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Perry Memorial Walnut Clinic

Medical / Health Care Facilities

101 North Main,
Walnut Hill, IL 62893

(815) 379-2020

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Early area healthcare consisted largely of home remedies and traveling medicine men who would periodically visit, and advertise their arrival in advance as well as giving information on their qualifications, special medical talents, magical potions and successes. They would also give guarantees of good health. Frontier medicine was extremely practiced in this area as was characteristic throughout the U.S. at that time. After the first settlers arrived, qualified physicians began migrating to Princeton and the surrounding townships around the mid-nineteenth century. They came from the East Coast and large Midwestern cities and Canada, as well as from European countries such as England, Scotland and Ireland. Population expansion, religious affiliation and development of industry attracted them to the area. By the end of the 1800’s the influx of doctors to the county increased significantly and, in 1893 the Bureau County Medical Society was chartered with forty physicians as members. Although the physicians treated many patients in their offices, they would also travel great distances to the homes of patients. Occasionally a physician would convert several rooms in his home to house a few acutely ill patients, providing them with nursing care and closer medical treatment and supervision. It was not until June of 1903, however, that a hospital was opened in Princeton. Two brothers, Drs. L.D. Hickman and H.V. Hickman, who were osteopathic physicians, obtained loans and purchased a home on Park Avenue East from Hermas Gray. This was to be a resting place for osteopathic patients. Their interests were in x-ray and surgery. Expensive and up-to-date equipment was purchased. However. due to personal illness, financial problems and lack of support the brothers closed their doors on their hospital after one year of operation.