Honored and respected by all who have the honor of his acquaintance, there is no young professional man in Hancock county who occupies a more enviable position than the well-known physician and surgeon to a review of whose life this sketch is devoted. Not by reason of professional success alone has he risen to a conspicuous place in the public esteem, but equally so on account of the honorable, straightforward policy he has pursued as always having at heart the best interest of his fellow men. He possesses untiring energy, is quick of perception, forms his plans readily and is determined in their execution. By close application to the profession which he has chosen for his life work he has already won the confidence of the people of New Palestine and adjacent country, and his career thus far demonstrates the fact that success is not the result of genius, but the outcome of hard study, sound judgment and practical experience.
Dr. W. H. Larrabee was born in the year 1871, in Montgomery county, Indiana, and is the son of Thomas W. and Anna (McNamee) Larrabee, natives respectively of Ohio and Ireland. These parents are now living in Brandywine township, Hancock county, and of their eleven children the subject of this review is the fourth in order of birth. Besides himself there are seven brothers and sisters living at this time, the majority of them in Hancock county.
The Doctors childhood and youth were spent in the village of Carrollton, this county, and the public schools afforded him the means of an elementary education. Subsequently he spent one year in Central Normal College at Danville, after which he pursued his studies for some time in the State Normal School, Terre Haute, with the object in view of preparing himself for teaching. From 1889 to 1894, inclusive, he was engaged in educational work, spending two years in the schools of New Palestine and the remainder of the time in Sugar Creek township. As a teacher he displayed abilities of a high order and had he seen fit to continue in the profession would no doubt have achieved distinction as one of the leading educators of the state. Not being pleased with the financial prospects which the educational field presented to an ambitious young man, he wisely decided to direct his abilities into another channel; accordingly, in 1894 he entered Central College of Physicians and Surgeons at Indianapolis, from which institution he was graduated with a creditable record, in March, 1898,.
Shortly after receiving his degree Dr. Larrabee located in New Palestine, where his abilities soon brought him prominently to the notice of the public as a man well fitted both by intellect and professional training for the duties of physician and surgeon. Like the majority of young men, he had to win recognition by merit alone, but it was not long until many of the obstacles in the pathway of success were overcome, and he entered upon what promises in every respect to be a useful and distinguished career. A close and diligent student, well versed in the underlying principles of his profession, he keeps abreast the times on all the latest researches and discoveries of medical science and possesses the ability to apply his knowledge successfully in the treatment of diseases. He combines many of the qualities of the ideal family physician, among which is the power to inspire confidence on the part of the patients, a condition conceded to be of great value in treatment of any ailment. Actuated by a laudable ambition to advance in his chosen calling, the Doctor reads the best professional literature extant and not content with this he seizes every opportunity to profit by the knowledge and experience of those much older than himself both in years and practice. He now numbers among his patients many of the best people of New Palestine and the country for many miles around, and the success which has already crowned his efforts bespeaks for him a long and eminently useful career in the future.
While primarily attending strictly to the duties of his profession, the Doctor is not unmindful of other claims which every community has upon its citizens. Public spirited, he takes an active interest in the affairs of his town and in the social circles his standing as a high-minded, courteous gentleman is fully assured. Those who know him best admire him for his many sterling qualities of mind and heart, his ability to win friends being almost commensurate with the ability and energy which he displays while attending to the duties coming within the sphere of his profession. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belongs to New Palestine Lodge No. 404, in addition to which he also lends his aid and influence to further all other enterprises tending to the social and moral advancement of his fellowmen.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 363-364.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 23, 2002.
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