Biography of Dr. John AVERY 1824-1914

Hon. John Avery of Greenville, Michigan, was born in Watertown, New York, February 29, 1824. He is the eldest son of John and Susan (Mitchell) Avery. His father served in the War of 1812. Mr. Avery attended the district schools in Chautauqua County, New York, and Clinton County, Michigan. He also studied during part of two years at the academy at Grass Lake, Michigan, which was conducted by Rev. Hiram Elmer, a Congregational minister. He attended or taught school in the winter, and worked on his father's farm in summer, until he reached the age of twenty-one. In 1847 he began the study of medicine with Dr. Whaley, of Grass Lake; and, in 1848, went to Duplain, continuing his studies, for several months, with Dr. William B. Watson. He then went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended lectures at the Medical College, graduating, in 1849, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Removing to Owosso, Michigan, Doctor Avery entered into partnership with Dr. J. B. Barnes, a physician there, and commenced the practice of his profession. In the spring of 1854, he removed to Ionia, Michigan, where he practiced for two years with Dr. D. W. Bliss. At the expiration of his engagement with Doctor Bliss, he removed to Otisco, Ionia County, and continued the practice of medicine until 1862. He was then appointed Assistant Surgeon to the 21st Michigan Infantry; and, in the following year, was promoted to the rank of Surgeon. He remained in the army until the close of the war, and was present at the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga, and Bentonville; and was with General Sherman on his march to the sea. During the last year of the war, he acted as brigade Surgeon; and, with his regiment, was mustered out of service, at Detroit, in June, 1865. Returning to his home at Otisco, Doctor Avery resumed the duties of a practicing physician, and remained there two years. In January, 1867, he removed to Greenville, making that a permanent place of residence. He continued to practice for eight years, during which time his services were not confined to the town in which he resides. His knowledge as a physician, and his skill as a surgeon, were so highly appreciated that he was called upon to practice in all that section of the State. In 1872 he erected a handsome brick store, renting the building for a drug store; and, in 1875, having decided to retire from active practice, he purchased the stock and engaged in the drug business, in which he still continues, practicing occasionally. As a practitioner, Doctor Avery was eminently successful. While in Otisco, he was intimately identified with township and county interests. He was Supervisor of Otisco Township, and has been connected with the city government of Greenville as an Alderman and member of the School Board. In 1868 he was elected to the State Legislature, as the Montcalm County Representative. During his term of service, he introduced and advocated the resolution admitting women to the State University. Doctor Avery is President of the Northern Medical Association. He has belonged to the Masonic Fraternity since 1853. He is a member of the Episcopal Church, and is senior warden of the church at Greenville. In May, 1852, he married Miss Jane H. Ewell, daughter of Samuel Ewell, of Romeo, Michigan. They have two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Frank P. Avery, is in his fourth year as a cadet at West Point Military Academy. Doctor Avery, for many years, has had an extensive surgical practice. His skill in this branch of his profession is of the highest order. He has twice successfully performed the difficult operation of ovariotomy; and twice successfully ligated the common carotid artery, besides performing many other extremely rare surgical operations.

Source: American Biographical History of Eminent and Self-Made Men with Portrait Illustrations on Steel, Volumes I-II, Michigan State Archives

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Member of the Michigan state legislature 1869 -1870. US Representative serving in the 53rd and 54th congresses (the Editors).

 Dr John Avery\

"Then the choir sang another appropriate piece, and then came the ‘History of Montcalm County’, which was compiled and read by Dr. John Avery.

source: Michigan and The Centennial; McCracken, S. B., The Free Press; Detroit Michigan; 1876