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Charles J. Saunders

Dr. Charles J.Saunders

Dr. Charles J. Saunders married Florence J (Maiden name unknown) in about 1892.. They had a son Charles J. born in about April 1894. The 1900 census shows that they were living in Central Avenue, Fort Dodge.
There is no further news of Florence or their son but it must be assumed that Florence died, or possibly divorced, sometime before 1907.

Charles married for a second time in 1907. His wife was Lucy M. MERRILL.
Lucy was the daughter of Albion F.(a Dry Goods/Grocery store owner) and Helen L. MERRILL(nee JOHNSON) and born about 1877 in Eddington, Penobscot, Maine. She had an elder sister, Inez R. MERRILL, born about 1873.

Dr. Charles and Lucy Saunders had three children, all born in Fort Dodge, Iowa;-

Katherine Murray - Born May 2, 1909
Merrill - Born July 5, 1910
Helen - Born about 1911

Charles J.Saunders, the fourth child of John Andrew Saunders and Catherine (Murray) Saunders, became a Doctor receiving his M.D. Degree from the University of Iowa in 1885. In 1887 he had a practice in Clare, Webster County and during his six years there he became involved with various other interests as shown in the ‘Irish in Iowa

From; St. Matthew's Parish, 1886-1979
History of Clare
"In May 1889 the Bank of Clare was established. The officers were: President, C.J. Saunders, Vice-President, O.M. Olson; and cashier, Thomas Donahue. The capital investment was $25,000.”

He eventually spent his last thirty years in practice in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was also a Radiographer and had the first equipment in Fort Dodge. When he died there on the 20th February 1928 the following report appeared in the local newspaper; -

'Fort Dodge Messenger & Chronicle, Feb 20, 1928'
End Comes Late Saturday Afternoon to Prominent Fort Dodge Physician


Dr. C.J.Saunders, sixty-five years of age, died on Saturday afternoon at 4.30 o'clock at St. Joseph's Mercy hospital where he had been taken that morning when it was feared that the grippe from which he had been suffering for the past ten days had taken a turn for the worse. It was not generally known that his condition was so critical so it was with regretful surprise that the people of the community, in which he had for so long been a well-liked and influential figure, learned of his death.

While Dr. Saunders had not been able to attend to his practice for nearly two weeks, he was up and around the house during part of this time. He was not so well Friday and suffered considerably during the night and it was at his own suggestion that he was taken to the hospital Saturday morning. He gradually became weaker and his death was very peaceful. In October 1926, Dr. Saunders underwent a very serious operation and at the time his life was despaired of. He made a splendid recovery and had been in good health since. Physicians in attendance say that the illness that brought about his death did not result from this operation.

Born in Iowa City, February 26, 1862, Dr. Saunders attended the school and university of that place. He was graduated from the college of medicine and practiced for several years in Clare before coming to Fort Dodge over thirty years. ago.

In June 1907, he was married to Miss Lucy MERRILL, of East Eddington, Maine, who with three children, Katherine, Merrill and Helen survive him. Two sisters, the Misses Mary and Alicia Saunders, live in Iowa City and a brother, Herbert, is a resident of Rochester, New York.

While Dr. Saunders was one of the leading figures in his profession in his community, he did not confine his interests to that field alone. He always kept abreast with current events and took a lively interest in affairs of the day. The confidence which people placed in him is shown by the many offices he held in civic associations. He had served as president of the Webster County Medical association, the Rotary club and the Fort Dodge Country club. He was at one time president of the Iowa Medical association and for a number of years was president of the staff of St. Joseph's Mercy hospital.

Dr. Saunders played an extremely good game of golf, liked the game very much and for many years had been a popular and familiar figure on the Country club links.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 3.20 o'clock at the residence, 1108 Fourth Avenue, North. The Rev. Dr. W.O.Harless, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, will be in charge. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery.

Laufersweilers will be in charge."

Charles’s wife, Lucy, died in Fort Dodge on the 5th February, 1949, aged 72, and their daughter, Katherine, who had been a Librarian in Chicago and never married, also died in Fort Dodge on the 26th October 1995, aged 85. However, the Social Security Death Index gives her date of death as August 30, 1995.

Merrill Saunders Blanche Saunders
Merrill Saunders
1910 - 1991
Blanche Saunders
1912 - 2005

Merrill was born on the 5th July 1910 and was a realtor in Fort Dodge.
In 1941 Merrill married Blanche Hall who was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They had two adopted children, Charles and Kay.
Merrill died in Fort Dodge on the 21st November 1991 and his wife, Blanche, on the 14th May 2005.

Dr. Charles, his wife Lucy, son Merrill and daughter-in-law Blanche are all buried in the family plot in Oakland Cemetery, Fort Dodge.

C.J.Saunders stone Lucy Saunders stone

Helen was an assistant professor of English at the University of Akron, Ohio from 1940 until she retired in 1976. She married Robert Thackaberry, a Professor of English, who died in Akron in November 1981, aged 70. Helen died on the 5th October 2004, aged 90, in Summit County, Ohio,


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