Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


James Haun

[p. 493]. This cultured and learned gentleman, whose talents and superior natural ability have been given to the relieving of pain, and to the caring for those who have been brought into dire straits of sickness by inimical diseases, is the leading and oldest practitioner of the medical profession in Edenburg, Mahoning township, and has been a graduate physician for a period extending over thirty years. In villages and small settlements, the doctor plays a more important part in the domestic economy than in the large cities, for he is usually a man of superior attainments, and possesses the confidence and esteem of his patrons quite as much as the minister, being often consulted in matters quite foreign to his line of work, so high is the estimation in which he is held. The family doctor is more competent to judge of his patient's condition, and what remedy should be applied to the particular case, than one, who with perhaps greater medical knowledge and more expert technical skill has not that intimate acquaintance with the person's temperament and the traces of heredity that appear in him, that are so much an index to a successful treatment of the case. Dr. Haun for the past ten years has been connected with the medical profession in Edenburg, and numbers a wide circle of patrons, whose reliance is on him in time of disease and physical trouble.

Dr. Haun was born in Shippenville, Clarion Co., Pa., July 27, 1842, of respectable German parentage. Soon after he had finished his district school education he enlisted in 1861 in Co. A, 103d Reg. Pa. Vol. Inf., and served four years, four months and eleven days; he was taken prisoner at Plymouth, North Carolina, and sent to that awful prison-pen, Andersonville Prison, where so many brave sons of the North, thousands in number, fought for their life against starvation, fever, sickness of all sorts, and the gross indignities heaped upon them by barbarous Confederate butchers. How many a "vacant chair" about firesides in Northern homes testified to the terrible treatment that was accorded Northern prisoners of war in Southern prisons! Dr. Haun was kept in Andersonville Prison ten months and sixteen days. He then was delivered to the United States Government. Returning from the fratricidal struggle, he turned his attention to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar of Clarion Co., Pa., in 1866, and practiced two years; he had, however, mistaken his profession, so he dropped what law practice he had, and secured a collegiate education in the Cannonsburg College. He then studied medicine with Isaac W. Mesce of Shippenville, and graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia in 1867. He began his practice with Dr. I. W. Mesce in Shippenville, where he remained seven years; he was then a physician in Allegheny city seven years, in Elk City five years, and in Oreville six years. In 1887, he came to Edenburg, and succeeded the venerable Dr. E. M. Ilgenfritz, and at once proceeded to build up and extend that practice. He has been very successful, and is entitled to be called one of the most popular men in the village or in the township.

Henry Haun, his grandfather, was a native of Hesse Cassell Germany; he was taken prisoner while serving in a revolt against the government, and was imprisoned for eight years, his wife and children being left to do the best they could to keep soul and body together. His brother Henry decided to come to America, and to relieve the poor mother of the support of part of her family, he brought three of the children with him, and settled at Wilkesbarre, Pa. One of these boys, who was only fourteen days old when they crossed the sea, was Thomas Haun, Jr., the father of Dr. Haun. He was a lover of horses from boyhood, and contrived it that in all his occupations horses should be his companions. As he approached manhood he became a teamster, hauling what was called a "canastoga" wagon from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, transporting merchandise one way and provisions on the return trip; it took eighty-three days to make the round trip, crossing the mountains twice. The "stogies," so well known to users of the "weed" in and about Pittsburg, have their origin connected with the canastoga wagon; it runs like this, that the teamsters on these wagons used to take a handful of the native leaf from the plants in the fields along the route, and make it into a rude cigar, and these were called after the wagon "canastogas," which became shortened to the present name. Thomas Haun, our subject's father, settled in Clarion County, at Shippenville, where he spent his last years in retirement, dying at the age of eighty-six in 1879; his love for his equine friends kept up to the last, and he was never without at least one horse. His wife, Rachel, who was a daughter of Jonathan Morris, lived until 1891, when she fell into the last sleep which knows no waking at the age of eighty-one. Of eight children born to them, three lived to grow to manhood: Henry of Butler County; John of Callensburg, Clarion Co., Pa.; and James R., our subject. Thomas was a Whig in politics, and held many of the minor offices of the township. During the later days of slavery, when the Abolitionists established the underground railway for the transportation of slaves to Canada, Mr. Haun kept a station, and was instrumental in helping many a poor black to freedom.

Dr. Haun married as his first wife Miss Clara A. Dunkle, daughter of Peter Dunkle of Clarion County; she died in 1875, aged twenty-six years, leaving two children behind—Minnie, who married Leslie Stewart, and has four children, Onda, Ruth, Coral Haun, and one that died in infancy; Sally, who married B. D. Wood and has one child, Donolly. Our subject was united the Jessie Powellsecond time in matrimonial bonds to Jessie Powell, daughter of Andrew and Mertella (Stewart) Powell of Lawrence County. Andrew Powell was a farmer all his life; his wife still survives him, aged 68 years. The following children were born to them, all of whom are living but one: Fidelia; Elcethia; Floyd; Elzeta; Rosetta; Iona; Jessie F.; Dora; Mertella; Adelaide; Clyde; Lyle; and Roxanna, who died at twelve years of age. This second union has been blessed with one daughter, Elzeta Maud, born in Edenburg, June 2, 1887. Dr. Haan is a stanch Republican; he attends the M. E. Church with his wife, who is a member, but he has never made any profession of religion. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., Lodge No. 226 of Clarion Co., Pa.; and is a past grand and royal patron of the Encampment No. 90. He was a charter member of the G. A. R. Post, No. 326 of Wampum, this county, and still retains an active membership.

As a talented and worthy member of that most honorable of all professions, medicine, it gives us pleasure to present Dr. Haun's portrait on a preceding page, and with it also appears an excellent likeness of his most estimable wife and helpmeet, Mrs. Jessie P. Haun.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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