Dr. Oscar Heller, one of the leading physicians of this section of the state, who has been engaged in the practice of his profession in this county since 1896, located at Greenfield since 1902, is a native son of Hancock county, having been born on a farm in Center township, two miles southeast of Greenfield, February 26, 1872, son of Alfred J. and Mary A. (Wirts) Heller, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio, who were prominent residents of the neighborhood in which Doctor Heller was born.
Alfred J. Heller was but a boy when his parents moved from Pennsylvania to Indiana, the family settling in this county, and he grew to manhood here and continued a farmer all his life. He married Mary Wirts, who was born in Ohio in 1833, and who was about ten years old when she came to this state, the family settling in this county in the early forties. After his marriage Alfred J. Heller established his home in Center township and there he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Heller was a Republican and was a member of the Masonic lodge at Greenfield. He and his wife were members of the Christian church and were highly regarded in their community. She died in 1877, at the age of forty-four years, and he survived until 1880. They were the parents of three children, sons all, Edward, a well-known farmer of this county; Oscar, the immediate subject of this biographical sketch, and William H., who is connected with the Interurban Express Company in Indianapolis.
Oscar Heller was reared on the home farm and received his elementary education in district school No. 3, in Blue River township, following which he attended the high school at Perkinsville. He then for several years was engaged in farm labor on various farms in this county, and while thus engaged took up the study of medicine, with a view to becoming a physician. In 1893 he entered the office of Dr. J. M. Larimore at Greenfield and for three years was carefully drilled in the theory and practice of medicine by that able preceptor, at the end of which time, in 1896, he opened an office for the practice of his profession at Ridgeville and was there associated with Dr. B. F. Freeman for two years, at the end of which time he returned to Greenfield, and was admitted to partnership with Doctor Larimore, his former preceptor, in the meantime having pursued his medical studies in the medical department of the Indiana State University, from which he was graduated in 1897, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The partnership between Doctor Heller and Doctor Larimore continued for about three years, since which time Doctor Heller has been practicing alone and has been very successful, occupying a high position in the regard of his professional associates and the general public hereabout. Doctor Heller is a member of the Hancock County Medical Society and of the Indiana Medical Association, in the deliberation of both of which bodies he takes a warm interest . He has served two terms as coroner of Hancock county, having been elected to that office on the Democratic ticket, and for four years was secretary of the county board of health, of which board he still is a member. He owns a fine farm in Center township, this county, and is regarded as one of the substantial citizens of Greenfield.
On June 9, 1896, Dr. Oscar Heller was united in marriage to Victoria Dudding, who was born in this county on October 6, 1871, daughter of John C. and Nancy (Tucker) Dudding, also natives of Hancock county, whose respective families had settled her in the early days, both families having come from Virginia, becoming prominent pioneer residents of this section. Doctor and Mrs. Heller take a proper part in the general social and cultural life of the community and are held in high esteem by their many friends here. Doctor Heller is a Scottish Rite Mason and a noble of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, of the Elks and of the Eagles, of the local lodge of which latter organization he is the past physician, and in the affairs of all these several organizations he takes an active interest.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 824-825.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 11, 2001.
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