Wayne County Biographies

Part of the Indiana Biographies Project

Nathan F. Canaday

Without missing a day for thirty years, this well known physician has faithfully labored to alleviate the sufferings of those afflicted with the ills to which flesh is heir, and with the exception of one year spent in the west this period has been passed in Hagerstown, Wayne county.

Charles Canaday, the grandfather of the Doctor, was a native of North Carolina, whence he removed at an early day to Indiana, becoming a pioneer of Richmond. None of his large family survive, but his descendants are numerous in this portion of the state, and are invariable noted for sterling traits of character. The father of our subject, Nathan Canaday, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1812, and came to Indiana when young. He was a birthright member of the Society of Friends, but upon his marriage to Nancy Leason, an outsider, he was disowned by the Quakers, and, with his wife, became a devoted member of the Christian church. After his marriage, which event took place in 1834, he removed to what was known as the Harvey settlement, in Prairie township, Henry county, Indiana, and, locating on a tract of government land, improved a homestead. His death occurred there in 1877, and his widow survived him for several years. He was a Whig and Republican, and was progressive in his ideas, whether regarding agriculture, public affairs or religion, and enjoyed the sincere respect of his acquaintances and neighbors. Of the ten children born to himself and wife, all but one daughter arrived at maturity. James, the eldest, a blacksmith by trade, died many years ago, at Mount Summit, Henry county; Charles W., a hero of the civil war, was killed at the siege of Vicksburg, in 1863; Edmond T. died on a farm in Henry county; and John also is deceased. Those living are: William, a resident of Kansas; Mrs. Anna M. Gough, wife of J. M. Gough, a manufacturer of New Castle, Indiana; Henry H., a mechanic in the employ of Mr. Gough; Miles M., connected with the First National Bank of New Castle; and Nathan F.

Nathan F. Canaday, who is the subject of this narrative, was born near New Castle, Indiana, February 9, 1845, and his boyhood was spent on the old homestead. After completing his studies in the district schools he attended the New Castle high school, and his initiation into the theories of medicine was under the tutelage of Dr. G. E. Swan. The young man favored the Homeopathic system, but circumstances were such that he found it better to attend the Eclectic Institute, at Cincinnati, at first. In 1869 he settled in Hagerstown, and in 1870 he was graduated in the Cleveland (Ohio) Homeopathic College. During the administration of President Benjamin Harrison he was government physician at the Colorado river Indian agency, in Arizona, for one year, when he resigned, on account of the illness of his wife, and with this exception he has been engaged in practice in Hagerstown since the beginning of 1869. He has been eminently successful in his chosen field of labor and has won the good will and respect of other members of his profession, as well as that of his numerous patients.

In July, 1867, Dr. Canaday wedded Miss Elizabeth Clapper, whose father, Jacob Clapper, was an early settler of Wayne county, coming here from Pennsylvania. The only child of our subject and wife is Clifford E., who was born in 1876. After graduating in the Hagerstown high school he attended the state university for two terms, and then was occupied in teaching for a period. Then reading medicine with his father for a time, he entered the Pulte Homeopathic Medical College, in Cincinnati, Ohio, taking a four-years course. He is a member of the class of 1900, and gives promise of attaining a high degree of proficiency in his chosen profession. Dr. Canaday and wife are members of the German Baptist church and are actively interested in all kinds of worthy philanthropies.

Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana. Chicago. The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.