Clinton county, Ind., and entered a tract of wild land before the county was organized. He was one of the original pioneers of Clinton, when there were but five white families in the county, namely: John Douglass, William Clark, David Kilgore, David Young and a Mr. Kirk. The country at that time was a primitive wilderness, Indians were numerous and the forests abounded in wild game. The early settlers had to depend largely for meat on wild turkey, deer, prairie chickens and wild hogs, while the nearest market was Lafayette, twenty-five miles away. Mr. Bounell entered nine lots of eighty acres each, and became a substantial farmer, with his residence on "Twelve Mile Prairie." He and his wife were members of the Methodist church, and it was at his house, in an early day, services and quarterly meetings were held. The noted Methodist itinerant divines often preached in Mr. Bounell's residence. Mr. Bounell was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was one of the founders and organizers of Clinton county, and at his house which was of hewed logs two stories high, the first political convention was held to nominate county officers. He was a hard-working, prudent, man, universally respected for his integrity, and died in 1863, aged seventy-seven years. His wife lived to be eighty-three years old, and like her husband was a true type of the pioneer of sixty years ago. Dr. Matthew H. Bounell was born on a farm in Butler county, Ohio, November 12, 1822, and was but six years of age when brought by his parents to Indiana.The journey to the new home in the wilds of Clinton county was made with a large wagon drawn by four yoke of oxen, and a small two-horse wagon and it is a fact worthy of note that but two houses were passed by the little company after leaving Indianapolis until they reached the log cabin which Mr. Bounell had erected the previous spring. The doctor well remembers the early pioneer settlers and the times in which they lived, and his reminiscences of the pioneer period are numerous and very interesting. The doctor's early education was acquired in the old-fashioned log schoolhouse; later he attended school at Frankfort for a limited period and for one year pursued his studies at Asbury university, Greencastle, Ind. Having decided to adopt the medical profession for his life work, the doctor, after some preliminary study, entered, in 1846, the Rush Medical college, Chicago, and in 1847 embarked upon his professional career at Lebanon, Ind., where in due season he built up a large practice, which, owing to the poverty of the majority of the people, was not very renumerative. In 1851 he located at Yountsville, Montgomery county, where he practiced successfully for ten years, and in the meantime, 1856, he again entered Rush Medical college, from which he was graduated the following year. In 1861 he returned to Lebanon and resumed the practice, and was thus engaged until 1863, at which time he raised company G, One-Hundred and Sixteenth Indiana infantry, being elected and commissioned captain when the company was organized. Later he was made major-surgeon of the regiment, and for some time acted as post-surgeon at Tazewell, Tenn.; and was also for a limited period surgeon of the brigade. He acted as surgeon at the battles of Blue Springs and Walker's Ford, and on returnig home again resumed the practice at Lebanon, which was continued then very successfully until 1872, when he moved to his present farm of 440 acres, not far from the county seat. Dr. Bounell still continues in active practice, and his professional services are in great demand throughout Boone and counties adjoining. He has been an enthusiastic student of his profession, keeps fully abreast of the times and is a patron and deep reader of the leading medical journals of the day of both Europe and the United States, possessing a valuable and extensive library, collected with great care during his long practice of forty-seven years. Dr. Bounell married in September, 1844, Mary Louisa Kilgore, daughter of David and Elizabeth (Clark) Kilgore-the father of Mrs. Bounell being one of the early pioneers of Clinton county, Ind. Mrs. Bounell died in the spring of 1862, leaving two children-Thomas A., a practicing physician for twenty-two years at New Brunswick, Boone county, and India J., at home. In 1863 the doctor was united in marriage to Elizabeth Heath, daughter of Joshua Heath, a prominent merchant of Lafayette; and to this union have been born two children-Dr. Harry M., of Jamestown, and Dr. E. Guy, at this time a medical student at Indianapolis. Joshua Heath was a very prominent man of Scotch lineage, and was a republican, and a class leader in the Methodist church. At the time of his death he was retired from active labor, his life having been principally engaged in mercantile pursuits.The doctor is a republican and is, with his wife, a member of the M. E. church. Socially the doctor and his family are great favorites in the social circle and are greatly respected by the community at large.

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Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

This page created:  29-Dec-2009