Biography of John H. Powell, M.D.

This well known professional gentleman is one of the practicing physicians who have won a fine success in the reservation portion of Nez Perces County and is a man of good standing and has made a commendable record in his profession. In addition to this Dr. Powell has the distinction of being one of the brave boys who wore the blue and fought until treason and her minions were forced to retire, beaten from the field. A detailed account of his career is justly entitled to place in history.

John H. Powell was born in Logan County, Ohio, on July 12, 1840, being the son of James R. and Anna (Wise) Powell. The father was a native of Delaware and his father was owner and captain of a coasting schooner on the Atlantic. The mother of our subject was a native of Switzerland, was married in Ohio, and died in 1852. The family came to Union County, Illinois; in an early day and there our subject was reared and educated. When twenty-one, he enlisted in the Thirty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Batson and General Logan. He served three years and two months and saw much hard fighting. His first battle was at Belmont, then he fought at Forts Henry and Donelson and at Corinth and Shiloh, then through all the struggle at Vicksburg, at Point Gibson, Raming, Champion Hill, then at Atlanta, when McPherson was killed. This last day was one never to be forgotten. Part of his company was captured. He was ordered to stop, but ran and amid a perfect hail of bullets he succeeded in getting to an Iowa regiment, where he was safe. The Doctor says the first bayonet charge he was in was the most awful experience of the entire war. It is beyond description of words to picture the horror and carnage.

Following the war, our subject returned to the Illinois home, soon married and went to Kansas, where he engaged in transportation business. Thence he went to Newton County, Missouri, and engaged in the mercantile business. About this time the Doctor commenced the study of medicine, which continued constantly until he received his diploma in the Physio Medical College of Indianapolis. There also he took an extended course in obstetrics and he has become very skillful in this practice. The Doctor also did mercantile business in Medical Lake, Washington, while he was pursuing the study of medicine and he owns property there now. He practiced one year in Lincoln County, in that state, then four years in Juliaetta, and in 1897, ne located at Nez Perce and since that time he has enjoyed a good practice. The Doctor has caused to be erected a fifteen room sanitarium which will be a great and needed addition to the town and it is fitted with every convenience for the care of the sick and will be entirely open to any physician. In addition to his practice, the Doctor has taken up a homestead and has improved it with good house and orchard and so forth.

In 1865 occurred the marriage of J. H. Powell and Martha A. Jolley. Her parents, John and Lucinda Jolly, were natives of the state of Tennessee; the father was a blacksmith and a Methodist preacher. Doctor Powell has one brother, a farmer in Illinois, while Mrs. Powell has two sisters, Jennie, wife of Walter H. Wiscomb, city treasurer of Spokane a number of terms; Mary, wife of W. C. Johnson, a carpenter in Seattle. To Dr. Powell and his faithful wife there have been born six children, Elizabeth J., wife of G. G. Muller, proprietor of the leading hotel at Sunnyside, Washington; Ella, single with parents; James Wesley, in Portland, Oregon, three deceased. Dr. Powell is a member of the German Baptist Church while his wife and two daughters belong to the Methodist.

Politically, he is affiliated with the Republicans.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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