20 August 2010

Dr. Julius Henry Fiegenbaum

1859 — 1938

Biographical Material

Julius H. Fiegenbaum, M. D., is one of the leading physicians of Alton, and is a native son of Illinois.  He is in the enjoyment of an extensive practice and is numbered among the best physicians of the city.  His birth occurred in Galena April 27, 1859, and he was one of eight children born to Rev. William and Sophia (Gusewelle) Fiegenbaum.

Our subject's father was a native of Germany, but became a resident of the United States when a lad of only ten years of age.  With his parents he located in Missouri, where his father, Adolph Fiegenbaum, gave him a good education.  He early concluded to enter the ministry in the German Methodist denomination, and on the completion of his studies was ordained, at the age of twenty-one, since which time he has been actively engaged in church work.  Now, though in his sixty-ninth year, he is still in the Master's service, having charge of the church at Bunker Hill, Ill.  During his ministerial career he has been stationed in the states of Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sophia Gusewelle, was also a native of Germany, and with her parents emigrated to the United States, her marriage being celebrated in St. Louis.  The children of this worthy couple are as follows:  Adolph F., of Edwardsville; Dr. E. W., of the same place; Bertha A. and our subject (twins), the former the wife of Rev. C. F. Blume, of the German Methodist Church of Minneapolis; Martha, the wife of C. H. Lynch, an attorney of Edwardsville; and Lydia Mary, the wife of Rev. H. C. Jacoby, of Baldwin, Mo.

The Doctor was educated in the public schools of Highland, Summerfield and Edwardsville, Ill.  A portion of his boyhood was also passed in Pittsfield, where he was graduated from the high school.  He next entered the office of his brother, Dr. E. W., in 1880, to study medicine, though previous to this time he had read a number of medical works.  For two years he remained with his brother, at the end of this time entering the St. Louis Medical College, where he pursued a course of study for one year and then entered Rush Medical College in Chicago.  March 9, 1885, he was graduated from the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, of New York City.

On commencing his active professional career, Dr. Fiegenbaum located in Alton, and since that time, August 1, 1885, he has steadily increased his patronage.  His practice is now quite extensive, and in order to keep thoroughly posted on all new discoveries in the line of medicine, he has identified himself with several prominent societies.  Among these are the Madison County Medical Society, the Illinois State and American Medical Associations.  He was appointed Health Officer in 1893 and was re-appointed to this responsible position in 1894.  Socially he belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias.  He is a Republican in politics, and religiously holds membership with the German Methodist Church.

He was married September 11, 1889, to Miss Sophie E. Pitts, of this city.  Mrs. Fiegenbaum is a daughter of Samuel and Belle (Pringle) Pitts, early and respected settlers of Madison County.  Two children graced the union of the Doctor and his wife, Harry P. and Bertha C.  The former died when eleven months old.  Mrs. Fiegenbaum holds membership with the Presbyterian Church and is a lady of culture and refinement, who presides over her husband's home with dignity and grace.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Madison County, Illinois Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County, Together With Biographies and Portraits of all the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1894), pages 378-379.

The second paragraph of this biographical sketch is more confusing than it needs to be.

Dr. Julius Fiegenbaum's father, Hermann Wilhelm Fiegenbaum, emigrated to the USA "when a lad of only ten years of age" and became a pastor in the German Methodist Episcopal Church. In contemporary publications, he was often referred to by his second given name, either Wilhelm or William. He served a number of congregations in Illinois, including Highland and Edwardsville, both in Madison County. Rev. Wilhelm Fiegenbaum married Sophia Gusewelle at St. Louis in 1849. Although the biographical sketch credits Wilhelm and Sophia with being the parents of eight children, which is correct, only six were mentioned at the end of the paragraph.

The Adolph Fiegenbaum who is mentioned in the second paragraph is Julius' grandfather, Adolph Heinrich Fiegenbaum. His wife was Christine Elisabeth Peterjohann. After arriving at New Orleans in 1834 from northwestern Germany, Adolph, Christine and their first five children traveled up the Mississippi River and settled in eastern Missouri (St. Charles and Warren Counties). Their sixth child was born a few years after their arrival. By the time of the 1850 U.S. census, the parents and at least two of the children had settled on a farm near Wapello, Louisa County, Iowa.

A brief, but more complete, outline of the family genealogy is given below, along with links to additional resource material. Greater detail may be found in the genealogical database.

Brief Genealogy

Julius Henry Fiegenbaum's family

Sophie Elizabeth Pitts's family

Fiegenbaum - Pitts family

More Resources