Ohio Biographies

Jonathan Bricker, M.D.

Prior to the discovery of gold, in the mill race, of Sutter the Swiss, at New Helvetia, the home ranch and fort property, granted under Mexican rule to General S., there lived in the old county of Richland four men, all physicians, all men of mark. These four men left for the time their household Gods [sic.] behind them in the land of the Buckeye, and where the dogwood blooms and blossoms, and journeyed westward to the land beyond the Rockies. In age, in length of practice, in the confidence of the people, the order in which they may be named -- ought to be named possibly, is the following: Eli Teegarden, M.D., Jonathan Bricker, M.D., W.G. Alban, M.D., and E.W. McLaughlin, M.D. The first named in time sent for wife and children and made his permanent home in the gold state, and his body is buried in its shining sands. The second, Jonathan Bricker, for some years followed the practice of his profession to California, then returned to Ohio, thereafter removed to Illinois, and his dust is now commingled with that of the prairies over which waves the tassled corn. The third remains on the Pacific Coast, though now being in Washington, the new-born state of the far northwest. Dr. Alban was a student and son-in-law of Dr. Abraham Jenner, of Ontario. He belonged to the guild of printers also, and more than forty years ago was the editor and publisher of the Nevada Journal, a newspaper issued in Nevada City, Cal., in one of the richest gold mining districts of that gold producing state. Dr. A. has enjoyed the distinguished honor of having for a devil in his print shop a youth who thereafter became the Governor of California, a Senator in the Congress of the United States and a minister plenipotentiary to a foreign country and court, the Hon. Aaron A. Sargeant. The last of the four was Dr. E.B. McLaughlin, who settled in the Shasta country, north of the Sacremento, and there made and lost several fortunes, but finally returned to Ohio and died in Mansfield a few years ago. It is of interest to write of these four men, all, save one, now numbered with the dead. It may also be of interest to recount some of the successes as well as to outline the peculiarities, mental and physical, of the men who, half a century ago, were known throughout the boundaries of the old county. Teegarden was a tall, large-framed man, tender kindly eyes and face. His medical skill was recognized as fair, his public spirit pronounced, and as he gathered in the shekels he disbursed them in adding to the growth of the town, and the more substantial building thereof, and in '46 when the first railroad, the old Sandusky & Mansfield, first ran into Mansfield, he not only built the Teegarden House, the forerunner of the Welden which preceded in name the Saint James, which later is known as the Vonhoff, but Dr. Teegarden with others built a large grain warehouse north of Fourth Street and east of Sugar Street, and to which a switch track of the Sandusky & Mansfield railroad then extended. The Doctor's business operations were various and some were entrusted to other hands, and he found himself in need of cash-money. So when the glitter and glamour of the gold placers of California cast a promising ray of hope eastward, he embraced the opportunity to rapidly recuperate his fortunes, and he sailed the waters of the two oceans and crossed the isthmus of Darien and entered the Golden Gate. He was physician, hotel-keeper, merchant, miller, law maker, and always a man of affairs in the state of his new home. Thither in time he caused to journey to him his wife and children, and his daughters became the wives of men of energy and activity. His long-time residence was at Yuba City, where he cultivated acres of luscious fruit. His heart was in that beautiful land, and though he returned to Mansfield in the centennial year on a visit, it was only a visit, and California was his home, as it is the place of his burial and his tomb. Dr. Teegarden was of that energetic class, it would have made no difference where his habitation might be established, he would have attained a measure of success. He lived in a realm of hope, and if by human endeavor, life could be made more happy, Dr. Teegarden put forth the effort and wrought on, sure of the accomplishment. One granddaughter is the wife of a distinguished jurist who adjudicates matters of dispute between the Christians and the Mohammedans in Oriental lands. But the old doctor and his wife and the larger number of his sons and daughters sleep the sleep of death, and are buried in the land whose shores are washed by the broad Pacific sea. Dr. Jonathan Bricker was of different mould, dark complected, black-haired, bright-eyed, quick perception. He was born in Pennsylvania, came to Ohio a young man, devoted to his profession, and was very successful. His movements were nervously active and quick, and there was that indefinable something about the man which begat confidence in his knowledge, and in his skill. Of his immediate family none remain in that old county; but the present Dr. W.R. Bricker, of Shelby, was his relative and his student, and, looking back into my boyhood days, my judgment now is that Dr. Jonathan was the superior physicians of the two, yet Dr. William R., in the long run of life, was all around the more successful. Dr. Alban I have met within the passing years at his home in Walla Walla, Washington, still practicing his profession and universally respected and highly regarded. Dr. E.B. McLaughlin so lately passed away that many now living well remember him. He started in life as a builder and worker of wood, but taking up the study of medicine he gained distinction in his profession and the active part of his professional career was in California. He left no immediate descendants, but a number of relatives by blood and marriage.


From Richland Shield & Banner: April 27, 1895, Vol. LXXVII, No. 50