Jackson County

Biography - Frederick C. Bierer

FREDERICK C. BIERER, M. D. It is most consonant that in this publication be entered at least a brief tribute to the memory of one who was for many years the representative physician of Jackson county and a rising member of the medical profession in southern Illinois, the man whose character was the positive expression of a strong and noble nature, and whose life was benignant in its every influence. Dr. Bierer was one of the honored pioneers of southern Illinois and was one of the best known and most influential citizens of Murphysboro, Jackson county, for many years. In addition to achieving distinction and success in his profession, in which he proved himself a true humanitarian, he also gave his aid and influence in connection with the furtherance of all enterprises and measures tending to advance the general welfare, and when he was summoned to the life eternal he left the gracious heritage of a worthy life and worthy deeds.

Dr. Frederick C. Bierer was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, on the 6th of June, 1820, and was a scion of one of the old and honored families of the Keystone state. In preparing himself for the work of his exacting profession he availed himself of the advantages of Jefferson Medical College in the city of Philadelphia, from which famous old institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1843. In the following year he came to Illinois, and it is worthy of record that he made the entire journey from Pennsylvania to this state with a horse and buggy. Arriving at Effingham, the judicial center of the county of the same name, he shipped his horse and carriage to Jackson county and established himself in Murphysboro. Here he engaged in the effective practice of his profession, and incidentally, he lived in the full tension of the pioneer days. His services as a physician and surgeon were in requisition over a wide area of country, and he labored with all zeal and devotion in the alleviation of human suffering and disease, giving himself to his work with the utmost self-abnegation, and driving and going on horse-back over almost inaccessible roads, under conditions that would test the devotion and physical powers of the strongest man. When the Civil war was precipitated upon a divided nation, Dr. Bierer manifested his intrinsic patriotism by promptly enlisting in the defense of the Union. He enlisted in Company H, Twenty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in 1861, and was soon made first lieutenant of his company. He proceeded to the front with his command and had received the appointment of hospital surgeon when his own health became so greatly impaired that he was incapacitated for further service, and he was honorably discharged. He then returned to Murphysboro and for a period of eighteen years thereafter he was engaged in the mercantile business, during the greater portion of the time in an alliance with Robert Worthen, and later with P. W. Griffith.

Dr. Bierer was a man of courtly person, marked vitality and most progressive ideas. He was ever ready to render his influence and cooperation in the furtherance of all enterprises tending to the advancement of the best interests of the community, and he was always a leader in movements of this order. He served as mayor of Murphysboro in 1869, and thereafter was a member of the city board of aldermen for a considerable period. He was one of the originators of the Southern Illinois Medical Association, and served several terms as president of the same. He was one of the founders of the First Lutheran church of Murphysboro, and served as superintendent of its Sunday-school for twenty-two years.

On the 9th of February, 1865, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Bierer to Sabina U. Griffith, a daughter of John J. Griffith, another of the pioneers of Jackson county. Of the four children of this union two died in infancy. Those surviving are Fred G., of Murphysboro, of whom individual mention is made elsewhere in this work, and Miss Ella Bierer.

Dr. Bierer passed the closing days of his life in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where he died on the third day of January, 1893, and his name is held in reverent memory in the city which so long represented his home, and to the development and upbuilding of which he contributed in such generous manner. His widow survives and resides in Murphysboro.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 662-663.

Design by Templates in Time