O'Fallon Progress

Early O’Fallon physician killed in 1907, run over by horse-drawn carriage

Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president.
Brian Keller is the O’Fallon Historical Society president. rkirsch@bnd.com

On March 22, 1907, the Progress reported the tragic death of one of O’Fallon’s first physicians, 80-year-old Dr. Columbus Hixon. He was run over by a horse-drawn carriage in Kansas City, Mo.

Born in Guernsey County, Ohio, he started out as a printer’s apprentice. He saved enough money to attend Miami Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio, after which he studied diseases of the eye. He was a contract surgeon during the Civil War, running an Army hospital in Springfield, Mo.

After the war, he came to O’Fallon and practiced here until 1868, when he left for Kansas City. With a large amount of cash in hand, he built up an extensive practice. But when the grasshopper plagues began to devastate that part of the country in 1873, he lost a lot of money and business. So, back to O’Fallon he came.

He stayed until 1884 when he moved back to Kansas City and rebuilt his practice. Dr. Hixon was one of the founders of the Kansas City Medical College and was the first surgeon in that area to perform successful cataract surgery. At the end, he lived alone in a room filled with medical books and papers but little furniture. He didn’t save for old age and lived on a monthly Army pension of $17. His friends had to take up a collection to pay for his funeral.

75 years ago March 19, 1942

On Monday, the temperature reached a record high of 79 degrees at 5 p.m. with extremely low humidity and threatening storm skies and violent whipping winds. Pedestrians struggled against the tough winds and many found it difficult walking. The winds continued late into the night, followed by a drop in temperature down to 40.

50 years ago March 16, 1967

Mr. William Shaffer of R.R. 1 O’Fallon has just completed a special training course in jewelry repair at Quincy school of jewelry service. He is employed at Causey’s Jewelry Store in O’Fallon. (Causey’s was located at 103 W. First.)