In the death of Dr. George W. Boerstler, Lancaster and Fairfield county lost one of her most prominent and highly respected citizens. As the day, with its morning of hope and promise, its noontide of activity, its evening of completed and successful efforts, ending with the grateful rest and quiet of the night, so was the life of this honored man. His career was a long, busy and useful one. and although he was earnest and active in business, he never allowed the pursuit of wealth to warp his kindly nature, being to the end of his life a kindly, genial friend, one whom it was a pleasure to know and meet under any circumstances. He attained the advanced age of seventy-seven years, retaining to the last those qualities of the mind and heart which had endeared him to everyone throughout his life.


Dr. Boerstler was born on the Atlantic ocean in 1792, at the time his people emigrated to America, and passed away at his home in Lancaster, Ohio, on the 10th of October, 1871. Excellent educational privileges were afforded him. It was the desire of his parents' hearts that he enter tlie ministry of the Lutheran church and when his preparatory education was sufficient to enahle him to take up study fitting him for the ministry, he did so, but his own choice of a professiion was not that made for him by his parents, although it was one which is of the greatest benefit and importance to his fellow men,—that of the practice of medicine. His father was a physician of pronounced ability and the son became imbued with an irresistible desire to follow in his footsteps. At length, the obstacles being removed, he entered upon the study of medicine and was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Medicine of the University of Maryland, in Baltimore, in 1820, when he received from Professor Potter the following commendatory certificate, which, coming from such a broadly known and eminent source, was to young Dr. Boerstler a credential letter, introducing him in flattering terms, to the confidence of the medical faculty anywhere in the United States or in Europe: "The bearer hereof, Dr. George W. Boerstler, has been duly examined by the professors of Maryland, and acquitted himself to the entire satisfaction in every department. No man ever left the faculty of Physic with more eclat. He carries with him oas much knowledge as has ever fallen to the lot uf any man since the establishment of the institution. Hs capacity is not excelled by any man, and his industry is equal to his capacity. His sterling integrity and moral worth will always recommend him to the consideration and patronage of the wise and virtuous, as soon as he becomes acquainted with them.—Nathan Potter, M. D., Professor Theory and Practice of Medicine, University of Maryland, March 4, 1820."


The professional career of Dr. Boerstler was one of distinguished honor. A perfect master of the construction and functions of the component parts of the human body, of the changes induced in them by the onslaught of disease, of the defects caused upon them as a legacy of progenitors, of the vital capacity remaining in them throughout all the vicissitudes, Dr. Boerstler was well fitted for the practice in the profession in which he made steady advancement. He succeeded because he desired to succeed. He was great because nature had endowed him bountifully and he had studiously and carefully and conscientiously increased the talents that had been given him. Splendid success attended his efforts to relieve the ailments of suffering humanity and for many years he occupied a position of distinction as a leading member of the medical fraternity in this portion of Ohio. He was always a student, reading widely, thinking deeply, studying broadly.


The Doctor was married to Elizabeth Sinks, and removed from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Lancaster, Ohio, in 1833, accompanied by his wife, their daughter and his son-in-law, Dr. Tom O. Edwards, who was associated with him for many years in the duties of his profession. They had not long been established in Lancaster until a large practice was accorded them and the skill and ability which they manifested in solving the intricate problems of disease, gained for thein a constantly growing patronage. The Doctor had not long resided in his new home until he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in 1838. Later he married Elizabeth Scuhr, who survived him for a number of years, but passed away in May, 1900.


Dr. Boerstler was a valued member of the Fairfield County Medical Society and also belonged to the Ohio State Medical Society, which he assisted in organizing and twice served as its president, and to the American Medical Association, joining the latter in 1850. A member of the profession who knew him intimately said of him:


"The medical reputation of Dr. Boerstler was built upon a foundation of solidity, and this grew up into vigor and public appreciation more and more with his advancing years. He was a medical student to the end of his life; kept uniform step with onward progress with his profession; was familiar with all its signalized specialties; was well posted in its scientific expositions; was cognizant of every public valuable curative discovery, and was therefore fully prepared for every existing emergency in his own immediate practice. His diagnosis of disease, in its subtle and more complicated forms, was always received by his professional brethren with confiding and commanding respect. As an experienced and learned consulting physician he acquired a wide reputation. To accomplish the greatest good in the practice of his profession was the passion of his life. No one ever sought his aid in vain, rich or poor, misery in rags, or disease in tapestry; he went to all, to comfort all, and, if practicable, to relieve all. In whatever household he was summoned as a physician, he left it as a dear and confidential friend. In his intercourse with his medical brethren he was governed ever by the strictest formulas of honor; no one man understood more sensitively than himself the delicate obligations of his professional code of ethics, and no one was more courteous and punctilious in observing them."


Dr. Boerstler's activity continued up to the time of his death. No wearing illness wasted him and almost up to the moment when the final summons came, he was seen passing to and fro through the streets of Lancaster, greeted evevywhere by friends who entertained for him the highest respect, regard and veneration. The same source from which we have already quoted, gives us the following: "On the day preceding his death, he appeared, to those who saw him, in his customary health; during the evening of that day he had a long and very pleasant intercourse with a friend from abroad, who communicated to him some very gratifying intelligence respecting an absent member of his famiily, long loved and very dear to him. With a father's full heart, he immediately prepared a long, consoling, paternal letter, which he intended to have copied early the next day, and dispatch as early as possible to this distant one. The ensuing morning found him up, happy with hope, and glowinig with good intention; loving and loved, at peace with God, and in charity with man. While standing before his glass to adjust some personal toilet requirement the supernal mandate came to call him home; he sank suddenly into the arms of his wife and daughter, and unruffled and painless, he passed gently and rapidly away.

 

From A Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Ohio, J. S. Clarke Publishing, New York and Chicago, 1902