SAMUEL EDGAR BIRCHFIELD, M. D. The spirit of a strong and noble manhood burned in the mortal tenement of Dr. Samuel E. Birchfield, who labored with all zeal and ability in the humane and exacting profession for which he had so eminently qualified himself. He was engaged in the practice of his profession in Latrobe, Westmoreland county, at the time of his death, in the very prime of his manhood, and to him was accorded the unqualified confidence of all who knew him. He was a physician and surgeon of high attainments, and as a man and citizen he stood representative of the utmost loyalty and the highest integrity of purpose and personality. Dr. Birchfield was a native of the old Keystone state, having been born in the village of Tarentum, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, December 24, 1854, and having been a son of William and Rachel (McCall) Birchfield, who continued to reside there for the major portion of their lives, the father having been engaged in agriculture.
Dr. Samuel Edgar Birchfield was reared to maturity in his native county, and after completing the curriculum of the public schools continued his incursions into the higher fields of academic studs' and finally determined to adopt the profession of medicine as his vocation in life. With this end in view he took up a course of technical reading and then entered the medical department of the celebrated University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, where he completed the prescribed course and was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He ever afterward continued a close and enthusiastic student of his profession, and was recognized as one of the representative physicians and surgeons of Westmoreland county at the time of his death. In 1881, shortly after his graduation, Dr. Birchfield came to Latrobe and here established himself in the practice of his profession, while with the passing of the years he found himself growing in the confidence and regard of the people of the community and thus built up a most flourishing practice, which extended over a wide field and which was thoroughly representative in the matter of clientage. He continued to minister with all of devotion and kindliness to the suffering and afflicted of this locality until he was called from his labors, being summoned to the life eternal January 21, 1903, while the community in which he had so effectively lived and labored felt a sense of personal loss and bereavement when death stilled the earnest heart of this honored citizen. He was a great student, not only in his profession but in all other fields, scientific, and a great Biblical student. He was always called in to examine members of the graduating class in high school, was consulted by all, and everybody referred to him for final decision. Dr. Birchfield was a member of several medical societies, and fraternally was identified with the Woodmen of the World. In politics he was a. staunch supporter of the Republican party, and while never an aspirant for office was called upon to serve as a member of the borough council and also as a member of the local board of education, in each of which capacities he manifested his loyalty to his home town and its highest interests. He was a Presbyterian in religion.
Dr. Birchfield married, April 23, 1891, Juniata McNamara, born and reared in Hollidaysburg, Blair county, this state, being a daughter of Robert and Eliza (McConnell) McNamara. Mr. McNamara was for many years a prominent merchant and influential citizen of Hollidaysburg, where he continued to reside until his death, his wife also being deceased. They became the parents of seven children, namely: Juniata, Robert, deceased; William W., Lillian P., Martha, John and Mary B. Mrs. Birchfield still resides in the pleasant home provided for her by her lamented husband, in Latrobe, and here she is prominent in the social life of the community, while she finds solace in the devoted solicitude of her many loyal friends. Of her children we enter the following brief record: Rachel H. was born February 22, 1892: Eliza Esther, June 20, 1893, died September 4, 1893; Dorothy Cornelia, January 12, 1895; and Henrietta Marion, September 6, 1899.
Source: History of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Volume II, by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906, Page 287-8.
Transcribed by Carol C. Eddleman for the Westmoreland County History Project.
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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