Alonzo O. Blair was born September 19,1852 in Cutler, Perry County, Illinois to William Riley Blair and Martha McQuiston. His father was a very successful farmer, leaving quite a large acreage of land to his children upon his death in 1916. Alonzo was the oldest child followed by Ermina, Lyman, James Edwin, William Lincoln, Mary Lillian and Mable Annie. Blair went to public schools in Perryville and graduated in 1873 from the Colterville Academy. He graduated in 1877 with a medical degree from the St. Louis Medical School. He set up his first medical practice in Coulterville, Randolph Co., Illinois. It was there that he met and married Elizabeth J. Hughes in 1878. She was the daughter of John Hughes and Elizabeth Miller. After his wedding he took his new bride and moved to Bavaria, Saline Co., Kansas in 1878 and set up his practice. He stayed there until 1882 when he moved to Beulah, Crawford Co., Kansas. In 1890, he closed his office and went to take post-graduate work at the New York Polyclinic. Blair came to Pittsburg in 1891 after leaving New York and set up a general and surgical practice at 412 N. Broadway. He went into partnership with brothers Dr. George Williams and Dr. William Williams and founded the Pittsburg City Hospital in 1894 at Third and Walnut.

Besides his work at the hospital, he also had a very lucrative private practice. In 1897, Dr. Blair was appointed Pittsburg City Health Officer. While holding this post, he joined with Dr. George Williams, Dr. William Williams, A. A. Phillips and Dr. W. E. Welch, and opened the Pittsburg Drug Co. at 316 N. Broadway. It moved to 412 N. Broadway in 1902 and was dissolved on September 1, 1925, two years after Blair’s death. Dr. Blair also invested in local real estate and owned several business buildings on south Broadway and co-owned a two-story brick building near the Frisco Depot on Locust and Fourth Street with Tom Caffey. He also invested with Arthur Stilwell in the founding and development of Port Arthur, Texas as well as the construction of the Hotel Stilwell in 1889, two years before he came to Pittsburg.

Blair was very active in civic and professional organizations. He served as a member of the Pittsburg City Council and was a trustee in the United Presbyterian Church at Fourth and Walnut. Professionally he held memberships in the Kansas State Medical Societies, the Southwestern Medical Society, the Medical Society of the Southwest and the American Medical Association along with being a member and secretary of the Crawford County Medical Society. He also held memberships in Pittsburg Lodge No. 187 or the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Pittsburg Chapter No. 58 of the Royal Arch Masons, Pittsburg Commandery No. 29 of the Knights Templar, Mirzah Temple of the Mystic Shrine in Pittsburg, Pittsburg Lodge No. 56 of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Pittsburg Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America. Dr. Blair and his wife had 4 children, Florence Edna, Olive Ann, John H. and Roscoe who died in infancy. Dr. A. O.  Blair died March 17, 1923 at his home at 513 West 2nd. His wife, Elizabeth died in 1924. Both Dr. Blair and his wife are buried in Mt. Olive Cemetery in Pittsburg.

Obituary

Dr. Alonzo O. Blair, dean of Crawford County physicians, a practitioner in the county for the past 40 years and former city councilman died this morning at 10 o’clock at his home, 513 West Second Street, after an illness lasting since Monday of this week. Dr. Blair has been in poor health for about two years and had suffered several attacks of convulsions brought on by blood pressure, the last one, which occurred Monday, causing his death. He continued the practice of medicine up until the starting of his last illness, receiving several patients in his office Monday, diagnosing their cases and writing prescriptions for them.
Dr. Blair was the last surviving member of the partnership of Williams, Williams and Blair, who founded the Pittsburg City Hospital in 1894. He served one term on the city council, representing the Second Ward, and was also city health officer for some time. He was one of the organizers of the United Presbyterian Church in this city. The church started with a membership of thirteen and Rev. J. H. Gibson who was its pastor for 25 years, was the first minister. Dr. Blair was an elder in the church until his death. He was part owner of the Pittsburg Drug Company at the time of his death.

Native of Illinois

Dr. Blair was born at Cutler, Perry County, Ill., Sept. 19, 1852, the son of William R. and Martha Blair. His parents were both of Scotch ancestry and belonged to the somewhat numerous group of families of strong Presbyterian proclivities who settles in Perry and Randolph Counties, Illinois, in the early part of the nineteenth century, resulting in the building up of towns such as Cutler, Coulterville and Sparta, communities where religious observances were very much adhered to. He received his education in the Coulterville Academy from which he graduated in 1873. He then attended the St. Louis Medical College, graduating in 1877. He practiced medicine about a year and a half at Coulterville, Ill., and in 1878 came to Kansas, locating in Bavaria, Saline County, where he practiced until 1882, when he came to Crawford County. He had a practice in Beulah for seven years and then went to New York City and spent a year studying in the New York Polyclinic. He then returned better equipped than ever for the successful practice of medicine, locating in Pittsburg where he had maintained an office ever since.

Funeral Monday Afternoon

Dr. Blair is survived by his widow, formerly Miss Elizabeth Hughes, whom he married in Coulterville, Ill., in 1878; two daughters, Mrs. Robert Nesch, 307 West Jefferson Avenue, and Mrs. Charles R. Fisher of Fort Scott and a son John H. Blair of 402 West Euclid Avenue. Another son, Roscoe, died in infancy. Dr. Blair was a member of the Masonic Blue Lodge, the Knights Templar, the Shrine, Woodmen of the World and A. O. U. W. Many anecdotes are told of Dr. Blair’s early practice in Crawford County. He possessed of a remarkable personality and enormous vitality, which sustained him at times when a weaker man would have given up. During the last two years of his life; although his health was constantly failing, he tenaciously hung to his practice, largely because of the demand of his old patients, who would have no other physician serve them, and he remained active until the last. The funeral will be held Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock from the United Presbyterian church, Rev. J. H. Hutchman conducting the services. If possible, Rev. J. H. Gibson of Kansas City, the former pastor of the church, will be obtained to assist with the services. Burial will be in Mt. Olive. - Pittsburg Daily Headlight, 17 March 1923

Family Tree

*click image to see family history web cards and personal data sheets

Family Tombstones

       
Blair Family Stone
Mt. Olive Cemetery
Dr. A. O. Blair
Mt. Olive Cemetery
Elizabeth J. Blair
Mt. Olive Cemetery
John H. & Roselynn
(Lanyon) Blair
Highland Park Cemetery

 

 

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