DR. J. R. CHATHAM, physician and surgeon, Xenia, was born in Maury County, Tenn., October 13, 1812, and is the son of Robert and Mahala (Hood) Chatham, now residents of Union County, Ill., and who are the parents of four children, two of whom are now living, viz., Dr. J. R., and Jennie, wife of Luther Robinson, of Union County, Ill. When about seven years of age, our subject was brought from Tennessee by his parents to Fayette County, Ill., and there he was reared on a farm and received his common school education. He afterward attended Shurtleff College at Alton, Ill. When beginning the study of medicine, it was under the instruction of Dr. Sumner Clark, of Ramsay, Ill., but now of Effingliam. Our subject then attended the St. Louis Medical College, graduating from the same in the spring of 1873. For one year he then practiced at Ramsay, in partnership with Dr. Clark, but in 1874 located at Xenia, and has since practiced successfully here, with a steadily increasing business. The Doctor has one of the best medical libraries in the county. He makes a special study of surgery, and consequently gets most of the practice in that line of his profession. April 20, 1877, he was married in Xenia to Miss Ophelia Thomas. a daughter of Benjamin Thomas, who was the chief engineer on the O. & M. R. R. when it was located. He resided at Xenia, and died in May, 1880. His wife, Mrs. Chatham's mother, was a member of the Talliafero family, one of the earliest families to settle in Clay County. Mrs. Thomas died when her daughter was small. Dr. and Mrs. Chatham have three children, viz., Charles F., Benjamin R. and Dora May. He is a member of Lodge, I. O. O. F., and is associated with the Republican party in political belief. He and wife are members of the Baptist Church.
Source: 1884 History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois, Part IV, pages 160-161.