Dr. John W. Wailes has built up a large and representative practice as a physician and surgeon and is also identified
with a number of local business enterprises. He was born in Appanoosc county, Iowa, on the 12th of December, 1865,
a son of James W. and Zerelda (Needham) Wailes, natives of Indiana. The paternal grandparents settled with their
family in Davis county, Iowa, in 1849 but removed to Appanoose county in 1851. There James W. Wailes grew to manhood
and as soon as he reached maturity he purchased land which he cultivated and improved. He added to his holdings
from time to time and acquired title to about six hundred acres, which he operated for many years, deriving therefrom
a handsome income. At length he retired and removed to Centerville, where he was living at the time of his death.
He was very successful as a farmer and engaged extensively in stock raising, contributing much to the advancement
of stock raising interests in his county. On the 22d of August, 1863, he enlisted as a private in the Union army,
on the 24th of February, 1864, he was promoted eighth corporal and on the 1st of May of that year seventh corporal.
On the 30th of July following he was taken prisoner at Newman, Georgia, and incarcerated in the notorious prison
at Andersonville, Georgia, for two months. On the 1st of July, 1865, he was made fourth corporal and on the 27th
of that month was promoted sergeant. His record as a soldier was distinctly creditable and throughout his entire
life he performed his duty unflinchingly His demise, which occurred on the 2d of March, 1908, when he was seventy
four years of age, was deeply regretted by his many friends His widow is still living in Centerville at the age
of seventy one years.
Dr. John W. Wailes was reared in Appanoose county, Iowa, and there acquired a good general education. For two years
he was principal of the Iconium schools and during that time devoted his leisure hours to the study of medicine.
After teaching for two years he entered the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Keokuk, Iowa, completing his
course there by graduation on the 10th of March, 1891. On the 8th of May of that year he located in Davis City
and opened an office for the practice of medicine and surgery. During the twenty four years that he has been located
here he has gained the confidence of the general public and of his brethren of the medical fraternity and his practice
is large and profitable. He believes thoroughly in the future prosperity and development of Decatur county and
has invested in a number of local business enterprises. He owns stock in the Farmers Bank of Davis City and in
1901 aided in organizing the Exchange National Bank of Leon, of which he is a director. He also owns stock and
is a director of the Katy Mercantile Company of Katy, Texas.
On the 13th of December, 1892, Dr. Wailes married Miss Jeannette Cartwright, a daughter of Frank P. and Harriet
(Leechman) Cartwright, natives of Ohio and pioneers of Decatur county, Iowa. The father, who was a farmer, cultivated
land here during the greater part of his active life and still resides upon a farm a mile south of Davis City although
he is retired. The mother died in March, 1914. Dr. and. Mrs. Wailes have become the parents of six children: Helen
Lucille, twenty years of age, who is attending Simpson College at Indianola; James W., a lad of eleven years, who
is attending the Davis City schools; one who died in infancy; Maude, who died when three years old; Francis Drake,
who died when an infant of three weeks; and John W., Jr., who died in 1901, when two years of age.
Dr. Wailes is a republican and for twenty two years has served as chairman of his precinct, doing much in that
time to promote the interests of his party. He belongs to the Masonic blue lodge of Davis City, to the chapter
and commandery at Leon and to the Mystic Shrine at Davenport. He also holds membership in the local subordinate
lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has held all of the chairs, and is identified with the
Modern Woodmen of America, the Yeomen and the Sons of Veterans. His religious faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal
church. Along professional lines he holds membership in the Decatur County and Iowa State Medical societies and
the American Medical Association. He was for eight years a member of the Board of United States Surgeons and is
now medical examiner for twenty two old line life insurance companies. He is a representative member of the medical
profession in Decatur county and has not only gained success as a physician but has also been a factor in the community
life of Davis City along many lines. He clearly recognizes the great importance of the public schools and during
the three years that he was a member of the board of education did all in his power to secure the advancement of
the local schools. He can be counted upon to cooperate with all movements that seek the material, moral and civic
progress of his community and his fellow citizens hold him in high esteem.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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