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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Dr. William M. Girdner, physician and surgeon, who for a number of years has been practicing continuously and ably in Chillicothe, was born in Livingston county, on September 21, 1867, a son of David and Martha (Smith) Girdner. The grandparents of our subject, David and Elizabeth (Perman) Girdner, were both natives of Pennsylvania and went from that state to Greene county, Tennessee, and thence to Kentucky, coming finally as pioneers to Livingston county in 1834 and residing here until their deaths, the grandfather passing away on the 31st of January, 1864, and the grandmother in November, 1862. David Girdner was a soldier in the War of 1812 and served through the entire period of hostilities as drum major of his regiment. In his family were thirteen children: David, Mrs. Mary White, Mrs. Nancy Blakely, Granberry, Michael, Charles G., Mrs. Mahala Yates, Joseph, James M., Mrs. Elizabeth Darr, Eliza, Samuel and Elizabeth A. David Girdner, the father of the subject of this review, was born in Whitley county. Kentucky, on May 3, 1826. He had always been a farmer and stock-raiser and at one time was a very extensive land owner, holding title to one thousand and thirty-five acres. His wife, who was in her maidenhood Miss Martha Smith, was a daughter of Jonathan and Martha Smith, who were the parents of six children: Martha, the mother of the subject of this review; Sophronia, who became the wife of Louis Clark; Rebecca, who married Charles Girdner; William; Sarah, who became the wife of William Webster; and Jemina, who died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. David Girdner became the parents of six children: Michael P.. whose birth occurred on the 3d of February, 1860; Jonathan C., born on the 22d of July, 1861; Sarah E., born October 30, 1863; Louis M., whose birth occurred on the 13th of July, 1865; William M., the subject of this review; and Jemina, born December 20, 1870 Dr. William M. Girdner was reared upon his father's farm in Livingston county and acquired his education in the public schools. After completing the usual course he studied medicine and located for practice in Chillicothe, where he has since resided, being numbered among the most able, conscientious and efficient members of the profession in the city. Reading and research keep him in touch with the most advanced thought of the profession and he is most careful in the diagnosis of a case and judicious in his application of scientific principles. Aside from his private practice he is serving as president of the Chillicothe Board of Health and as state physician of the Industrial Home for Girls.
Dr. Girdner was married on July 19, 1896, to Miss Frankie Black, a native of Livingston county and a daughter of James F. Black of Jackson township, and of this union has been born one son, Flavel, who is sixteen years of age. The Doctor gives his allegiance to the democratic party and is interested in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of his city, although his public spirit never takes the form of office seeking. He has throughout his life made wise use of his time and talents and his ability and attainments have placed him in a leading position among the physicians of this part of Missouri.