Uriah Oury Heilman, M.D.


URIAH OURY HEILMAN, M. D., who has practiced medicine at Leechburg for over a quarter of a century, is an honorable representative of a family which has been settled in Armstrong county for almost one hundred and twenty years. He was born Sept. 23, 1853, on the old homestead farm of his father, Solomon Heilman, and near the old farm of his grandfather, Daniel Heilman.

The Heilmans are of German origin, and the name dates from 1305, when a German Palatine, "Veit the Heilman," was knighted by the Emporer (sic) Albright and given a nobility diploma, his descendants calling themselves Heilman. The name is found in the Germany Genealogical Register from that time down to the sixteenth century. The name is variously spelled, Heilman, Heylman, Hileman and Hyleman in old records.

Peter Heilman, Sr., the Doctor's great-grandfather, was born in 1750 in Alsace-Lorraine, and was two years old when he came to America with his father, Christian Heilman; his mother, the wife of Christian Heilman, died during the voyage. They settled in Northampton county, Pa. It is not known whether Christian remarried or not, but Peter said he had a brother or half- brother named Michael. Peter Heilman learned the trade of weaver. According to some accounts he and his wife, Elizabeth (Harter), came to what was later Kittanning township, Armstrong county, in 1795-96, and (according to his garndson (sic), John Heilman, 1913) died in 1833, at the age of eighty-two years. His son Jacob, who was eighty-six years old in 1882, was according to one account born there. In another Jacob's birth is given as occurring in Northampton county, Pa., in April, 1791, and in that account he is said to have died Jan. 27, 1877 (or December 27, 1876), aged nearly eighty-six (if he had lived to April 12th following he would have been eighty-six.) At any rate, the Heilmans were among the pioneer families of Kittanning township, and of the substantial class of early settlers. Various members of the family were recorded in the assessment lists of 1807 as owners of mills, distilleries and large tracts of land, and the Heilman whiskey, made by Jacob Heilman, was celebrated in its day.

Peter Heilman, Sr., occupied a high position in his community, was an active Lutheran, and was one of the two who were most active and liberal at the time of the organization of the first church here. He and his wife were both noted for their worth as Christian workers and neighbors. She, too, was a weaver, famed all over this section for her skill, and she was a remarkable woman in many other ways. She was strong physically, handsome of feature and finely built, her small feet and hands, with their tapering fingers, being much admired. She and her husband were noted for their health and wholesome good nature, which made them universally loved, and bequeathed to their descendants a heritage which has made them average well with any family in the county, for strength, independence, honesty and intelligence, for their posterity have shown many of their excellent characteristics. Their family consisted of twelve sons and daughters: Gertrude married Jacob Beaser (or Pieser) and had a family; Christina married Joseph Beaser (or Pieser), brother of her sister Gertrude's husband; Mary (Polly) married Frederick Tarr; Susanna married John King, grandfather of the present judge elect; John married Elizabeth Yount; Daniel married Lydia Yount; Solomon married Hannah Yount; Frederick married Margaret Ehinger; Robert died in boyhood; Margaret married John Stitt; Elizabeth (who was a cripple) died; Jacob married Susanna Waltenbaugh.

Daniel Heilman, son of Peter Heilman, Sr., was the Doctor's grandfather. He lived in Kittanning township, following farming until his death, which occurred in 1852, when he was fifty years of age. His wife, Lydia (Yount), was a daughter of Daniel Yount (Yunt or Aundt), and belonged also to a family of pioneers of this township whose members were among the large land holders there. The name is written Yundt in old records, and in German Aundt. Mr. and Mrs. Heilman had the following children: Solomon, Daniel, George, Samuel (born Aug. 29, 1822, died June 27, 1888), Isaac, Simon, Harry, Eve (married George Sheaffer), and Lydia (Mrs. George Eimon), and Susie and Elizabeth, who died young.

Solomon Heilman, son of Daniel, married Elizabeth Schreckengost, who was the daughter of Benjamin and Susanna (Oury) Schreckengost, and came of honored and substantial pioneer stock of Armstrong county. Her father was a large landowner. The Schreckengosts claim descent from the German nobility and were entitled to a large landed estate in Germany.

Uriah Oury Heilman, son of Solomon, began his education in the common schools and later attended Elderton Academy and Thiel College, at Greenville, Pa. Then he taught school for three years, during part of this time also reading medicine with Dr. James Carnahan, at Cochran Mills, in Burrell township, and he continued his medical studies at the University of Wooster, Ohio; then he read with Dr. M. Alter, of Kittanning, son of the great Dr. David Alter, of Freeport, taking a special course in chemistry and microscopical work. Entering the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, Md., he was graduated therefrom in April, 1881, and received a special diploma from Prof. John S. Lynch, of that institution, for work in diseases of the heart, throat and lungs. Locating in Parks township, Armstrong Co., Pa. (Dine postoffice), he remained there engaged in practice for five and a half years, at the end of the period removing to Philadelphia, where he attended lectures at the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson Medical College under Samuel Gross, Sr., Bartholow, Da Costa, Agnew, Ashhurst, Pepper and Wood, taking a post- graduate course at Jefferson. In 887 Dr. Heilman came to Leechburg, where he has ever since been actively engaged in practice. His success has been won by hard work and conscientious devotion to the needs of his patrons. Personally and professionally his standing is the highest.

On April 7, 1881, Dr. Heilman married Esther M. Heckman, who was born in what is now Parks township, Armstrong county, daughter of Gideon and Sarah (Schumaker) Heckman and granddaughter of Abraham Heckman, a pioneer of Armstrong county, who married Ester Klingensmith, a member of another pioneer family.

Daniel Schumaker, maternal grandfather of Mrs. Heilman, was also a pioneer settler in Armstrong county, and had children: Josiah, who died aged twenty- four, unmarried; Eliza, who married Thomas Young; Sarah, Mrs. Heilman's mother; Rev. Isaiah W.; Margaret, who married Josiah Schaul; Lucinda, who married Isaac E. Shumaker; Mary, who married Charles W. Webster; Rev. L. J.; Rev. Albert; John; and Joseph, who was a soldier in the Civil war.

Seven children have been born to Dr. and Mrs. Heilman; Rena May graduated from the Woman's Medical College, Philadelphia, and practiced at Leechburg for nearly seven years, until her marriage to Alexander P. Lindsay, an attorney of Pittsburgh, Pa. (they have one son, Alexander H.); Marlin W., a graduate of the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania, now engaged in practice at Tarentum, Pa., married Martha Grant, of Franklin, Pa.; Grace Goldie is a graduate of Bryn Athyn Seminary, near Philadelphia, and of the Western Conservatory of Music, Pittsburgh, and is now engaged in teaching music in Pittsburgh and Leechburg; Otho Ward graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Arts and Science (B. S.) and is now engaged in teaching in the Academy of the New Church, Bryn Athyn, Pa.; Bessie, a graduate of the Bryn Athyn Seminary, took a three years' course under Prof. Wilber H. Green in literature and vocal music, and is engaged in teaching; H. Glenn is attending Leechburg high school, from which his brothers and sisters also graduated; Carroll Vernon died when eleven years old, of rheumatism of the heart, brought on by exposure.

Dr. Heilman and his wife are member of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, East End, Pittsburgh.

Source: Page(s) PAGES 425-427,
Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914

Transcribed July 1998 by Caral Mechling Bennett for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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