Ohio Biographies

John T. Kirkendall, M.D.

John T. Kirkendall, M.D., is a physician of high standing, who has raised himself to the front ranks of his profession by careful study and close attention to his business, and he enjoys a large and lucrative practice. He is also prominent as one of the leading citizens of Darbyville, with whose public life he has been intimately connected in various important official capacities since he returned to this, his native town, after he had completed his medical studies.

Dr. Kirkendall was born November 27, 1846, and is a descendant of one of the old pioneer families of Ohio. His father, William Kirkendall, was also a native of this State, born in one of the earliest pioneer homes of Ross County, in 1797. His father, a Virginian by birth, was an early settler of that county, and the father of our subject was reared on a farm and educated in the primitive schools of his day, which were held in rudely-constructed log houses. He was one of the original settlers of Darbyville, helped to lay out the streets of the village, and his name was associated with the early improvements of the place. He erected a hotel, and was engaged in its management until his untimely death at the age of fifty, which deprived the village of one of its most public-spirited and valued citizens, and the Methodist Church of one of its most liberal and zealous members. The maiden name of his wife was Mary J. Crego, and she too was a native of Ohio. They had four children, of whom these three grew to maturity: William, John T., and Fanny, Mrs. Fissell. The mother remarried, becoming the wife of Isaac Calendine, and died at the age of twenty-seven years, leaving one child by her second marriage, Lillie. She was a Christian and a consistent member of the Methodist Church.

Our subject passed his early life in his native village, living with Dr. R. H. Tipton after the death of his parents until he was sixteen years old. He then went to Madison County and worked on the farm of Oliver Mitchell until he was twenty-one years of age. Ambitious to improve his education, he next went to school at Lancaster, where he pursued a seven-months' course of study, and after that he began teaching at East Lancaster, Fairfield County. He taught there one term, and the ensuing twelve years was engaged in teaching in Pickaway County, having charge of a school in Darby Township seven years, and the remainder of the time exercising his vocation in Darbyville, Muhlenburg Township. Five years of the time that he was teaching he was assiduously reading medicine every leisure moment that he could snatch from his duties, Dr. Tipton being his instructor. Abandoning the work of  teaching, he turned his attention to the general mercantile business in partnership with Mr. Fissell, under the firm name of Fissell and Kirkendall, and for two years was thus engaged. Resuming his old calling, he taught school one year, and read medicine with Dr. F. M. Black. He subsequently attended lectures at Starling Medical College, Columbus, and was graduated therefrom February 25, 1879. He entered upon the practice of his profession with a fine equipment for the life before him, years of careful study giving him an accurate knowledge of medicine in all its branches, and paving the way to the success that has followed, which makes him one of our most reputable and trusted physicians, with a large practice, covering miles of territory. After leaving college, he was in partnership with Dr. Black a year, but since then he has been by himself.

The Doctor has one of the most attractive homes in Darbyville, which is presided over with consummate tact by his amiable wife, formerly Miss Sally Rennick, to whom he was wedded September 29, 1880. Mrs. Kirkendall was born September 16, 1856, in Darby Township, and is a daughter of Benjamin F. Rennick, now a resident of that township. Two children complete the household of our subject and his wife, Benjamin R. and Edward T.

Dr. Kirkendall is in every way an honor to the citizenship of his native village, in whose welfare he is deeply concerned, and he has done much to promote its higher interests. His fellow-citizens, knowing him so well, and appreciating his fine character, rare executive ability and progressive public spirit, have often called him to important civic positions. Thus he served as Mayor of the village four years, and as Councilman six years; has been School Director, and was School Examiner two years, appointed by Probate Judge Walk to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge Cartright. He was Justice of the Peace for the township three years and Township Clerk one term in Darby Township. The Doctor is well informed on all political matters, and is a recogzed leader among the Republicans of this section, his counsel being valued in the gatherings of the party, which he has faithfully served at various times as delegate to county, congressional and State conventions. Socially, his relations are with the Masonic order at Mt. Sterling, and he has taken the Royal Arch Degree at London. Religiously, both he and his wife are active members of the Methodist Church, and he is Trustee of the church and the parsonage.