Alexander County

Biography - Daniel Arter

DR. DANIEL ARTER, deceased, was born in the State of Maryland, on the 3d day of June, 1798, and died in Cairo, Ill., on the 6th day of August, 1879. He was twice married, and his last wife and three of their family of six daughters are now residents of the city of Cairo. The Doctor came to Southern Illinois in its pioneer days, and for twenty-five years was a resident of Pulaski County, where, including adjoining counties, he had an extensive medical practice, always (except the last year of his life) blessed with great vigor of body and an active, well-balanced mind; he not only became a very successful physician, in his treatment of the diseases incident to the country, but became a widely known, popular and influential citizen, loved and admired in life for his many virtues, the memory of which are still cherished in the hearts of his many ardent friends. At the outbreak of the war, he removed to Cairo, and accepted an appointment from President Lincoln to the then very responsible and laborious position of the Surveyor and Collector of the Cairo port. This office he held, always personally supervising its affairs, until the close of the war, when he retired from business altogether, having in his eventful life obtained an ample competence for his old age, and though frequently importuned to offer himself as candidate for offices of public trust, he seemed to possess no ambition in that direction, and during his eighteen years' residence in Cairo contented himself with a single term as Select Councilman, a position he filled most intelligently and industriously. Although but little in public life, few men were more constantly before the public, known to and knowing almost everybody in the country. In the management of his private business, he was prudent and successful, and his declining years were blessed with "temporal abundance." During the last decade of his life, he gave much attention to matters of theology, and became noted as an independent and deep thinker, discarding every ism and form of religious doctrine not in accord with his ideas of an Infinite God, and embodied in pamphlet form the results of much of his mature thought. He approached death without a fear — yea, he longed for it as a happy release from his sufferings — as a sweet, rest for his care-worn body. For several days preceding the close of his life, he would frequently exclaim, "Oh, will the end never come?" and in the growing certainty that the end could not long be delayed, he was never alarmed, but manifested a composure that bespoke peace of mind as to the great future, and thus he calmly rested in death, and though feeble and full of years, his place in the community is difficult to fill. See portrait elsewhere.

Extracted 29 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, pages 5-6.

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