Wayne County Biographies

Part of the Indiana Biographies Project

Israel Tennis, M.D.

One of the widely known and loved pioneer physicians of Wayne county was Dr. Israel Tennis, whose life was filled with good deeds and labors of love toward his fellows. In the early days of his professional career he was obliged to spend much of his time, day and night, in riding through the country to visit his patients, many of whom lived on remote farms, and faithfully did he respond to all demands from sick and suffering humanity, regardless of storm and flood and his own health and comfort.

Dr. Tennis was born July 19, 1805, in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania, and early life he removed to Ohio. There he took up the study of medicine with Dr. Williams, of Milford, and in 1833 he was graduated in the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati. The same year he established himself in practice at Elizabethtown, Ohio, remaining there until 1842, when he removed to Centerville, then the county-seat of Wayne county. Later he located in Keokuk, Iowa, but returned to this state in the autumn of 1857, and from that time until he retired he was actively engaged in professional work in Richmond. In 1883, just half a century subsequent to his entrance upon his arduous life labors, he retired, and three years afterward, February 2, 1886, he received the summons to the silent land. The Wayne County Medical Association long numbered him among its most valued members, and he was considered an authority in many departments of medical research and practice. A most zealous and beloved member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he held the office of trustee for a long period, and was ever faithful to the cause of Christianity, exemplifying its precepts in his daily life.

For fifty-one years Dr. Tennis and his devoted wife were sharers of each other's joys and sorrows, and five children, four sons and a daughter {Mrs. Dempsey), were born to them. The mother, whose maiden name had been Mary E. Pyle, was a resident of Elizabethtown, Ohio, at the time of her marriage, which event took place April 14, 1835. She survived her husband a few years, and was called to her reward March 24, 1891.

Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana, Volume 1, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1899