Meigs Jackson Bartlett, M.D. (1857-1921)

Source: Men of West Virginia
Biographical Publishing Company, 1903
Author: George Richmond
Volume II, pages 603-606

Meigs Jackson Bartlett, M. D., a leading physician and surgeon of Clarksburg, Harrison County, is one of the most eminent members of his profession in the Mountain State. He was born at Simpson, Taylor County, Virginia, now West Virginia, on the 13th day of May, 1857, and is the eldest son of Jedidiah Waldo and Olive (Ryan) Bartlett.

Jedidiah Waldo Bartlett, who through the greater part of his life was a farmer and landed proprietor of Taylor County, was born in 1822 and died in 1898. His wife was born in 1830 and died in 1865, aged 35 years.

The grandparents of Dr. Bartlett on his father's side were Josiah and Abidal (Goff) Bartlett; the former was born in 1800 and died at the age of 72, and the latter was born in 1788 and died in 1880, lacking but eight years of completing the century mark of life. Josiah Bartlett and his wife were descendants of some of the early settlers of the Old Dominion. Grandmother Bartlett was a sister of Waldo, Nathan, David and Mary Goff, the last named of whom also married a Bartlett named Benjamin. The grandparents of our subject on his mother's side were John Ryan, who died in 1882, aged 80 years, and Sarah Radcliff, his wife, who died in 1884. aged 78.

Our subject's early education was obtained in the public school at Simpson until the age of 14, when he was sent to the West Virginia College at Flemington, from which he was graduated at the age of 17. His early life was the usual one pertaining to being brought up on a farm; when not at school he did what he was able in helping to attend to the stock, but, withal, it was observed that he was very studiously inclined and extremely fond of books at an unusually early age, all of which traits of character bore fruit in after years. Notwithstanding his youth, after graduating from the West Virginia College he taught school at various points for nine years, and during this period attended the classes at Fairmont Normal College, from which he was graduated in 1878. Shortly thereafter he was offered and accepted the position of office manager for Joseph Pell & Company, of South Palestine, Texas, which position he filled with ability and to the satisfaction of his employers until 1880, when he returned to his native State, where, in Taylor County, he began the publication of a newspaper called the New Era, filling the position of editor-in-chief and business manager. The paper removed its headquarters to Tucker County in 1881, when the name was changed to the Tucker County Democrat and the publication came under other management. Leaving the editor's chair in 1881, he took up the study of the law under Daniel B. Lucas, of Charlestown, Jefferson County, but the legal profession not proving congenial to his nature, he abandoned the study of law a year afterward.

In 1883, feeling the necessity of an active outdoor life, he removed to Harrison County, where he took up a farm owned by his father on the West Fork of the Monongahela River. In the fall of this year he became a benedict, and two years later built a residence for himself and family on property belonging to his wife, near Hepzibah Church. During this period, until 1892, he successfully pursued the occupation of farming and stock raising; but the desire of his youth — the study and practice of medicine — being still strong upon him, he began its study in 1891. Finding it possible to obtain the requisite knowledge and experience in this profession only in a large city, where the necessary facilities were to be had, he removed with his family in 1892 to Baltimore, Maryland, where he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of that city. Pursuing his studies with ardor and assiduity, he graduated with high honors in the first grade in 1895, holding diplomas in the various branches of gynecology and obstetrics and catarrhal diseases. After a short time of rest and relaxation he returned to Harrison County, opened an office at No. 106 South Third street, in the city of Clarksburg, and entered upon his practice. So thorough are his methods and so varied is his knowledge of the profession that he has built up a very large practice — in short, the largest in the city. — to take care of which taxes his utmost energies. Dr. Bartlett is looked upon as one of the solid and enterprising citizens of Clarksburg, foremost in all movements for the progress and interest of the city; he owns his residence and other real estate there; besides having large interests in coal mines and coal lands in the county and State.

He was consulting physician for the Pinnickinnick Coal Company from 1895 to 1900: health officer of the city from 1898 to 1901; physician for the Monticello Brick Company from 1895 to 1898; and physician for the Adamston Coal Company from 1896 to 1898. Owing to his constantly increasing practice, Dr. Bartlett found it necessary to gradually give up these positions, only retaining those of examining physician for the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Hartford, Connecticut, and other large life and accident insurance companies.

In connection with his interests in coal mines and coal lands, he is vice-president of the Centralia Coal & Coke Company, which has a capital of $100,ooo and controls 4,000 acres of coal land; secretary of the Capitol Land & Improvement Company, of Clarksburg; a director of the Horner Land & Improvement Company, of Shinnston; and of the Industrial Land & mprovement Company, of Clarksburg. In 1894 he became a member of the I.O.O.F. Encampment and also joined the Knights of Pythias; and in 1899 he became a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Pinnickinnick Club. He is also a member of the Alumni Association of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of Baltimore, Maryland, and is consulting physician for the following insurance orders and companies: Ladies of the Maccabees; Modern Woodmen of America; Woodmen of the World; Ancient Order of United Workmen; Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company; and Provident Life & Trust Company. In his religious belief the Doctor is a strong Baptist. He has been a lifelong Democrat and sees no reason to change his political faith.

On the 25th of October, 1883, Dr. Bartlett married Nannie E. Allen, of Harrison County, and has an interesting family of three daughters: Lala Olive, born February 12, 1886; Mary Lena, born July 23, 1889; and Eva Meigs, born November 4, 1891.

When the arduous duties of his profession permit, Dr. Bartlett is a great reader and student; and heretofore he has been an extensive traveler over the United States, believing that it is well to know one's own country and its localities before going abroad to admire those in the other hemisphere.

Death Certificate


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